I guess there are some forms of proud that are ok - like the kind I feel about my friends and my kids. I decided to post what Aaron and Jocelyn wrote this week - please pray for them - enjoy.
It is my distinct pleasure to announce that music lessons have finally begun on campus!
We purposely waited to begin these music classes until the 2013-2014
school year began here in Battambang so we could match the classes with
the the students’ class schedules, and due to starting school in
mid-October, followed by a week off due to flooding, the classes are
just starting now.
We are beginning with private lessons in guitar, bass guitar, drums
and piano. Between Aaron and myself, we have just under 100 students.
Each student receives their own notebook and each lesson (1 per week) he
or she receives new music and lesson sheets to add to their folders,
creating their very own music books over time!
After solidifying the private lesson schedules over the next week or
two (because here it takes some time for things to really cement), we
will add the last remaining classes: beginners music class (ages 5-10)
and music composition.
We will also spend time with the worship band and worship team,
helping them grow as a musical ensemble and in the realm of worship
The music composition class really is close to the heart of why we
believe music education here is so important. It is our dream and desire
to equip the Asia’s Hope students to not only be able to teach each
other (and thus be sustainable after we are gone) but also to take the
innovative plunge of creating their own original music and ultimately
playing a role in shaping their rebuilding culture.
The key to inspiring them to do this is to make sure they are the
ones behind the wheel of creativity. But one week into lessons, and I
feel like my dreams are already being a reality. As one of our female
students left her private lesson, she shared with Aaron how each of her
friends are learning different instruments, and that now they want us to
teach them how to be in a band. :)
Creativity is already appearing. By the end of the year, who knows what we will have!!
The last several weeks have been a blur as Jocelyn and I have been teaching English classes and preparing for the music program. We have purchased some new equipment and instruments. We have also refurbished some old equipment and instruments, like the old drum set in this photo.
Next week we begin to teach private music lessons in small groups of four children. We’ll be teaching basic guitar, piano, drums, and bass. In addition, we’ll be identifying capable students to recruit for our music theory and ear training course as well as our music composition course.
I’m finishing the last year of my bachelors degree in Biblical Studies through Indiana Wesleyan University while in Cambodia. Every week I do a substantial study of a portion of the bible. This week, my assignments centered around the book of Leviticus. Though we often read about the Mosaic Law from the perspective of the Israelites, when we consider what it reveals to us about God we are left with an astounding (though perhaps obvious) truth: Yahweh is holy. The Law reveals a holy God that desires intimacy with unholy man. That became powerful for me this week when I realized that the story between Yahweh and man has not changed. Yahweh has always desired obedience from man so that He could be with man. I have made the mistake from time to time of thinking that the old covenant (the law) and the new covenant (the grace of Jesus) were opposing covenants. But for Yahweh, grace is not the opposite of law, but an associate. Yahweh desires us to cooperate with the grace of Jesus, as He desired the Israelites to cooperate with the Mosaic Law. But instead of a system of sacrifice and holy ethics, we cooperate with the Holy Spirit.
All of that to say, Yahweh is reminding me of my story, by reminding me of humanities story. We were designed to be in communion with Him. Yahweh becoming Jesus was the ultimate revelation of his desire to be with us and that incarnation should elicit a response of obedience, or rather a desire to share that intimacy.
So these are my prayers and I ask that you will join me in them: Pray that Jocelyn and I would listen to the Holy Spirit leading us while in Cambodia, that obedience would bring us into Yahweh’s presence, and that He would make us holy by His presence. Pray for our students, brothers and sisters, here that we can find time to teach all that wish to learn and that their studying would leave a lasting impact on their lives and therefore in their culture. Pray for our energy, that the cultural fatigue would diminish and we would find time to refresh each day.