Monday, February 01, 2010


The Gift of Music

Thursday I was blessed with an opportunity to not only visit the Salvation Army School for the Blind in Kingston, but also to see the joy that is experienced when blessing someone with a gift.
 Sanjay Reid, Sarah Klapak and Jade Morgan with their new guitar
This fall Sarah (pictured above) volunteered for 3 months at the School for the Blind, but with her passion being in deaf education, she also looked into schools for the deaf when she arrived in October. After finding out about our Kingston campus, she got connected with our principal, Maria Lawrence, and was able to spend two days a week working with our teen class at CCCD. She came back last week to visit both schools, and I was able to go with her to see the blind school for the first time. I was impressed with its size. They have not only the school for the blind, but also an orphanage, retirement area, and homes for the infirmed. I'm hoping for an opportunity to get involved at the school for the blind, possibly doing after school tutoring. Anyways, back to the story I got sidetracked from....when she was here this fall, Sarah taught two musically gifted boys how to play basic chords on a guitar. They "picked" (i am so funny with puns, don't you agree momma?) it up quickly and were making a lot of progress, but that all ended when Sarah left in December and took her sister's guitar with her back to Canada (oh yeah, I forgot to mention that although Sarah is pretty cool, she is Canadian and talks funny). So, coming back last week was in large part because she wanted to get the boys a guitar. We checked out a couple stores here in Kingston before we found a shop that had the perfect guitar, at a great price, and a great store owner that even threw in some free stuff once we told him what we were doing with the guitar. The boys were SO excited and appreciative to have a guitar ALL FOR THEIR OWN! I was blessed to see the joy in all three of them, and Lord willing I may get to know these boys even better.

I do NOT talk funny!
Wow I am so excited to have found this post! I traveled to Jamaica back in 1999 on a college missions trip and we spent a week at the Salvation Army School for the Blind in Jamaica. My group actually installed the playground equipment on both sides of the campus - hopefully it is still there and serving the kids well! In any case the reason I found your post was that I met Sanjay when I was there, and was so touched by him. He was probably 6 or 7 at the time, and was the sweetest little boy. He really touched my heart and I ended up sponsoring him for a number of years when I came back. Recently my husband and I were considering a trip to Jamaica with my 2 kids and I got to thinking about my time there so I did a search for the school and "Sanjay" (couldn't remember his last name) just to see if by chance there was anything published online about him or the school and this blog post came up! I would recognize that face and smile anywhere! In any case, it warmed my heart to see he is still doing well and finding all of his unique talents and gifts in music. It really is a small world. Thanks for the post and God Bless!
Hi Blake and Sarah!
My name is also Sarah and I've been visiting the School for the Blind about once a year since March 2008. Sarah -- they are always so excited when I get there because they have heard that "Sarah" is back... and I'm sure they are referring to you! We have never met, but I have certainly heard amazing things about you and your ministry with the children - especially with music. They ALL love you and on each and every trip (next month will be my 5th), at least one or two conversations start with "Sarah taught us this". I am not kidding. I know it is you because they told us that you are Canadian.
I have no idea if you will ever read this posting, because I also found it by searching for "Sanjay Reid". He is a dear sweet friend, and my church sponsored a trip for him and Capt. Lyons to visit Atlanta (where I live), to perform his piano music (namely, "Rose Petals") one year ago. He is truly an inspirational person and my church is currently in the process of raising money to buy him a new piano (well, a new piano for the School). I would love to send you a picture of my husband sitting with Sanjay last March (one month after you gave him the guitar pictured above), and helping him practice his chords.
Blake, thank you so much for the blog post about Sanjay -- you've made this world a much smaller place for at least 3 of us!
Sarah W. from Atlanta
Sarah W, please e-mail me at I have some links to youtube video's and such I'll send your way. just e-mail me so I have your address...i'm up at the blind school about once or twice a week in the spring so maybe we'll cross paths when you come. when sanjay went up to Atlanta last year I skyped with him while he was at someone's home, perhaps that was you and your husband? he certainly is a special young man! blessings :D

ps - and yes, everyone talks about Sarah from canada or, as they say, Miss K...she did amazing work!
Oh my goodness, I just read these posts and I'm so excited. Sarah W, that is so funny that the kids were confusing us! I miss them terribly. I am on Skype with Sanjay right now and he was reminding me about this blog and he told me that he was trying to get in touch with Ashley again and so I found the blog to look at the postings. So cool to hear about other ppl's connections with the SA school, especially Sanjay. Thanks Blake, for bringing us all together! :)
Sarah K.

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