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Instruments of Joy

What if the next Beethoven was born in a remote village in Africa? In our world, 1.1 billion people scrape by on less than $1 dollar per day. If the next Beethoven’s parents made only $365 a year, how could they afford to buy a quality instrument for their child?


It was on a trip to Malawi that Joshua MacLeod, President of Watermelon Ministries, met a talented young musician who was passionate about serving orphans with music. The fact that young man himself was an orphan, and that he didn’t have enough money to buy a guitar, didn’t stop him from giving his best. What struck Joshua most about this young man was his talent. Somehow, he made beautiful music from a gas can and a block of wood that he had fashioned together as a makeshift guitar. When the young man sang, his music changed the atmosphere of the orphanage and gloomy faces became bright with smiles and singing.  Joshua sat and wondered how a person with so little resource could bring such delight to needy children. Perhaps there is more to fighting poverty than food and clothing? Perhaps the gift of music should be considered in developing countries. This young man was making music to bring joy and it was having a tremendous impact on his community.

Watermelon Ministries started Instruments of Joy (IOJ) and began distributing instruments to aspiring musicians in the developing world. To date, IOJ has given away quality musical instruments and training in 8 different countries in the developing world. If the next Beethoven is born in a remote village in Africa, we’re going to see to it that he’s given a quality instrument and training!