Every few months, I am on the field in our LightBridge locations in southeast Asia. This summer marked my 3rd trip so far this year. After six weeks on the ground, I returned home late June tired but so thankful. What an honor to be able to go; to see what God is doing out there...truly such an honor!
As is often the case, the number of stories I want to share from the field are many -- stories that have often deeply impacted me. My time in our locations is jam-packed from early morning til late night so the opportunity to post blogs is limited, at best. In an effort to simply remember the stories, I typically list the topic of each in my journal, hoping it reminds me of the complex, intense, and often amazing things I saw Jesus do. Sometimes after trips, I'm able to write a few of the narratives; the rest lay dormant in my memory and have never been formed into words.
This summer, I hope to change that pattern. Starting with this post, my desire is to take time to write about the incredible things God is doing. I look through my list and am truly so stirred by the stories God is weaving. To write them allows me the honor of sharing about God's handiwork. Oh how He deserves so much more than my meager words, but it is what I hope to offer as I share the tapestries of His stories with you.
Stories from the Field // Chapter 1
Jonathan called me one afternoon in April with an idea. Having been accepted as an intern for our summer teams, the time for his trip was approaching. His excitement was easy to hear over the speaker on my phone. "Karla, I have this crazy idea! What if we hosted an evangelistic music camp in the village this summer?" He went on to explain his heart for music and how he longed for the children in the village to understand part of God's creativity gaining a small vision of the world of music. He unpacked his idea, which included raising enough money to purchase recorders for each child and teach them how to play songs.
After hearing his idea, my first internal reaction was a tad on the negative side, if I'm honest. I mean, how many squeaky songs did my own children learn to play on recorders they brought home from music class in elementary school? The squawks and incessant practicing of 'Hot Cross Buns' echoed in our house for weeks! Pushing those funny memories aside, I listened as Jonathan shared and couldn't help but join in his excitement. We decided to move forward with the idea.
Jonathan was able to raise enough funds to purchase 250 recorders, a slew of egg shakers, and a handful of harmonicas. Not only that, his sweet mom, Joyce, wanted to be sure those recorders would last and be protected. She spent hours sewing cute little individual bags so each one would have a place to be stored.
I wish I could express the joy on Jonathan's face the first day of music class in the village. His lesson plans were simply to introduce the recorders and teach kids to blow into them and make squeaking noises. As I walked by his first class, I listened to the children blowing loudly into their recorders. Their honks were immediately followed by outbursts of giggles. Then, I looked at Jonathan and saw sheer joy spread across his face. It wasn't just a big smile; it was joy! It was a moment where Jonathan saw his dream begin to happen in a dusty village in Cambodia.
Jonathan's heart was to offer something to a village where luxuries, like musical instruments, are not normal. Through the squeaks of noisy recorders, played by children lacking any musical talent whatsoever, we could hear the faint sound of actual songs played by those gifted with a skill of music they never knew they possessed. And the music being learned is just the beginning of another thing God is doing in a remote village on the edge of Cambodia.
Thank you for being a part of what God is doing...even for just reading about His stories! Thought you might enjoy a little video Jonathan put together below. Yea, the guy has crazy talent!