It’s no exaggeration to say that I have lived my life according to “gut reaction.”
I’m not sure that is the most healthy way to live, but for me, it has been a “God thing.” Soapbox grew organically – in other words, we did not rely on advertising and costly promotional campaigns. We prayed that God would open the right doors and close the wrong doors. That might sound naïve, but that is the way I have operated the whole of my life.
It started in bars, barges and cafes
And so it was that when I first started out in a music ministry in 1978, I ended up working with Youth For Christ around the Nederlands for a month, working in bars, barges and cafés. There I met the European direction of Youth For Christ, George Brucks, a Canadian. You guessed it. He invited me to tour Canada with him and I ended up travelling around the mighty Saskatchewan and British Colombia. After successful excursions into schools and colleges, where I performed in concerts and took “humanities” classes, I was then invited by George to tour in India – and off I went. It was a natural development, not sought after, it just happened that way.
It was after several tours in India that I was challenged by the extreme poverty I encountered in Calcutta, Madras, Hyderabad, Bangalore and Delhi. (They are now all spelt and pronounced differently of course). I found myself performing in concerts to thousands on college campuses and to my surprise, my name appeared on billboards and young people were wearing Steve Flashman t-shirts! A rather bizarre experience to say the least!
The good news of the Gospel goes hand in hand with justice for the poor, so, having been exposed to extreme poverty in India, I couldn’t ignore the call, and although I continued my music ministry, the experiences I had, stayed on the back burner, until God ignited the touch paper and boom, I was approached by World Servants to lead projects in the Dominican Republic to build a medical clinic and Ecuador to build an eye centre.
Doors were being opened and my gut feeling was on overdrive!
Sometimes it’s only in retrospect, that you can see how God has directed your life, even through the bewildering times, when nothing seemed to make sense. Somehow, God does his work in spite of our faltering steps.