This month, we hear from Proskuneo School of the Arts volunteer, Sean Chapman. Sean has been connected with PSOTA since before it began, and he has served alongside his entire family (wife, Mandy, and three boys) at PSOTA in a variety of ways. Catch a glimpse of our Proskuneo School of the Arts through Sean’s eyes:
I remember the first time I heard Josh talk about the idea of a place in Clarkston where free or low cost music and arts lessons would be offered to anyone and everyone. In full disclosure, I have zero artistic ability. I can’t sing. I can’t dance. I can’t draw, paint, or play an instrument. But I do appreciate those who can. And the arts have an ability to communicate messages in a way that nothing else can. And the communication from the artist to those who hear the song or view the painting is not the only one. In many ways, the message to the artist is what excites me most about what is going on at PSOTA. The amazing truths wrapped up in the notion of a creative God who loves us and gifts us all in different ways for His ultimate glory are easily lost in our world of hustle and bustle. Or that God wants to relate to us as we use and develop our gifts is another idea that is hard to grasp. That’s what so great about PSOTA – people who aren’t valued and held up in our culture can find their meaning and purpose in the person of Christ, and what He has done for us.
My wife is musically gifted. So is my oldest son. And to watch them find such pleasure in helping PSOTA students learn their way around the keyboard is meaningful to me. Mandy would tell you that her biggest thrill is working with kids who want to learn. And when you think about it, it is pretty cool that these kids from Congo, Burma, South Sudan, Nepal, Bosnia – and too many others to list – get out of bed on Saturday morning, make their way on foot to the back entrance of the church and trudge up the steps to the third floor for a few minutes of love, attention, and yes – arts instruction. The stories of the refugees who make up most of the PSOTA student body are often filled with the horror and tragedy of genocide, religious persecution or abject poverty – or all of the above. So, to see their gratitude and work ethic is both encouraging and convicting. We learn from them how to be content and grateful. And it’s great for our kids to see that these kids who aren’t like them – really are like them.
So, for what it’s worth the Chapman family will continue to support the ministry of PSOTA. And in my own way, I can be like an artist. God has given me time, resources, and the love of Christ. And this creative God who speaks to the artist in his work, speaks to me through mine.