The Daily Southerner, Tarboro, NC

Opinion

November 2, 2012

A truly amazing grace

TARBORO — When the Ugandan Orphanage Choir sang “Amazing Grace” Wednesday night at First Baptist Church in Tarboro, I realized at that moment I was in for a treat, but I didn’t know that treat would touch the center of my heart like it has never been touched before.

Coincidentally, “Amazing Grace” is one of my favorite hymns. I enjoy it in any genre including instrumental, a cappella, country and western, Primitive Baptist style, and even my grandmother, the late Mittie “MaMit” Adkins, humming the tune in her soprano voice. Until last night, my grandmother humming “Amazing Grace” was my favorite.

Sorry Mamit, the orphans’ version stole my heart. It wasn’t so much that the orphans sound better than the other genres, but they sang it with conviction. They made me feel as if they were singing from their personal experiences. Especially the words of third and fourth verses:

Thro’ many dangers, toils and snares,

I have already come;

‘Tis grace hath brought me safe thus far,

And grace will lead me home.

The Lord has promis’d good to me,

His word my hope secures;

He will my shield and portion be,

As long as life endures.

By the time they finished that song, those 22 orphans had captured the undivided attention of the diverse congregation that overfilled the sanctuary, but they didn’t stop there. They gave God praise through song and dance for about a hour and a half. It was an hour and a half of experiencing the best sermon in my life. The sermon was through song that told the congregation to love our neighbors, praise God for his mercy, and even if you are facing trying times, keep the faith and believe that tomorrow will be a better day. I don’t know if the most prominent of ministers could have preached a better sermon.

And from the response of the audience, I don’t believe the most prominent of ministers who preached the most prominent of sermons, could have touched as many souls as the orphans did. I witnessed grown men, including myself, fighting to hold back tears and I heard sniffles from women who gave in to the emotional moments.

My favorite moments, although there were quite a few, was when the lead singers walked out in the sanctuary and interacted with the audience. As they sang, they hugged necks and shook the hands of the parishioners. When the second soloist made her trip in the sanctuary, the parishioners had caught on. Everybody wanted to be touched by the orphans.

One lady, sitting near the middle of a row, stood up and summoned one of the orphans to give her a hug. Another orphan walked from one end of the row to the other passing out cheerful hugs. Another one hugged a boy and stuck something in his pocket. I questioned her after the show and she confessed that she gave him a monetary donation. I believe the children left that kind of impression on everybody that attended. It made us want to support the 5,000 kids who are in 11 orphanages in Uganda supported by Pennies for Posho, the group sponsoring the choir.

The orphans who visited Tarboro had the brightest of smiles, like children on Christmas day. There was no an indication they needed assistance. They have aspirations far beyond their counterparts in their native land. One said she wanted to be a lawyer, another a doctor and two wanted to be pastors. Their messages made the audience look beyond them and reflect on the hundreds of starving children in Uganda. That’s what brought the tears.

Pastor Ted “Big Daddy” Moody, the founder of Pennies for Posho, made an interesting observation. He said 100 years ago, Americans went to Africa to minister and teach them about God. Then, he asked, could it be that today, God is sending African children to teach us how to worship?

Wow! Now that’s Amazing Grace.



(Calvin Adkins is a staff writer for The Daily Southerner and may be contacted at 823-3106 or cadkins@dailysoutherner.com)

 

1
Text Only
Opinion
  • The legacy of Joe W. Dickens Jr.'s dash

    Joe W. Dickens Jr.
    Sept. 14, 1953 - March 21, 2014
    The above statement is profound in its own way. It signifies the birth and the death of one of the most influential men in Edgecombe Coun

    March 31, 2014

  • LETTER TO THE EDITOR

    On July 28, 911 was called because my husband had a bad headache. I was transferred to communications in Edgecombe County, where I spoke to a female operator. I informed her I needed Rescue because my husband had a bad headache and gave her our address and telephone number.

    September 26, 2013

  • LETTER TO THE EDITOR

    To the Editor:
    Sheriff Knight’s “guys” may have worked hard on the case concerning Melvin Ray Fox, but did they really? Probably not for the sheriff, but for someone else behind the scenes. Not condoning Mr. Fox for his crime, because he should be punished, but not necessarily in the manner of leaving behind his wife as well as his 3-, 5- 7- and 13-year-old children.

    September 10, 2013

  • LETTER TO THE EDITOR

    Concerning the Tarboro High 2013 Vikings football team: They have heart and desire. That was shown Friday night versus Washington. Just like last year’s state championship game, we got behind against a very good team. The Vikings didn’t quit even though they had several injuries throughout the game.  Right up to the last minute we had a chance  but, things didn’t go our way.

    September 5, 2013

  • LETTER TO THE EDITOR

    To the Editor:
    It appears Mr. (Garland) Shepheard is shaking up things in our fair city according to a recent Daily Southerner article. Hurrah for him. This citizen, for one, believes the status quo needs a little shake up.
    I don’t know if Mr. Shepheard is disrespectful with his words and/or
    actions at council meetings or not. I don’t attend them any longer. It isn’t that I don’t care that some residents may suggest.

    September 4, 2013

  • LETTER TO THE EDITOR

    To the Editor:
    Having just recently read the front page article in The Daily Southerner regarding Councilman Shepheard’s issues with the Tarboro town manager, I was left with more questions than answers.
    The article states that  Mr. Shepheard’s reasons for not voting in favor of extending the town manager’s contract had to do with “deplorable conditions of three town facilities, Thornton’s hiring practices and giving the council what he said was false information.” That’s it.  That’s all the information we were given.

    September 2, 2013

  • LETTER TO THE EDITOR

    To the Editor:
    So who are you Mr. Allen Dennie Jr.? I have never heard of you. I have tried to find your voter registration on the North Carolina State Board of Elections website and I can't find it.
    Somebody said that you have an impressive resume. I say and ?
    But what I find interesting is the following. Mr. Dennie the current Sheriff is the following: "The sheriff of any county should be a person who has a personal interest in the citizens that work live and visit their county,"

    August 18, 2013

  • LETTER TO THE EDITOR

    To the Editor:
    I am glad that opinions are being expressed regarding my actions at the Town Council meetings,  both by Mr. Walker and Mr. Wooten.
    It is my intention to expose the concerns expressed to me by the taxpayers of Tarboro, and when I find something that causes Tarboro not to be the Town we can all be proud of, I will speak up. I was told by people in Ward 8 when I ran for this office not to be like the rest of the Council and I expressed that to the members. The problems that exist in Tarboro should not have to be aired in public or at the Town Council Meetings and there should not be any discord.

    August 18, 2013

  • LETTER TO THE EDITOR

    To the Editor:
    I am writing out of concern about disc golf. We as a town need to consider projects that have been given to (parks and recreation director) Cheryl Gay before this disc golf came along — like a walking trail at Clark Park, repairing the bathrooms, making sure the playground equipment is up-to-date and finding out what happen to the lights on the baseball field before we find money for disc golf. The town needs to consider what we been discussing in these last couple of meetings about recreation. I would love to see the Clark Park baseball field turned into a kickball field, which is a sport that everybody knows how to play, before you consider disc golf.
    Greg Higgs,
    Tarboro

    August 15, 2013

  • LETTER TO THE EDITOR

    To the Editor:
    Monday night at the Town Council meeting (Aug. 12, 2013), I witnessed some the most disruptive,vitriolic and asinine behavior that I’ve ever seen, in the person of (Ward 8) councilman Garland Shepheard.  For several months, his behavior has grown progressively worse and it seems to embolden him to waste my time, the time of the other council members and the time of other citizens who care enough about Tarboro to attend council meetings.

    August 15, 2013