The Voice of The Salvation Army in Canada and BermudaView RSS Feed
Feb23FriMusic ministry has taught me to let God set the tempo. February 23, 2018 by Paul Vos
I was born at The Salvation Army Chikankata Hospital in Zambia, where my parents worked for several years. We returned to Canada when I was three, settling in Kitchener, Ont., and started attending Kitchener Community Church. I learned to play the cornet, and music has been part of my life ever since.
- Filed Under:
- Feature Articles
At junior music camp, I made a commitment to follow Jesus. I became a senior soldier when I was 14, because I wanted to be part of our corps ministries and wear the uniform to be visible in the community. A few years later, I joined Impact Brass, our divisional youth band, which we hope changes the lives of listeners, but certainly has changed the lives of the members.
In my second year of university, I had some big decisions to make that would shape my future. I hadn’t been able to find a co-op job and was worried about not meeting my course requirements, which could delay graduating. I like to plan, to be in control, so I was stressed and anxious as I tried to figure things out. I knew God was there, but I thought I was strong enough to handle it all on my own. One night, I finally gave up and gave my concerns to God. I had the best sleep of my life.
The next day, I could feel that a weight had been lifted. Soon after, I found a placement in Ottawa. Although it meant leaving everything that made me feel comfortable, I trusted that God had a plan—and things worked out far better than I could have imagined. Since then, I strive to give things to God and let him handle the burdens in my life.
After graduating, I went to Zambia and travelled around the country. It made me aware of the struggles people face, but I was also encouraged by the work being done. When I got home, I joined the board of directors for an organization that supports orphans and widows.
In 2014, I was appointed to the Canadian Staff Band (CSB). I thoroughly enjoy band ministry and the way God can be glorified as we share his message with others through music. I’m also part of our corps band in Kitchener, and run a music program with kids from the community. Music ministry influenced my life growing up, so my goal is to continue it today, knowing it is an effective way of connecting with the community. Our program has more than doubled over the last two years. Each week, a child reads a devotional for the group. It’s rewarding to see kids make new friends, develop their music skills and accomplish goals. God is working through our service to him.
Another way we’re connecting with the community is through a martial arts program called Kung Fu for Christ, which I help with as an instructor. We have more than 50 kids and 20 adults each week. I enjoy teaching them the art of kung fu and the discipline that comes with it, while incorporating biblical teachings and memory verses. It is an amazing ministry that, like music, brings in people from the community. There are several kids who are in the music program who also go to kung fu, which is exciting.
Last April, I married Melissa, who grew up just a few minutes away and attended Cambridge Citadel, Ont., where she played in the band. Although we have many family and friend connections, we never met until a few years ago at Territorial Music School. It was my 18th year, and her first. God’s timing is perfect. We went to Zambia for our honeymoon to visit Chikankata and Victoria Falls.
Whether playing with the CSB, teaching kids music or kicks in kung fu, I have many opportunities to share how God has been working in my life. The refrain of I Know a Fount has a lot of meaning for me: “Burdens are lifted, blind eyes made to see. There’s a wonder working power in the blood of Calvary.” It’s such a beautiful song, with a message everyone can relate to. God never promised life would be easy, but he will help you and carry you through any circumstances you will face. Let him lead your life and he will bless you more than you can imagine.