Now a renowned international worship leader, Noel Robinson distinctly remembers being handed an oversized guitar by his dad when he was just six years old.
Knowing how valuable that encouragement was in helping him forge his own musical path, Noel Robinson shares with us five ways we can help children follow their dreams.
Tell us about your recent trip to Kenya?
Kenya was amazing! I’ve been out to Compassion projects before but this was the first time I got to go with my wife, Tanya. We were so grateful for the opportunity to meet the children and the devoted project staff and the church leaders together.
One of my favourite moments was when we arrived at the project in the Nairobi slum and the children welcomed us with singing and celebration, they started to sing ‘You give life’ which is from my latest album. I was so moved, they had no idea that I had written the song, it was such a surreal and beautiful moment, hearing their young voices singing out my lyrics.
We love that you discovered your passion and talent for music as a young boy. Can you share with us 5 ways to help a child to follow their dreams.
1. Help them discover their talents.
I grew up around music. My dad was a guitarist and my mother played the piano, so I was only six years old when I became completely besotted with playing the guitar. I love how Compassion encourages children to realise their potential and also provides the support and resources needed to nurture those talents. I got to see this in action when we sat in on a music class at one of the projects.
2. Inspire them to go the distance.
As I grew up, I went through times when my motivation to develop my music wavered; I wanted to be going out with my friends instead of putting in the time rehearsing. However, my Dad always encouraged me to keep going and pushed me to pursue my dreams. He reminded me that the hard work would be worth it - his belief in me and my future was invaluable in shaping who I would grow up to become.
3. Create opportunities.
I believe that by supporting a child through sponsorship we help to provide life-changing opportunities.
On my recent trip I met a boy who was around 17-years old. He told me his dream is one day become a doctor, so he could go back and help his community. The teenager had grown up in a Compassion project, and it was evident what a difference this had made. He had so much vision and drive to achieve his dreams. Despite growing up in difficult circumstances, he was overflowing with hope and a determination to make a difference.
4. Give your time.
We sponsor four children in our household, all under the age of 15 and it’s great to see how each one has individually grown over the years. When we invest in our sponsored child by writing letters of love and encouragement and by praying for them, we don’t always know the powerful seeds we are planting. We could be nurturing the next prime minister or president of a country; each child has so much potential, they could go on to change a whole community or even a nation.
5. Believe in the miraculous potential of a child.
I wrote the lyric “Do it in me, do it through me, miracles, signs and wonders.” We sometimes think of miracles as huge things, but for someone who has no water, the presence of water in their environment is a miracle. I feel part of our journey is to be carriers of the miracles of Christ. God can take the small things we do and use them to make a big impact for his Kingdom.
I met a young worship leader called Jude at the church in Nairobi; he asked if he could borrow my guitar, but instead I had the opportunity to give him a brand new one through a great charity called Guitar Aid who had generously donated this ahead of our trip. It made such a difference and it was my way of saying, "I believe in you! Keep going with your dream." It reminded me of when my Dad first gave me a guitar - I didn’t know it back then, but that moment would change the entire course of my life.