Monday, June 21, 2010

Guitar classes & a Cambodian Canadian

Well today has been a bit of a long day so I'll be brief as my brain is beginning to shut down. With no teams visiting this week, Pastor Chantha's students were overseeing all the ministries from teaching in the classrooms to doing the kids club. I got to Svay Pak a bit earlier than normal as over the next few weeks I will be teaching two guitar classes daily and wanted to spend time tuning all 10 guitars and also praying for the time together with those who want to learn. One class begins from 10 to 11am and then another from 1pm to 2pm. There is a wide variety of students at each class. Some are new, others have been there before so I'm learning quickly to separate the old and the new in order to have a more efficient and productive lesson time. Some of those who have been playing the guitar since last week are now at the point of playing a complete rendition of 'Lord I Lift Your Name On High' and they will have an opportunity to perform at the Sunday services. While the classes normally start at 10am, the students have become addicted to practising non-stop and so we play almost up to noon time. Pastor Chantha joined us and he is such a quick learner that I ended up showing him a new song---Jesus We Enthrone You. I love singing this song in Cambodia because the chorus talks about God building His throne as we worship Him. This is the desire of us all in Svay Pak and in this country---that every where we go and in all that we do and say He would be building His throne in peoples hearts and in the communities that His people are serving in.

Well it turns out that Chantha knew this song in Khmer and it sounded so beautiful that I asked him to help me sing it phonetically in Khmer. Some times its dangerous to ask people for things, as no sooner had I gotten the words down, he suggested that we both sing it in the services this Sunday. My response---I'll play the guitar, Chantha you sing the song! :-) I think we've come to a happy compromise. While its great to have all these songs in English and the students want to sing them in English, I am hoping that they will learn it in Khmer, after all, it will be more meaningful for their own church members to hear these words in their heart language. So pray that as we learn new songs, that God would use the words of these tunes to touch hearts, bring life where there is none, bringing healing, joy and hope to those who are still seeking and feeling that there lives have no meaning. But most of all, that He will raise up worshippers in Svay Pak that will march through this land proclaiming His kingdom as He puts a new song in their hearts!

By the time the guitar lessons were finished, 3 strings were broken on 3 different guitars and unfortunately we didn't have the appropriate tools nor strings so I left early to head to the guitar stores in Phnom Penh. This was like deja vu for just last year I had gone with two of my team members to some of the same stores to purchase guitars. Thankfully having Mickey my tuk-tuk driver with me is a blessing as he also acts as my translator when I am shopping and bargaining for anything. We got all we needed and I had to rush home to get ready for a dinner with a Cambodian friend who works at Our Thai restaurant in Toronto. Sophera and her husband Tong are not believers and are here visiting relatives for a month. It's always great to go to dinner with Cambodians as they know the more authentic restaurants to go to. So off we went with them and her brother who apparently works for the Cambodian secret service. We were well protected as we had our own personal bodyguard if we needed one! At dinner, I met two other friends of theirs who had lived in Canada and in this non-Christian setting, she asked if I would pray for the food. That was a bit of a surprise for me for I'm not used to having non-believers asking for prayers for meals but here there is an openness to spiritual things unlike the intolerance that we so often see in North America. May the Lord use this very small opening, to plant His seeds of truth in Sophera and her friends lives. I am hoping this will create more opportunities to meet with her in Toronto.

1 comment:

  1. Your are such an inspiration Lisa! God bless you as you make disciples through music and worship!!! God bless you as you go early to tune all the guitars, as you stay late to patiently teach each student, as you learn to sing in Khmer, as you run to replace broken strings... i remember well the guitar buying excursion :)! Lisa, God sees your diligent work, your caring hands, your loving heart... May you know God's great love and joy for you Lisa, God's chosen and beloved daughter!
    Many blessings!