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CES choir in Kenya bonds tribes with love of gospel, music

Members of a district CES choir represent six African tribes. They performed recently for meetinghouse open house.
Members of a district CES choir represent six African tribes. They performed recently for meetinghouse open house. Photo: Photo courtesy Africa Southeast Area

KASARANI, Kenya — A choir consisting of more than 20 seminary and institute students from the Nairobi, Kenya, area performed at the open house and dedication of the new Kasarani meetinghouse May 12-13. The most unusual characteristic of this African choir is that its members represent six African tribes — which traditionally do not mingle, according to Elder Gerald W. Jensen, who is serving with his wife, Carolyn, as a public affairs missionary in the Africa Southeast Area.

"The gospel brings us together, and builds bridges, as one Church under our Heavenly Father and our Savior who died for all of us," one choir member said. They seem to have and share the love of the gospel, a love of music, and a special love for each other that bonds them together.

They sang six Church hymns for the open house followed by the hymn "Ololoyaye" in Swahili, which is a hymn composed by choir director Patrick Muinde about the Word of Wisdom. Their favorite Church hymn is "Master, the Tempest is Raging," which they sing very fervently, especially the chorus.

The choir was originally organized at the request of Nairobi Kenya District President Joseph Wafula Sitati with the help of prior Church Educational System missionaries. The choir is very dedicated and practices two to four times a month and performs at community and Church functions. Elder Craig and Sister Bonnie Lillywhite and Elder Maurice and Sister Sandra Webster, current Church Educational System missionaries, have worked closely with the choir.

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