I've mentioned before how important song is to life in Vanuatu. So last year, I tried (in a small way) to incorporate song into our lessons (introduction to the bible) in the women's program and gave them an assignment to write and perform a song. This is what they came up with:
Books of the Old Testament (in English):
Books of the New Testament (in Bislama):
We had loads of fun practising and recording (really sophisticated... single iPhone held aloft in classroom) and I was really proud of the effort they had put into their songs.
It had a curious and unexpected (for me) effect when we broadcast these songs on the Talua radio. My intention was pedagogical; to help the women (and others) remember these songs so as to learn the books of the bible. I was afraid our little effort would be mocked for its poor sound quality, its amateurism, its DAG chords. But then again, I was thinking like an *Australian*.
Instead, I discovered we had (accidentally) done something much more profound. It didn't matter about the tinny sound. It didn't matter that most of us didn't join in until half way through the fist line of each verse. Even the DAG chords weren't important. It didn't even matter that the words weren't exactly original.
What we had done had something to do with honour, with respect and with having a voice. To be honest, I'm not quite sure what it was, and I definitely can't articulate it. In God's providence (for it was accidentally done) and by his grace, it was right and brings me joy.