INSTRUMENTS GIVE JOY
You may ask, why give instruments when people are desperate for water, food, shelter, and clothing? Yes, the poor in the world have many physical needs–and it is important to serve and meet those needs–but people also have poverty of the spirit and soul.
On a trip to Belgium, I encountered many Syrian, Iraqi, and Gaza Strip refugees. The Red Cross had set up a warehouse to meet their physical needs, but the atmosphere of the place was heavy. People’s faces were downcast; there was scarcely a smile to be seen. The children looked worried and scared. We had come to play a concert for them that afternoon. We had not even started to play yet when a crowd began to gather. “Music!” they exclaimed at the sight of our instrument cases. “We don’t have music where we come from, just the sound of bombs,” they said. After we played some songs for them, people began to sing along, to dance, and smiles began to resurface on the faces. We played some worship songs for them and many shared that they felt such a peaceful and joyful feeling when we began to play.
This experience is a small example and testament that music is a tool to feed the soul with joy, the mind with hope, and to provide the spirit with a way to connect with God.
The Psalmist shared these truths when he wrote:
“You are my hiding place; you will protect me from trouble and surround me with songs of deliverance” – PSALM 32:7
“He put a new song in my mouth, a hymn of praise to our God. Many will see and fear the Lord and put their trust in him” – PSALM 40:3.
- Music gives expression to our pain & provides a way to cry out to God and place those cares at His feet.
- Music invites God’s presence into a place.
- Music is how we remind our soul to hope.
- Music gives us a way to share our story.
- Music is a testament to others to what God has done in our lives.
We give the gift of instruments because we believe in the power and impact that music can have not just on an individual, but a whole community and culture.
– Breanna (The IOJ Team)