Monday, October 13, 2008

getting my hands dirty again

When I told them I would help out if needed, I was referring to tasks like making sure the right lyrics were up on the screen, getting content for the newsletter or any kind of moral support.

Little did I expect they would take me literally. Sure, I knew this church had many needs. I had noticed it the first day I visited, and was especially drawn to it because of that. I saw the need and where I could fit in and help.

After many months of serving in the music ministry, I was getting comfortable. I thought this was going to be the church. I was definitely looking for a church to belong, and friends to be accountable to. GAP had both, I thought God answered my prayers.

For various reasons, Yuri and Masami fell ill around the same time. They were both the worship leaders in church, and to cut the long story short, Yuri asked if I could take up worship leading. That instantaneously woke me up last Saturday when she called me from Masami's house.

In my half-awaken state, I agreed seeing they both needed to recuperate and get some time off. At the back of my head, I was thinking I could prooobably do this but needed someone else to do it with me.

Sure, I've done it in my CG back home but that was different. It was a CG, not a church. I was playing piano facing the wall, not an audience with a full band. All the songs were relatively easy since I was on a regular roster in the main service and Junior church. The songs they sing here are slightly different and come in 2 languages. What was I thinking when I said I'd do it? Surely not all these!

Since I couldn't back out, I decided I had to take up the challenge. Furthermore, my Japanese sensei had cancelled class last minute, it was as if God was removing any distraction that might be hindering this please-open-up-a-hole-and-swallow-me-up wonderful opportunity.

As Yuri & Hyun came to church with me to prepare for worship, I was reminded of my own service in GTPJ few years back. Serving in 4 ministries and having various roles on different days of the week, my personal life revolved much around church. I was glad for a break when I got the prestigious Monbusho scholarship to further my studies in Japan.

After being out of active action for more than 2 years, not counting the times I helped out in the piano at the Niigata Grace Chapel, Urasa Christian Church and GAP, I was itching to get my hands dirty again.

It did not come without its share of spiritual attacks and it made me kinda nervous. I wanted it to be perfect, and so much to help but not screw up! I wished I had my own piano to practice, rather then going to the church and wasting everyone's time to keep me company.

I've always been behind the scenes, and this would throw me into the limelight again. So I was extremely glad for the support given by everyone, especially those I serve regularly with in the music team.

I'm very sure it was God's presence that made the difference, but somehow the guitars seemed to sound more livelier than usual, or the dim lights created a better ambience, or they knew this was my maiden attempt, and were so encouraging about the whole thing.

It was really intense preparing for this. Friday night after prayer meet, we spent a few hours choosing songs and me learning up the Japanese lyrics. Saturday evening, more hours practicing, I was getting the hang of the different beats due to the Japanese pronunciation. I came early on Sunday, I was still thinking if I had gone krazy volunteering to help!

But everything just sorta fell into place. It wasn't perfect, I admit, but it was personally a good first try! Getting this message at the end of the day just made me very relieved I took up the challenge :

btw do u rmmbr u told me first that u can help leadng worship when i was really sick and masami wasnot there? so i didnt thnk u wr that nrvous abt it! i hope u wrnt pressrd too much(><) but pls knw that it was good and u wr very natural dayoo! so thax again and ur welcme!

Hanging out for dinner is what we usually do after church - with some of the usual suspects!

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