BROOKLYN PARK, MN (October 12, 2011) – A worship team consisting of members from several African nations led the morning worship service in English, Lingala and other languages at Redeemer Covenant Church as part of the congregation’s fifth annual “Taste of Africa” celebration on Sunday.
More than 40 households from the church family come from Liberia, Nigeria, Congo, Sudan, and Cameroon, says office secretary Linda Gustafson, administrative secretary. Among the regular attendees and member of the worship team is Lidia Sanguma, daughter of Sabuli and Mossai Sanguma, who serves as president of the Congo Covenant Church.
The event began five years ago because the African families wanted to thank the church for making them feel so welcome, says Gustafson. It was so well received that it became an annual gathering.
Previous events were held on Saturday nights that featured a concert/worship service followed by dinner, but the congregation decided to hold the gathering on Sunday morning this year.
Special music was shared by the African Junior Choir and African Senior Choir. A Kenyan from the community also sang a song in Swahili. “A highlight was singing the hymn ‘How Great Thou Art’ together as a congregation,” says Gustafson. “On the last chorus, all of us were asked to sing it in their native language. It was amazing.”
Following the service, all were invited to a true “Taste of Africa” as the African members had prepared a lunch for everyone. The food reflected fare from many nations:
- Nigeria – eggs and yams
- Democratic Republic of Congo – fried plantains
- Liberia – palm butter, fufu and soup, rice bread and donuts
- Nigeria/Liberia – puff puff
A variety of rice dishes as well as meat that included chicken, fish, and goat also were prepared. “It was such an enriching experience to learn more about their countries – and they learned more about each other as well,” says Gustafson.