You're probably familiar with the phrase "It was right under your nose the whole time." We had one of the moments this week. It was a good reminder that sometimes the people with the deepest needs are often the ones right next door to us. We all want to have an impact on the world. It seems like we're all on this never ending quest to find the place where the needs of the world best meet our greatest gifts. It's through that process that we just might overlook those needs nearest to us. It's not that hopping on a plane and flying 2,000 miles over the Atlantic isn't important. In fact, I believe the art of loving our neighbors is both a local and global calling. However, it's easy to convince ourselves that we're more validated in our world-changing, when the task at hand requires long distance travel. Let me tell you why that's not always true.
Guitars For Glory has been providing guitars, instruments, and training for over four years now. Man, time flies! Unfortunately, you all only get a very small glimpse of what these guitars mean to the people receiving them. Privacy and safety reasons sometimes keep us from sharing full stories, but let us reassure you, you are changing individuals, towns, cities, and even WHOLE COUNTRIES! We receive requests for instruments almost daily. 95% of them are locations outside of the US. Naturally, because of this the majority of our guitars end up outside of the states. Just last night, we had the opportunity to place a guitar just 10 miles from our little office here in Rochester, NY. What a privilege it is to work with this ministry.
A few weeks ago we received a guitar application through our website from the Open Door Mission, based in the inner city of Rochester. The Open Door Mission is a Christian Rescue Mission founded on the belief that with proper resources hope can be restored and lives of impoverished men, women and children of Rochester, NY could be forever changed. This incredible organization has been serving these people with deep needs since 1952.
Open Door Mission's focus is primarily on providing shelter, food and clothes for the homeless. For their recovery program that focuses on rehabilitating those with strong addictions, most of their funds goes towards administrative items. Shayne Priddy, Open Door Mission's Program Administrator shared, "We have received donated instruments but most of them are unplayable, broken or not good enough quality to play". When we asked him, "Why a guitar?" Shayne responded, "Addiction affects the mind, body and soul. We try to help men who struggle with connecting to their creator on an intellectual level through Worshiping God with praise. This is one way they can encounter God and have the gospel message go deep into their hearts."
Our team was honored to hand the guitar over to Shayne during our weekly meeting. Shayne hopes that over time, the Open Door Mission will grow this guitar initiative at their rehab program through regular guitar lessons. What you may not know about Rochester is that it has a rich musical history. The Eastman School of Music is just around the corner and is often ranked right next to schools such as Juilliard and Berkeley. Shayne shared that some of the people they work with were once thriving musicians with no shortage of tools to practice their craft. But addictions have all but stripped them of everything they once owned, including instruments.
We heard from Shayne today, just one day after he brought the guitar back with him to the mission. He placed the guitar with Brian, one of the men at the mission with a passion for music and worship. Shayne asked that we continue to pray that Brian answers God's call on his life and pursues serving Him by worship.
This is just the tip of the iceberg. We cannot wait to further partner with the Open Door Mission as they continue to love the people in our city, not only through meeting their most basic needs, but providing an outlet for creativity. Thank you Open Door Mission to opening our eyes to the needs of the City we live in.
Finally, we are so excited to say this guitar was placed through our Leather Guitar Strap program.
For every 10 straps sold, we can place one guitar with someone in need. Huge thanks to our supporters with serial numbers of A001-A010. Thank you for making this moment possible!