Marvelous Memories! (part 2 of ??)

Memory 2:  MUSIC!!

One of the rules at VOICE is that we cannot listen to music.  We can sing or play instruments, but we can not listen to CD’s, youtube, ipods, or mp3’s.

You don’t realize how much you love something until it is taken away.  I knew I loved music (of course!) I just did not know how much I incorporated it into my daily life.

Since my room was on the top floor (#4011) I became accustomed to running up and down the stairs.  The stairwell made an awesome place to sing (because of the echo) and I sang almost every time I walked, no, ran somewhere. 🙂  That’s the other thing I discovered about myself.  When I have to get somewhere on a college campus, why walk when I can run??

My favorite parts of the week were group worship time.  All 70 (or more ?) of us would join in the auditorium.  We would pray and then anyone could go to the front and share about how they had seen God working in their life.  The testimonies really encouraged me.

Afterwords we would sing!  We sang: “Jesus, Thank you“, “Amazing Grace (My Chains are Gone)“, “Offering“, “Rock of Ages (When the Day Seems Long)“, “How Deep the Father’s Love for Us“, “How Great is Our God“, and “我的心,你要称颂耶和华“.

My favorite song was “我的心,你要称颂耶和华“.  It is always neat to sing praises to God — even in a foreign language using words you don’t understand.

Kelsey taught some of us the sign language for, “How Great is Our God,” and so we sang and signed it in front of the group one night.

Tim did an amazing job on the songs for the “Queen of the Dark Chamber” musical.  The lyrics are excellent, and although some of the songs were challenging to learn, I now cannot get their melodies and harmonies out of my head.  🙂

I’ll mention one (wait, two!!) last memory under music.

I love to listen to the piano.  Even though I can only play a few songs, I can sit for hours listening to others play.  It seems to me that almost everyone could play the piano, but I remember best: Brianne (the musical’s pianist!), Natalie, Alex, Caleb, Daniel, Erik, Eric, Jemmie, and Samuel.

One song in particular became a sort of theme song for our TESOL group.  “What Grace is Mine” by Keith and Kristyn Getty.  I’ll leave you with the lyrics.

What Grace is Mine

What grace is mine that He who dwells in endless light,

Called through the night to find my distant soul.

And from His scars poured mercy that would plead for me,

That I might live and in His name be known.


So I will go wherever He is calling me,

I lose my life to find my life in Him,

I give my all to gain the hope that never dies,

I bow my heart, take up my cross and follow Him.


What grace is mine to know His breath alive in me,

Beneath His wings my wakened soul may soar,

All fear can flee for death’s dark night is overcome,

My Savior lives and reigns forevermore!

Marvelous Memories! (part 1 of ??)

The next few posts will be a bit unusual.  I want to share some of my favorite memories from my time at TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages) and VOICE (Visualizing Opportunities In Character and English).  I was planning on writing one humongeous blog post covering every detail, but instead I decided to shorten it for you to make it easier (and more fun) to read. 🙂  Don’t expect much order to the parts, these are just in the order they come to mind.

With no further adue… Here are my TESOL and VOICE 2012 memories!

Memory 1: DRAMA!!

The day after we arrived we auditioned for the musical, “Queen of the Dark Chamber.”  To summarize the story (based on the true story of Christiana Tsai), Christiana grew up in China several years before communism.  Because of a sacrifice she made for her father, she was allowed to go to the missionary school (in China) to study English.  Mary, her teacher, lead her to the Lord.  They both ministered and witnessed to the people of China.  Later, when illness set in, they both headed to America.  In America, Christiana wrote out her autobiography titled, “Queen of the Dark Chamber.”  Of course there is more to the story than that, but I’ll leave the rest for you to find out when you read the book.

Each day, before practice, we split into eight or nine groups for role-call.  My group included: Danny, Aslan, Job, Grace, Helen, and Iris.  Every role-call was different and you never knew what to expect.  For the first day (when we weren’t yet split into our groups) we had to scream our name while running from an imaginary bear.  (a video of that role-call: (starting at 3:02))  Another day (now split in our groups) we lined up.  Then, pretending to be madly in love, we said the name of the person next to us and said our favorite fruit. 😀  It was hilarious.

For Act I,  I was an angel.  My fellow angels were: Winnie, Lily, Esther, Donna, Mary, Kelsey, Iris, and Flo.  We sang and choreographed our song.  I really enjoyed working with the 2nd sopranos in our fist song and the 1st sopranos in our second song.  There were several stressful occasions during practice because of high nerves, a short time span to learn everything, and selfishness/wanting my own way (on my part), but after several apologies we were able to do our best for God’s glory.

In Act II, Neighbor 2 was my part.  Caleb, Danny, and Natalie were my fellow nosy neighbors.  I had a lot of fun with this role.  My solo line (in one of the songs) was: “What do you wear in China?  Were your feet bound?  Was your hair in a queue?”  And then Neighbor 3 asks, “And what do you eat in China?  Things like monkey brains and doggie stew?”  Haha!  😀  That line always made me laugh (after cringing at the revolting misconceptions).  What I thought was the best part of being a neighbor was being able to witness to the Taiwanese soldiers in one scene and pray for China in another.  Some of my favorite lyrics are these *: “Yes, we will pray for China!  For the millions who need the Lord.  We’ll remember the church in China, that can’t freely worship God anymore.  And if your people in exile need us, far from home because of strife and war, we’ll obey however God may lead us.  To show them the love of the Lord!”

All of the students did an amazing job, and I really enjoyed working with everyone. 🙂  Four of the songs have been posted on youtube.  I put them in chronological order:

~Chinese New Year

~Prisoner of the Palace


~Prayer for China

* any punctuation errors are mine, since I wrote the lyrics from memory.