Children Sing Praises in Many Languages

Lorenz Holland-Moritz (Dresden, Germany)

Archived discussion

About the presenter

Lorenz Holland-Moritz wurde 1993 geboren und arbeitet in einer kleinen Firma für Haushaltstechnik in Dresden, wo er derzeit seine Ausbildung als Informationselektroniker abschließt. Neben der Arbeit wirkt er an verschiedenen Projekten der Evangelisch-Lutherischen Freikirche in Deutschland mit. -- Lorenz Holland-Moritz was born in 1993 and works in a small company for household technology in Dresden, where he is currently completing his education as an information electronics specialist. In addition to the work, he is involved in various projects of the Evangelical Lutheran Freechurch in Germany.

[Written by the Conference host.]

Children from all over the world singing together their praise and thanks to their Savior: “Jesus loves me, this I know, for the Bible tells me so! Little ones to Him belong. They are weak but He is strong.”

That was the dream of the 3rd graders at Mt. Olive Lutheran School in Mankato, Minnesota, back in 2016, when they recorded themselves singing this universally favorite childrens’ (and adults’) hymn, and then sent out an invitation to children in churches in other countries to join them in this same praise in their own languages. The idea and plans were reported by teacher Amanda Buelow in the first GOWM online conference in 2016.

In a couple years, the children had indeed been joined by children singing in four other languages: Czech, Mandarin, Urdu and Portuguese. These were reported in last year’s GOWM conference.

The invitation is still out there, and more responses are arriving. A Spanish version is sung by the kids at Cruz de Cristo Lutheran Mission in Mahahual, Mexico

We’ve been promised a German version by our good friend Lorenz Holland-Moritz in Dresden (pictured above); when it arrives we will update this presentation and link to it here.

We’ve heard rumors of a version in Swedish coming soon.

Here is where the other language versions can be heard:

Portuguese (Brazil) (2 minutes 15 seconds)

English with English subtitles (3 minutes 20 seconds)

Urdu (2 minutes 45 seconds)

Czech with subtitles (1 minute)

Chinese (Mandarin) (45 seconds)

2 languages — English and Urdu (6 minutes 15 seconds)

4 languages — English, Czech, Urdu, and Mandarin with subtitles (4 minutes)

One stanza in 4 languages — English, Czech, Urdu, and Mandarin (45 seconds)

Jesus loves me, see His grace,
On the cross He took my place.
There He suffered and He died
That I might be glorified.

Jesus loves me, God’s own Son
Over sin the victory won!
When I die, saved by His grace,
I shall see Him face to face.

Jesus loves me. He is near.
He is with His Church so dear.
And the Spirit He has sent
By His Word and Sacrament.


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Discussion

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Nancy Roebke (Lutheran Mission volunteer, missionary wife) 2019-10-22 1:06:23pm
So I have lived in Malawi going to Lutheran Church Central Africa Chichewa-language worship fairly regularly: but have not sung or heard sung “Jesus Loves Me” yet. So I sharing the English version via a local church Women’s WhatsApp group, asking them to share it with friends and family. Also I am asking them about the song in local languages. So I hope to share here when I can.
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Tom Kuster (The Christ in Media Institute) 2019-10-22 3:01:07pm
Thank you Nancy. I would be eager to hear what the talented Central African musicians could do with a version of "Jesus Loves Me." I am sure they would give it their own wonderful flavor and we could make it available to the world.
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Kate Nusbaum (Bethany Lutheran College ) 2019-10-22 3:55:11pm
Coming from a church that doesn't have a lot of media experience, it's great to see how children are sharing their love of Christ with other kids around the world. I hope events like this can become popular in more Lutheran churches so we can continue to share our love with others around the globe who have access to the internet.
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Christopher (Bethany Lutheran College) 2019-10-22 4:07:23pm
I agree. It's surprising how many churches, in an era of social media and communication, refuse, or lack the skills needed, to successfully promote their congregation online.
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Giana Peterson (Bethany Lutheran College) 2019-10-22 4:09:38pm
And not just in Lutheran Churches, but in other denominations as well!
You mentioned that your church doesn't have a lot of media experience, do you have any ideas on how to get your church more connected with the online world? Which could then lead to new connections with others around the world.
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Melisa Tarja (Bethany lutheran college ) 2019-10-22 3:57:23pm
Singing in my own language has always been important to me and a lot of worship songs i don't think I know the English version to so it makes me happy that a lot of children get to worship and praise God in their own language's.
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Brian Klebig (Bethany Lutheran College) 2019-10-22 4:08:10pm
It has to be a little unusual listening to worship music in a language that isn't your own. On the one hand you can kind of identify the pacing and rhythms which must be familiar, on the other hand the actual words being said are different. Actually, it makes me wonder if a lot of the old "English standards" aren't actually standard in the rest of the world. Is our worship music out here generally familiar or unfamiliar to you? If it's unfamiliar... What if we were to do this same thing, but with worship music from other countries?
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Paula Jerez (Bethany Lutheran College ) 2019-10-22 4:12:08pm
I think it's so amazing to see how children want to spread God's Word since very young ages, not just at their own local churches but also all around the world. I loved watching the video of kids at a Lutheran church in Mexico, since it was so special for me to hear it in my native language.
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Shoshana Bruner (Bethany Lutheran College) 2019-10-22 4:00:09pm
I grew up in a very diverse high school and community, so I understand how important a project like this is. By breaking language barriers and learning about other cultures, we are able to work together and share a message as a global community.
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Tionna Terry (BLC) 2019-10-22 4:00:34pm
This has great content! I love the idea that one song is brining together people from all over the world. Have you considered creating a hashtag and deadline for this? I think it’d be really nice to create one big video with clips from each individual video you receive and then post it on YouTube for everyone to be able to see and share.
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Tom Kuster (Christ in Media Institute) 2019-10-23 3:30:02am
The "one big video" idea is a great one. You'll notice that I did that with the first four languages we obtained. We've added more languages since then, and hope to get more soon. We might merge them into one video with all languages, but also keep them separate. I'd like to imagine English-speaking kids learning to sing along in the other languages, as well as kids around the world singing along with the English version.
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Alexis Waack (Martin Luther College) 2019-10-23 11:28:42pm
Lorenz,

It is really interesting to read about all the children who are connecting through faith. This song is easy for kids to learn and has a great, simple message.
Is it hard to connect with other churches because of that vast differences in technology and language?

Thank you for your contribution to this conference!
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Max (Bethany) 2019-10-24 2:11:06pm
Neat way of connecting God's people from around the world.
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Peter Bockoven (Bethany Lutheran Theological Seminary) 2019-10-24 2:13:00pm
Awesome. It's so encouraging to know that when we pray, sing hymns, etc., we are really joining with all Christians in heaven and on earth, of many nations and languages.
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Zach Thiel (Martin Luther College) 2019-10-25 3:55:14am

Dear Mr. Holland Moritz,

It is always amazing the vast amount of ways that the word of God brings people together! I like that you have given many people to teach children about God through music and even in their own language.

This song is simple and easy to remember and also has a simple melody. Because of the success to reach people, do you have any plans to try another project or perhaps a different song?

Thank you for the encouragement!
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Leah Sonnenburg (Bethany Lutheran College) 2019-10-25 5:29:23pm
It is so cool how music is being used to connect children from all over the world. This is a great way for the gospel to be spread because music can be understood by many different cultures.
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Erika Gosch (Martin Luther College) 2019-10-25 5:48:34pm
Conference Host,

I just wanted to take the time to say how awesome I think this is. I love how we can all come together and sing praises to our Lord Jesus Christ. I think this is a great way to spread the message as well. For all these kids to sing the same song but in their own language, it is awesome. I hope that this can keep expanding to other languages.

I am curious if you have any idea if more songs could be done like this one. I think it would be a great opportunity for children to learn and sing another song all together in their own language. What other songs do you think could be done that would be just as impactful?

Thank you for sharing the great things being done around the world. God’s blessings.
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Tom Kuster (Christ in Media Institute) 2019-10-27 3:48:52am
Good question. Does anyone reading this have an idea of other songs or hymns that are well enough known around the world that everyone could sing it in their own language?
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Erika Gosch (Martin Luther College) 2019-11-04 7:23:36pm
Dr. Kuster,

After I posted the question about other songs that could be sung, I looked further into it and found a few songs that I believe could work. My professor and some good friends of mine came up with a few: "I am Jesus little lamb" and "We are singing for the Lord is our light". I think these songs would be impactful.
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Tom Kuster (Christ in Media Institute) 2019-11-05 12:57:08am
Thanks for your suggestions, Erika. I have known "I am Jesus' Little Lamb" all my life. I confess, though, that I don't know "We are singing for the Lord is our light." Maybe I am too old for that one - but I should learn it. My wife just suggested "O How I Love Jesus - Because He First Loved Me" - that would be an easy one to translate and learn.
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Irene Darkwah (Bethany Lutheran College) 2019-10-28 11:55:29pm
I feel proud seeing children praising and worshiping God. I love the song and the message that comes along with it.It is a good way to bring children into the house of the lord
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Alissa and Brooke (Wisconsin Lutheran College) 2019-11-03 8:05:27pm
There is nothing quite like the faith of a child. Watching these videos brought a smile to my face. I always love it when the school children sing during the service at my church because their enthusiasm is absolutely infectious. How cool that we may be separated by thousands of miles and a language barrier, yet we can still feel connected by all singing together one of the most beloved Christian songs. Thank-you for sharing!
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Harold and Morgan (Wisconsin Lutheran College) 2019-11-04 12:04:12am
To me, this is amazing, not just because the kids are singing praise to God, but all of the other languages and dialects that are singing praise. That the word of God and the love of God reaches out to so many different nations around the world. That even though there can be a language and cultural barrier between people, we can still find a way to sing praise, joy, and love to the name of God/Jesus. That's really amazing in my eyes. My church sometimes will show videos of people from different nations in different languages singing and praising God's name.
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Tom Kuster (Christ in Media Institute) 2019-11-04 2:59:37am
There is something special about Christian kids singing praise to God. It touches hearts.
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Millicent and Mario (Wisconsin Lutheran College) 2019-11-04 5:34:49am
It absolutely warms my heart to see these children singing their hearts out about Jesus. I remember growing up and doing the same at my grade school. Now in college, I am a part of the Wisconsin Lutheran College Choir. I have sung in multiple languages throughout the three years with the choir so far (Latin, German, Spanish, French, and even Russian). It feels empowering to glorify God and be able to connect with individuals of a different language.
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Tom Kuster (Christ in Media Institute) 2019-11-07 4:43:31am
Singing in a variety of languages helps to recognize that the Gospel is for every nation and tongue.
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Regina Lou (Martin Luther College) 2019-11-04 7:09:49pm
I am an international student from China, this is totally relatable to me. I can recall the joy when I sing one of the praise songs in Chinese for morning chapel back in my high school. The song was “As The Deer”, it is familiar to the student body but at the same time, I was sharing the gospel through the beauty of Chinese. This is such a great opportunity for the students to learn different cultures, and understand that we are all brothers and sisters in Christ.

Besides translating the song in different languages, are we promoting Luther grade schools and high schools to learn this song in languages other than English? For example, in Germany class, Chinese class, or simply do it as a fun activity, teachers can teach the students this familiar song in Chinese, German and Spanish, etc.
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Tom Kuster (Christ in Media Institute) 2019-11-05 12:48:13am
This is a great idea, Regina. I hope that this kind of project can help children in all nations become more aware of worship and singing about their faith in Jesus in languages that are new to them. Children in many parts of the world are learning English, and they can use the English version of the song to practice. Sadly, the kids in the US don't study other languages very much, but still they can learn to appreciate their Christian friends in other lands by singing along with them in THEIR languages. One of my favorite parts of the song videos linked in the article above is in the Chinese version, at the very end, when the kids have finished singing the song and one little boy jumps up and shouts out, "Jesus loves me!" (in Chinese, of course.)
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Roy Yang (Bethany Lutheran College) 2019-11-04 10:40:05pm
This is very impressive to me. I am from Korea, and I attended Lutheran Church in Korea. I was curious about how people from other countries were praising it, and it was a very good experience for me. We are one in the Lord because it is in many parts of the world that looks so beautiful to praise the LORD by working in unison. Were there any difficulties in getting to know each other through the media?
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Tom Kuster (Christ in Media Institute) 2019-11-05 12:53:30am
Roy, I think the internet is a great place to create friendships with people in other lands and cultures. It must be done carefully, of course, because on the internet you might not be sure who really is on the other end. But if it is done through our churches, it would be OK. It would be even more interesting to make international connections via Virtual Reality, where you can meet and talk with people from anywhere in the world in virtual spaces. Check out the "XR for XRistos" presentation in this conference.
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Tom Kuster (Christ in Media Institute) 2019-11-05 12:59:16am
By the way, please notice that we don't yet have a version of "Jesus Loves Me" sung in Korean. (hint, hint)
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Chris Lopez (BLC D.E. Student) 2019-11-05 1:12:45am
This is wonderful! Even during the Old Testament during the time of David, we see that singing was a significant part of Israeli worship. Now today, thanks to modern technology, Christ is being spread all throughout the world. Glory be to God for providing translators like these who can give the opportunity to new believers in foreign countries to enjoy worshipping Christ!
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Kostiantyn Skorenkyi (MLC) 2019-11-05 2:50:48am
I am from Ukraine and I am studying for the ministry at MLC. I really appreciate this idea of singing the hymn in different languages. It reminds us of the idea of spreading the Gospel among all nations.I’m from Ukraine and we have a lot of kids and some churches. I wonder if is it going to be a good idea to do this in my church in Ukraine? Thanks a lot for the great ideas that you brought and the work that you do with your kids. It’s very important not just to teach them sing well but also remind them about their Savior and spreading the good news about him.

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Tom Kuster (Christ in Media Institute) 2019-11-07 4:46:01am
Kostiantyn, if you can make a video recording of Ukrainian kids singing "Jesus Loves Me" in their language, please send it to me and I will add it to the collection. It would be wonderful to see and hear.
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Brooke R (Wisconsin Lutheran College) 2019-11-06 10:20:58pm
I go to a church that does not typically use technology to the best of its ability. Technology can be used to send out such positive messages to people all around the world. When two people don't speak the same language it is very hard to communicate. It is amazing to see how many different cultures can come together and basically communicate through the gospel. It shows the possibilities technology has, and that is something more congregations need to take advantage of.
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Tom Kuster (Christ in Media Institute) 2019-11-07 4:47:02am
I agree, but every congregation moves at its own pace on adopting new things.
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Michayla & Isabella (Wisconsin Lutheran College) 2019-11-08 8:02:43pm
We really enjoyed hearing Jesus Loves Me sung in different languages and being able to see how different cultures sang this familiar song. It was interesting how some groups signed along while others just stood and sung the song. We think that it is important to see other cultures worshiping using a song that almost every Christian is familiar with but in their own culture. We wish that there would be more exposure to Christians worldwide because it reminds us that there are Christians all over the world worshiping Jesus in a similar fashion and that we are not alone in our faith.
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Tom Kuster (Christ in Media Institute) 2019-11-09 10:40:03pm
The Holy Christian Church is universal, and sometimes shows up in surprising places. This "Jesus Loves Me" project just reminds us of that.
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Marquis (Wisconsin Lutheran College) 2019-11-11 3:58:09pm
I believe it is interesting to hear the same song with different languages because all of them have a different flavour than the other. It is also nice to hear what the other languages actually sound like.
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Tom Kuster (The Christ in Media Institute) 2019-11-12 5:14:24am
Different flavors, yes. Might reflect cultural differences, but the same Savior.
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Tom Kuster (Christ in Media Institute) 2019-11-12 8:28:43pm Moderator
Editor's note - I regret to report that, for a variety of reasons, Mr. Holland-Moritz was not able to participate actively in the discussion. We hope to receive a German "Jesus Loves Me" soon, and will post it along with the others on the Vimeo site.
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