Several people proposed to me the idea of teaching an English class in Andagoya, Chocó. Though hardly qualified, I accepted. Seed, after all, is a program of cultural exchange.
I have tried to tailor its content towards the interests of my students. One thing they wanted to learn were English worship songs. I picked some songs that are popular in Spanish as I knew this would make it easier for them to learn. I also thought—hoped, in truth—it might provide me an escape from having to sing for them. This would not be the case; the fear I have of public singing ultimately conceded to the petitions of my student.
The following video highlights the singing of a few of my brave students who wanted to share with you one of the songs they have learned: “Open the Eyes of My Heart, Lord.” (Please excuse the poor video/audio quality.) Enjoy!
Many thanks to Lina, Angelica, and Angelica! Thanks also to the others who were present, though shy of the camera: Yair (on the drum), Liliana (playing the tambourine), Yanet (playing the guayo), and Anyi and Vicente (who were singing in the background)!
My students have taught me many things both inside and outside of the classroom. Their openness to me allowed me to be vulnerable with them, as is demonstrated in the case of my longstanding fear of public singing. As it is with God who first offers love to us before we may return it (1 John 4:19), I was able to offer my voice as a gift to my students in response to the many and much greater gifts they had already given me. Our English class has been a learning experience for all, yet I am surely the more richly blessed.