For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.
2 Timothy 1:7 NKJ
I encourage you dear sisters, that during this new season of your life, when you may not be sure what to plant or how to make it bear fruit, lean in and listen to God. He has a plan for you. He has not forgotten you and He will restore you. No pain is too great for Him, no mistake too horrible, no need too big. He waits for you in quiet places; run to Him. Allow your imagination to be His playground. He can plant dreams that will grow into beautiful things you could never have imagined.
As a young twenty-something, I felt God’s call on my life for short-term missions. I committed to it and told Him I would go wherever He wanted to send me. I talked it over with my God fearing Southern grandmother and she quickly relayed to me how she had ALWAYS wanted to be a missionary, but her mother told her no. She got married and took a different life path. Although, she was always a missionary in her own backyard, she never went on foreign missions. I was also informed, by my mother, that she and one of my sisters had wanted to explore missions as well. It seemed to be a common thread that God had sewn into our hearts but none of us had left American soil for the work, until last week.
Do you ever come to those moments in life where you are amazed by God? I try not to be surprised by what God can do or chooses to do, anymore, but many times, I am simply amazed. This past week, God moments were all around and I was able to see some fruit of my late husband, Daryl’s, death.
In my new season of life, one of my many adventures has been to start a nonprofit foundation, Daryl’s Music Makers (DMM), with the mission of empowering kids with a hope and a future through music. We are about 15 months old. So, in many ways, we are still a baby nonprofit, but I was blessed to see our work in the Dominican Republic; as I helped lead my churches first international mission team, of 13 people.
Our team worked tirelessly alongside many volunteers from our partner church in Santiago. We were privileged to conduct Vacation Bible School for hundreds of children, pour the truth of Christ into them, love them, and help feed them. God was with us each day as we acted as His hands and feet to some precious kids.
On Wednesday, August 6, 2014, I was amazed as I sat and listened to our DMM students perform a concert for us, after VBS. To think that a year earlier, none of theses children had instruments or skills on them. Oh, what a difference a year makes, when God’s hand is in it. Several students played recorder, keyboards, guitar, bass guitar, and drums with incredible skill. They sang and played praise and worships songs that made God smile, and me cry.
DMM partners with a church in Santiago to provide a 3 hour tutoring program for at risk students; who are not allowed to attend school until noon, each day. These students are from a very impoverished neighborhood. Most are behind educationally and have behavior issues. Due to their struggles they are not allowed to go to school in the mornings or have the same teachers that morning students have, instead, they are taught by people who can better control their behavior issues.
The church has opened its doors to 80 needy children, each morning. The students are given 45 minutes of Christian and character education, 45 minutes of homework help, 45 minutes of instruction in speaking in English and 45 minutes of music education. Learning English and music gives these students potential options for future employment at hotels and resorts, as well as other local businesses where these skills are invaluable. The students are then fed lunch and sent to school.
About 80% of the children from the neighborhood end up in prostitution or drug dealing during their teens, if they are not given a way out. DMM and our partner church are paving a road and offering hope for them to build a better life and an exit out of extreme poverty. Yet, we all know that it is not anything us but God in us. We did not birth this program, He did.
When Daryl died, I laid the rest of my days at God’s feet and told Him, I needed a purpose and a reason to keep going. Nothing in this world calls to me like eternity does. This world may not be my home, but while I am here, I will work to make God’s name more famous. He is faithful!
To see more pictures and more about our mission, check us out at darylsmusicmakers.com
Help us to rise up and remember there is work to be done and you are not finished with us yet! We know that You did not make you to live in a spirit of fear and we ask you to ease our doubts and help us to step forward. Give us strength and perseverance, in Jesus name. Amen.