With less than two weeks before venturing out into the mission field, my unconventional method of fund-raising seems to be paying off.
For those who don't know, I decided to raise money for my upcoming mission trips by recording a CD on my home studio and selling it to anyone interested. In addition to raising money to support my month-long excursion to Southeast Asia, the CD sales have helped get the body of Christ involved with missions. And I've been able to share the meaning behind some of my songs, which helps the body understand my heart--and I hope God's heart--for the nations.
The CD is named "Middle Country" after a track inspired by one of my trips to China last year. The song employs a pun off the Chinese word for China, which literally translated means middle country or kingdom. The country's self-appropriated title comes from a time in history when China saw itself as the supreme civilization on earth. It was extremely closed to outside influence, and prided itself on its independence and internal focus. I don't know the whole story but it's evident that whoever thought of the name wasn't going for humility. And while China still seeks to be self-sufficient, globalization and the increased international trade that has come with it has opened China's borders and put the government in a bit of a catch-22. Do we open up and risk western infiltration? Or do we close ourselves off and risk losing the economic investment the western world could bring?
While my song talks about the putting up and tearing down of barriers, I focus less on the physical situation and more on its spiritual allegory. While missionaries have been in China since long before America was born, the religious persecution and Communist domination of the twentieth century has spread Christ's church while leaving many Chinese desperate for answers. Much like the political quandary described above, I feel like this is spiritual decision time for the Chinese. How long, I wonder, will this nation linger in Middle Country, that place where prisoners long for light while remaining trapped in darkness?
Wednesday night (June 28) I played a show at the Morningside Baptist Church youth center. Royce Railey, the youth minister, was kind enough to allow me the whole service. I played 11 songs, and at the end I was able to sell about 12 CDs, with Royce promising to buy more to use as prizes at youth events.
I've had all positive feedback from those who've heard the CD, which is good considering the sub-professional quality of the recording (and the musician doing the recording). I've generally had even more favorable responses from those who have heard me at a live show, of which the Morningside gig was the first.
If you'd like to buy the CD, email me at Rawfish17@msn.com and we'll work it out. If you would like me to play at your church or know any venues that would be interested in hosting me, feel free to let me know. I hope to play at least two more shows before we head out on July 14. If I can figure out how to do it, I might post a short video of the Morningside show for your enjoyment!