Last Friday night we were given the opportunity to host a benefit show to raise money for summer student missionaries. We had planned on having local musicians put on a show for us. Student leaders, a TWU staff employee, and friends came to enjoy this time together.
We also had one of our guys that just started to get involved share some poetry with us that he wrote.
From student BSM leaders, to family and friends, we all sat and listened and enjoyed some dessert and hot drinks made with our new espresso machine for the BSM building.
The night did not turn out how I had planned at all. Usually, this is how most of my stories go.
There happened to be a free concert right across the street and ours was $10 a person. Even though the admission price went towards summer missions for college students, it was not free. The actual show started late and we had fun free styling on the mic, but as the night went on, people’s hearts started to change. God started to soften my heart to enjoy, trust, and to let Him work.
Instead of putting on a full show for people to enjoy, we opened the stage for students and guests to share their talents.
A student who is blind, and also very talented at playing the guitar, was guided to the stage and shared with us some of the amazing songs she had written. Many of our students were surprised to see and hear her.
A few men from a ministry called the Denton Freedom House came to support and share their talents. The new manager at Zera’s Coffee Company down the street, which is also connected to the Denton Freedom House, shared scripture and parts of his testimony. After a few people had left, I jumped on my keyboard as two of my young student leaders sang into the mic. One of them had gone through a hard week. She is firm in her beliefs, growing up as a pastor’s child, but what she shared next surprised us all, and broke our hearts.
She shared on the mic in front of people she barely knew how she had, just a few days prior, overdosed on painkillers in hope to end her life. She shared her broken heart with us after hiding it for so long. Others started to speak life and encouragement to her and share.
We ended up raising over $300 that night. Although I had really high hopes to meet our goal that night, God had other plans. God did not want us to just raise money to benefit the students serving as missionaries for the summer, but He wanted to benefit the audience, the helpers, and leaders. We gained much from this night. Lives were changed. Greater, deeper community was built. We became the church to each other.
From different backgrounds, church memberships, stories, and struggles, we believed in one God, which made us family.
Sharel Kaye Gaskey is serving, through Go Now Missions, as a campus missionary intern at Texas Woman’s University in Denton.