Check out my ^June Video Blog!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Also, check out this excerpt from my latest newsletter:
Setting goals is a lot easier when one has a specific time limit. After figuring out in the past few months that my time here in Peru is limited (my DCE internship here ends around the end of December), I have in some ways found myself more freed than limited, because it has helped me re-evaluate what I am doing and what my goals for my internship here are. And you’ll probably remember from my last newsletter that one of those goals is to leave behind some trained musicians who can bless the churches here with continual music in the church services.
After getting interested in the charango (the ukulele-like instrument that you probably saw in my last newsletter), and then seeing its limitations, I did some more scrounging around one of the musical instrument markets here in Lima, and eventually stumbled upon the melodica (see picture above). As you can probably tell just from looking at it, the melodica works a lot like a piano in that it has the same keyboard system, with the one big difference being that, instead of making music by electric speakers or by strings being knocked, this is used by blowing through a tube.
So what am I doing with this melodica thing? Besides simply using it to teach some of the basics of music theory to some of the kids at the Castillo Fuerte site in La Victoria (where I’ve already been spending a large amount of my time), it also is a good starter instrument to get kids interested in being church musicians. And, once again, seeing that I’m trying to focus more on specific goals (since my time here is short), helping kids learn music is one of those goals.
Of course, simply teaching how to play music for church services would be a very empty goal if that was all that I was doing with these kids. One of my other main focuses (which has been my focus for almost a year now) is continuing to be a part of the formation of the kids at the Castillo Fuerte Mercy House in La Victoria. A lot of that work involves simply spending time with those kids, showing them how much God loves them by letting his love shine through me. As a Peruvian pointed out to me, a lot of those kids just need a lot of love.
Obviously, continuing to teach these kids about Jesus is the other big part of the equation. Some of this involves just answering their questions. Not too long ago, instead of picking a specific topic for a 15-minute Bible class that I was going to teach, I just let the kids ask questions about anything related to the Bible (which meant that the question about the existence of zombies did not get answered in great detail), giving them a chance to satisfy their curiosity, and giving me a chance to see where they could grow more in their knowledge of God’s Word and his plan for our salvation.
Besides simply teaching the basics of the faith to these kids, these Bible classes have been a good opportunity to cast a vision for these kids. Specifically in the Saturday evening Bible class at the church in La Victoria, I have been walking with them through the stories in the book of Acts. It has been an awesome opportunity to help the kids learn more about how God empowered all of his people with his Holy Spirit and send them forth to be witnesses “to the end of the earth” (see Acts 1:8). After all, now is the best time to get them thinking about the Great Commission and how they too are a part of that mission, since God wants to use all of his people (including kids!) to share the good news of Jesus Christ with the whole world.
I’m also having a lot of fun helping the Bible come alive for these kids, especially in the Friday afternoon Bible class that I help to teach them. As we go through different stories in the Old Testament, I have been able to use a wide variety of elements to help the kids really imagine what it was like (for example) for the Israelites to cross through the Red Sea on dry ground (see Exodus 14). Of course, beyond simply having really interactive classes, the point is to make sure that they’re engaged so that we can remind them how the whole Bible points back to Jesus Christ and how he came to this earth to live, die, and rise again to give us the hope of eternal life with him.