Music Ministry

There is a group of church musicians here in Kpalimé who have a strong desire to help other churches' music ministries. Primarily, they plan to teach people in other churches how to play musical instruments in church. They are continuing one of my father's ministries here in Togo by helping church musicians and music leaders.

Thankfully, my father left us a few extra instruments here which we can continue to use. However, one of the trumpets which my father left was broken and missing a vital part. So the other day Mawko, the head of our new Christian musician association, took me to the instrument repairman. It was quite an experience.

The repairman lives only a 2 minute drive down the road from my house at the fringe of a small village at the foot of a mountain. Mawko told me that the man's father traveled to Germany and learned instrument repair in Europe. The son was apprenticed to his father and he is now the only local instrument repairman we know.

The repairman looked over our trumpet, moseyed to the back of his shop and found the spare part we needed. Then he handed Mawko a list of all the services he will do to fix the trumpet. The new part needed to be properly fitted, some other parts needed new welds, and the whole thing needed a good scrubbing then oil and grease. He said it would take half a day and we could pick it back up in the afternoon.

I was a little skeptical of the situation based on the visible condition of the other instruments in his shop. So I asked for an estimate. Mawko and the repairman bargained in Ewe language probably because they didn't want me to understand everything that was being said. I could tell that they were teasing each other over the prices being suggested.

Finally, they informed me that the total price for half a day's labor, the spare part, and the gas for welding would add up to 13,000 CFA (about $26).  Since that's way lower than the part and labor would cost in the States, I decided we could take the risk.

We came back and picked up the trumpet in the afternoon and it worked great. The only hang-up occurred when he and his friends had to scour the village to find change for my 5,000 CFA note ($10 bill). Making change in Togo is an adventure I'll have to describe in another blog post.

Please let me know if you are interested in donating any musical instruments like trumpets, trombones, baritones, keyboards, or guitars.