I came to know Jesus Christ about 25 years ago. Immediately,
God took me to a homechurch which considered it very important
to memorize the Word of God. Every week we chose a Bible verse
and learned it by heart. Memorizing the Word of God became more
and more important to me. Some years later, in Youth With A Mission
Disciple Training School, I found I wanted to learn whole chapters of
my Bible by heart.
However, I never totally understod why we need the psalms until I got
to know some friends from England. They were running a christian art
course and I was playing piano in the worship team. Just at the end of
the worship time – in a kind of free session – a melody came to me, and
later, I was encouraged by Nick Drake, the worship leader, to choose
a psalm for the melody. So I opened my Bible and turned to the book of
psalms, and there it was:
To you I call, O LORD my Rock;
do not turn a deaf ear to me.
For if you remain silent,
I will be like those who have gone down to the pit.
These words so described my inner man´s emotions. I needed His voice calling to me more than anything else. If not, I would be dead in my soul, only living this life in my body. In the evening I wanted to know if the melody I had would fit with the words of this verse Ps 28:1. I was surprised how well it fitted and also I choose another couple of other verses to finish the song (Ps 28, verse 4). The next day I was asked to play and sing the psalm, and I noticed some people were crying as I played. At the end of my singing I stood up and Martin Richards came to hug me. He hugged me so deeply and for so long that I finally started to cry as well. Many others began to cry in this strange ceremony lead by Holy Spirit.
Little by little God started to speak me through the psalms. My emotions started to be healed and shaken with the words and more and more melodies came, connected with the verses, even with whole psalms. At this time, I was composing psalms at home only for me, not for anybody else. Often I found myself worshiping God at night, sometimes day by day, sometimes it felt almost like all the time. God spoke to me a bit earlier that I will have a sabbath year, but I didn´t believe Him then. Now it was the reality.
God sent the right people to me who became my close friends. Since that first time, Martin and Janice Richards have been six times to Finland; praying, playing and now producing psalms in English. I want to thank you both and God for you, your obedience and faithfullness for His Kingdom. Also I want to give my thanks to Nokia Missio and Nokia Missio Publishing house, especially Rami Halonen and Hannu Varhi who trusted me with the first psalm recording in Finnish, and the producer Toni Mäki-Leppilampi who was lead by God at an early stage to support and encourage me in this process. In addition to this I want to thank my precious girl friend Outi Pääkkönen for her continuous love and support during this process, and my good friend Jyrki Ihalainen who has recorded and remixed the psalms in English.
May the God of Israel bless you richly together with all the friends of psalms everywhere in this world.
In Pirkkala, Finland 3.12.2009
MIKA PIIRTO. fi © Mika Piirto & ICB Oy 2012