July 1, 2016

Gift of a santur

Written by  Karah L.

This article appears in the July/August 2016 issue of Missionary Messenger; sign up to read more articles like this one.

Sometimes you receive a gift so kind that it's the kindness, not the gift, that brings you joy for years.

Bryan received a gift this week so thought-filled, so generous, that the thought of it still makes my heart cozy and warm.

Around a month ago, he started teaching some of his new friends to play the piano. For these friends, who can't yet speak German and who have little else to keep them occupied, learning a new instrument has become a fun diversion in what can be a difficult transition.

Two of these friends decided to send home for a traditional Persian santur for their buddy Bryan.

(A santur is the hammered dulcimer’s Persian cousin.)

It arrived, and like all questionable packages, was held captive in the customs office 30 minutes out of town. Thumbs up for safety precautions. Thumbs down for personal inconven-ience.

A two-way ride later (and ZERO EUROS IN TAX — a small miracle), they presented it with joy to a very touched Bryan.

Touched is not really the word, but it's as close as a word can get.

They included beginner exercise books and replacement strings. On a wooden box holding extra hammer pads, the maker's phone number was engraved, just in case. They even had relatives pick out an instrument made with a certain type of wood which would perform better in Germany's climate.

Kindnesses.

Of course the best way Bryan can honor these gift-givers is to present them with traditional Persian tunes performed with care. Even better would be to incorporate it into the weekly worship, but we’ll start with a decent rendition of Twinkle, Twinkle.

Editor’s note: Bryan, Karah, and their children minister among immigrants in Germany. And while they extend hospitality to many who might not always be welcomed by others, it is not a one-sided affair. They receive much in return.

This article appears in the July/August 2016 issue of Missionary Messenger; sign up to read more articles like this one.

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