Saturday, February 21, 2015

Love in the Grave

To my fellow laborers in the Gospel, and partners in prayer:

God has continued to shower grace upon grace in this place as new opportunities and challenges arise. School is now in full swing. I am teaching basic music theory, sight-reading skills, and choir for roughly 240 students. The first week was pretty challenging and a little discouraging as I discovered that the vast majority of the students in choir have serious pitch issues and can’t carry a tune. Here is a prayer I jotted down after the first week of classes:

“Help me to do my best to help these kids learn to sing! Would you please tune their hearts to yours and tune their voices to the right pitches? Let them experience the joy of worship and your beauty in excellent music.”
I also teach private lessons for violin, piano, voice and dulcimer in the evenings and on the weekends.
Please pray that all of the music teaching and learning would be a tremendous blessing in the lives of each student - and above all that, as fingers and voices grow in skill, hearts would grow more eager to praise the Maker.

On another note, I have only been to the jail once so far to help translate for a medical team. I am very anxious to start going there regularly, to get to know the guys there, and to live and share the Gospel in that place. I plan on starting this week.
In December, while I was still in the States, God laid a passage on my heart from Psalm 88. This has become my prayer for the men in the jail - especially for the men who are in the tomb-like black of the underground cells:

“You have put me in the depths of the pit in regions dark and deep…
I am shut in so that I cannot escape;
My eyes grow dim through sorrow
Do you work wonders for the dead?
Do the departed rise up to praise you?
Is your steadfast LOVE 
           declared in the GRAVE?
Or your faithfulness in abandon?
Are your wonders known in the darkness,
Or your righteousness in the land of forgetfulness?”
-Psalm 88:6, 9-12

Please pray for wisdom for me, that I would be filled with the Word and the Spirit and that God would graciously step into that place and bring His light there. Pray that, just as Love was declared in the grave when Jesus drew in His first resurrection-breath, so life would enter these men living in the darkness and death of their lost hearts.