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Gifts of Music and Time, A Woven Thread through the Generations

Match Mission with Joy as a Volunteer.

Welcome friends to Holy Hills, my name is April Cranford.

Whenever we serve in mission or volunteer work, our time and skills are offered without payment. Most mission participants would consider themselves volunteers, however not all volunteers consider themselves on a mission.

Jesus offers us the best piece of advice in Matthew 25 to move us from a volunteer role that freely gives our time and skill to serving in mission with a kingdom perspective. Whenever we see Jesus as the receiver of our food, clothes, and visits, then our giving, welcoming, and visiting are transformed into holy adventures for the kingdom.

I am with my friend Justina who is a talented musician, creative artist, and one of the kindest women I know. May hearing her childhood story and listening to her beautiful music, transform all your volunteer roles into future mission opportunities.

"My story begins when I was around five or six and my mom had this idea to visit my old Sunday school teacher, Margaret Kiefer, who was ill at the time. I believe she was under Hospice care. I had such a close relationship with Mrs. Kiefer. She was very my first Sunday school teacher, I loved her. When my mom had heard she was in Hospice care, she thought I should play my violin for Mrs. Keifer to see if that brought her any comfort. I remember distinctly going to the nursing home where she lived and I was scared since this was my first time being in a nursing home. However, when I saw Mrs. Keifer she recognized me and I felt instantly comforted. I thought to myself that I am going to play some of my favorite Sunday school hymns that she taught our class, one being "Jesus Loves Me." A lot of school aged children know that song. Another favorite hymn of hers was "Trust and Obey." I played both of those for Mrs. Keifer, she loved it. I feel it was a few days shortly after that we heard Mrs. Keifer had passed away.

Since that moment, I remember my mom would take me to the same nursing home and additional nursing homes that were near our house. We would volunteer over time. I remember from that childhood experience, I would offer to others what I did for Mrs. Keifer comfort of music and healing through that music during that time when some patients were experiencing their last days.

For me, I will always treasure those memories of my mom encouraging me to volunteer my time. She would always tell me that I had this gift, this talent to offer people music.

Justina (age 11) playing violin with her Uncle Tony.

That was one of my childhood memories and that connected me somehow to my grandmother as well. My mother's mother whom I had never met had done the same thing. She was a wonderful singer and also a wonderful violinist. I had only heard stories of her. She would volunteer her time to visit prisoners and play music. I believe that was our thread through the generations, starting with my grandmother in the giving of her time to prisoners. And then me as a child, going with mom and offering of our time. Thank you for letting me share my story."

Jesus Loves Me & Trust and Obey, played by Justina, violinist

I encourage you to take take simple (or not so simple) step in mission this weekend by transforming all your volunteer roles into mission opportunities.

Take care and blessings to you this day.


Additional Resources

Music Lessons (from website) We offer private, one-on-one music lessons via Zoom or in person. Music theory lessons are also available. Instruments offered for instruction: piano, violin, viola, cello, guitar, clarinet, flute, and harp.

Live Events

Email us to book your next live event! Restaurant venues, weddings, corporate events, parties. Inquire for rates and details.

Connect with Justina and McHale for Music Lessons, Live Events, or Studio work at

Many thanks to McHale & Justina for the opening song, "Church in the Wildwood" in the video. Listen to music by McHale & Justina on Spotify and YouTube. Follow them on socials, Instagram and Facebook. Click on their picture to visit their website.


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