I can’t believe its almost here! I’ll have my bachelor degree in a few months, but there is still so much to do until then. I’m not taking a lot of credits but the things I have to do are very difficult. My senior recital is in a few months, I’ll be preparing about 40 minutes of music including classical styles and some of my own compositions.
I have had so many blessings over my time here at MBI and have had the opportunity to learn so much about the BIble and Music. This semester I am taking the final course in the Bible program here (Apologetics) and on top of that I’m studying Voice and Composition still. In composition I am studying how to write a symphony similar to the classical period. Japanese lessons are also going well I am learning a lot from my tutor she is helping correct a lot of the bad habits and continues to teach me better ways to speak and write.
I started applying to a mission organization just recently and it will be a long process to complete so please keep that in your prayers.
One more thing…. the Moody Chorale is going to Brazil this summer which will be the final thing I will do as a student at Moody (although I’ll technically be graduated) and I am so excited about the trip, I never thought I would make it to South America.
Praise God for all these wonderful experiences!
It is good to be home! It seems like it has been so long since I have really Been in Spokane, Washington. I have not had significant time here since last winter and now I’m here for about 10 more days.
This last summer in the Europe and this last semester in Chicago have been really significant in finding out what I want to do with my life. After doing missionary ethnomusicology work, helping the Basque Church write their own worship music, I feel very passionate about music in the church, furthermore I feel that there is nothing that I want to do more than be a missionary. Which is funny because the thing I wanted to do least of all when I first went to Moody was be a missionary - even though I wanted to Work overseas afterward. My heart for the church in Japan and the Japanese people as a whole has grown so much. I want to see Japanese people come to know The Lord and see them grow in their walk with the Lord. I still have been keeping up with my studies the Japanese language and I have recently found a tutor who is absolutely amazing at teaching Japanese.
In other news I will graduate this next May if everything goes according to plan, and I am now applying to mission organizations to work in Japan.
Please pray that God will guide my steps as I am walking through this process, and that he will continually teach me to walk in his ways.
Testing wood for making a txalaparta
July 17, 2012
Morning Worship was amazing this morning. We got up as a team and went to the music school where we will be conducting our Music Writing Workshops and we just sat around listening a bible study and breaking out in random spontaneous musical worship. We took a Psalm and just started singing out passages from it. That was so wonderful. We would make up praise choruses on the spot and just sing them to God. This was refreshing and a good practice for making up new melodies to any given text.
The man who gave us the wonderful welcome meal talked to us about Basque music. He is also a Basque musician so he is very knowledgeable on the topic. There was a sense of ownership in the language he used. The Basque people love their music, they love their instruments. He taught us how to play the Txalaparta (at least basically) and I found out that his teacher is a txalaparta player who I read about before I came here who happens to be a famous Basque musician in the area.
We also met a txistu teacher (a 3 holed flute that is apparently the most prized Basque instrument) and a dance teacher. Both of who seemed to have a deep sense of pride for who they are as a people. The txistu instructor hopes that Basque people will appreciate their own cultural music more. The dance teacher believed that a traditional Basque song should be preserved with the dance that had been danced with it for centuries. Since the Basque people are among the oldest in Europe when they dance the traditional dance it gave the her (the teacher) a sense of unity with the people today and a sense of connection to the past.
My team the talked about how these forms could possibly used for Christian worship and what would be appropriate modifications to these forms if any at all. In the end it will have to be decided by the church that is being established here. I am increasingly anticipating the workshop this Thursday.
Here is an example of the txalaparta (chalaparta) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=505x6YgAgyc&feature=related
July 16th, 2012
We were welcomed again by some great people that live in the area. One of the few Christian families that live in the area gave us a BBQ. And that also was a terrific meal. Today was more about getting to know the area. We had a treasure hunt for the team – during which I was taking pictures and admiring the scenery while some of my more competitive teammates rushed ahead – to become accustomed to the different parts of the town (of which I cannot remember the name, and even if I did I would not have the faintest clue how to spell it).
Many plans had been formed today in light of the recent updates. We have a Basque music teacher, who is apparently famous in the area, who will teach us some basics of the local musical traditions, and a dance instructor who will teach us some dance. We will also be able to meet someone who does improve Basque poetry/singing. This is a tradition that the Basque have where they make up a melody and lyrics on spot on any given topic (this is formed into a big competition and is a big part of their culture). Getting accustomed to these things will be imperative to being able to interact with the Basque Musicians during the songwriting workshops, where we will be possibly helping some of the people attending to learn some of the Basque Instruments and dances. On top of this all to prepare we are looking through some survey information on how locals feel about Basque music.
I am really eager to get started, but I know that patience is required so that we do not step on the toes of the locals and the church here. I am glad we have great leaders that are helping us become acquainted with the Basque culture. Please pray that God will work in us to encourage our brothers and sisters here and that we will share the gospel through our words and actions.
July 15th, 2012
Today was the first day in the Basque Country. Training in England was great, but I am glad for a change of scene, and especially such a beautiful one! This may be one of the most beautiful places I have ever seen in my life. It is so green and mountainous with some of the best looking house I have ever seen. Everything is so great here! It took us about 2 hours to get to Spain from London and about 1 hour more from the Madrid airport. When we arrived here we were picked up by one of the missionaries living here in the area. We were brought to another man’s house (who I am assuming was the pastor of the church nearby) who served us some of the best food I have ever had in my life. He will be the one who gives us our cultural orientation tomorrow so I’m sure we will be getting to know him.
This man does not speak English but he was still very warm and welcoming to us. I will have to get used to the atmosphere of greeting in Spain. I don’t know why it seemed to be a surprise, but the wife of the man started kissing my friends on both sides of the check. I knew she was making her way to me; I was paralyzed… luckily I found the guts to just go with the flow and everything was fine ( I think…) but thereafter quickly found out how friendly they were. The conversation quickly evolved from basic greeting to a more church/music focus (considering that is what we will be doing it seemed appropriate). We asked questions about forms of church services, what music teams do to prepare for Sunday service, and styles of music around the table. I can see that they all have a heart for the Basque people to have their own church.
My team started singing a Basque song that they learned (I have yet to learn it because I had been playing guitar for this song when we were practicing) and their faces lit. They also were quick to point out inaccuracies. When we started to sing he quickly came in with a harmony like the song had been with him since his childhood and all of the sudden we were grafted into the Basque people – or maybe just his family. It is very interesting to see how people change when they sing, or hear, a song they know that is so attached to their heart.
After we sang it a couple of times he pointed out (through the translator, who was also the missionary we are working with) that Basque music cannot have such an even meter like most western countries. It needs to have more flow to it. He expressed this by mimicking us and then jokingly points an invisible gun and fires it at us. It was funny, but it expresses something I have been picking up in my research about the Basque and their music. Basque music is Basque. They love it because it is so unique to them.
We got ready to leave and I said thank you to them in Basque and the stopped and complemented me on my accent. I was very pleased to hear that. I am so excited to see what happens on this trip. I pray that we find a good balance of working hard, without being pushy. I pray that God will use this time to encourage Basque people to start writing their own worship music. I pray that the church in the Basque Country will grow and be a vibrant church. And I pray that he uses our tiny group in some way. Glory be to God.
Well it has been a crazy summer thus far. I have completed two summer courses, Hebrews and Systematic Theology II, and tomorrow I head off to England with my friend Steven to meet up with the Resonance team a few days later. We will start training soon. I have no idea really what to expect but I pray that God will use this internship for his glory.