How We Became Musicianaries - Part 3
It was an upright piano in the back corner of a long room at ARISE. Eric was practicing 'He Knows' and I was sitting next to him, hanging out, waiting for him to finish. After awhile I began to sing a little harmonies here and there. A friend walked through the door close to the piano and said, "You guys should sing at the concert!" I said, "Yea, Eric's singing."
He responded, "No, you should both sing."
"No! Eric's gonna sing."
"You should both sing!!"
This went on for a few days, until I said, "Will you leave me alone if I say yes to singing with Eric?"
He left me alone, and Eric and I sang together for the first time. I was petrified. Literally, my hands were shaking before and after. During, I was just nervous. I actually chose to sit behind the piano. There I am in the photo below, trying my hardest to hide behind the piano and the light.
After the concert had finished our teacher, David Asscherick, said that the song was perfect for his sermon at GYC. He asked if we could come and sing for his sermon appeal. After a lot of praying, we felt a strong calling to commit and go to GYC 2009 in Louisville, Kentucky. We didn't have the money upfront to go, but based on how the Lord had blessed in the past, we prayed and took the risk to charged it to our emergency credit card. We have never regretting stepping out in faith!
Have you ever been scared to take a step into the unknown? To put yourself out into an uncertain situation? We stood backstage. The tightness and fluttering in my chest and the clamminess in my hands could only be described as fear. As we waited to sing in front of 6,000 people, my mind felt foggy. The fear inched its way into my mind. We prayed. For peace. For steadiness of voice. And to be used by God. As we walked out to the sea of people. Peace descended. This was only the third time we had sung together in public. It was an incredible experience!
After GYC we were led back to Melbourne with Eric getting a Bible worker position at a church and me as a Bible/Religion high school teacher in the Western suburbs of Melbourne. We had a great year of ministry in one of the least christian western suburbs in the southern hemisphere. Throughout the year we gradually came to the realisation that God was opening up more doors in the direction of music ministry. We were praying and trying to figure out how to afford our first record when we were approached by Psalter studios in at the Adventist Media Centre (based in Sydney). Recording albums are expensive and we had no idea how we were going to be able to do this album, to be called 'Pilgrim'. Psalter offered us to become signed artists which meant they would fund our first album upfront and we would pay off the project via a buy-back scheme at $7 per CD. We were so thankful to God for opening up this door and for Psalter, especially Tim Burcham and Dale Willis, for all their help and vision. They were an amazing team organising super talented session players and bringing our ideas for this album to light.
As time progressed we could see through many ways that God was leading us into full-time music ministry. We prayed a lot about it. We told our friends and family that we were going to go into music ministry full-time at the end of the year (2010). The end of the year came. We got scared. We doubted that God could take care of us while putting ourselves into His hands so completely, financially. It sounds weird as God had given us so much evidence of how we could trust Him for everything in the past. Yet, we doubted. So, we stayed. This scenario repeated for the next two years.
Throughout this time when we were struggling with God calling, God opened the door for us to be involved in the formation of Songs of Ascent (SOA). SOA is a ministry under the umbrella of ARISE & Lightbearers. As a collective of musicianaries, we came together to do music evangelistic tours with an evangelist speaking throughout the concert to create a seamless creative narrative on the character of God. Around this time we had also begun to do music/sermons at churches around Victoria in Australia. Doors continued to open and God continued to impress upon us that He was leading us into full-time music ministry. We are so thankful for the continued support and spiritually-minded advice from our friends in the picture below throughout this time and into the present. They all mean so much to us. We praise God that He brought them all into our life and we get the privilege of doing ministry together.
Full-time music ministry was a scary thought as it was very comfortable to keep our regular jobs with all the security that they brought. We both really came to understand the Israelites' doubt of God after they had been bought out of Egypt. He had shown them multiple amazing signs of His providence. And yet they doubted. We had seen and experienced physical signs of God looking after us. We have discovered that faith and trust in God is like a muscle that needs exercise. And that to surrender to Him takes a daily surrender. After a lot of praying and planning we decided to go into full-time music ministry at the beginning of 2013.
To be continued... ~ Monique
If you missed:
To Read Part 1 - Click Here
To Read Part 2 - Click Here
To Read Part 4 - Click Here