Boshi (Dah Poe) is a talented musician and artist from the Karen tribe (Burma/Myanmar). He connected to Proskuneo through the School of the Arts in Clarkston and now serves surrounding communities through his creative gifts. Learn more through his insights about stewardship and community development, focusing on the church and youth!
Part 1: Stewarding creative gifts within the Karen church community and youth [Interview by Proskuneo intern, Sarah Oh]
How have you been using your talents in art and music to support your community?
“Since I was little, music and art have been my passion. I always dreamed of using it within my community– especially the church. I wanted to share my gifts to glorify God. I am also trying to help young people around me because older people supported me growing up: they helped me grow into a musician. I honed my craft by practicing a lot in High School, especially on the weekends. I also went to Free For All classes offered by Proskuneo in Clarkston. With this skill, I continue to help worship team members and other musicians in the church to develop and cooperate.”
What exactly does this cooperation look like?
“I don’t lead worship through singing but help with the instrumental part. This includes setting up instruments, gathering other musicians, writing out chords to songs church members wish to sing– I do that to prepare before we meet as a team.”
“Worship preparation is not always consistently planned. Song leaders come in and out, and new songs come up spontaneously throughout the gathering. I try to always be open and ready to serve instrumentally. Sometimes, we go into Sunday Service without much practice and play songs we already know. But we prepare in advance if there are new songs or something special happening. So both planning and improvisation happen: we take time to plan and decide how we will start occasionally, but other times the way we start is not precise and formal. When people want to give to God and the church by singing, we don’t stop that. We’re like, let’s go and worship.”
You are also working with the Youth Ministry. What is your role there, and what are your hopes for youth and the next generation?
“Well, I am the second youth leader. I think my role is very similar to the first leader. But I believe I can help young people through different management skills. I don’t lead in the forefront, but sometimes need to step up to lead beyond music and instruments. As a youth leader, I think I help the church by bringing and connecting young people. My role is to weekly plan for group meetings, announcements, and other personal matters. I always cooperate with the youth leader and other elders—we have discussions. Mainly, I am allowed to help with music because my passion and gifts lie in instruments. They want me to use these and I want to be able to use my gifts.”
“My hope, vision, and prayer each week for the youth is that they all come together. I know so many young people nowadays are leaving the church—we used to be a bigger group, but now many are busy and it’s difficult to come and work together strongly. My hope is for them to come back to God, to do more Bible Study, more devotion, give more time to each other, practice and celebrate. I also want to give youth instrument lessons. I’d love to cooperate with other musicians to help myself and the youth grow musically, so I could see them on stage one day– worshipping and playing together.”
Wow, so you are building up leaders—not just in instruments but in relationship with God within the Karen youth.
Isn’t that hard work? Have you faced any difficulties besides attendance?
“Yes, nothing goes smoothly. As a leader, you always face obstacles. It’s always hard. But I think it’s always easier when we rely on and trust ourselves to God. We need to keep asking ourselves: Why are we doing this? Who is this for? Who do we love? And then, what is unity? What should the leaders do? We must also ask what is in the leaders’ hearts because love must be in it. I think Love is very important: when we love God, we give our self, time and energy. It is difficult sometimes because of my physical lifestyle. Sometimes it goes up and down and does not work out the way we planned. Things happen!”
Your church has many different people and generations. How do you build connections in there and help bring the church together?
“In my church, I hope and pray for one heart, peace, and unity. I think connecting leaders to leaders is very important. Encouraging, supporting, and praying for one another are important. These days, we are so busy and don’t have much time to connect with our friends or pastors—which challenges our relationship with God and one another.“