I first visited Mizoram in 2005, and saw a special place that has challenges, but also a happy, hospitable and grateful people. The region is a hidden gem in the mountains of North East India. The people who live there work hard and take pride in their work, both in providing for themselves and their community.
They may not have much, but they share what they do have. I will never forget seeing young teenagers in Mizoram, raising money to support other young people going off and start new Salvation Army fellowships in places such as Burma (now Myanmar). This is the true spirit of The Salvation Army.
Despite their limited resources, The Salvation Army in Mizoram has a faith and a commitment that will impact and challenge our kids. On this trip, our Southern California youth will learn that life in America is good, and that they are blessed. They will learn to appreciate what they have, and they'll learn that they can inspire, teach and bless people on the other side of the world.
Most importantly, they will see there are young Salvationists just like them, and that together we can all make this world a better place. The Divisional Youth Band may think they are going to bless the people of Mizoram--but I think in the end, it will be the other way around.
This will be a life changing event that will impact the lives of both those who make the long journey, and those they visit. Barriers and prejudices will be broken down on both sides. The trip will help build lifelong friendships, cultural awareness, and an understanding that people, while different, are also very much the same.
Through your generous support, not only will American and Indian lives be impacted, but these international relationships will be strengthened--not just by those who visit, but through the stories told when they return.
Lt. Col. Kyle Smith
On its 30 year anniversary, The Salvation Army Southern California Divisional Youth Band is embarking on a trip to Mizoram, a small state in northeast India to spread the love of music.
The Salvation Army's music ministries teach people of all ages how to sing and play instruments to be a blessing to others. Whether it's playing in a Salvation Army band, singing in a choir, or playing instruments at a Christmas kettle, Salvation Army music ministries provide participants with a lifetime of fulfillment through musical excellence with spiritual purpose.
Choose a band member you want to support by visiting their fundraising page below.