Who are they? They are teachers who live in Myanmar, but have come to Thailand to live at a school for a month during the hottest season of the year. Who are they? They are pastors and church leaders who have some God-given abilities and very little training, but a desire to know more. Who are they? They are young people who wonder if God is calling them into music ministry. Who are they? They are regular people from the other side of the world who just want to help.
So what do they all have in common?
A love for Jesus, and a dedication to improving the gifts He has given in the hopes that more people will know who He is. During the end of April and beginning of May, ten men and one woman came to Siloam to take advantage of a continuing education course in music ministry being held during the term break. Their daily intensive classes over the four-week session included lessons in voice and an instrument (guitar, piano or violin), learning to read music, learning how to lead a choir, and even a class on basic music history. These students have committeed to two more years of these one-month intensives, at the end of which time they could qualify as having completed their first year towards a music ministry degree.
We were amazed at the dedication demonstrated by these people – pastors and lay people alike gave up their lives and families to eat, sleep, and breathe music in the heat of the season. When we asked them to share their stories, we heard over and over again that these were people who loved music, whose churches saw potential in them, but who were lacking basic musical training to help them lead their churches. We were so thankful to be a part of this intensive – hopefully the first of many to come, and so blessed by the testimonies and actions of the others who were there with us.
If you are interested in seeing more pictures and video from the music intensive, check out our Facebook ministry page, The Witmers in Thailand!