Monday, June 23, 2014

Ministry of a Piano Tuner

He was almost on his back, squashed between the bench, the coffee table, and a chest of drawers, peering at the wires. “Play it again.” Melissa, my roommate, reached above his head and struck an ivory key, the "A" ringing loud and so abysmally flat that I flinched and the dog jerked up from the couch. “Oh boy,” Keith sighed, then ducked back under the piano, clanking and fiddling and twanging... “All right, again.” And this time, "A" sounded less like a car horn and more like something Chopin would approve. Perhaps now Amazing Grace wouldn’t require as much divine grace just to listen...

Last month, I sat in the Ukarumpa Meeting House, my bilum (string bag), looped over the hymnbook in front of me, as I listened to the new arrivals share their testimonies of how God had worked in their lives to bring them to serve in Bible translation in Papua New Guinea. “I had worked in the security industry for nearly 20 years and my wife was an experienced high school science teacher,” one man explained, “and we wondered, how in the world could God use us in missions? Were those skills actually needed?” The whole auditorium roared in laughter until the pews shook—we’d been fervently praying for years that people with those exact skills would come fill some desperate personnel needs!

From the visiting videographer to the capable kitchen manager who kept 40 people happy and healthy during at a training course (just think of how poorly the course would have gone without food!), the ways God uses the skills He has given us are beyond imagining.  Of course, when you think of missionary, I know you probably have a nurse or evangelist standing in your heads (and by this time of reading my blog, maybe a Bible translator will have joined them), and it’s true that those are critical roles.

But what about an ELL teacher, a finance manager, a Greek tutor and a welder? What about the short-term construction worker who used his farming background to provide direction for our cattle herd, or the accountant who used her ballet experience to start a dance ministry team or a Melanesian culture teacher who happened to also be a physical therapist and could treat my shoulder? Bible translation is a huge task that takes a giant team of people from around the world—people to pray, people to give, people to go...

and even, people to tune pianos.

Want to learn more about some of our most pressing needs (including children’s home parents and teachers?) Check out this video and don't forget to read this blog, or send me an email, and I’d love to connect you with ways to get involved, both short and long term!