Wednesday, October 14, 2015

A Guitar, the Bible, and Jesus

Steve and Debbie Cartwright, Missionaries, American Indian Field
October-December 2015

A Guitar, the Bible, and JesusMark* didn’t really stand out as someone likely to make something of himself. He was one of over 250 people who took the Victory Guitar Outreach class in a series of eight-week courses over a couple years at Thwajik Kee—The Healing House, which is a drug and alcohol rehabilitation center on the Gila River Indian Community south of Phoenix, Arizona. Probably more than 90 percent of those people returned to rehab at least once, many over and over again. Their futures didn’t often look very hopeful. The “plan” was to teach guitar (and Bible) to the residents and give them a skill they could draw on in times of trouble and temptation, as well as to give them hope of a better future through a relationship with Jesus Christ.

One thing that was not part of the plan was getting people to attend our church. The rehab center was in a different district of the reservation than Siloam Church. Also, the people in the rehab center came from many different tribal backgrounds from all over the country, not just the Gila River Indian Community.

But Mark found our church anyway because of the connection. He was looking for a place he could play his guitar. Steve didn’t even remember him, but Mark remembered Steve. He was no longer a rehab patient—he was a rehab worker, now helping other addicts to overcome their addictions. He began to attend church faithfully, playing with our “guitar choir” and often singing special songs and giving testimonies of how God was helping him.

When the opportunity came for Steve to teach a new Victory Guitar Outreach class in Sacaton, on the other side of the reservation, Mark asked if he could help. This was such a blessing! Teaching guitar to a large group of people without assistance is always a challenge, and Mark was excellent help. The biggest blessing was when Steve encouraged Mark to do more than just help with the guitar part—that he could teach one of the Bible lessons, too. Although a little nervous, Mark did a great job and has realized that he would be able to teach the entire eight-week course on his own if he ever had the opportunity.

As far as this life touched by God—our “plan” was okay, but God’s reality was much better!

*Name has been changed.

Partner with Victory Guitar Outreach.
GIVE: Do you want to be a part of Victory Guitar Outreach? A gift of $25 will provide all the printed materials for one student and $175 will provide both a guitar and materials for one student. Send gifts with #21723 written in the memo line to: World Gospel Mission, P.O. Box 948, Marion, IN 46952.

Make an impact on your knees.PRAY: Please pray for students to take what they have learned through Victory Guitar Outreach and practice to get better. Pray also that they will use their new found music skills as a ministry.
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