#InternLife: Am I Truly Worshiping?

Nov 22, 2016 | Sports Friends Africa, Sports Friends Malawi

By Daniel Chang, SF Malawi

Just two weeks into my time in Malawi, I found myself hurtling down a small road in a minibus to a town called Liwonde. I had just begun to find my bearings in Blantyre, and now I was headed to a new place with a bunch of Malawian Sports Friends members who I had only just met. We were off to conduct a Basic Training, where for 4 days we would be training people to start sports ministries in their churches and villages. I was pretty apprehensive about the whole thing, particularly because the whole training would be in Chichewa. I had an English copy of the training manual to follow along, but not being able to understand what people were actually saying had me bracing myself for a long couple of days.

The training began in the late afternoon, and kicked off with a couple praise songs in Chichewa. I love music and love singing, so not knowing the songs or even being able to understand the lyrics was pretty frustrating. I felt left out, like I couldn’t participate. Still, it was amazing to simply observe the Malawians worshipping. They clapped and danced with enthusiasm, all the while passionately belting out the words they all knew by heart. How I wish I could join in, I thought to myself, as I stood silent at the back of the room.

Later that night, I again found myself in a room surrounded by 30 Malawian men and women singing songs of praise to the King in Chichewa, but this time it was different. Again, I didn’t know the songs, so I simply shut my eyes and began to pray, and the songs became a beautiful soundtrack to my prayer. I honestly believe that I worshipped God more earnestly than many of the times when I’ve known every word of the song. Maybe you can relate to this, but often times I find myself singing familiar worship songs without really paying much attention to what I’m saying. My mouth is engaged, but my heart isn’t, and therefore am I truly worshipping? But I discovered that when I was engulfed in the sound of people worshipping in a foreign tongue, my heart was tuned to worship in a way like never before. He is worthy of all glory, honor, and praise – that is why we sing! And the next time I’m singing Oceans or Amazing Grace or some other well-known song, I want to remember that.

As I get further into my assignment and worship more in Chichewa I know quite a few of the popular choruses that are sung. Whenever I don’t know the song, I simply clap and dance along joyfully with everyone else, knowing that it’s all for the glory of the King!


Daniel Chang served as a short-term associate with SIM in Malawi. He graduated from university in May of 2016 with a degree in kinesiology. Daniel was the first Sports Friends Intern to serve in Malawi. This blog is a part of series called #InternLife and highlights the journey of an intern to the field and his return home again.