As well as my professional work as a teacher, I have taught private music lessons in guitar and keyboard for several years. At one school I taught at, I also had 18 music students after school on a Tuesday and Thursday!
This week I began teaching guitar to 15 eager students at Compassion Project PH-268 in the Philippines. I was also able to bless the Project by buying three new guitars from a local music shop.
I cannot express how privileged I feel to be able to assist at this Project. I was accepted and welcomed straight away. Even though there is a language barrier, I've been told that my mere presence makes a positive difference to many of the kids.
Smiling at them, giving them high fives as they go past, serving their lunch, providing balls and card games for them to use in their free play time and now to share the musical knowledge and passion God has given me through teaching them guitar. All very simple things, but they add up to make a big difference. It is very humbling.
There is also a possibility I may be able to coach some basketball in the future (another passion of mine), when the church gets their court built. Just another way we can get kids engaged in meaningful activities, keeping them active and using their gifts and abilities.
While Compassion prefers their volunteers and teachers to be native to the country of the Project, I am simply there to help, to fill a need. I am not trying to take the place over or telling them how to run things. If they found a Filipino to do any of the things I have been doing, I would step aside. I am just there to serve in any way I can.
I would hope that having a passionate advocate like me working in a Project on an ongoing basis would be a positive thing. I have been able to raise awareness about the Project and their needs, take photos of letter day and remind sponsors of the importance of letter writing.
I am confident that my involvement in the Project is God-orchestrated, firstly because out of all the 7107 islands in the Philippines and all the places I could have ended up, there was a Project a mere 3km from the orphanage I was working at, and then the story of how I found the place (read it here if you haven't already) is just so unlikely and improbable.
Here are some pictures of our first guitar lesson: