August 23, 2010

It Has Been A While...

(overdue post)

I blogged about my recent trip to Singapore/Malaysia some weeks ago. Something else that I have not done for a while is leading songs in church. I think it has been 3 years or so. My previous music team knew I was coming back and asked if I could lead at church camp. It was a privilege for me as it has really been a while and I was not sure if I am up to it and if I will be able to work the team. I told the organiser if she cannot find enough song leaders (they needed 8), I will be happy to lead 1 session and back up sing for another session.

The time leading up to church camp was a little stressful. I usually select my songs in advance, having known the sermon title and Bible passage and would prepare my script the day before. For this church camp, our dearest pastor did not have his sermon outlines until rather late. I selected about 8 songs for me to practise with my team prior to church camp and I will shortlist to 5-6 songs when the sermon outlines were out.

These were the songs I chose:
We are God's people
How great is our God (How great thou art)
Praise the Father, Praise the Son
Amazing Grace (My Chains are Gone)
Brother, let me be your servant

I was really happy and felt so privileged to be working with a team of talented, gracious and loving brothers and sisters in Christ. Our bassist B, also went back specially for church camp when he and his family are living in NZ now. I had fun and also felt blessed to see how God guide and led us to lead the church in singing. In particular, I was humbled to see how God led to choose the appropriate songs that flowed well and people were ministered by the session. About 6 hours before the session, the chairing pastor for my session told me that someone will be sharing a testimony and asked for me to lead another song after the testimony was shared. I conveniently slotted him to share before the song "Amazing Grace", which I hoped will fit in well. Moments before we started, I then learnt that it was C who was going to share his testimony. After we completed the session and after his testimony, I thanked C for his testimony which encouraged me to know what God had done in his and his wife's lives to lead them to Jesus. To my surprise, C thanked me for the songs that were chosen. Before we began, he was thinking about us being saved by grace, through faith and those exact words came out in the first song we sang "We are God's people" and "Amazing Grace" fitted in really well after his testimony. I was so amazed and could only praise God and give Him the glory for the 'coincidences', for we all knew that it was only Him, who is able to do this. (Incidentally, C was picked to share his testimony because he was one of the first ones listed on our pastor's wife's mobile contact list.)

5 singers (1 guy is hidden) and keyboardist

Drummer, bassist and guitarist 

No words could express the joy I felt, being able to serve the Lord in this way. I have never failed to be humbled and encouraged whenever I lead songs because each time I see His grace and working through me, even during the times when I was either physically or emotionally not up to it. This time at church camp was the same, I was not emotionally up to it at the start of church camp but had to lead songs the next day. But the Lord enabled me. I was also very encouraged when some people in church came up to me to thank me for leading and some (particularly the older folks) did not know that I have migrated to Oz. I knew I could easily feel proud about myself but I reminded myself that all praise and glory is the Lord's and I am merely an instrument. It would be some time before I could be back to be able to serve...  A brother-in-Christ joked that he will gather a few people to contribute some money to fly me back next year to lead songs for church camp. Hmm, I wonder if he was serious :p

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