the Vernon Journal

Serving the Kingdom in Southeast Asia

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Traditional Akha Vocals :: presented by Akha Outreach Media

We have been asked numerous times about traditional Akha music and singing. As we cannot even begin to imitate this beautiful musical style we haven't been able to fully communicate what it is like. However, for the AOF 10th Year of Ministry celebration we cut a recording of one of our Akha pastor's wives singing her version of John 3:16 in the traditional Akha style. We hope you enjoy it!

Traditional Akha rendition of John 3:16 Recorded for Akha Outreach Foundation's "Great is Thy Faithfulness 10-Year Jubilee" by the Akha Outreach Media team

[audio:http://vernonjournal.com/wp-content/uploads/01-Yoha-3_16.mp3|titles=Akha Traditional rendition of John 3:16]

©2010 Akha Outreach Media :: Used By Permission

Akha Outreach Media: First Project

Introducing Akha Outreach Media My facebook and twitter updates have recently been dropping clues of an impending Akha media ministry, but now that we have an actual project in production I thought it would be nice make it official in our Ministry Updates here on the Vernon Journal as well. For years we at Akha Outreach Foundation have dreamed about getting a soundroom / media center up and running in order to create and produce Akha language content: audio teachings, a/v dubbing, worship cds, literacy training tools, and original video (clips and full length features); that would glorify God and advance His Kingdom among the Akha people. Those years of dreams are now becoming a reality! We have had some very exciting relationship developments with a subgroup of a highly respected linguistics and translation agency (link unavailable due to closed country concerns) that will provide financial packages enabling the purchase of high-end sound equipment, cameras, Mac computers and software to empower Akha leaders with the tools needed to share the gospel through these media in the Akha language. These packages have not yet been sponsored, but we are confident in God's timing and purpose for this project and are prayerfully waiting for Him to move.

We have also been blessed by a relationship with a wonderful group of believers in Singapore, who have purchased a high-end microphone, hd video camera, soundboard and computer for us to begin our media recordings. (This group has helped serve Akha Outreach in many other ways as well, but this is a media post so I'll stick to the point). Additionally, we are discussing our vision with church partners in Colorado and Idaho and are considering having a team from America come out and construct a sound room.

But, we're not just sitting around waiting for our vision to be fulfilled. Using our existing tools, we're in the process of producing our first Akha Outreach Media project, moving ahead with our vision and without a sound room. We are producing an Akha worship cd and have prepared a room for recording by taking dozens of mattresses and piling them up on the walls and floor in order to have clean enough sound to record a distributable album.

There are a number of Akha cds existing today, but they generally follow the tendency of the region to go with a Karaoke-style format (lead singer, 5 locations, dreamy superstar poses, band in background scattered throughout a field, etc.). While we are accustomed to these productions, and have even grown to enjoy them, the goal for this album is to keep the focus away from the musicians and really stress worship. To accomplish this goal, we are recording four 5-song sessions with 15 voices joining together in corporate worship. We're using a single microphone and two pickups for acoustic guitars and everyone is simply standing in a circle in the room and worshiping God. It sounds simple enough, but getting 15 voices and a few musicians to sound good together is not easy; and to add a further challenge we've chosen the voices and musicians for their hearts for worship rather than for their vocal and musical proficiency.

We're going to be distributing this cd throughout Southeast Asia to various Akha villages and hope that it promotes, facilitates and ushers glorifying worship wherever it is heard. Recording five songs in one take, using amateur musicians and an untrained production crew (read: me) we are guaranteeing ourselves a large number of technical glitches, but that's part of the message we're spreading to the Akha people: Worship God together with whatever you have. We're thrilled with how things are going and I am taking in too much information far too quickly, but even if all this falls apart we are having a wonderful time worshipping our Saviour together.

Here's a sample from our sound tests, I'll make sure to post again when the cd is available. Listen, and join in worship... and while you're listening, pray for me, my crew and our worship team that God would work through us throughout this process.

Excerpts from Akha Outreach Media's in-production cd: Worship Together! Tiqkawv lof-ehr jaceu ma!

Session #1 Sample "Believe on the Lord" [audio:http://vernonjournal.com/wp-content/uploads/Akha.jaceu_.sample.mp3|titles=Akha.jaceu.sample]

Sound check "Hosanna" [audio:http://akhaoutreach.org/wp-content/uploads/2010/09/team-soundcheck.mp3]

If you have any sound/music/production skills and want to give me some pointers I'm all ears. Or, if you just want to let me know what you think please drop me a note in the comment section below.

Podcast :: Pastor Jack Hayford ECFC Session 4

November 2006 ECFC Conference Bangkok, Thailand Audio

Pastor Jack Hayford continues his six-part series "Anointed to Serve" as shared with leaders, pastors and dignitaries of the Foursquare Gospel church at the Eastern Counsel of Foursquare Churches conference in Bangkok, Thailand.

Pastor Jack : Anointed to Serve 4 of 6 (right click, "Save As" to download)

Originally recorded and cast by our Foursquare friends at Mustard Seed Fellowship Canningvale, Western Australia. Used by permission.

Podcast :: Pastor Jack Hayford ECFC Session 3

November 2006 ECFC Conference Bangkok, Thailand Audio

Pastor Jack Hayford continues his six-part series "Anointed to Serve" as shared with leaders, pastors and dignitaries of the Foursquare Gospel church at the Eastern Counsel of Foursquare Churches conference in Bangkok, Thailand.

Pastor Jack : Anointed to Serve 3 of 6 (right click, "Save As" to download)

Originally recorded and cast by our Foursquare friends at Mustard Seed Fellowship Canningvale, Western Australia. Used by permission.

Podcast :: Pastor Jack Hayford ECFC Session 2

November 2006 ECFC Conference Bangkok, Thailand Audio

Pastor Jack Hayford continues his six-part series "Anointed to Serve" as shared with leaders, pastors and dignitaries of the Foursquare Gospel church at the Eastern Counsel of Foursquare Churches conference in Bangkok, Thailand.

Pastor Jack : Anointed to Serve 2 of 6 (right click, "Save As" to download)

Originally recorded and cast by our Foursquare friends at Mustard Seed Fellowship Canningvale, Western Australia. Used by permission.

Podcast :: Pastor Jack Hayford ECFC Session 1

November 2006 ECFC Conference Bangkok, Thailand Audio

Pastor Jack Hayford begins his six-part series "Anointed to Serve" as shared with leaders, pastors and dignitaries of the Foursquare Gospel church at the Eastern Counsel of Foursquare Churches conference in Bangkok, Thailand.

Pastor Jack : Anointed to Serve 1 of 6 (right click, "Save As" to download)

Originally recorded and cast by our Foursquare friends at Mustard Seed Fellowship Canningvale, Western Australia. Used by permission.

Lesson 3 : Family and Goodbye

After learning Lessons 1 and 2, you are now able to politely greet, ask about general well-being, say where you are from and give your name in Akha. Now, with a few more phrases we will share how to ask about family and to say goodbye.

Learning Akha : How many children do you have?

To the Akha in Thailand, this is like asking about the weather. Invariably the question of children comes up in a conversation - especially if you are traveling as a couple. If you have initiated the conversation and have made it through the greetings this is the question you should ask next.

The question: "How many children do you have?"


The response:
"I have no children yet"

Learning Akha : Goodbye!

There is no actual phrase for "Goodbye" in Akha, but there is a phrase used when you are about to leave. To understand this you have to remember that the Akha are a mountain people. When you leave you need to know where you are going geographically. You will then say "I am going back down now" or "I am going back up now" based on the direction you are going (up or down the mountain). It can be confusing, so remember that since the Akha live on mountains, the odds are good that you will be going "down" when you leave.

The statement:
"I am returning down now"


The statement:
"I am returning up now"

Learning Akha : Go slowly!

To reply to the statement "I am returning (up / down) now" the Akha say "Go slowly back (up or down)". This is another peek into the culture and personality of the Akha people. Take your time, don't hurry. The mountain may be slippery, don't fall down. Keep your eye out for food along the way. Enjoy the world around you. All of this is summed up in the phrase "Go slowly"

The response:
"Go slowly back down"


The response:
"Go slowly back up"

That's good advice for language, too. Go slowly. Use opportunities to get to know the people you are talking with. When you spend time with the Akha mountain people you won't regret the time you took.

Happy learning!

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Lesson 2 : Small Talk

In our last Akha language lesson we shared three simple greetings in Akha, with the third greeting being "How are you doing?" or "How's life?". This is a very polite question, and a great segway into further conversation.

Learning Akha : How are you?

All cultures have small talk, be it about the weather, family, food, business or environment. Unlike Americans, however, if you ask an Akha how they are doing they won't always say "Fine". You will most likely receive one of two responses.

The first response: "I am living well" or "My life/health is good"


The second response:
"I am not well" or "My life/health is not good"

Learning Akha : Where are you from?

Most Akha would love to talk with you and are interested in you personally. In Akha culture, the first thing asked of a visitor is what village the the visitor is from and who they are related to. Since you are reading this blog in English, you are most likely a pala (this is what the Akha in Thailand call non-asian foreigners), so one of the small-talk conversations they will want to have with you is where you are from. You also can ask them (especially if you meet them in the city) what village they are from - they'll get a kick out of that!

The question:
"What village are you from?"


The response:
"I am from [dama gojo]" (replace [dama gojo] with America or Deutschland or with appropriate response - add Thai tones to your country if you know how)

Learning Akha : What is your name?

If you make it this far through a conversation the person you are speaking to will certainly want to know your name. They are likely to ask and you are welcome to ask in return.

The question:
"What is your name?"


The response:
"My name is [Mi-Nym]" (replace [Mi-Nym] with your name)

That's all for this lesson! Remember to imitate the TONES of speech very carefully: they are critical. Once you get these phrases down you can greet an Akha and begin a small conversation in which you discuss 1.Your general well-being, 2.Where you are from, and 3.an exchange of names.

This conversation will lead to more questions about family (children, etc.) but we'll save that for next time.

Happy learning!

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Lesson 1 : Greetings!

In Northern Thailand there are three appropriate greetings (salutations) you may use when greeting the Akha. All are thought to have been influenced by other cultures, but the Akha, especially in Thailand, will understand and appreciate them all as gestures of goodwill.

Most of all, they will appreciate it if you greet them in Akha instead of Thai or English (although they are likely to greet you with a Thai Sawadee or a big English Hello! because they will assume you did not take the time to learn any Akha).

Learning Akha : Greeting One

The first greeting is obviously a result of Thai influence. It is most commonly said by the younger person to the older person (as is also true in Thai tradition) and is often responded to by an affirmative eu (comparable to our affirmitive uh huh) by the person receiving the greeting.
The translation of the greeting is: "I bow my head in greeting to you"
Generally this would be accompanied with a nod or with a Thai-style Wai.
To greet someone this way, Wai them and say "U du ta ma de"

Learning Akha : Greeting Two

The second greeting is thought to have been introduced to the Akha in Burma by missionaries, and that is the handshake. Nearly all the Akha in Thailand would prefer to shake hands than to Wai, so it seems most appropriate within their culture to greet them in this way.
Very few Akha (especially the adults) will Wai back to you, but they will nearly all shake hands.
To greet someone in this way offer your right hand (you may hold your right arm with your left hand to show it is being offered and say "A la sta ma".

Learning Akha : Greeting Three

For the courageous at heart, do not just greet them, but ask how they are doing. This is often done while shaking hands, just like you might be accustomed to.
To ask about themselves personally (literally: are you living well) say "Jaw sa daw mia lo"

Next time we'll learn how to answer the question "How are you doing?". Happy learning!

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