A.G.

Last Friday, Red Thread Music welcomed Aaron Gillespie to Abilene for a benefit show at Monk’s Coffee Shop.

It was fantastic having the opportunity to get to know Aaron and the rest of the crew, they were a blast.

It turned out to be quite an eventful night.

During dinner, Aaron became increasingly concerned about his swollen finger. His past experience with infections, during his Underoath days when he was forced to take time off a tour to have emergency surgery, incited somewhat of a panic. The appearance of a red line down his finger, the visible indicator of blood poisoning, added a sense of urgency to the situation.

After consulting  a nurse friend of the host, Aaron decided to take his chances at the nearest clinic. We walked into the first clinic only to discover a packed waiting room; we got the number for another clinic across town and booked it over there, hoping we weren’t going to have to cancel the show that night.

At this point, I had already told our coordinator at Monks to stall the show as long as possible, then changed my mind and told him to rush the other sets so they could make it back to the first clinic before it closed at nine, and I called yet again when we arrived at the second clinic and discovered a completely vacant waiting room.

The nurse recognized Aaron and ask if he had just played a show yesterday and he said, “actually I’m playing in about 30 minutes,” and she realized the rush we were in and was incredibly accommodating.

He got in to see the doctor quickly while Angela and I sat in the waiting room and chatted. When he came out, he was limping. We asked what was wrong and he mumbled, “I got a shot in the butt,” and we chuckled as he rushed out the doors.

The clinic had blessed us incredibly! Not only did we arrive at Monks a good 10 or so minutes before they were scheduled to go on, but they gave Aaron the medical attention he needed completely free of cost.

Aaron was incredibly proud that his finger ended up being infected, since it proved that he was right and wasn’t throwing a fit over nothing, and they didn’t have to cut it open so he didn’t have to call off the rest of the tour like he had contemplated doing.

The show was fantastic, there was a great turn-out. Aaron said he’d never seen a coffee shop so packed. They were able to load up and hit the road pretty soon after it ended and made it to College Station that night.

Despite the chaos, I was able to have some good conversations with Aaron. He and his wife are very passionate about outreaches in Haiti and Uganda and we talked about the importance of establishing the foundation of mission work on a local level.

He works a lot with Compassion and they operate by partnering with local churches that set up programs to reach out to the local kids in need.

Outreaches aren’t nearly as effective if foreigners come in with the expectation of being able to fix the community’s problems with money and their foreign ideas. You have to be sensitive to the culture and work with, not against, that which is already established there.

For Nepal, that requires girls to go and talk to other girls- their friends, their sisters, their cousins- about trafficking. It requires a better sense of community so that the villages as a whole can work together to protect their girls.  That way the collective mindset that women are inferior can begin to change from the inside out, that way the locals will actually take the lessons taught to heart.

 This isn’t something we can do as outsiders, it requires an inside transformation. That’s why I love the way our partners in Nepal operate. First off, they are a Nepalese NGO, they were not set up by foreigners. Also, they focus on staffing their establishments with locals who are easy to relate to and they are hugely focused on setting up Ambassador clubs and sewing centers in villages as a way of bringing about transformation. I am very hopeful about the effects this kind of structure is going to be able to bring about. There is going to be a great transformation in Nepal!

-S

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About redthreadmovement

The Red Thread Movement is a student initiative partnering with Eternal Threads to combat sexual slavery in Nepal. View all posts by redthreadmovement

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