The Innovators, a Christian Acappella band, presented a harmonious and spiritual performance in the sanctuary at Christ United Methodist Church, Farmers Branch, on Wednesday, June 1st at 7 p.m. The six young men were visiting Texas from Innercity UMC in Harare, Zimbabwe. Tatenda Sithole, Michael Sithole, Knowledge Radyo, Dzago Chatsama, Marvellas Nhubu, and Leopold Chipatiso filled the sanctuary with their glorious harmonies, illustrating the presence of the Holy Spirit.

In between songs from their CD, such as The Lord’s Prayer and Never Give Up, the men took turns introducing songs and providing background stories. When they decided to bring their musical ministry to the United States, they faced several obstacles. The first obstacle was obtaining visas to leave Zimbabwe, which are difficult to come by. Each attempt required a non-refundable fee of $240 dollars (US). They were denied initially, despite letters of recommendation.

Each time they were denied, they refused to give up. They did not have money, but they had their faith that God is good and their musical talent with which to raise money. In addition to trying to get visas, the Innovators also raise money for their charity which helps to support orphans in Zimbabwe. After several attempts, the Innovators did, indeed, receive one year visas. Then they faced the task of paying for airplane travel to the states. Following many prayers and conversations with Stefany Simmons and others of the Connectional Table, the prayers were answered and the musical group was on their way to Texas.

A few of the songs were sung in the African dialect of Zimbabwe. The audience was told that “you may not understand the words, but you understand the love of God. I don’t know exactly what it means, but I was told the ‘love of God.’” Other songs included a version of Blessed Assurance in both African and English, Thank You, Lord, and Holy Spirit Fill me, Fill Me. Before the conclusion of the concert, the Innovators had the audience dancing in the aisles, singing, sharing praise and welcoming the Holy Spirit.

The tour, which began at Hamilton Prison in Bryan, with shows in College Station, Houston, Dallas, and San Antonio will end with shows in the Corpus Christi area before the group returns to Zimbabwe on June 13th. The congregation of CUMC, along with the love offering taken during the performance, sends their prayers with the Innovators as they continue to use their musical talents to praise the Lord. Thanks be to God for faith as strong as that of the Innovators.

Peace be with you.

 

Stefany Simmons introduces Innovators

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