- Written by Ben and Grace Vanderhyde Ben and Grace Vanderhyde
- Created: 06 January 2020 06 January 2020
This past month we’ve shifted strategy in a positive way. Our original thinking for the music program was to have youth come from their homes to a central location once or twice a month for a music lesson. After a few months of this, it was becoming clear that we had underestimated how difficult it is to get around in the Up-Country, especially given school schedules. We were asking some youth to travel over an hour’s distance from their homes for a two-hour lesson. It wasn’t working.
So, we decided to try traveling to their villages and homes to teach them. The local pastors and evangelists supported the idea. In the last month, we visited many of the villages where Lutheran churches are found. I brought with me a CD I made with about 45 minutes of music lessons on it. It teaches the Indian solfege (do-re-me-fa-sol) for one Tamil hymn and it also teaches Mary’s Song (The Magnificat) in Tamil. The CD is designed to facilitate practice sessions while I’m away so that more learning can happen despite my only being present in the flesh once a month.
It has been terrific visiting these places, not just for the sake of the music teaching, but because each visit is an opportunity to learn about the Tamil people, spend a little time with them, share Christ with them and pray with them. It’s also an opportunity to get to know the local pastors better, who are so graciously arranging these visits. It’s a challenge. We’re constantly reminded of the need to progress in the Tamil language. But the little we know is well-received and we feel encouraged to keep trying.
Most importantly, God is keeping us and the children safe. Please pray that He continues to do so. Thank you for your support and prayers. We wish you a Merry Christmas!
Vicar Benjamin and Grace Vanderhyde serve the Lord through The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod (LCMS) as missionaries in Sri Lanka. In his role as vicar, Benjamin trains up musicians to serve the Ceylon Evangelical Lutheran Church while assisting the other LCMS missionaries serving in Sri Lanka with their work and learning from them. You can read more about the Vanderhydes at www.lcms.org/vanderhyde.