By Fred Opiyo and photos by Abel Anyula
The Nairobi Christian church – Umoja, held its praise and worship service at the Umoja Sanctuary. The service was unique in all aspects from the sitting arrangement to the order of service.
The old setup sitting arrangement of 4 rows upfront and 4 at the back with the worshipers facing pulpit upfront, had been replaced with a new setup which had 4 sections arranged in an oval shape creating enough space for people to move around as they danced and worshipped the Lord.
The pulpit area was beautifully decorated adding colour and flavour which heightened the much anticipated worship service.
Evangelist Mike Odwallo and his wife Elizabeth set the tempo with the usual welcoming address. Dan Waka did the opening prayer reading from Psalm 149, “come out of yourself and sing, dance and rejoice ın the honour of God.”
Kingsley Keya read Psalm 99- The Lord reigns and deserves our praise. Edwin Mahiga did the communion message pointing out how God has forgiven our sins through the blood of Jesus and reminded the congregation that it is a day to say thank you to God for Jesus who has taken away the burden of sin from us.
Newton Nuthu read from Psalm 98. This is a call to worship a call to sing to God-a call to praise God letting the worshippers know that what we are doing here today is practicing for Heaven (vs 4) shout for joy
Jeff Morache read from Psalm 96:1-13. He then opened the kujiachilia worship which is a Kiswahili word translated to loosen up urging the disciples to come out of themselves.
The worship team dressed in African attire set the ball rolling led by their song leaders Albert Simiyu, Maurice Owaga, Maureen Taka, Christine Achieng and David Mwingirwa. The singing and dancing went a notch higher with everyone taking to the floor with enthusiasm and open hearts.
The worshippers danced to the African worship songs -Wan wadhi ka Yesu (Luo), Mwikulu wa Yesu (Luhya), Kwata kawaya (Kamba), & Wemuoyo Jeso together with Mugithi (Kikuyu).
Many could not hide their joy of the impact of the praise and worship service. Titus Keah, Umoja 2 sector in Eastern block could not imagine having such a service. Singling out the fire, zeal and refreshing moments it brought, he asked the church leadership to organize this kind of service and not limit to special occasions.
Nelvigence Wangari Kimani from Joska sector noted that the worship was awesome and so organized. Her joy was evident. The worship fire lights up the spirit and move hearts. When the youths see this in our worship service (the fire in praise and worship), they feel that they belong and own the church. The sitting arrangement was a good idea. The service time should be extended because the 2 hours is very short and sometimes one feels like they did not get enough of praise and worship thus going home not fully “filled”.
Nelvigence was also blown away by the sterling job of the worship team in leading the worshippers to this great service and of course the eye catching African attire. Indeed in Psalm 96:9, ‘There is nothing that should withhold us from singing and praising God in worship.’