By Nehemiah Yen
Living in the UK has been an eye-opening experience. It has been a huge change in environment, from the food to the scenery to the culture. Yet, one key detail remains unchanged since moving from Singapore to Leeds, and that is the cultural and ethnic diversity. This is critical to the work of my parents as missionaries since multicultural worship is one of the main forms of evangelism they have used to reach others. In other words, instead of simply singing songs of praise that we all know and love, instruments, lyrics, tunes, and sounds from the music of other cultures are incorporated into the worship to connect and communicate better with people from other cultures. One such event where multicultural worship was used extensively is: during a worship service at Harehills Lane Baptist Church. Missionaries from the Arts Release ministry formed a band and played songs in Punjabi, Hindi, Urdu, Swahili, Spanish, Yoruba, Farsi, and Korean. Many non-church-goers also attended the service, invited by friends or family living in the neighborhood. People of countless ethnicities and nationalities attended the service, and it was a time of worship, fellowship, joy, and celebration. It brought me great joy to see the faces of the congregation light up with familiarity as they heard the worship songs sung in their own language. It showed me that God transcends all barriers and can touch people’s hearts in many ways.