Throughout the month of April, The Church at Brook Hills committed to pray for the Horn of Africa. During this last Secret Church we spent time praying for our brothers and sisters in the Horn. At that prayer time, a song was played by Brook Hills songwriter, Mandi Mapes. Read about how and why she wrote the song and the inspiration behind “We Will Go”.
WE WILL GO – by: Mandi Mapes
When I was first approached with the idea of writing a song for the Horn, I was so excited and just thankful to take part in the work God is doing through his Church in this beautiful, yet broken part of the world.
Sitting at the piano with my MacBook open, I wrestled with this song for quite some time. I read through statistics, looked through pictures, hummed melodies and went to God in prayer and asked him, “Lord, what does this song need to say?”
When I write songs, my hope is for the lyrics to be biblical, for God to be honored, for the Church to be encouraged and honestly, for the song to simply just sound good!
As I mulled over where the direction of this song should go, I finally decided, “I’m just gonna lay out the facts.” The reality is, this whole world is fallen, all men are sinful to the core and there is not a corner of the earth that does not desperately need Christ. At the same time, there is an evident, tangible darkness in the Horn of Africa that is almost overwhelming. Children are left orphaned, people are starving, countries are war-torn and worst of all, with the exception of a handful of believers, the Most High God, who made the heavens and the earth, is not worshipped. And the sobering reality is that most of these people, for generations and generations have been unreached with the gospel. As my pastor, David Platt, always reminds us, this means that they will live and die and never hear about Christ.
Thinking through these things I wondered, ‘How can I communicate these heavy realities in a poetic way?’ The chords and the melody for the verses were the first to come, then the words. I grabbed my pen and began writing… Lonely lay a little baby crying for her father’s arm / Sunlight seems to be fading as the smoke rises from the war / Woman thirsting for water watching as her life slips away / Men come falling on their faces praying to a god who cannot save.
Naturally, the chorus became a response to these realities. As John Piper puts it, “Missions exists because worship doesn’t.” The great commission (Matt. 28:18-20) bids us to go make disciples of all nations… even the scary, hard to reach ones! And we know, with unshakable confidence in God’s word, that this mission will be accomplished (Rev. 5:9)! More than that, we know that nothing can separate us from Christ (Rom. 8:31-39)!
Therefore we can look Hopelessness straight in the eye and say, “There is Hope!” We can walk through the most frightening circumstances knowing with a peace in our hearts that our God is more frightening and our trust is in him! And we can give our lives, even to the death, knowing that it was not in vain.
Last, the bridge of this song is a plea straight from the scriptures. Romans 10:13-15 confronts every single follower of Jesus with this…
“For everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.” How then will they call on him in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in him of whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without someone preaching? And how are they to preach unless they are sent? As it is written,“How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the good news!”
These words are so simple and yet the implications are so eternal! It seemed fitting to include this particular text in the song, in hopes that the Word of God might pierce our hearts and bid us to embrace his heart for the unengaged, unreached peoples of the world…
A native of New Orleans, Mandi now resides in Birmingham, Al where she serves on the worship team at The Church at Brook Hills. Her main role is to help in planning, leading and writing songs for worship. On most days you can find Mandi at a coffee shop sharing the gospel with as many people as she can. Mandi’s favorite drink at Starbucks is an iced caramel macchiato and she hates tomatoes.