Here on the streets of Stung Treng, Cambodia, I hear a child yelling, “Hello!” from one of the shops in the market. Few speak any English besides that one word. I walk around, and people approach me, talking in a language I’ve never heard and can’t understand. And yet, even though I can’t grasp what they’re saying, God understands and loves them.
My team has been travelling throughout remote villages in Cambodia, holding church meetings for children and adults, both of which include us singing worship songs in English. So that the villagers understand what we’re singing we have been giving them a one or two sentences summary which is translated before we begin.
These villagers are unable to understand a word, even though to us the words hold an incredible significance.
One of the remote village churches we visited held a service in Khmer, the native language of Cambodia. To begin the service, they all gathered around and sang two hymns entirely in Khmer. My team of 11 sat quietly, and I began to understand how the villagers felt when we sang. And yet, hearing their voices singing praise to God was one of the most beautiful sounds I’ve ever heard.
In that moment, I realised what worship is all about. It is singing to God, telling Him how much we love Him. The language matters only so much as it expresses reverence of God. Not everyone needs to sing Hillsong or Bethel songs. Not everyone can understand them. And yet, God hears every praise song sung in every single language and He understands exactly what is being sung to Him.
There’s no right or wrong way to worship God, it all comes down to exalting the one and only true God.
It doesn’t matter which language, it doesn’t matter which dialect, it is all joyful noise to the Lord.
by Amanda Ademe
YWAM Summer Classic DTS Student