Friday, 11 December 2009

Red pens & Rojo music

Hi in the last post I wrote about the trip to Tarata which, thanks to God, went very well. I have already arranged another visit at the beginning of January.

The rest of that week went fairly straight forward. Classes as normal, trying to make sure the material got covered as we approached the end of term. Essays were handed in and considerable time was spent correcting them. It was actually quite enjoyable to read some, others very difficult to know what was being talked about (certainly not much about 1 Peter) and then some unashamedly bold attempts at plagiarism. One essay for my Saturday class was an excellent article downloaded entirely from the internet from title to bibliography, a front page with name attached and then submitted. The tip off was the fact that a student who contributes little in class then handed in an essay with a title so specific it was worthy of a doctoral thesis.
Others were good attempts but again it was easy to identify which parts where copied verbatim from commentaries. For example in one essay for 1 Peter, on three separate occasions, the student apparently asked me, in brackets, to refer to comments on specific verses for example in Daniel and 2 Corinthians, obviously copied form a complete Bible commentary. That said they were good attempts and encouraging overall.

Last Sunday John Brew, Chris (who accompanies me to Tarata) and I headed to Moquegua to attend the San Antonio church anniversary at which John was preaching. It was a lovely service and I was asked to pray for the newly appointed or re-elected memebers of the eldership and diaconate.
After a church lunch we headed back to Tacna in time to say goodbyes to the Roycroft’s and attend the Luz de Vida church anniversary at which John was also preaching.

This week has had a number of highlights (not least of which has been marking some more assignments handed in late). Firstly Monday night saw the end of my course on 1 Peter and I was encouraged to have positive feedback as to the course.
In the photo are the majority of those who attended. Some sadly chose to skip the last night.
On Tuesday I attended a summer camps planning meeting and it looks like they will be really good though very tiring.

The highlight of highlights was definitely being able to attend a concert on Wednesday night. The ‘network of young Christians of Tacna’ I mentioned in a previous post has made efforts to bring well known Christian bands and singers to Tacna, no mean feat given that in the grand scheme of things Tacna is fairly remote. This time it was a Mexican band called ‘Rojo’ or ‘Red’ in English- presumably a reference or inference to Christ’s shed blood. One of the other lecturers, Silas Ramos, encouraged me to attend even though I didn’t know who they were. Interestingly they played at the ‘Concha Acústica’ or Band shell/amphitheatre facing the house I lived in for a few years here in Tacna during my childhood. I those days I remember having to listen to all sorts of rubbish play there whilst never actually having entered the grounds.
Well I had a really great time firstly because I met a lot of people, especially young people, who I knew from the seminary, camps and various churches. Secondly because the band was excellent, not just in their performance but in what they shared. They sang a number of worship songs I recognised from the churches here but also at certain intervals the lead singer/guitarist, Emmanuel Espinosa, took time to share a little about his testimony, some of the difficulties faced in his youth like his parents both dying in a short space of time from each other.
Later he spoke about the importance of decisions, both in practical things in our Christian lives with regard to sanctification but then also about who we serve and why; leading to a clear sharing of the gospel.
Later again he introduced his wife who is presently the lead vocalist and then his three boys who had accompanied them. The oldest, no more than 9 probably, had been darting about the stage during the songs moving microphones etc.
He shared then about the importance of family, of parenting and spoke short but directly about Christian principals with regard to parenting and family life.
All in all I got so much more from this concert than simply the music and would highly recommend anyone who understands Spanish to avail of their music and attend a concert if you have the chance.

One of the bands ex-vocalists, Edit Sanchez, who is now performing on her own, sang first. I can’t presently remember what you call the band or singer that performs before the main band, but she was excellent too. In fact I was able to meet her as I was buying a couple of the bands CD’s. I managed to take her picture (in the centre with the stripy jumper) with some of the friends I came with to the concert.
It’s my birthday this weekend so I considered this a very enjoyable birthday outing, and apparently there is another Christian band coming soon (though that might be too late for me) who are even better and if I’m still about here I will try to attend.

This coming weekend I will probably attend the youth at Luz de Vida although it’s not my turn to speak, and then on Sunday I am due to preach, God willing, at the Rosa de Saron church in the evening. Don’t know yet where I will be in the morning. Please pray that God would use me there.

Next Monday then sees the closing ceremony/graduation at the seminary so that should be an enjoyable occasion and then on Tuesday I am heading to Arequipa for a few days. I hope to meet up with some friends, including the Misión Rescate team, as this will likely be my last visit before I head back to Ireland. Pray for safety in travel and that it would prove to be a beneficial visit.
God Bless,
Alistair.

3 comments:

Karen said...

Rojo?! I'm so jealous..a few of the guys told me they were going!! What other band is coming??

Glad all seems to be going well for you and that you had a good birthday!

Karen

Alistair said...

Hi. I really enjoyed them and have been listening to one of their CD's ever since. Didn't buy the Edit Sanchez one but maybe should have.
The other group is called Puerto Seguro. I don't know them but apparently we sing some of their stuff too in worship. I might try and get some of their music soon too.

Alistair.

Gordon Darragh said...

Do you know if any of the albums are available as downloads?
Hope the pace of life eases a bit as graduation passed. Your blog continues to be a great insight into life in S Peru as well as your own work. I think the impression of highland culture is probably the predominant one in many minds here.
Blessings