This has been a week ripe with blessings. Sure, we have experienced trials and hardships. Ericlee and I have been battling diarrhea. Jeff and my dad have struggled to sleep at night with the spiritual warfare and noises in the night. A girl on one of the teams was stirring up trouble and stole Marcy’s pictures for the craft and then tried to ruin them in water. But these setbacks are small in comparison to the growth and real progress we have seen in the campers.
We shared a few snapshots of God’s work here around the table last night before bed. Dad mentioned how much fun it was to teach Tai Chi (to the girls!) during the afternoon exercise and game time. (The rest of us loved watching this crazy spectacle too! Eve said just watching was her highlight!) Lisa was blessed by the beautiful view from the orphanage and the joy of seeing the diligence of her Music Theory students. Marcy was thrilled to see the Haitians responding to her husband’s teaching in the Drama class and watching the reactions of the Haitians to the drama performed last night in the evening service. Maria saw a snapshot of God’s work in the mural Jeremy and the other young men are making in the orphanage bedrooms. Mom also mentioned how fun it was to teach another dance class and see the young people really get the steps and have fun doing it. Jeff noted the enthusiasm of the Haitians singing and the feeling of being united with the Haitians singing worship songs in two languages.
Part of the reason blessings abound is because we know we are covered in prayer and also because these Haitian teens have never experienced a music camp like this before. We continue to hear about how much they are learning. Even now I hear someone rehearsing a song in the distance, a trumpet playing and the children dashing through the yard. I think the personal attention is even more important that the music notes or dance steps they may remember later. So many of these young people come from broken homes. They may have finished high school but now are jobless. Others are trying to raise a family on a very meager income or growing food on their own small plot of land. The camp has provided a kind of hope for them in the midst of their daily darkness.
Tonight is the regular Friday night service for the church here in Pignon. Our Music Team decided to make this a performance night to share with the church and community some of what the campers have been working on. We started with a performance by the Orange Team who won Doug’s Marching Formation competition. Our team was so proud to see the balance of discipline and precision they had mastered in just one week. Next came the Blue Team led us all in the singing of “This is The Day,” one of the songs they had learn to read in Music Theory class.
A group of girls helped Mom, Eve and me perform two Israeli folk dances. They were proud to share a new kind of worship with their community. Then the Yellow Team shared a Christian drama they learned with Jeremy and Marcy in drama class. How exciting to see God work through their creativity and then JonJon, their translator, gave a mini-sermon unpacking the drama and giving an invitation to the audience to accept Christ.
The Red Team showed their skills playing new instruments taught to them by Jeff and Eve. And finally, the FanFan (Marching Band) performed two pieces they had worked on each afternoon during the week with Jeff. We were so proud to witness their progress, but even more their own sense of confidence and new value for music. This evening truly was the grand finale to a week of blessings.