Yesterday Sunday morning was the 1st gig of the Happy singers youth gospel choir. It took place at a Salvation army church in The Hague, in the Netherlands. Many were really, really blessed and
were full of praises at the end of the service where we got to minister some 8 songs ! It could have well been a concert.
Yes. Who are the Happy singers. Just a group of kids brought together by our local Salvation Army church,
as a choir, for which I am choir director. Just over 8 years ago, I was approached by the youth leader of our local Salvation army church (in Leiden, Holland) through a dear brother in the praise team of my church. They had
had a bunch of kids from various dysfunctional homes. No dad, no mum , no parent, et. c and tried to make
something of their lives, with after school support, providing things for recreation and a kid’s club.And as they aproached
12 and up, these became inadequate. Then someone came up with the idea, let’s form a choir ! Sounds like Sister Act 2:-)
They asked the kids for a name, and settled on The happy singers .. Next, music ? They found a old friend of
one of the salvation Army officer’s who was a gifted pianist, and also had the flexibility of playing latin music . the 60 + year old gentleman agreed to play (IIlvio Pietersz is his name by the way) but said that he wasn’t used to working with kids. They needed a choir director. This is how I came into the picture.
To do or not to do ? I couldn’t just take this. I asked for time to think and pray about it. I was then head of the music dept in my church, barely started my itinerant music ministry but eventually agreed under the conditions, that I couldn’t raise a choir singing Dutch kidpraise songs. I was a gospel artist and will teah the kids gospel music. They agreed and the rest is as they say history. God’s grace is indeed enough for us. I have seen kids grow up in the group to be confident individuals that will sing with the best of them. I even remember, a troublesome boy who had ADHD , that God really calmed down to make him find his place in society and relate better to people. In the last 8 years, some have grown up
and left, and many more join . Averaging about 20 these day. We’ve been to choir festivals , gospel festivals, all kinds of churches , weddings and someone re^cently wanted us to sing at their funeral ! (We decided against it for the little one’s sake) and we have and invitation later this year to even sing at a youth correction center ! And have been a TV a few times here in the Netherlands. God is good and to HIM be all the glory. Even though, I never though about the usual what’s in it for me, God has used it to open doors of personal ministry too. I almost always get asked to sing a song on my own as well , and get asked back, not to talk of my CD sales there as well.
May God help us to take opportunities at the right time. It will work out for our good.