Greetings! These past few months have given me some excellent opportunities. On July 18th., unexpectedly, I was called to share a story (testimony) and song at a gathering at the University of British Columbia. The event was an annual dinner hosted by the Vancouver School of Theology to commemorate and further enhance the reconciliation process between the First Nations People and the church for the wrongs that had been committed towards our people during the residential school era. In spite of the tremendous, positive strides made toward healing and forgiveness- this still remains an area of extreme sensitivity. One of my older brothers who was a participant in this two week, VST training program was called on to speak- to sing and share. He got to the front and said, "I'm very glad to have this opportunity to be before you and I thank you for it...however, I think I'll give up this time and call my youngest brother, Godwin, to come and share a bit of his story and a song." My brother continued in a way that only a big brother can who was so proud of his youngest brother; he so exemplified his happiness and support toward me. He was obviously very, very proud. This was very important to me. As he spoke his words caused me to well with emotion and even though the request came as a surprise and made me slightly nervous- it made me want to perform my best. My brother continued, "Godwin recently released his first CD and it's really awesome. The songs are pretty amazing. And as my brother, our youngest brother, we do a lot of sharing, a lot of talking. He has so many great stories; so many great things to share" He stood and looked toward me, motioning, "Come on up brother." I went to the front...first to the mike, and then the guitar.
It was an amazing time of sharing as I shared my story of the beginnings of my journey to wellness. The brokenness, the heart-ache, and the pain. The intricate plan of God and the fanciness of His handiwork in putting every piece of the puzzle together that would lead to my eventual recovery. Strength and hope found through death, defeat, and weakness. More than a light at the end of the tunnel dragging the weights of the world behind me. I have this gift to speak that people do truly hear; do truly listen. I have this gift to speak that my words sink deeply into your spirit and into your soul- I have this gift to speak...that when I cry- you cry with me; when I laugh- you laugh with me. In the end you are left inspired, moved, and motivated. You are impacted, encouraged, and you are changed: You will see the world differently. At this time, as we moved from tragedy to triumph, I could not count the number of eyes filled with tears but could only see the cloths and napkins that wiped these eyes. To punctuate the victory and accentuate the grace, I picked up the guitar and sang "Your Presence". It was a beautiful, full-filling time. A time of absolute prosperity.
On July 3rd. I was a guest on "World Poetry Cafe" on Co-op Radio. A one hour program- sharing my music, stories, and poetry. This too was an amazing experience. I've been a returning guest on this show, but this time, returning with my first professionally recorded CD. The show, as reported back to me by the main host, was an absolute success as many people contacted her and continued to contact her days and weeks later talking about my poetry and music. I am so grateful. When I left the radio station, I felt too, it was by far the best show I'd ever done...and it was so much fun! Yes, amidst the poetry and song, we laughed, teased, and joked. It was amazing!
Today, I had the opportunity to share again at a "World Poetry" event at a Vancouver Public Library, Renfrew Branch. I'm in transition in life right now...letting go the security of the past and stepping boldly into my creative, artistic future. This became the focus of my sharing and the inspiration behind the two new poems that I've just written: they're powerful, and beautiful- and they have "music" written all over them. They were well received and described as "amazing and inspirational". Singing along with my CD, I sang "Your Presence". As I sang a lady in the audience began to quietly weep, tears flowing down her face. When I finished she looked at me and smiled, saying, "That's so beautiful. That's such a beautiful song." I smiled back and said, "Thank you!" I thanked her for her true expression of gratitude and gave her a copy of my CD. She was deeply moved...and expressed, very honored. I am so grateful for my life; all of the hardship, terror, torture and pain: it was worth it all.
Take care! We will meet again...Godwin.