Just recently, another one of our many great student missionaries returned to the States after serving a year and a half as a volunteer music teacher at Peace Music Academy (PMA) in Khon Kaen, Thailand. Originally, she had committed to help us for about 10 months. But as the months quickly passed, she realized that not only was she having fun teaching these precious Thai children and adults, she was also doing something highly valuable and deeply appreciated—something that was a real benefit to people’s lives and to God’s work here in Southeast Asia. So she postponed her own music education one more semester to help her students a little further on their musical journeys. Now she has returned stateside to finish her music education degree. After that, Lord willing, she plans to come back to Thailand and continue to serve God with her musical talents!
For many years, most of our youth and young adults felt that the mission field was a place only for pastors, doctors, nurses, English teachers and aid workers. It’s actually kind of odd that many of us, myself included, are only just now beginning to see the huge potential and power of using musical talents in God’s frontline mission fields! In our Adventist schools, haven’t we long emphasized music along with other gifts of the Spirit? Official recognition and teaching of the value of music in missions is long overdue. Back in my college days, if I had known the value of music in missions, I might have chosen to major in music and minor in missions or something similar. Nevertheless, I praise God for guiding me into mission service, especially with AFM where we are encouraged and supported in our prayerful research and experimentation in various missionary approaches. And now I praise Him that many musically gifted young people are waking up to the fact that they can serve God with their talents.
One of our PMA music students was baptized just a few weeks ago. He commented, “Music is powerful. It helped to change my life. And may God send us more missionaries to share the gospel with more Thai people!”
I want to thank all our current and former PMA music-teacher missionaries who have devoted their musical gifts to God for a year or more of mission service. May God bless you and make your tribe increase! The call for mission-minded, Spirit-filled musicians—teachers of voice, violin, viola, cello, piano, woodwinds and brass, plucked strings, and other instruments—is growing louder all over Thailand and throughout the Southeast Asia Union Mission. For more information on current and future needs and opportunities in music missions, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or see AFM’s student-missionary calls at www.afmonline.org.