This last birthday the best present I got was from God: He gave me my singing voice. I’m not saying that I sing like Maria Callas or Judy Collins. I’m not even sure that I can sing on key, but now I have the courage and freedom to sing—into a microphone!—without fear, and that’s a miracle. You can read about it in my latest book, “Laughing in My Dreams,” available through Lulu.com (http://www.lulu.com/shop/alisa-k-brown/laughing-in-my-dreams/paperback/product-20585131.html).
This was at the Feast of Tabernacles (Sukkot) in Kalisz, Poland, where the local church celebrates in praise and worship 24 hours a day over 7 days. This past fall was my second time there, and for the second time, I was the lone representative of Italy—me, a foreign resident, representing Italy. But I did my best to represent Italy, bringing my Italian flag and singing as strongly as possible whenever I heard a song I know in Italian.
Upon returning home after my first time at Tabernacles I talked to a few local pastors and worship leaders about taking a team to represent Italy. The response was underwhelming, very discouraging. And after God gave me back the freedom to sing, I thought perhaps I would get a guitar and see if I could learn enough to represent Italy in worship from the platform. Interestingly enough, the first person I mentioned this to said that she had told her son just that morning that he should give me his guitar, since he no longer has time or the inclination to play. I have a guitar now—one that I’m too intimidated to even try to tune (not that I remember how to tune a guitar!).
While I was in the US for Christmas break I went to a music shop and bought a tambourine and a cowbell. My sons laughed at me for buying a cowbell, but I love the sound of cowbells. And I love the idea of keeping time with a cowbell instead of clapping hands. Plus, it’s small and easy to travel with, which is a definite plus in my traveling lifestyle.
When I returned to Italy, I mentioned once again (this time to Pastor Fabio) that I would like to bring an Italian worship group to Poland for Tabernacles. Unlike his reaction last year, this time he was very enthusiastic about the idea. I am hoping that everything works out, and that I can bring the worship group from the Biella church. But even if they don’t come, I will be there with my Italian flag, my cowbell, and my tambourine, representing Italy the best that I can.