As I was studying the Word of God and praying one afternoon, I felt impressed with these words: “Jaime, what are your doing in your own backyard?”
I didn’t understand what that meant, until I came across a statistic a couple weeks later, that in the Chattanooga area where Rachelle and I live, minority communities experience a poverty rate of higher than 30%. Then I realized what God was saying to me: It’s alright to do mission work and evangelism around the world, but we can’t be a light unto the world and a darkness in our own backyard!
And so in the Fall of 2017 we began a program in the Chattanooga area to give violins and violin lessons to underprivileged and needy children. The goal of this program is not only to give young people an opportunity to develop their musical talents, but also to help others as Jesus would have us do, AND share & show Jesus to these precious children and their families.
In the Fall of 2018 we expanded our program to 20 children, and in the Fall of 2019 we increased to almost 30. My dream is to have as many as 100 young people in our program, and then expand to other cities and areas of need.
By the grace of God, we are witnessing a tremendous impact in the lives of these young people and their families as a result of this program. The children are getting better grades in school, their confidence is up, they feel a sense of purpose and value, and they are using their talents for the glory of God!
It’s sad to say that when I present other projects in my concerts, people get excited about supporting them. But when I mention the inner city, there’s nowhere near the amount of interest or support. And so we depend on people who understand that the preaching the Gospel begins in our homes, our communities, our backyard before going to the rest of the world where the dollar stretches farther and success is measured by the number or baptisms or people accepting Christ.