The J family have spent the past year and a half in Toronto preparing to return to Brazil in 2018. They have had to overcome serious health issues while in Canada and at the same time give much time to study. A is completing his Master’s degree in Ethnomusicology. God is at work and they praise Him for progress made on both fronts. They have a call to help indigenous people use their music to experience and glorify God.
A and daughter took a two week trip to Brazil in June last year. A shares a story of unexpected joy.
They spent the Sunday morning at Semiraita (Indigenous Bible School where we previously worked), sharing in the church service and visiting with students and co-workers. After eating lunch together, A pulled out three flutes he had purchased earlier in the week in the city. These were flutes from the region that we had not seen before. Even though A had known everyone at the table for years, and knew they usually sing in Portuguese and play guitar, he wanted to hear what the students might say about the flutes. One of the Semiraita teachers immediately reached for a flute (one from his father’s nation) and enthusiastically began playing it. Then a student who is usually reserved, also joined in the conversation, explaining how her music is similar and how it is used in village celebrations. Very soon, her husband joined in saying jokingly, “Stop – you are going to make me cry.” It was a surprising reminder of how much traditional music still connects to hearts even if it is not so visible at times.