YWAM Alotau Campus Update | Symphony of Hope | YWAM Ships

YWAM Alotau Campus Update | Symphony of Hope

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Over 15 children sit cross-legged on the floor of the YWAM Alotau Campus classroom with their eyes focused on their teacher and their violins resting under their chins; they are hungry to master the art of such a foreign instrument.

These are the first children in Papua New Guinea to ever play such an instrument and though the sound is unfamiliar, it is bringing an unexplained sense of wonder and curiosity to those who hear it.

Their teacher is YWAM Symphony of Hope leader and founder, Doug McClure. Doug is a gifted cellist who uses his talent to help empower others through instrumental music training.

“At YWAM Symphony of Hope, we use instrumental music training to give hope to young people that they too can use their talent as a key to the hearts of people, and as a “passport” to the world through the international language of music.

“We have done this successfully with orphans and at-risk children in India, refugee children from the Middle East in Europe, and are now trialing it in Papua New Guinea at the YWAM Alotau Campus. The response has been over the top,” said Doug.

Brimming with joy and delight for the YWAM Symphony of Hope program is the Pastor of Alotau’s Christian Life Centre, Pastor Lasam Baloiloi.

“When the children first held the violin and started to play, there was joy in our hearts, and there was laughter! We asked, ‘is this really happening to us??!!’

“The sound of the violin just went into my soul,” said Pastor Lasam.

The first song ever played on the violin by the children is Papua New Guinea’s national anthem, “O Arise, All You Sons”.

“O arise all you sons of this land,

Let us sing of our joy to be free,

Praising God and rejoicing to be

Papua New Guinea.

Shout our name from the mountains to seas

Papua New Guinea;

Let us raise our voices and proclaim

Papua New Guinea.

Now give thanks to the good Lord above

For His kindness, His wisdom and love

For this land of our fathers so free,

Papua New Guinea.

Shout again for the whole world to hear

Papua New Guinea;

We’re independent and we’re free,

Papua New Guinea.”

The national anthem is a beautiful proclamation from a group of children who represent the future of their nation – one of the most fascinating, diverse countries on earth. Together, the children dream of playing the anthem in parliament house for their Prime Minister, national leaders, and dignitaries. It would be the first concert of its kind ever in the history of the nation.

Indeed, the music that rises out of the classroom windows is more than just notes and melodies, it is a song of hope and possibility.

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