According to The Water Town Daily Times, the 12-member Africa University choir started a tour in the United States May 25 and continues until June 28, singing at eight annual conferences and several local churches to raise awareness of and support for Africa University, a United Methodist-related school in Mutare.

Africa University choir.

Choir members are from nine African countries: Angola, Cameroon, Democratic Republic of Congo, Mozambique, Nigeria, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe.One member, Henry Chishimba Samakwezi, 23, is studying environmental studies and sociology. The Zambian is a tenor in the choir.

According to a short biography provided by the university, Mr. Samakwezi said he is interested in blessing people with the voice God gave him, “to transform lost souls and bring them back to the Lord.”

That’s exactly what Dr. Sylvia J. Reimer, who helped organize the effort,  said she hopes north country residents take away from the performance.

“The church exists for a mission: we’ve been called to share God’s love with everyone in the world, just as Jesus showed a preference for the poor and the lost, so should the church reflect that,” she said. “Zimbabwe is a place the United Methodist Church has been active for over 100 years.”

Dr. Reimer heard the Africa University choir when she was in Old Mutare doing mission work. She and her husband, Dr. Marvin S. Reimer, were commissioned by the General Board of Global Ministries in 1997 after they left their respective medical practices.

They traveled to Zimbabwe from 1999 to 2001 doing medical missionary work and Dr. Sylvia Reimer said she’d never forget hearing the choir for the first time there.