Blog: Father Abraham Dances

Culture presents itself in the funniest of ways. We often think of ethnicity or nationality as being prime cultural backgrounds, which they probably are the largest influence on our overall culture. But it gets really interesting when you start throwing in subcultures. You could add sports as a subculture or socioeconomic status too. Religion could be one subculture. Christian would be another sub-subculture. I guess that means that Adventism is a sub-sub-subculture? Whatever it maybe, somethings don’t change from the Adventist Mecca of Loma Linda to the bush of the heart of Africa.

Then again, somethings do.

In our little bush church that is comprised mainly of kids, we sing many traditional songs: Making Melodies in Our Hearts, Father Abraham, Read Your Bible and Pray Everyday, Jesus Love is a-Bubblin’ Over, and many more. These are done in French or the local languages and even sometimes they us to teach them the song in English too. We use the songs to teach the lesson so as they sing the song through the week, they’ll (hopefully) remember something from our time together. All we can do is lead by example.

Well after my vacation (that was also our evacuation…does this mean I ge to take my own evacuation?), we went out with Dr. Bland and Papa to our little bush church. Father Abraham already has a few twists in the song but all the movements were the same before I left. Now as I’ve done left hand, right hand, left foot, right foot, chin up, tongue out, and turn around, I’m getting ready to sit down when they kids add the “dance” verse! Not knowing this, I stop and regard as the kids are reeling in excitement as they let their little bodies praise their Creator.

It was so precious. So genuine. So pure. What a great added verse! It just made my day at church to see them so happy and engaged. Here dance is a part of all celebrations: harvest, birth, death, dedications, independences, good grades, March 8, and even if you get a gift from a friend. You gotta shake those shoulders and let out a few high pitch “eeeiiiiiihhhhhhh yeeeeiiiiii yeeeeiiiiii’s” in thanksgiving at the time.

Let’s remember to celebrate the little things as well as the big things, especially as we’re coming upon the holiday season! Especially packages filled with coffee from Trader Joes, sour gummy worms, tapatio, and M&M’s!

Just a normal dancing bush church!

Dr. Bland and Papa giving the lesson!

Zachary Gately
zchgtly@gmail.com
zgately.com
+235 68920884
+235 91122492

L’Hopital Adventiste de Béré
ATTN: Zachary Gately
52 Boîte Postal
Kelo, Tchad
Africa

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