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Summer Music Camp
by Laura Harstad, Kingdom Workers Director of Volunteer Management
and Bernard Dale, Apache KW Volunteer
Children sang praises to God, troubled hearts were comforted, and inspiring stories were shared during a week-long music workshop on the Apache reservations.
This July, on the Whiteriver Apache reservation, five Kingdom Workers volunteers helped lead week-long music workshops to teach both children and adults. Almost 30 children came throughout the week and learned Bible lessons as well as the basics of singing and how to play guitar, piano, and ukulele. They sang the songs in church the following Sunday, and joy filled the building as the children’s voices praised God.
A local Kingdom Workers volunteer, Bernard, helped every day at the children’s music workshop. His story inspired everyone around him as he shared how God helped him through a very difficult time.
Here is his personal story:
Hello, my name is Bernard Dale Jr. I grew up in Cibecue, AZ and moved to Hondah, AZ in 2009. I attend Shepherd in the Pines Lutheran Church and sometimes Emmanuel Lutheran Church in Lakeside, AZ. In late November of 2011, I was assaulted with a knife and nearly killed. I suffered a very severe stroke as a result of the stabbing and became handicapped.
When I was recovering in the hospital, my life was in a dark place, and I desperately needed God's help and encouragement. Then one day, God showed me a bible verse that has been my source of strength. Philippians 4:13, “I can do all things through Christ, who gives me strength.” This verse has been seared in my heart especially when I struggled with physical activity and regaining my independence. To this day, this verse still encourages me to overcome my obstacles. I give God all the glory and thanks for helping me in my tribulations! Now I am studying in the ACTS (Apache Christian Training School) program and getting more involved with the church.
Because of my life threatening injury, I lost my ability to play the guitar. I heard an announcement about the Kingdom Workers music workshop and saw it as an opportunity to help kids play the guitar. Since I lost my own ability to play, I wanted to give my gift to another in order to have them worship the Lord in song.
My favorite experience (during the music workshop) was when I was paired with a young boy to show him a basic guitar chord. He started getting frustrated because he had small hands and was having a difficult time. He was quickly about to give up. I remained patient and calmly showed him what to do and urged him not to give up. At the end of the morning, he had a better idea of how to play the chord. He had also shown more interest playing the guitar. To me, it made me feel good inside because I had made a positive impact on this boy to continue to practice guitar playing.
My advice is to 'never give up'. I know when times are tough and when I am about to give up, I seek God in prayer and meditating on His word. Pray without ceasing. Even when times are easy, continue praying, because life can change in an instant, and you will be needing God's assistance. Persisting with faith in Jesus Christ in trials and tribulations is a beautiful thing, because it is proof that God the Holy Spirit is in you and helping you to be an overcomer. For those who are reading, I want to tell you that God has transformed my life for the better, because I was going down the wrong path leading to destruction. He is my light and my guide to the path to His eternal, heavenly Kingdom!
Working with Kingdom Workers is fun, and it is a great to serve God and get more people to come to Him. The best part was singing to God in middle of the week instead of just on Sundays. I love to sing for Jesus! I am Looking forward to working more with Kingdom Workers soon, Lord willing. Thanks for letting me volunteer.
Update: Bernard has just started teaching Sunday school at Shepherd in the Pines Lutheran Church in McNary, AZ! Please pray for him as he continues to serve the Lord.
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