One of the best parts about visiting Agape Village is the singing.
The children, led mainly by Annie, the housemother, create the most beautiful music you’ll ever hear. I will forever remember sitting at that big wooden table in the big hall at the orphanage listening to them sing; thinking that their bold faith and pure voices serve as a beautiful centerpiece anchoring Agape Village to its little spot on this earth. Their voices can be heard throughout the village when they sing, and you feel like you’re sitting in the middle of a gorgeous blossoming flower, soaking up the sun and experiencing a little bit of heaven on earth.
I put a few videos of the children singing on Facebook, and one of my friends had asked me what the words were to the song they were singing. I sat down with Judith one day and asked her to tell me the words to “Go and Tell The People.” I had tried to look it up on the Internet, but had no luck.
It was slow-going. Between Judith starting and stopping and waiting for me to write it down, she finally called over a little one (Beatrice) and gave her directions to fetch something in her room.
Beatrice came out with a tattered and worn notebook.
It practically came apart as we opened it up.
But inside, hand-written with the doodlings and lazy-day drawings you’d expect from a tween girl, were the words to the songs the children sing.
Judith was the keeper of the Songbook.
Filled with the beautiful words to all the songs they sing, the book also offered a glimpse into the life of Judith and all the children and how seriously they take their gifts of songs to God. The words to each song were carefully written, with hearts drawn here and there, butterflies, stars and other illustrations strewn throughout the pages.
If I understood it correctly, the songbook belongs to everyone, but Judith is responsible for getting words to new songs written in it and she keeps track of it among all the children.
The songs aren’t just entertainment. They’re a gift to God from Agape Village, and on a much smaller scale, a gift to us when we visit.
Of all the gifts I received while I visited Agape Village, watching and hearing the children singing is one I treasure the most.