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A Ghanaian Worship Leader, Black Lives Matter, and "God, You've Done Well"

image from Sonnie Badu's website

Philando Castile was shot in his car in Minnesota in July of 2016, and he was one of many continuous deaths protested by the movement Black Lives Matter. The next month, in August, I found a song from Sonnie Badu of Ghana posted on Global Worship Tumblr that I really wanted to sing at our church. The month after that, in September, we found out that Sonnie Badu was coming to sing at an African-American church near where my wife was then going to graduate school. And my wife got to go to the free concert!

And then my wife got back from the concert and told me that local police were lining the back row.

I was really curious. This was a time when my wife and I were both serving in multicultural ministry and learning a lot about (often painful) stories from our non-white brothers and sisters in Christ. The tension and mistrust between African-American communities and our country's law enforcement was visibly broken. So, what were the local police doing at the concert, lined up and uniformed in the back row?

As it turns out, Sonnie Badu, the Ghanaian worship leader on the stage, had invited them. He wanted them to feel welcome and supported in the house of God.

The song of his that I've played is called "Still You Reign." And it's sung in English, save for one phrase in Urhobo, a language spoken mostly in southern Nigeria. The phrase is "Oghene Doh," and it means "Thank You, God" or "God, You've done well." It may need both a male and a female lead, but the chord progression is very straight forward. "Still You Reign" would be a great song to remind everyone that God has done well.

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