Samuel’s Singing Band
Samuel and his friends wanted to share God’s love with others, but doing so got them into big trouble.
Samuel lives in a city of northern Ghana. He loves God, and he loves to sing. He loves using music to help others know about Jesus. But one time Samuels love for God and for Christian music got him into trouble.
Sharing their faith
Samuel and some of his friends liked to hold pretend church services in a shed that they built. They took turns pretending to be the pastor, the song leader, and the congregation. One day, Samuel thought how much better it would be if they actually told people about God instead of just pretending. The boys decided to practice their music and go from house to house singing Christian songs for people. “We thought it would make them happy, and if they asked us to tell them more about Jesus, we could give them a tract or a little book,” Samuel explained.
The boys decided to try out their plan. They walked to a nearby neighborhood and sang some songs on the street. When they saw people sitting in the shade of a tree or on their porch, they sang for them. Then they walked into the courtyard of one home and started to sing. As they were singing a boy walked toward them and started singing with them. He was singing the same song, but he sang bad words instead of the right words. Some of the words were ones Christians would never use! Samuel and his friends kept singing their song, hoping the newcomer would go away or stop singing the bad words.
The angry teacher
A teacher lived in the house where the group were singing. He heard the Christian music but he also heard the bad words. The bad words made the man angry, and he walked to the door and tossed a pitcher of cold water on the boys. “What are you kids doing here?” he shouted. “You sing Christian songs, but you mock God by using bad words! Go away!”
The boy who had sung the bad words ran away, but Samuel and his friends stayed. Samuel knew that he and his friends had done nothing wrong. Samuel tried to explain to the man that they were not the ones who had sung the bad words. They did not want the teacher to think they were making fun of God when they were really trying to honor God.
The teacher stepped out of the house but he refused to let Samuel explain what happened. He called Samuel and his friends bad boys and ordered them to leave his yard.
Samuel felt terrible. He did not want the teacher to think that they were making fun of God. But the more the boys tried to explain, the angrier the teacher became. Finally he threatened to come to their school and tell the teacher to whip the boys!
In Big trouble
Samuel and his friends started towards home. They knew their teacher would listen to this man’s accusations and punish them without giving the boys a chance to explain what had really happened.
Sure enough, the boys were called to the headmaster’s office. There stood the teacher who had yelled at them. He had told the headmaster what he thought they had done, and the headmaster punished them all. Now not only the teacher thought they were bad but the headmaster of their school thought the boys had done something bad too. Samuel knew that their parents would hear of the trouble and be ashamed if they thought the boys had really done this bad deed.
But Samuel and his friends were not ready to give up trying to clear their names, especially with this teacher. Samuel decided to tell his parents what had happened before the headmaster could tell them. Fortunately, Samuel’s parent knew about the singing band, and he knew that they would believe him.
Truth at last
Mother listened to Samuel’s explanation of what had happened. “Let’s all go back to the teacher’s house and talk to him,” Mother said in the tone of voice that Samuel understood to mean he had little choice. So the six boys met at Samuel’s house. They prayed that God would open the teacher’s mind and heart so he would listen to the truth. Then Samuel’s parents and the boys walked to the teacher’s house.
At first the teacher did not want to talk to Samuel’s parent or the boys, but finally his parents convinced the man to listen to Samuel. As politely as he could, Samuel told the teacher what happened that day. “Talk to any of us, and we will tell you the same thing,” Samuel said bravely.
The teacher thought for a moment, then asked each boy what happened. One boy knew the boy who had caused the trouble, and he told the teacher his name. The teacher found the boy and questioned him about what had happened. The boy hung his head and refused to answer the teacher. The teacher realized that he had punished the wrong boys.
The teacher threatened to have the other boy whipped--harder than Samuel and his friends had been. But Samuel said “No, the Bible says not to repay evil with evil.” So the teacher agreed not to punish the boy.
The teacher did two things that surprised Samuel. First he went to Samuel’s house to apologize. He said he wanted to be Samuel’s friend. Then he went to the school and told the headmaster that the boys who had been punished were innocent.
When Samuel learned that the teacher had visited the headmaster, Samuel said, ”Let’s go to his house again and sing for him!” The boys went and the teacher was impressed. After all, he had punished them for something they had not done.
The boys invited the teacher to church—and he went! He was impressed with the church and kept attending. Today he is a member of Samuel’s church. Now when the boys go house to house singing, the teacher goes with them.
Samuel has learned some important lessons from what happened. “Singing can lead people to Jesus just like preaching and praying can,” Samuel said. “When you have trouble, sing; when you feel joy, sing. And if someone says you did something wrong, be careful how you respond. It could make the difference between the person becoming an enemy or brother or sister in Christ!”