As I sit here reflecting on our last trip to DR Congo, I hear myself saying ‘thank you’ over and over again in my head.
Thank you to our generous funders, thank you to my business partner, thank you to all our friends, colleagues, and members of the NGO community, and thank you to the musicians in the Kimbanguist Symphony Orchestra.
Thank you, merci, arigato, botondi.
It couldn't be said enough!
This past December, Kaori and I returned to the orchestra site with challenging teaching materials we created specifically for them. We worked for hours under the hot, Congo sun, and they responded with an overwhelming amount of commitment and concentration. I couldn’t have asked for a better exchange of energy, and I was grateful for the many ways in which they demonstrated their love and respect for us.
To put an operation like this into action in a country like DR Congo, so many things need to line up just right. Music Beyond is a 2-person operation, but in reality, we are constantly relying on the support of a whole community of people that have been rallying for us since the beginning.
Our friends, colleagues, and relatives have supported us in various ways, whether it is a specific skill (legal, financial, marketing, etc.), a monetary donation, or much needed spiritual support.
Once we landed in DR Congo, we were graciously welcomed into a warm community, who helped us secure housing and security, as well as a lot of insight into this world. From the Japanese Ambassador to the UN officer, we met so many kind supporters on this trip that helped us ‘get our feet wet’ and embark further into our work.
It was an exciting trip full of new discoveries, new challenges, and new beginnings, and I’m all the more empowered because Music Beyond is finding its way into a community of passionate professionals and generous hearts.
I may not be able to personally repay all the kindness and generosity that I’ve received. But I hope I’ll be able to share that positivity with the musicians in Kinshasa, where it can keep on spreading to an even wider community.