by Louise Craig
Hymns and prayers of thanksgiving resonated through the Vancouver Church on November 10, as the Oregon Adventist Men’s Chorus (OAMC) celebrated what God did in South Africa this past summer. Five guests from South Africa were on hand to help tell the stories and relate the growth of the church in South Africa as a result of this mission. Live streaming facilitated by the NPUC and Oregon Conference enabled viewers from all over the U.S. and South Africa to participate remotely.
In August, the Oregon Adventist Men’s Chorus (OAMC) reunited with Romanian singers in South Africa. The Arise O Man Chorale (AOM) in Johannesburg included choruses and singers from South Africa as well as the countries of Botswana, Zimbabwe and Lesotho.
Together these groups prayed, traveled, kept divine appointments, experienced miracles and, yes, created wonderful music! Their first joint appearance was held without rehearsal in the village of Moruleng, in a large tent on bare dirt. Not only was it the first time all the groups had sung together, it was also the first time white and black people had worshipped together in that community.
A church now stands on the property. A school and clinic will soon be built on the site as well. Through contacts made in November, the possibility of staffing the school and clinic with student missionaries from the Northwest is closer to becoming reality.
A 13-hour trip from Johannesburg to Cape Town turned into more than 20 hours, with delays caused by a medical emergency and bus breakdowns. The South African winter dropped temperatures so low the heaters on the buses couldn’t even warm the travellers' feet.
“I didn’t want to meet the buses when they rolled in,” says Lou Wildman, OAMC conductor. “I heard of the grueling conditions. When the first person came off the bus, I fully expected to get an earful. What I heard was, ‘Lou, you should have been there! It was amazing!” There were stories of witnessing in a truck stop, in an emergency room, on a broken down bus.
Mokale Koapeng, AOM’s conductor, says, “I have never seen God’s hand at work like it has been in this project. There are so many miracles that have taken place. There are so many blessings that have occurred.”
In one of the greatest miracles, Stephan Moerane was baptized in the hotel swimming pool on the final Sabbath. Read more stories, learn where God is leading this ministry, and check the concert schedule at www.oamc.org.