God continues to open doors and break down barriers thru the musical ministry that He gives me. Here I am speaking with Boy Scouts in Mt. Pleasant, SC. This presentation was made possible in part by the “Paws 2 Educate Initiative” of Dixie Land Guide Dog Users, Inc. and the South Carolina Association for the Blind.
Fellow Dixie Land Officers, Audrey Gunter (President) and Taylor Jones (Vice President) joined me as we assisted these area Scouts in earning their Disabilities Awareness Merit Badges.
For me, the Sounds of the 2011 Christmas Season began with the Holiday Drop-In hosted by the South Carolina Association for the Blind.
Two days later, with the blessing and sponsorship of Dixie Land and the Association, I flew into Southern Indiana where I seemed to hit the ground running.
I had promised “my” Indiana kids that I would teach them to make Christmas cards by drawing pictures with the Perkins Braille Writer. Here I am with Taengkwa, age 10.
After the craft project, it was time to prepare for a very special Christmas Concert. This concert was hosted by St. Lucas Church, Fort Branch, IN, to benefit these “outa sight” kids on their road to Dallas for this summer’s National Federation of the Blind Annual Convention. Thanks to Pastor John and the Fort Branch United Churches of Christ, the Gibson County Shriners and the area parents and teachers of blind children who helped make this event possible. Thanks again to Dixie Land and the South Carolina Association for showing such compassion for “my” kids in their generous donation toward this effort.
I was honored to feature Jessie and Taengkwa during the concert, and even more honored when they asked me to sing with them! Ten-year-old Jessie accompanied the two of us at the piano as we sang “God Is So Good” and “Jolly Old St. Nicholas.”
I was up bright and early the next morning on my way to the studio of Princeton FM 98.1 WRAY Radio, where I joined Mark Latham, “Grandpa Ed,” “Uncle Dave” and the rest of Saturday’s Country Gold family for the on-air debut of my latest CD Just Over The Hilltop.
Sunday found me bringing God’s Musical Message in yet another one of His Indiana “Family Rooms,” Mt. Zion General Baptist Church of Wadesville. I knew this Sunday was going to be a lot of fun when a very enthusiastic deacon met me at the car, introduced himself, grabbed my hand and ran with me across the parking lot in the rain. This was a blessed time of music and fellowship as I served as guest teacher of the adult Sunday School class, and led the entire church family in the Worship service.
As always, I especially enjoyed my time with the children, teaching by word, song and example that even though we are all different, we can use those differences to work together in the Body of Christ.
I love to read God’s Word to God’s kids of all ages, but the little ones really enjoy watching “Miss Laurel Jean read with her fingers.”
The following Sunday December 11 in Illinois, I stopped by the “little church by the roadside,” the Lakewood United Methodist Church where I first felt truly welcome in God’s house, attended my first accessible Vacation Bible School and received my first Braille Bible. This church has represented so much love and support for my ministry and me personally over the years. I am touched beyond words by the Lakewood family’s ongoing sponsorship of my Chaplaincy for Blind Youth. It was my blessing and privilege to present each family in the congregation with a copy of my “Just Over the Hilltop” CD. My thanks to Pastor Lynette, Mary and Carolyn whose planning, hospitality and transportation helped make it possible for me to do this.
Rantoul’s Bethany Park Christian Church was my next stop, where I offered another concert of “Sounds of the Season.” It is always a joy to work with Rev. Linda Trowbridge, a true friend and mentor. Here we are goofing off as I was doing a sound check.
After a brief visit in Springfield, I flew back to sunny South Carolina just in time to present music and ministry for the Annual Christmas Parties of the Association for the Blind and the Genesis Sunday School Class of James Island Baptist Church.
Another year has drawn to a close. God’s Music By Laurel Jean keeps growing, and going! Thank God and thank you for your ongoing prayers and support.
Stay tuned for more posts like this one. Until next time, God bless you and keep His Song in your heart!
© 2011 by Laurel Jean Walden
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