Sunday, February 26, 2017

CFCA Households Serenade the Elderly

A concept is defined by Oxford Dictionary as, “an abstract idea.”
Aminya Baptist Aged Care residents

An idea can’t be held in one’s hand but it is a powerful tool that can inspire great attributes.

On a fine Spring day in October of 2016, serenaders coming from the Tagudar Unit of the Couples for Christ Australia (CFCA) led by the Soon household, lined up against the great hall of an aged care facility in quiescent Baulkham Hills. Strings and keyboards were tuned beforehand, music notes rustled, nervous CFCA singers hiding behind more
nervous children lined up front. Our gathering audience for today-- eager and excited elderly long term residents of Aminya Baptist Aged Care and staff. As far as sister Carina could tell, who is one of our Household members and at the same time a staff at Aminya, they haven't had visitors as of late to provide entertainment.

Children of Tagudar Unit perform When You Believe
So this was a rare opportunity for us, we reckon, as I stood with my tenor ukulele to the right of the audience. Beside me were veteran service musicians of the unit led by Anna alternating with Boboy on keyboards, Allan and Richard on acoustic guitars. Weeks of Saturday night practice led to this day as the idea pushed to me by my better half has come to fruition. 
Ladies sing The Carpenter's Close to You.
(L-R: Evelyn, Mimi, tita Nimfa, Anna)

Anna’s first note of the afternoon reverberated throughout the room and the singsong voices of children and adults alike filtered through the immaculate hallways of the facility. More patients and staff made their way to the hall as news spread like electricity. Attentive and teary-eyed, the lovely residents recalled songs from decades when the fire of youth amongst them was at its brightest.
Amie, Nadi, Connie, Clavel

Our opening song was one inspired Disney classic When You Believe from the movie “Prince of Egypt” sung gleefully by the children. This was followed by the ladies' rendition of Que Sera Sera and Karen Carpenter’s classic Close To You whilst the men belted out a Cat Stevens ballad, Father and Son. Paper Roses, originally by Anita Bryant, was clearly an audience favourite as residents mouthed words recalled from the 60s. 

While the men belt out a Cat Stevens hit, Father and Son.
(L-R: Tito Ruffy, Ronnie, Nick, Raul, Marnie,
Richard and Boboy)
The Christian hymn, Amazing Grace, was a rousing number. Based on English Anglican Clergyman John Newton’s conversion, the 17th century masterpiece was opened up by my daughter Yari’s timbered melody on her violin with the first few lines sung by 11-year old Nathan, whose angelic voice captivated audience, staff and serenaders alike.
Yari performs the opening of Amazing Grace and Silent Night

Our community singing of Peter Allen’s nostalgic hit of the 80s, I Still Call Australia Home, did not require prompting for clearly its lyrics were embedded in the hearts of our audience. 

Anna on keyboards
It was a moving ending to what was to become a regular apostolic service of this unit. Galvanized by the reception of the audience, we did not end there as the lively Christmas Caroling that followed a month and a half in December was equally received as well. What could be more merrier than singing well loved carols like Feliz Navidad, Silent Night, O Holy Night, We Wish You a Merry Christmas, Joy to the World, Little Drummer Boy, When a Child is Born, to name a few. The classic Australian Jingle Bells was entertaining as its lyrics. 

Love and service is at the core of Christ’s teaching. There is nothing more heartwarming and uplifting than giving your time and resources to your fellow men. Jesus’ teachings in Matthew 25:40 are evident, "as long as you did it to one of these my least brethren, you did it to me." In the end, a concept will remain a concept unless acted upon. With the support of the Rodriguez and Balais Households, the Soon Household of CFCA's Tagudar Unit couldn't have done a more memorable performance. 

Surely this was not our last. See you again soon!

(More photos below)

Residents enjoying an entertaining afternoon.

Amie, Connie Mimi and Carina
Nathan, Ximon and Fel
Richard, Boboy, Anna, Nick and Tito Ruffy
The most eager participant, 3-yo Luke.
Tita Nimfa confers with a resident.
Mimi introduces herself to a resident.
One of our residents reading our Christmas card.
Nick and his infectious enthusiasm.
CFCA Tagudar Unit
Carolers in Aminya, Dec 2016.