Friday, May 28, 2010

Meeting with Rwandan musicians

One of the highlights of this trip was a small meeting of musicians at a church in Kigali our first evening in Rwanda. A local artist, Dieudonne helped to pull together some musicians in the city, mostly worship leaders, to meet and talk about art and faith. Dieudonne and others are attempting to write new music that merges traditional Rwandan music and themes with a wider Christian worldview. One songwriter shared with me that he had just put a song about his marriage on a recording, and some people had wondered why he would write about his marriage on a worship record. I said that as long as there are married people in Rwanda, they will need songs about marriage. We all left wondering how we could better support this community of writers and musicians in their call to create art for their community. The basic things about making music are more difficult because of the lack of time and space for those pursuits. But there are so many unique things about Rwanda that only a Rwandan artist can speak to, and I pray that these friends will be inspired.


  1. "As long as there are married people in Rwanda, they will need songs about marriage." What a wonderfully true statement. That principle could be applied to almost anything, don't you think? We need music because we are alive, and since there are so many facets to our lives we need songs about pretty much all of them.

    Thanks for sharing this story, Sara. I only wish that I could hear some of their music!


  2. Sara, that is so cool! You are so right that there are things only a native Rwandan can speak to, and I think you are doing a marvelous thing by guiding and encouraging them as they attempt to do that with music and songwriting.

  3. "The basic things about making music are more difficult because of the lack of time and space for those pursuits."

    This is true in so many places in the world. And I think it's partly about helping the rest of the community understand how important the pursuit of music and art are, how healing and inspiring these things can be for the whole community, not just for the artist. What an honor for you to be involved in that conversation!

  4. Sara, this is great! I just wanted to let you know that you are an inspiration. I am leaving on a mission trip to Kenya in the morning, and God used you to show me that I needed to go to Africa. Thank you! I will pray for you, and your further missions. Pray for me too! I will need it!

  5. Let's figure out a way to help them.
    I would imagine that there are many worship teams, choirs, music groups, bands, etc in the US that would join the effort of supporting Christian worship leaders worldwide. I've felt this same desire for Christian musicians in Northeast India and would like to step out and do something about it! Do they need $, instruments, computers, software, recording equipment? Where do we start? Any ideas?

  6. Still soaking in how good God was to me during your concert here in Flower Mound recently. Your music has consistently been a healing balm to me and a useful instrument in God's hands. I had been holding so much inside before sitting down to see your sweet face and listen to your beautiful voice. My oldest brother (47 years) suffered with bipolar disorder since the age of 19 and finally grew too weary to walk that awful road. He took his life on February 22 of this year and I think I was still living in the shock/denial stage until you began to sing. Instead of resisting and fighting the emotions, I simply surrendered right there and allowed the floodgates to open. I was a mess! It was all I could do to not sob uncontrollably - I needed to be able to hear you =) Anyway, just know that what you do matters. Each song God whispers into your heart, He has readied the ears of your listeners. If only I could sing WITH you at the bench of your piano and my life would be complete. I pray our great God will make that possible at His house someday. Huge hugs to you and I will treasure the photo my husband took of us, up close and radiant. Much love to you my sister in Christ! Press on, finish the race.

  7. I just recently came back from a trip to Rwanda with Liberty University. We met a young man who is a genocide survivor who was given a guitar two years ago. He is teaching himself to play and has even written a couple of worship songs. He lives in Kigali and I would love to connect him with some worship leaders there. My email is if you have any suggestions.