Wednesday, 18 July 2012

Fill Me Up - In Xhosa

I was recently on a missions trip to a rural village called Viedgesville, near Mthatha in the Eastern Cape of South Africa. One thing that I really wanted to do was to be able to introduce some new worship songs to the people there that were in their own language. I asked on of our translators to translate United Pursuit's song "Fill Me Up". It is simple and incredibly beautiful and powerful. Here are the lyrics in case you ever want to use it anywhere. In my church, we like to add in ethnic songs every now and again in worship because we have quite a diverse congregation so I hope that we will be able to sing it there soon. If you speak Xhosa, please let me know if the translation is accurate.
Fill me up, God 
Fill me up, God 
Fill me up, God 
Fill me up
Ndigcwalise
Ndigcwalise
Ndigcwalise
Thixo

You provide the fire
Ndinikeze umlilo
And I'll provide the sacrifice 
Ndiyakuba lidini
You provide the Spirit
Unikeza uMoya
And I will open up inside 
Ndiyakuvulela 

Love of God, overflow
'Thando lukaThixo, luyapupuma
Permeate all my soul 
Thatha konke okwam




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Friday, 29 June 2012

Final update from my time in America

I've been meaning to post this for about a week or so, but saying goodbye to everyone in America and moving back to South Africa and getting ready to leave for a missions trip in 4 hours (and it's 2am now and I should be sleeping) means that this hasn't happened till now. So, here is a newsletter that I wrote to my supporters a little over a week ago. I explain a bunch of the stuff I learnt in my time away and what I'm up to next. Enjoy :)

---------- Written on Thursday 21 June 2012 ----------


A week from today I'll be home. It's such a weird thought. I'm so excited to go home but so sad to be leaving here, it's very bittersweet. My time here has been so special and such an incredible privilege. I feel so blessed to have spent the past six months at this beautiful base under such amazing leadership. They have poured into me, taught me, encouraged me and helped me grow. I really am so grateful.

This has been such an incredibly season of growth and learning for me. God has taught me so many practical things which I'm excited to put into practice for the rest of my life. And he's also grown me so much in my identity in him and taken me deeper in my intimacy and relationship with him. He is so good and so patient and so loving. I just love him so much and I know that it can only get better from here because he only wants good things for me. I'm excited to walking forward in life with the promises that he's given me and in the anointing that he has put on me. I look forward to living out my calling, knowing that everything I do, I do in his strength and I am never in my own ability alone.

If you are interested in hearing some of the songs I've written, two of them are on my blog. With All My Heart, a worship song, can be found at http://spalser.blogspot.com/2012/04/with-all-my-heart.html. Aeidan, a love story song for my friend whose baby was miscarried, can be found at http://spalser.blogspot.com/2012/05/aeidan.html. My other two will be going up soon. I will also be posting photos on my blog from my Art Worship piece that I did last week and an explanation about my project. Once I'm home I will continue to write on my blog, so please feel free to subscribe to it. I will keep posting the things that I'm writing and creating. Just add your email address to the subscribe section on the left. If you run into any problems, please let me know.

I'm very excited about what the rest of this year has in store. I arrive home next Wednesday morning (27th) and will be leaving for Mthatha early on Saturday (30th) morning. I will be joining a mission’s trip with a team from Pinelands Baptist Church and partnering with a missions organisation there called Sondela which is part of Zema. This will be my 6th trip there and I am so excited to see all the kids and teenagers again and continue to build the relationships that God has allowed me to form over the years. We will be working primarily in the rural villages near the mission’s base, doing a Holiday Bible Club for kids, a youth ministry program and helping with practical things at the base.

One of my prayer requests for this trip is for team unity. I've missed all the initial bonding and preparation for the trip, so please pray that I will fit in well and be able to make a good contribution to the team. Language is also a big prayer need. I do know some basic Xhosa and my grammar is quite good, but my vocabulary is rather lacking. Please pray that God will give me an ability to pick up words and phrases again easily and be able to communicate well even across the language barrier. Another prayer request is for our physical safety. We will be travelling for two days to get to our ministry location and the roads aren't very safe in some places. Please also pray for our physical protection as there have been some incidences of theft in the past.

Wisdom and discernment are also a huge request. I really want know what God's heart is in every situation. So please pray that I'll be attentive and sensitive to the leading of the Holy Spirit. During my time there I will also have the privilege of leading worship, so please pray that God will help me in that and that I'll be listening carefully to his leading. Pray that I will make the most of every opportunity that God gives me and that I'm able to apply what I've learnt here at YWAM in the ministry opportunities that I have on the trip.

After the Mthatha mission trip, which is ten days long, I don't have any set plans for the rest of the year. Next year I plan on doing my Masters in Computer Science at UCT, focusing in an area called Information and Communication Technology for Socio-Economic Development (ICT4D) which basically involves using technology to help with community development. I'm very excited about this and about possibly having an opportunity to work with Learn to Earn (a Christian skill-training NGO) again as I did last year during my Masters.

In the meantime, however, I am purposefully keeping my time fairly open and unstructured so that I can do all the things that God has put on my heart to do. This will include doing quite a lot of tutoring (Maths, Science, Computers, English etc) and starting to teach Music. I'm looking at starting private piano lessons, but I'd also be open to teaching the recorder and flute. Within our church I want to volunteer a lot of time to the ministries that need me most. I see myself naturally getting involved a lot in the music ministry, training, discipleship and equipping the different musicians in our church, as well as working with the admin and communication side of things if I'm needed. In addition, I'm looking at getting involved in children or youth ministry, depending on where the biggest need is, and helping out with some of the IT stuff in our church too.

And then in my person time I want to keep as much flexible time open in my days to be able to continue to train and develop myself in various areas. This will involve studying the Bible more and making sure that I am reading good books and listening to podcasts that help me continue to grow from the place that I'm in now. I also want to make sure that I make space for creativity and song writing because that is something that I've seen myself grow in during this time but never really made space for at home. Additionally I want to ensure that I am practicing and continuing to grow in my musical skills and competency on piano, acoustic guitar, bass guitar, flute and voice; and possibly getting further lesson on guitar and voice training.

So while I'm very sad that this season of my life is coming to an end, I know that it's only beginning of what God has in store for me in my life and I want to make sure that I'm stepping into the abundant life that he has promised. And so because of that I'm really excited about coming home and stepping into God's plans for me. As I finish up my time here, please continue to pray for me. It's going to be very hard to leave after investing so much of myself here over the past six months. Tonight (Thursday 21st) we have our CD Release Concert where we play all the songs on our new album and give out copies of the CD. The album so now available online for free download here.

I am so grateful for all your support over the past six months. Your prayers have been so impactful and meaningful in my life. Thank you for lifting me up when I was struggling and for encouraging me and interceding for me. Thank you for every one of you who have supported me financially. Without you I would not be able to be here. Even the smallest contribution has meant so much to me. If you would like to continue to receive updates from me, please let me know. This will involve the ways that God is working in my life, things I need prayer for, updates from the ministries and mission involvement.

May God bless you hugely and continue to grow you in intimacy and depth of relationship with him.

Much love in Christ,
Sarah

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Wednesday, 27 June 2012

Free download of our album

At last I'm excited to announce that you can now download my School of Worship's album, "Twelve" for free or listen to online. My song, Aeidan, is track number 9 and I feature on 4 other songs. The most noticeable other song that I'm on is number 7, where I sing harmonies and play the flute. I also play flute on track 8 and a piano lead part of tracks 6 and 11. I hope you enjoyed it :)


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Saturday, 23 June 2012

Studio Recording of Aeidan

I just graduated on Friday from School of Worship at YWAM Denver. On Monday we listened to our album for the first time which was so awesome! On Thursday night we had our CD Release Party/Concert/Worship Night and it was so amazing. So many people came to support us and they all seemed to really enjoy it. During my song so many people were crying and I even heard some heart-wrenching sobbing. I'll be updating this post in a few days with the link where you can download our album for free. In the meantime, here's the official studio recording of my song: Aeidan. For more information about the inspiration for this song, check out this post.


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Thursday, 7 June 2012

With All My Heart - Recording

Here's the first song that I wrote at YWAM Denver for my School of Worship. I wrote about it in this post I wrote this in April 2012. It was recorded on my iPhone during a live performance where I had a pretty bad cold, so I apologize for the terrible vocals! But this is the only recording I have of this song with the band, so I though that something was better than nothing. Hopefully I'll get a better recording at some stage to replace this with.



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Friday, 25 May 2012

Black, white, grey and colours

In class this week we had a time to creatively reflect on what we had been learning. The concept that I focused on was that life isn’t black and white and that there are often grey areas that we don’t have a absolute on what is right and wrong. I started off by writing the following and then painting the picture below. I’m not much of an artist, but I wanted to try anyway since that was the point of the exercise

It's easier to live in black and white, because it's easier to know what to do. What is right and wrong? If we lived in black and white though, there would be no colour. Life would be one dimensional. We need the grey to bring in the second and third dimensions. But then what is colour? It is not black, white or grey. It is life. It brings life. It expresses beauty and creativity and inspiration. It brings fullness to the picture and highlights things that would have otherwise been overlooked.


Colours represent God's promise, His faithfulness, His trustworthiness, His love and compassion. If we force everything to be black and white we lose so much of God's character. In fact, we lose what makes God who He is and makes Him someone that I would want to be in relationship with. We make God one dimensional too. We take away His multifaceted nature, His depth and incredibly beauty. We lose the dimension of His love and grace, His mercy. But when we allow God to paint His rainbow of life and promise back into our lives, colours are brought out from even the darkest shadows as His light allows them to reflect His goodness and His nature.


Click here to listen to my latest song!

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Thursday, 24 May 2012

Aeidan

I wrote this for my third song assignment in the School of Worship that I'm doing. The restrictions were that I needed to be a love song and a story song. I'm not really sure where this came from, other than it had to have come from God because I was so surprised by what came out of me. Honestly, I cried quite a few times while writing it. 

It was inspired by the testimony of my friend Josh. But some of the emotion comes from walking with some of my other friends who have gone through similar circumstances. I hope you are moved by it. I would really appreciate feedback and comments if you have any. Today we presented out third songs to our class and I recorded my band playing this song. I hope to record it in studio in two weeks time. 



Verse 1:
He heard the news, can it be true?
He's just turned eighteen and she's sixteen
At first fear is overwhelming 
But then his heart starts yearning

Maybe he can be to this child
The father he never had
He can lovingly provide 
Be a perfect dad

Hope grows, life shows 
But his future changes with signs of danger

Chorus 1:
So he sings 
"Son I'm here I won't give up on you 
My love for you is forever true
Son I'm here I won't give up on you 
My love for you is forever true"

Verse 2:
Heartache, heartbreak 
At those awful words 
A life song so beautiful 
Never will be heard

Too soon he enters the world
But never utters a cry
Cradled in his daddy's arms 
Their hello is their goodbye

Hope fades, life wanes 
The future's bleak, incomplete

Chorus 2:
Still he sings 
"Son I'm here I won't give up on you 
My love for you is forever true 
I lay you in the arms of God
You'll be safe there, but     
Goodbye is still so hard"

Outro:
"Aeidan I love you so much, 
every day my heart aches 
I didn't get to watch you grow 
or take your first steps
How I long for that day 
when we'll meet face to face 
I'll run to you, arms open wide 
for our eternal embrace"

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