Nominees For the Duncan Africa Guitar Give-A-Way (Part 2)

Featuring Ryan Dahl Posted on January 12, 2014

On January 6, 2014, we saw nearly 1000 people nominate others to win our Duncan Africa Guitar.  While there was only one winner, we received permission from more than 250 applicants to post the comments from their nomination. There are pages and pages of them, but it makes a great read to see people honoring others.  In so many ways, all of these men and women are winners, as they press on in their ministry, whether or not they are publicly acknowledged.

Elaina is a gifted 16-year old musician who, in addition to being a talented guitarist, is also excellent on ukelele, violin, and piano. She is hard-working, self-motivated, enthusiastic, reliable and God-honoring. She would appreciate the value of this beautiful instrument and put it to good use. It is my pleasure to work with her on our church's worship team. This gift would be a great way to encourage young people to continue to dedicate their musical abilities to the Lord.Andreia Nienow, for Elaina Andre

I am nominating Ryan Paonessa. He is the new Director of Worship at my church, Peoples Church. Ryan is a great guy with a humble heart. He recently stopped working his secular job to follow the Lord's leading into full time ministry. His current guitar is giving him problems and I don't believe he can afford to purchase a new right now. This is why I believe he should be given this wonderful guitar. ~ Angela Melanson, for Ryan Paonessa

Hello judging panel for the DA guitar give a way, this is a great opportunity to bless a Jesus loving, hard working pastor in Chilliwack, and his wife. I, Alison, had it on my heart, back in 2009 to somehow provide a guitar for Matt after Chris and I saw him at a DA open house a years earlier. I talked to him at that time and he said he would love one, but couldn't afford it. On a pastors salary, no kidding. I first met Matt back in 1999, I believe, when we volunteering as leaders at Charis Camp in Rosedale. He was a teen then, just getting established in his journey with the Lord. He has led worship since then, and has gone on to pastor, and is married to Ashley. Though we aren't in contact, its awesome to see through the gravevine, and media what the Lord is accomplishing with Matt and Ashley. It would great to bless Matt and Ashley with a DA guitar! My hubby really enjoys his DA, so I think it would be cool to spread the joy of owning and playing a DA to another fellow guitar enthusiast! Respectfully, the Rachel's Chris and Alison Rachel, for Matt Rempel

Sam is as kind of a man that you will find. He is on our worship team and doesnt know the word no when you ask of his help. He has a strong connection with God and serves tirelessly. I'm grateful to have him as a friend and in our ministry. Arthur Stephens, for Sam Camden

Andrew is a young and upcoming leader in our church. He has a heart for the local church but also for the nations. He has a heart to serve in any way he can (and does) but is gifted in the area of worship. He is allowig the Lord to train him through older mature leadership which has already taken him to foreign countries. He has turned around and what has been planted in his heart is now sowing into the young lives at our church school. He is endeavoring to reach out to those his same age in the classes he attends at his university. I think winning this guitar would enable him in the work and calling of the Lord and hopefully open the door to share a wonderful testimony of God's blessing and provision. Sandy Floyd, for Andrew Fajkus

Keith Provence is the worship leader of the church where we are members, West Baptist Church in Batesville, Arkansas. I have known Keith my entire life - he and I grew up together in church. Keith is a great man of God who leads us in very spiritually uplifting worship every Sunday. He puts in several hours a week collaborating with our pastor in planning the worship service and rehearsing with our praise team and praise band; Keith does these things voluntarily, and does not want to receive any pay or any recognition for what he does. He just loves the Lord and wants to serve Him in any capacity that he can. Keith has played the guitar since his early teens, and he has even written and recorded several Christian songs. 

Keith is a building contractor by trade; last spring, he utilized his building skills for the Lord by traveling to Nicaragua with a group of men from our church to help build a house for a missionary in a small, rural community. This missionary and his family had been living in a Sunday School classroom in their church building, and did not have indoor plumbing or kitchen facilities. Keith and the other men from West Baptist followed up after another church group and plumbed, wired, and put a roof on the house. I think winning the Duncan Africa guitar would be a terrific way to recognize the work Keith Provence does for the Lord. Paul Barrett, for Keith Provence

Scott has a great heart for the Lord and is an authentic leader of worship. He's been a stellar volunteer in our young church (6 year old church plant) and he's gone over and above to help encourage our church to worship fully. He's got a great ear toward both the past songs of worship and current songs and does a nice job with his laid back style. I believe he is ready for a step up in his worship leading toolkit and this guitar could help! Ben Bauman, for Scott Viner

She's my wife, the love of my life and the best thing in the my life bar Christ. She was actively involved in music ministry before marriage and kids happened. I'd love for her to be able to minister to us again, and this would be the perfect gift not only to show my love and support, but to spur her on as well. She's really gifted :) McAnthony Ben-Ameh, for Tongriang

I am nominating Pat Shelby for the Duncan Africa acoustic guitar. Pat is worthy of this exciting guitar because he completely matches the name of the sponsor.....Integrity. I don't know a better example of a man of integrity than Pat Shelby. Pat has a passion for developing his skills on the guitar to share with others- not just for self-centered gain. Pat has devoted his life work to using his God-given guitar talent as a worship leader, guitar teacher, and song arranger. Pat keeps his rates very affordable and so would not be able to afford to buy this guitar. This guitar would be used to help lead others in praise and worship and to help others develop their guitar skills. Pat has integrity because his heart for playing skillfully to benefit others is genuine. This guitar would be used skillfully to strum life-changing chords into the hearts and lives of many. ~ Brenda Shelby, for Pat Shelby

Rodney is a giver. He gives of his time, his talents, his money (which he doesn't have much of), his resources and his knowledge. Rodney mentors and gives so much to the young people in our small town. Rodney loves music and believes everyone has a little bit of musical talent in them. He gives piano, keyboard, guitar, and drum lessons. Rodney is also a veteran and an active rescue squad and volunteer fire dept. member. He serves faithfully in his church and also in our small town. I am nominating Rodney because I think it would be such a blessing to give him a guitar that represents so much about the giving spirit. ~ C.J. Andrews, for Rodney Denson

Joe is our worship leader at Rustic Hills Community Church in Sioux Falls, SD. He is a singer/songwriter who has felt God's leading in his life to create music for the church. I have known Joe for quite a few years, and I know how he loves the Lord and depends on Him daily. This is a true man of God, and if he would win this beautiful instrument, God's music would be played from it! Thank you for making this opportunity available - God bless you and may He bless the receiver of this instrument with more glorious music! ~ MelaDee Ammann, for Joe Brandner

Bob has been through quite a few substance abuse chapters in his life. He hocked equipment that was dear to him just to maintain his habit. Although Bob has always known the Lord (he is playing in our praise band at Sandbridge Chapel), just recently he let go,let God and quit cold turkey. Now he continues to find lost joy and rebuild his life. He is a wonderful guitar player and would truly appreciate both the physical and musical beauty of this instrument. Thanks for considering him. ~ Bryan Harrell, for Bob Draper

I'm nominating my husband, Bobby. He has had the same guitar for at least 32 years, and I've often joked that if a fire broke out he would save the guitar and come back for me! This past March he had an accident at work, and broke both wrists, his thumb, and his leg. While recovering from the accident, surgeries, and unfortunately a staph infection, there was a question of whether he would be able to play again. He is the worship leader at our small church, and when he played his guitar and sang at church for the first time in nine months, my tears flowed for the grace that God granted him in being able to play again. He his still facing more leg surgery, therapy, and recovery. Although life as he knew it has changed drastically, he still knows his strength and hope are in God alone. This guitar would be such a blessing to a wonderful man! Although I may be placing myself in more danger since he would have two guitars to save before me, it's a chance I'm willing to take! Thank you so much for your consideration! ~ Teresa Smith, for Bobby Smith

Julia Reinisch is passionate about many things, but in particular, justice for young people in poverty and worship through music. She has a deep faith in the Lord and is guided daily by Him. She graduated in 2012 with a degree in Social Work and has been using that to help homeless youth in the Twin Cities area of Minnesota. This employment has allowed her to help youth get housing, education and job skills. She also enjoys leading worship in many different capacities, especially with youth. She has lead worship teams from Middle and High School youth groups to College groups and at her church. Julia deserves to win because her passions and values match that of this company. ~ Skye Campbell, for Julia Reinisch

I am nominating my teenage son. Andrew has been a late blessing in our lives and we know God has a great plan for him. We were told he had Down Syndrome and they wanted us to abort him. We definitely said no and that God had a plan for our son. He was born and Andrew was perfect in every way. He did not have Down Syndrome!! We proved them wrong. Our son has been taking guitar lessons and he is eager to become part of the worship team at church. I feel that he could really be encouraged more by winning this guitar which would allow him more responsibility and determination to succeed in the plans God has laid out for him. He is developing into a very handsome young man, but he especially has a sensitivity towards people who are left out of the social norms. He reaches out to them and plans to use his love of God and Christian music to reach more of the outcasts in society. Any encouragement to continue is such a hard ministry would be appreciated and considered a blessing from God. We know God will use him immensely and are eager to see him grow into a great man of God! ~ Brenda Canada, for Andrew Canada

Chris is a 24 year old young man who has been a part of our worship team for the last 5-6 years. He is extremely talented, yet very humble. He loves the Lord and his faith is lived out both inside and outside the church walls. Someone of his great talent might look to bigger fame, but I am thankful that he uses his gift to praise our God, and lead others to do the same in our community here in Mechanicsville, Virginia. He is very deserving of this Duncan Africa guitar. ~ Carol Golden, for Chris Patterson

Red is the pastor of Aggressive Ministries church in Pacific WA. He is a singer, songwriter, guitarist, minister of the gospel. He is devoted to changing the lives of people from the depths like prison, drugs, and gangs, and helping them become missionaries to their family and world. His background is from the outlaw motorcycle gangs, so he can reach his audience with a compassionate knowledge of their circumstances. In his spare time, he sings the gospel in the bars and casinos shining the Light of Jesus wherever he can. ~ James Carter, for Red Wilson

I am Ministry Assistant to our Worship Pastor, and Chris is one of our Lead & Rhythm Guitar Players. He has been so faithful to our ministry, even though his wife has been battling cancer for many years. She has been through breast cancer, remission, and now cancer has shown up in several other areas of her body. Through all of this, Chris has been faithful to the band. His wife tells me that playing his guitar is therapy for him. It helps to relieve his stress level and gives him an outlet that is very important for him. They live in constant stress of Dr. appointments, tests, and waiting for results. I really admire Chris, because I feel many people would have just opted to step back and be depressed and overwhelmed by the circumstances under which they live, but instead, both he and his wife realize the great comfort he receives from playing in our band. I think Chris is a very humble and deserving nominee for this beautiful instrument. ~ Cheryl Konkle, for Chris Minich


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