Blind singer’s performance of ‘How Great Thou Art’ brings crowd to its feet (VIDEO)

Marlana VanHoose’s voice lifted spirits at the National Prayer Service with its sheer grace.

Anyone with a connection to the Internet or a television knows that this weekend was one full of people expressing quite polarizing opinions. But all political affiliations and world views aside, one thing that can bring people together like nothing else is the universal language of music.

The National Prayer Service was blessed with this flawless rendition of the song ‘How Great Thou Art’ over the weekend, and many news outlets spoke about how the performance inspired First Lady Melania Trump to spring to her feet as part of a standing ovation for the singer. But the story behind the singer is as amazing as the song itself.

Marlana VanHoose—the 20-year-old singer of this classic hymn—was born with Cytomegalovirus, and blind at just a few weeks old. She was not expected to live past age one. At the age of two, Marlana was also diagnosed with mild cerebral palsy. But even though Marlana was born differently abled than many children, her parents knew from a young age that she was a fighter, and also that she was uniquely blessed with a special gift: the gift of song.

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Before she could even speak Marlana could be found humming familiar and precious tunes such as ‘Jesus Loves Me.’ She was already playing piano by the young age of two. She’s shared her beautiful voice all over the country at national sporting events and has won many awards for her outstanding talent. You can read more of Marlana’s story at her website here.

On her site, she says that she doesn’t mind not seeing the world, and that the first face she’ll see when she gets to heaven is the face of Jesus. What lovely perspective from such a young, brave and talented woman. But in the meantime, Marlana is going to keep right on sharing her most precious gift with all of us here on earth—her voice.

Ashley Jonkman
Ashley Jonkman

Ashley is a freelance writer and editor. She lives with her husband, two sons and two rambunctious dogs in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

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