February 2004

1.  Sacred Music

This week in my seminary course, “History of Church Music,” I shared with my students the importance of singing in our worship services.  I emphasized the necessity of the texts being biblical (“The unfolding of your words gives light,” Psalm 119:130).  The tunes (the melody, harmony and rhythm) need to serve as a vehicle of support to the words, as they are paramount and should aid in beautifying the message (“…so that in every way they will make the teaching about God our Savior attractive,” Titus 2:10b).  The music should not detract from the message (“The trumpeters and singers joined in unison, as with one voice, to give praise and thanks to the Lord,” 2 Chronicles 5:13a).

Martin Luther wrote:  “With all my heart I would extol the precious gift of God in the noble art of music [which] is to be praised as second only to the Word of God”.  My desire is that these same principles be applied to the music you play and sing.

a.      Pray for our “Asaph” male chorus in Chimaltenango.  We have 25 singers this year and hope to make a CD later this year.

b.      Pray also for our “Celebration” choir we just formed.  We had 40 members singing the praises of our Lord this week.  30 came last week; maybe we’ll end up with 50 praising God’s name for the 75th anniversary of the Central American Theological Seminary in April.

2. Health Reports

  1. Praise the Lord that Arleen is recuperating very well from her gall bladder surgery.  We’re grateful for those who prayed, sent cards, and gave to defray expenses.
  2. My ear is acting up again.  I went to an E.N.T. specialist and he cleaned both ear canals, but hearing is impaired in my right ear.  Please pray for restoration.

3.  Scholarship News

  1. Flavio and Marta, fourth year music students in the music school of the Central American Theological Seminary, are doing well in their studies and reiterate their appreciation to those who have prayed and sent offerings to help them in times of financial difficulties.
  2. Giovanni Sinai and his wife are in their last year of biblical studies in the Guatemala Bible Seminary in Chimaltenango and are extremely appreciative of the help that some of our friends have sent to help them in their final year of studies. (See attachment)

We thank our Heavenly Father for the prayers and gifts that allow us to continue our ministry of music in Guatemala.

Serving as your music missionaries in Central America,

Phil and Arleen

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