In 2013 a small group of believers in the Middle East was meeting for worship and fellowship. Even though they had a song book with 150 songs all translated from other languages, they struggled to find some to sing to the Lord together. Due to constant changes in the composition of the group, most of the orally-transmitted tunes had been lost. Unknown to any foreign worker, three believers committed to pray for the church to grow in their worship of God.
At the same time we collected the available audio resources, compared them with the text book and recorded them on SD Cards, which we distributed among the believers. Later we started to try to write down the tunes and teach the songs to the believers. They appreciated our input a lot; we could lead worship in several fellowships. Yet, something didn’t sound right. We didn’t know how oriental music functions and nobody could help us understand the differences. We were stuck.
That’s when we contacted ArtsRelease. They answered the next day with an email full of useful information and links, and then offered to send a team our way. The team arrived for a two-week visit around Easter 2015. Encouraging and enabling the local believers in their worship was the main focus. They ran a workshop on writing original songs in the local language, and taught the basics of a local rhythm instrument. The newly-written songs were presented and highly valued at the Easter celebration of local and international believers.
Challenging questions from the team helped us to know where we wanted to get to and on what we should focus.
Today the growing church still suffers under constant changes and musicians never stay long. However, their worship not only consists of a variety of songs in the local language, but also of prayer, poems and the reading of Psalms. They are determined to learn to dance for the Lord.
Andi and Tabea
Andi and Tabea have lived and worked in the Middle East since 2006. They long to see heart worship released from the people they dearly love.
“God has answered our prayers”, the three prayer warriors confess, “and he will do even more.”