How "my story" became intertwined with Sudan.
While growing up in New Roads, La., a sleepy little Cajun settlement town on the banks of an oxbow lake called False River, I discovered my love of music and affinity for playing the piano. I graduated early from Poydras High School in 1976 and began college at age 17, studying theater at St. Edward’s University in Austin, Texas.
My desire for music development and south Louisiana culture sent me home in 1978 to pursue music composition and piano performance at LSU, Southeastern Louisiana University, and Southern University. I completed a degree in music therapy at Loyola University in New Orleans.
In September 1986 I moved to Montana to join a mission organization called YWAM (Youth With A Mission). I traveled to Singapore, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Japan, Australia, Scotland, Ireland, Belgium and France, using music to share the good news of Jesus.
While in YWAM, in 1990 I began a touring ministry called “Troubadour” to challenge the Episcopal Church to play a role in the Great Commission and taking the gospel to the people groups in the 10/40 Window.
Call to Sudan
At the New Wineskins for Global Mission Conference in 1997, we heard from Marc Nikkel, a missionary priest to Sudan for over 20 years. Together with Bishop Nathaniel Garang of Bor Diocese and the Rev. Bartholomeyo Bol Deng, a worship leader among the Lost Boys of Sudan, he presented a child-sized, coffin-shaped box that contained a number of hand-carved crosses made by Dinka Christians. Some were ornately decorated with shrapnel and empty cartridges. They told the miraculous story of the Lost Boys of Sudan, the horrors of the genocide in Sudan, the torture and enslavement of men, women and children, and the transforming power of the Cross among the people in their suffering. It broke my heart.
“How can this be in our day and time, and why don’t You do something about this?” I asked the Lord.
“Why don’t you do something about it?” the Lord replied.
“I don’t have money, power or influence, not even a job. What can I do?” I asked.
“What have I given you? What do you have in your hand?”
“Music and a heart that worships You,” I said.
“I want you to take their songs that worship me in the midst of the most intense suffering on the planet and make it accessible to the church in the West. They need to hear it!”
This is what I’ve been seeking to do ever since.
more to come...