Last week in the South Bahamas Conference, we welcomed the UBUNTU choir of Burman University located in Alberta, Canada. The group was welcomed by administrators, pastors, and staff members of the Conference on Monday, May 6th during a courtesy call at the office. Pastor Romando Carey founding director and conductor of the choir shared the meaning behind its name.

Carey shared, "The UBUNTU is a Zulu word, and it's not necessarily just a simple word, but more so a philosophy, it’s a way of life, it’s a culture, and we typically translate it, "I am, because we are." We are humans because other people are humans. I experience my humanity through other people. If I treat other humans poorly, then I inherently am degrading my own humanity."

The group spent the week in Nassau engaged in outreach activities. On May 8th, the choir visited the Simpson Penn School for Boys, where they worshipped with the boys, and the students at the Willamae Pratt School for Girls. The choir members interacted with the students sharing their testimonies and rendering a few musical selections. Carey also encouraged the students to be bold in sharing what God has done for them.

Carey said, "Your stories are not things that everybody understands. The things you live through are not things everyone understands. And even angels themselves do not understand it. So when you open your mouth to praise God, it’s going to be a very, very different experience."

Throughout the week the group was also given the opportunity to meet with the Permanent Secretary and Director General of the Ministry of Tourism as well as the residents of the Ranfurly Home for Children. The choir, which started six years ago, and has grown tremendously from 25 to 40 individuals, is an internationally diverse group with over 23 countries represented. According to Pastor Carey, one of the original goals of the choir was to celebrate black Christian composers and their music and to create community.

Carey continued, "I particularly started this choir to celebrate the contribution of black composers to the coral fabric of music, as well as encouraging our black students to take pride in what they bring to the table. We are constantly in pursuit of excellence, not just in music, but all facets of our lives. And we are also in pursuit of community, as our name suggests UBUNTU, we value community, we value other people. And so we want to create spaces where humans can love each other, and bask in their humanity, get to know each other well, and then pursue excel together."

The choir concluded their trip with a weekend of music. On Friday evening, the choir hosted a vesper service at the Francophone Adventist church. On Sabbath morning the choir worshipped with the Grant's Town, Centreville, and Living Faith churches. The highlight of their trip was the Mother's Day concert held Saturday evening at the Hillview Adventist church. The concert featured a diverse repertoire of uplifting songs with a special tribute to all the mothers in attendance.

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