The Durihana student choir has come a long way since their first song. The choir has sung in front of politicians, national media outlets, premier businessmen, major companies, and many more. Most recently they were invited to the 1st World Youth Choral Festival and Competition on Jeju island, Korea. The event was held this July at the resort island.
The choir has been invited many places, but what was encouraging was the nature of this invitation. The Durihana choir was invited to enter the competition. Twenty-nine teams from Korea, China, the Philippines, Australia, and the United States had already competed and qualified for the competition. God opened a gracious door for the Durihana choir to be invited without attempting to qualify. No other team was given this opportunity. Nor was it an opportunity that Durihana sought.
From here the doors have continued to open. Kim Hee Chun, one of the greatest choir conductors in all of Korea has agreed to train the Durihana choir for the biggest choir competition in Korea-the Pusan International Choir Competition. The competition will take place this October. Kim and his team of 5-7 teachers will come to the Durihana school twice a week from July to October to train the choir for this competition. He is a world renown conductor, having studied in the United States. They will teach the students free of charge, only asking for his team’s transportation to be covered. Twice a week, every student in the choir will receive one-on-one training from Kim and his team.
Kim’s nickname is, “the Tiger” because he is such a tough trainer. The students at Durihana will now be in the ring with The Tiger. Instead of the team taming the tiger, The Tiger will train the team as they prepare for their competition I October.
The rise of K-pop illustrates how popular singing is right now in South Korea, and through South Korea how it is being used to influence the world. It is amazing to see how far these students have come, and how much they have improved. The choir frequently receives requests to perform (When I was with them in June for three weeks, they were invited to three separate churches to perform).
I thought it important in my previous blog to give you the background of the choir so that you can see what God has done and how far He has brought them. These students have improved in every way, and now, God has brought one of the best teachers in the world to take them to the next level. Pray that when the students perform the Lord blesses their performance. Pray that He uses their performance to spread His word and make more aware of the forgotten people of North Korea.
It also illustrates a deep spiritual truth and we need to heed… So often we think of ministry as accomplishing something for God, as achieving something for Him. But ministry is not achieved, it is received. This choir was never an attempt to do great things for God. It was started to teach children how to get along and work together. God has used it to bring about a very broad testimony to what He has done, and is doing.