IOJ: Describe your ministry and the countries where you have served.
PW: “Our group is called Paradigm Worship. So far, we have had the honor to play worship and music in England, Latvia, Greece, Spain, Belgium, and the US. The reason why we create music is because we believe it is such a powerful tool to communicate truth, hope, and the heart of God to people’s hearts. Music engages us on an emotional level so a lot of times it bypasses our heads and cuts straight to the heart. This is a good thing for those who would have never thought about who God is or what He thinks of them.”
IOJ: How does music play a role in what you do in those communities and countries?
PW: “Music is a way to draw people in. Start playing on an open street, and a crowd will naturally gather. It is thus a good way to start conversations with people, which can open the door to sharing the Gospel with them, to praying for them, or connecting them to the churches and ministries in their area. More than that, we specially ask God, when we write songs, for His heart for those cities and nations to sing over them prophetically.”
IOJ: What are some experiences you’ve had or stories you can share where you have seen music and instruments reach people?
PW: “The most recent opportunity we had–which was completely unplanned–was the chance to play for many of the refugees that are in Brussels, Belgium. We could feel right away the tension in the camp and darkness there. We can’t even imagine what these men, women, and children may have experienced. So we were there at the Red Cross to play a concert for them. After we played many shared that they felt a tangible difference in the atmosphere; that they felt joy and peace. But also the concert opened up the opportunity for us to talk with many of the refugees, listen to their stories, and pray for them. Even though most of these people were probably Muslim, the music became something that instantly brought us together.”
IOJ: Why do you think it is important to give instruments, write songs, and play music?
PW: “For us music is a way of telling our stories and giving voices to those who have none. Songs, as in ‘Songs of Deliverance’ in the Bible, can give you strength and hope to get through hard times. I think God gives us new songs to help us on our journeys and to help others on their way to. Writing songs, singing, and playing music for us is about being responsible with the gifts God has given us. Once God had asked us ‘What will you do with the influence I am going to give you?’ The reason He entrusts us with any resource is to do something with it. King Solomon knew this. When he asked for wisdom it was for the people, so He could rule them wisely. Our gifts are never for us alone, they are for the sake of many. Our gifts are for reaching out in love to people. We can’t wait for the opportunity to be a delivery partner for Instruments of JOY and play a benefit concert in the future. This is such an incredible ministry. Also as many of us in our group are music teachers, we see how songwriting and creative expression can positively impact young lives!”
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