High Point family starts Rwandan music program

Mar. 25, 2014 @ 02:51 PM

The Gaskill family has lived in High Point since the early 1990s, but most of the family considers Rwanda home.
In May, the family will go on a long-term missions trip to start a band program at Green Hills Academy in Rwanda. Green Hills is a private school in Kigali started by the Rwandan president’s wife.
In 2011, the family — husband and wife Lance and Jen, and three children; Grace, 19, Adam, 16, and Miles, 11 — took a similar trip to start a band program at Kigali International Community School in Rwanda.
“When we first got the calling, it was to do anything the people needed us to do,” said Lance Gaskill. “The we thought about our strengths and learning to use those, and all my experience has been in music.”
Gaskill started the band program at Wesleyan Christian Academy in 1990 and has worked in various schools in the Triad teaching music. Gaskill said about 140 of the 200 students at KICS participate in the band program.
For their trip to KICS, the Gaskills received a lot of helpful donations of more than 45 band instruments and money for other equipment. Lance Gaskill said he hopes to receive the same help, if not more, this time around for the 1,500 students at Green Hills.
The Gaskill family, along with Rwanda Rising and Green Hills Academy, are sending over a container of instruments, music and equipment departing from Waxhaw, N.C., the first of April, and would like to have equipment and money collected before then.
“A lot of times, people have old instruments that they were going to sell on eBay for $20, and now they can turn it into something really valuable on the other side of the world,” Gaskill said.
Gaskill said several churches and local schools have partnered with his family, including Randleman High School, which donated its old uniforms, Wesleyan Christian Academy, Friendly Avenue Baptist and several others.
People can make donations at gaskillfamily5.wix.com/rwanda-rising or email gaskillfamily5@gmail.com for questions.
“Dreaming big and going after that dream is not natural for Rwandans because of their history of genocide,” Gaskill said. “This really helps them rebuild in post-genecide Rwanda.”
jhowse@hpe.com | 888-3617