Healing the World through Music
The Story of Music Indeed
The story of Music Indeed and “Doing Good Deeds” is for now, the story of G. Edwin Bryant, Sr (Bryant) of Liberia, Africa, and Eric Bryant (Eric) of Maine USA.
In the summer of July 2016, Eric attended a day-long leadership training event in Massachusetts. Up with the sun and on the road with a few friends, he could never have known that it would be a day that would change his life. Exactly a year before, at a weekend event dedicated to uncovering one’s legacy, he had refined his purpose statement, “Healing The World Through Music”. It fit perfectly. It inspired him. It expressed his life and his legacy. Having begun playing worship music in church publicly at age 11, becoming a worshiper of God, a worship leader, and music minister over the years since, this was clearly his God-inspired purpose.
#5. Donating Instruments
At the close of the training day a challenge was offered: List 10 tasks you can complete over the next 2 weeks that express yourself as the leader you are. All of Eric’s list items were related to music, and one item was to donate some musical instruments overseas. He called World Vision and they didn’t have a campaign for instruments at that time. He called The African Children’s Choir. They were building a new school in Africa and taking donations. It didn’t fit the challenge.
For over 30 years, the Music for Life Foundation has taken children in, fed and housed them, and put them through school. In addition to biblical training, they learn music–and they learn it incredibly well! When they’re ready, they go on an 18 month world tour, performing and sharing Music for Life’s mission.
Eric and his wife, Tina, had hosted the African Children’s Choir overnight in their home multiple times. The fellowship with these amazing children is phenominal! They’re so polite and loving and call you Uncle and Auntie. On one tour Eric got to play and sing his favorite worship songs with them.
To say that the kids melted Eric’s heart would be an understatement. To say that the mission of the Music for Life Foundation was an inspiration to him would be yet another gross understatement. Eric, who is adopted himself, had always had a heart for helping orphans.
Building Schools in Liberia
Eric, and Bryant, (G. Edwin Bryant, Sr) had “met” on Facebook some 2 years prior in 2014. Bryant had started a school in 2002 and had since expanded to 4 locations since 2002. They said “Hello” and not much else. Over the next 2 years Eric watched Bryant build new schools, brick by brick, sheet by sheet of rusty, used roofing material, over days and months time. It’s not like in the US where you see a “Coming Soon” billboard one day, and a month later you can attend the grand opening.
After the ebola crisis, which was brought to Liberia by a man crossing the border and returning with pepper, Bryant declared, “Liberia must feed itself!” and he dedicated 14 acres of his to a community garden. Eric watched this all from afar. Tilling the soil, planting, watering, harvesting, until one day Bryant declared, “Our first harvest is going to market!” Picture this, the most gigantic cabbages you can imagine, as big as basketballs, burlap bags overfilled with them, and tied with rope to the roof of a car as they had no truck–but how could that stop them? Amazing. Inspiring.
We’re Going to be Teaching Music!
Back to the day after Eric hung up with the African Children’s Choir office. He turned to Facebook, to Bryant’s profile page. In his usual, faith-filled way of declaring things into existence though they are not yet, Bryant proclaimed, “For the first time, our schools will be teaching music, piano and voice!”
Picture Bryant standing in a dusty sunlit classroom, with no electricity, surrounded by a few musical instruments, and holding in his hands a saxophone with no mouthpiece. Declaring it. We will be teaching music! Eric called himthat vwey day, and they spoke for the first time. They spoke. They prayed. They hung up, and Eric now knew where the instruments were going!
He looked into Bryant’s background. He was a man of faith, active in his local church, singing on the worship team. He had started 4 schools on a mission from God, and was waiving tuition for children who had lost their parents in the ebola crisis, placing them in foster homes. He had a crate full of certificates of appreciation from far and wide for participating and helping in various ways.
Eric asked how he operated the schools and was presented with a multi-page management document outlining all the school’s policies, from enrolling kindergarten students through grade 12, all the way to teacher retirement.
OK Let’s Try this…
If anyone knows anything, it’s that you don’t wire money to Africa. Right? Right. Eric figured if he was going to help equip the music labs, and ask others to help, he’d best be the first to give it a go. He wired $250 cash to Bryant through Western Union, enough to purchase 2 used keyboards at the DKD Enterprises thrift store, 40 minutes away in Monrovia, Liberia.
Bryant went there that week, got the cash, and sent a cell phone picture of it! The next day he sent a cell phone picture of a receipt for 2 keyboards. The next week Eric sent more funds, and that’s how this whole thing got started. (Photoshop won’t actually open a photo of cash, so we hope this edited-down version will do.)
The First Public Children’s Gospel Choir Concert.
Realizing a life-long dream, Eric created a public nonprofit charity under the name of Music Indeed, Inc., in the State of Maine, in October 2018 and attained IRS 501c3 approval in February 2019.
Music Indeed has a Board of Directors & Advisors that meet regularly to develop strategy and plans for the growing operations.
As President of Music Indeed, Inc., I could not be more thrilled at what’s happening, and the opportunity to help. We continue to work on fully equipping the Music Labs at The Bryant School System.
Thank you for your continued support!
Music Indeed, Inc.