Something Like Silas Brings Divine Invitation To South Africa

New EMI Christian Music Group artist, Something Like Silas, preparing to launch its brand of alternative rock-worship June 15 with Divine Invitation, recently returned from South Africa after performing for over 100,000 people in Malawi.
Helping found the emerging church in San Diego called Flood four years ago, where Something Like Silas continues to lead worship most Sundays for almost 3,000 worshippers, the band joined Flood’s mission trip to Malawi. Engaging the crowd as part of the half-time entertainment at soccer (football) games, the band performed in stadiums in Lilongwe, Mzuzu, Zomba and Chichiri, and one indoor event in at the University of Malawi.
“Putting on stadium events across the country, traveling between cities on a little shuttle-bus that you knew it was only a matter of time before it broke down and playing for over 100,000 Malawians is only the logistic and boring report of it all,” reflects Eric M. Owyoung, the band’s leader, songwriter and vocalist-guitarist. “Interweaved within the events are experiences that can never leave you the same, experiences that leave you confused on how to respond– ‘should I laugh with joy or should weep with compassion?’”
While in Malawi, the band visited two ministries for orphans run by Children of the Nations, each with a feeding program. The orphanage visited in Chitipi houses and feeds some 75 orphan children.
“Though it is widely common for the normal little village home – or hut – to be full of orphans themselves, the orphanage is there to help ‘the leftovers’ of society, those who have been double orphaned and do not have even secondary caretakers,” notes Owyoung. “Yet, I have never seen a group of such well behaved and exuberantly playful and friendly kids in all of my lifetime in America. Looking down at dozens of orphaned kids who are clenched to your legs can make you feel like your life is done, full, complete. I will never forget some of their faces.”
Learning two songs in the Malawian language, Chichewa, and studying up on the language with flash cards on the plane to Malawi, Owyoung notes that this was probably the best decision the band could have made other than choosing to go. “When the ‘azungus’ – the white people – like us pulled out a few words in Chichewa and started busting some songs in their native tongue, they were absolutely enthralled.” The band’s version of the indigenous song “Palibe Wofana” became the hit of the tour.
“The Malawians showed me joy in Christ, they showed me what genuine humility looks like, not the kind that results as sought virtue, but humility that comes from serving and loving out of joy. The Malawians are begging for a way to get to America where there is wealth, comforts and food, and here I am wishing I could only share an ounce of the joy they had,” says Owyoung.
In addition to Something Like Silas, Flood pastor, Matt Hammett, spoke during half time at the games and about 2,000 counselors, trained from nearby churches, followed up with the people coming forward in the stadiums to learn more about faith in Christ.
When not on a mission trip or leading worship at Flood, the band’s music can be heard in clubs, colleges, conferences, camps and other venues. With its name inspired by a passage in Acts (6:23-34), Something Like Silas is a charismatic, multiracial band of postmodern, culturally in-tune rockers determined to close the gap between the passionate adoration of Christ and the passionate performance of exciting, moving, artful music. The band’s national debut, Divine Invitation, was produced and engineered respectively by heralded alternative rock veterans and The Choir members, Steve Hindalong (City On A Hill, The Prayer Chain) and Derri Daugherty.


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