Don Stephens in Concert
Growing up in Westernport, Maryland (population 2,500), I began picking out tunes on the piano at the age of five when my grandmother gave us her old upright. Almost immediately I both lost myself and found myself again in my music. It became my retreat, my pasttime, and my therapist. By the time I was thirteen I was playing in a popular rock and roll band on Friday and Saturday nights and getting up on Sunday morning to play the pipe organ at the United Methodist Church. My identity and my life revolved around music until shortly after high school graduation when I heard about the love of Jesus at a summer church camp. That warm July evening became the pivotal point of my life as my heart, my dreams, and my priorities took an about-face in the direction of His cross. Suddenly I felt like I'd awakened to a whole different dimension where everything was clean, fresh, and bursting with life. From that moment on I began seeking God's will for my life.
I earned a BA degree in Music Ministry from West Virginia Wesleyan College and immediately pursued a career in music and youth ministry that led me down trails of adventure, challenge, and blessing. In 1993 God called me out of youth ministry into foreign missionary work with Youth With a Mission , (YWAM). Training at The University of the Nations in Kona, Hawaii, I later returned to the University to serve as a worship leader, and to work with the School of Worship. During those years I also had the honor of traveling with the Polynesian ministry team, Island Breeze. God opened many opportunities for me to share my musical gifts in churches, schools, civic clubs, jails, and concerts not only in the US, but in Europe, Southeast Asia, and Central and South America as well. In 1998 I took a leave of absence from the university staff and began concentrating on mission work among the Muslims in Sarajevo, Bosnia.
In 1994 when I affiliated with YWAM as a volunteer missionary I felt God spoke to me, saying, "If you'll go where I send you and do what I tell you to do, I'll provide your finances." And He's been amazingly faithful to keep His word these past seven years years. Whether my needs have been great or small He always provides enough to meet my expenses and to share with others.
A couple of years ago I had a dream where I was able to actually hear God's heartbeat. It left a powerful impression on me, because as I listened I heard each beat echo with word, "People...... people...... people." Since that time my life purpose has become clear: "to love God passionately and to love others sacrificially".
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