Me. Africa. Not two words you’d expect to hear in the same sentence, right? But it is with lots of excitement (and a few tingles) that I’m happy to share with you that I’ve signed on to help my old friend, the very creative and talented Jesse Sprinkle, and his music partner, the also very creative and talented Kurt Johnson, with an amazing new project: Paradise, Uganda.
For the last few years, Jesse has been traveling to Kampala, Uganda with the Ugandan Water Project. While there, he’s been working with street kids living in Kivulu, a slum hidden in the shadows of the city. Not just working with, not just befriending, but falling in love with these kids and their country.
And if a musician is looking for a way to help his fellow man, it only makes sense that there’s some sort of music involved. Right? Enter, Paradise, Uganda.
In 2013, Jesse and Kurt will be traveling to Uganda to record music with the street kids for the project, “Paradise, Uganda”. It’s a “musical collaboration of love and hope.” Proceeds from the project will directly benefit the street kids.
My job is to run the blog for www.ParadiseUganda.com. I’ll be blogging about the project, Africa, how you can help, and probably lots of personal reflections as I step back into the world of music and faith. (Let’s face it; the last few years of my life have pretty much been spent trying to find meaning in my life and avoiding anything music related. It’s no accident that my search and this project collided head on from out of the blue. God spoke. I’m going to listen this time.)
We’ll also be sharing amazing photographs from Africa on “Wordless Wednesdays”, and Jesse and Kurt will be blogging about the project, their creative process, their thoughts as they work with the kids, and anything else they want to share.
It’s going to be exciting, I promise. Because there’s more …
I’ll also be talking to some of the artists who’ve already signed on to support the project so they can share their thoughts about Africa, serving and our place in this big, wide world – artists like The Almost, Anberlin, Demon Hunter, Dead Poetic, Bill Malonee/Viglantes of Love, Brendan Benson, Poor Old Lu, Kutless, Tooth and Nail Records, Terry Taylor (DA), Eisley, The Choir, Lovedrug, The Waiting, One Republic, and Denison Witmer.
Did you just get tingles, too? Oh, good.
I know your next question: am I going to Africa? Of course I’ve invited myself along on a trip; that’s no surprise. It was mostly in jest, at least at this point. A trip like that costs money (so you know if I do go I’ll be hitting you all up for support). But I also have learned that I don’t need to be involved in everything to be of service. Yes, it would be easier to write about something I’ve experienced first hand. But one of my strengths as a writer (if I have one) is that I can extract great information from people to tell their story. So I don’t necessarily need to go to Africa to tell the story of people who’ve been to Africa.
But if God sends me to Africa … well, you better start praying now for Jesse and Kurt. Because you know I can be a giant pain in the ass to be around for extended periods of time. Imagine being trapped with me on another continent.
(NOTE: if you’re not logged into WordPress, you’re going to see some stupid video ads at the end of this post. Please ignore them. I don’t know how to make them go away.)