Friday Club Day!

Every Friday afternoon, after a long week of studying and homework, the girls get to participate in Hope House Clubs. They are divided into 3 classes: music, art, and soccer skills. It's a great time for them to be involved in something other than their school studies. I guess you could say that the clubs are somewhat therapeutic. Often, the girls discover that they have natural abilities in certain areas or just really enjoy exploring something new. 

When it"s time, they come into the music room, where we have a couple of guitars and small keyboards, and we start with a vocal warm-up. La, la, la, la, la….they really like to see how high they can go. This year, we have been working on a song to sing at our anniversary that will take place at the end of this month. After this, we practice some rhythm by using plastic cups and our hands and practice the “cup song”. For the last 25 minutes or so, we break into 2 groups. One group goes to the guitar class with my daughter Sophia, and the other  group stays with me to learn more about how to play the piano.

I have taught piano for over 20 years and when God called us to missions, I knew that the beautiful piece of furniture that held my piano would not be making the trip overseas. For a while, I mourned this. It was hard to be without it.  I knew there were no pianos in the jungle where I was going and I just concluded that maybe that season of my life was over. 

Well, I started this class with a Casio keyboard. I would never have recommended to my students before to buy a Casio. It was at the bottom of the piano chain, but at times you do what you have to do. So I purchased one to get started. And here in Ecuador, the price was double, but so worth it!

I’ll never forget that first class, seeing all their tiny hands crammed on that one little keyboard, they were so excited to give it a try. They wanted to learn so bad. It didn’t matter that it wasn’t a true piano or that it wasn’t a "top of the line keyboard, they just wanted to learn. 

I love hearing them play every week. Some of them amaze me in what they can comprehend with just a 20 minute lesson. Others just enjoy playing around on these tiny roll up pianos that we now have. They put on their headphones and for a few moments, they can get ‘lost' in another world exploring sounds of all kinds.

My prayer every week is that God is forming something unique and special in each one of them. Maybe some will even become worship leaders in their villages one day. Here in the jungle, you won’t find any music conservatories or private lessons offered, but every Friday, there's a group of girls touching those white keys, making music, and touching heaven.

 

-Ashley Richardson