We came to Honduras for multiple reasons. Some of these were: To “come apart and rest awhile” - away from phones, answering machines, and internet; To work on unifying our family (adding a teenager - to a family that already has three, really changes family dynamics in ways it’s hard to anticipate); A third reason was to give focused time for Pam’s and my writing projects; a fourth was to give our children the experience of living in a different culture (and hopefully give them a greater appreciation for the blessings they have); The final reason I’ll mention was to give more opportunities for family service projects (something that too often gets neglected when life is hectic).
We had no real expectations for how we would serve. We just wanted to be of help wherever we could. After a few weeks, it became clear that one area where we could be a blessing to the local church was helping with music. The church members love music (They kept wanting our family to sing for every meeting), and they do a lot of singing - but it is all hymn singing with a DVD accompaniment so loud that it drowns out most of the sour notes. Their hymnals have only words, so there is no learning or singing parts. So, we had one of those light bulb moments: Why not start a church choir?!
When we mentioned the idea, there was an enthusiastic response, so we found a hymnal with notes, photocopied a few songs and set times for practice. It was only after we had gathered for our first practice that I realized what a job we had! No one knew how to read notes (or even what the notes represented), or count timing, or harmonize. How do you explain these things with totally inadequate Spanish, and they know virtually no English? We decided to just plunge in and lead by example. Our family sang a song in parts, and then divided up. Kirsten sang with the Sopranos, Pam with the Altos, Jonathan and Zack with the Tenors, and Joshua with the Basses. I had the unenviable job of leading the group - while Caleb gave moral support. When we gave the starting notes and had them sing, it was not a pretty sound! What do you do when the notes you play and the notes they are singing are two or more whole notes off?! It’s amazing how out of tune an untrained ear can be!
Anyway, God has blessed in spite of our inadequacies. We have had much practice and repetition. We just sang our second special music last Sabbath, and it actually sounded quite nice (in my opinion). We have special prayer before each practice, and pray for the angels to sing through us. It seems to be working! I am trying to train a young man here (who has some natural musical talent) to take my place when we leave in a few weeks. If we can leave them with a new song in their hearts (and on their lips), we will feel like we have left the church better than we found it.
|I (Kirsten) took this picture at our practise last night, but unfortunately |
several members were absent. I hope to post better photos later.