Everyday, every week, every trip, we at Praying Pelican Missions witness God among us. We get to experience the BIG incredible life transformations, people coming to Christ, a house being built for a single mother – but we also get to experience the LITTLE moments that are equally incredible, but are completely different. The child who looks up at you and you see Christ in their eyes, the mother down the street who laughs so hard she doubles over as she dances with a team member. These are the stories that make up our weeks, days, moments. These are the stories of God among us, in the BIG and in the LITTLE. Follow along as we share… We are the Storytellers.
“Praise the LORD! Praise God in his sanctuary; praise him in his mighty heavens! Praise him for his mighty deeds; praise him according to his excellent greatness! Praise him with trumpet sound; praise him with lute and harp! Praise him with tambourine and dance; praise him with strings and pipe! Praise him with sounding cymbals; praise him with loud clashing cymbals! Let everything that has breath praise the LORD! Praise the LORD!” Psalm 150
Music is one of those things that can bring anybody together in any situation. When the music hits your ears it doesn’t matter what color your skin is, what language you speak or what you had for breakfast. It hits you and your ears perk up. Depending on the music, certain memories come to the forefront of your mind. You may smile, you may laugh, you may cry but it’s all good and it’s all worth it. Some people can only listen to the music, some people can only feel the vibrations of the music on the instruments but then there are those who can play music, they can sing and make music. And with that they can usher people into God’s presence and give them the opportunity to experience God in a new way.
This summer, I had the privilege of getting to know and lead an amazing group of musicians. These musicians came with Praying Pelican Missions to Belize in July. They are part of a group called Guitars for Glory**. They are an organization based out of Rochester, NY. Their mission statement is:
“Guitars for Glory’s sole desire is to put guitars and instruments in the hands of churches, schools, missionaries, and orphanages. Our hope is to enhance their musical experience and build up worship leaders within the community; through the giving guitars and musical training.”
These musicians came with the sole desire to impact the community for Christ through music and it was such a beautiful and awe-inspiring thing to watch. We partnered them with a church in Belmopan, Belize called Casa De Dios (House of God). This church is led by an amazing pastor named Pastor Marcos Vargas. He has been wanting to do more outreach and his son, Marcos Jr, who leads the worship team has desire to learn more about worship and gain the tools he needs to lead successfully so we knew this would be a good match. As we started planning the trip, there were many different things that we discussed concerning how the trip should go. Do we make it a traveling trip? Should we have a worship conference every night? What about just concerts and music lessons? We sought God through prayer and asked for his discernment and wisdom in what to do. This was His trip after all and we were just humbled to be on it. We finally decided to settle on music lessons and concerts. We spoke with Pastor and he said he would gather people that he knew would be good for the music lessons and find places where we could do the concerts.
As the trip got closer and closer and the details came together, I can’t begin to express the level of excitement that began to build. The church was getting excited, my staff was getting excited (you should have seen us at our pre-trip staff meeting!) and of course Guitars for Glory was gathering all that they needed to come. Fast Forward a little bit…The trip was finally here. I was at the airport with my staff, we watched them walk off the plane and it was so exciting. They were here and everything we had been talking about for months was about to happen. There was excitement, a little bit of uncertainty and a beautiful chance for God to mold this trip into what he wanted it to be. As they started to come out with guitar after guitar, smile after smile, it got more and more exciting. We hopped on the bus and took off for Belmopan with a quick stop to take a picture and let everyone know we had arrived.
Once we got to Belmopan the real fun started. We met with Pastor Marcos, settled into our amazing accommodations at a local high school and really took a minute to breath and let God speak. The week was filled with amazing worship, beautiful relationships and unimaginable ministry. It was hands down one of the best weeks of ministry that I got to be a part of. God was near, you could feel him and see him in every single aspect of what happened. To see people worship regardless of if the music was in Spanish or English was beautiful. People were dancing and lifting their hands singing together as one to God our Father because music brings people together. Through simple instruments two communities became one, we were able to pull back the curtains and get a glimpse of heaven. People were able to learn more about worship in general and what it means to truly worship. They were able to pick up a guitar maybe for the first time and learn how to play. They were able to learn about harmony and truly sing as one voice. We played on streets of a village, in the room of an orphanage, and on the steps of a high school while it was pouring rain in a village in the mountains. God moved and we saw it. He used 20+ people who had nothing to offer but music and the willingness to teach to bring fire into the hearts of a community. To teach them about worship and give them the tools to do it. We are forever changed and will be forever grateful. God is a Good, Good Father because that’s who He is.
Check out the other posts in our “StoryTellers” Series!!
**if you want to check out Guitars for Glory and their Ministry you can find them on their Website or Facebook.