Songs of Praise from Sierra Leone

10/16/09

Frances Jongo loves to sing. She helps lead worship at her church and sings with her friends at school and in her village called Ngolala, which is about a five-minute walk from Children of the Nations' (COTN’s) school and Children’s Village in Banta Mokelleh, Sierra Leone. Frances, 19, and her brothers and sisters attend COTN’s school in Banta.

During the summer of 2008, COTN’s Global Interns in Sierra Leone loved listening to Frances’ angelic voice, which went along with her genuine, kind spirit. Global Intern Leader Scott Cook decided the voices of Frances and her friends needed to be recorded.

With the help of other interns and COTN children, Scott set out to create a makeshift recording studio outside of the school—making an open-air room with classroom dividers. The four Ngolala girls—Frances, Isata, Memunata and Mariatu, whom all attend COTN’s school in Banta—were patient and sang their songs over and over again until they were recorded just right.

“Because I established a relationship with them over a couple of months, when I asked them to record their songs, they were really flattered and laughed when I let them listen to themselves on the audio recorder,” Scott says. “It was a neat day to listen to them sing worship songs together in Mende and English.”

A few months ago, Scott was able to edit the audio and transfer the songs onto a cassette tape to send back to Sierra Leone for Frances and her friends. Complete with a group photo, the singing group of ladies were thrilled to hear themselves singing songs about God’s love in both English and their native tongue, Mende.

Click on the Play buttons below to hear a few examples of the girls’ songs. They will give you a taste of what it's like to walk through the village of Ngolala or to attend one of COTN’s village church services.

Track 1: Introductions
Track 2: Mende Song
Track 3: "I Have Decided to Follow Jesus"
Track 4: Mende Song
Track 5: "Praise His Holy Name"