By Kelechi Chiboka
The Experience gospel concert hosted by House On The Rock reached its 15th edition this year 2020 with a different twist due to the COVID-19 pandemic that has brought countries and economies to their knees.
The good news is that we are seeing a glimmer of hope as the vaccines begin to roll out to different parts of the world but this post is not about COVID (I digress).
This year’s gospel concert was hosted virtually as against the physical gathering that has come to be its trademark over the years since it started in 2006 aggregating close to 700,000 attendees at the venue.
Known to bring together the best of contemporary and traditional gospel acts from across the globe in one night of electrifying praise and worship, many wondered how this feat would be replicated this year that has witnessed not only flight restrictions but social limitations demanding a certain distance to be kept between two people.
So, what did House On The Rock do? Stepped it up a notch (or should I say, many notches) by going beyond the known countries of top gospel musicians and reaching far into Asia and South America. The list of artists included the known names that have graced The Experience concert over the years and new and exciting names to the roster. I wasn’t sure what to expect from the relatively “unknown” names but my goodness was I blown away by the gift they possessed and how they expressed the same on this special night.
My highlight of #TE15Global was the collaboration of artists from different tribes and tongues (literally) creating perfect synergies that were previously unimagined, starting with the first collaboration on the song “Is he worthy” led by Don Moen, followed by Sinach’s “Waymaker”, “What a beautiful name” and ending with “The Blessing” performed by close to 70 artists singing in different languages from all over the world, and voiced by Pastor Paul Adefarasin.
The collaborations were so impactful, I felt them in my spirit and at some point, I teared up just trying to fathom how beautiful this world can be if we all, no matter our colour, tribe, culture, country can all unite in one voice and love for one another. I have never felt prouder to be a Christian and prayed that this spark that has been created at this years’ Experience will set this world on a path never imagined.
While not considered a collaboration, the session by Sheldon Bangera from Mumbai India, was such a refreshing moment because I had never been exposed to gospel music from that part of the world. Truly God has blessed this world with men and women of many talents and I’m grateful to have experienced this at the The Experience 15 Global concert.
What the devil planned for evil with the pandemic, God sure has turned it around for good for many. While many have grieved and are grieving the loss of loved ones to COVID-19, I pray that the healing power of God through this Experience will reach out to every single one out there and provide comfort and healing like never before.
Chiboka, a professional marketing project manager and a music lover who caresses the knobs and faders on a mixer as a sound engineer, writes from Lagos