Mission message shared in song

Published 11:00 pm Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Kaylyn Ellis and Rustin Barnes were guests at Wednesday’s Brundidge Rotary Club meeting.

Music is the universal language and Kaylyn Ellis and Rustin Barnes speak it fluently.

The two young musicians and “willing vessels” were the guests of the Brundidge Rotary Club Wednesday.

Together, they shared an inspiring message in song and word.

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Ellis recently returned from a mission trip to South Dakota that was sponsored by her home church, Mt. Olive Assembly of God in Brundidge.

“This was my second mission trip to South Dakota. We go there to minister to the Native American children,” Ellis said. “We are from the Bible Belt and we go to church and learn about God. Many of the Indian children don’t know much about God but we go there to tell them that He knows everything about them.”

Ellis told of one Native American family with 10 children that is dedicated to the Lord.

“They don’t just recite one Bible verse,” she said. “They recite a whole chapter. They were so appreciative of those who came to share the Lord with them. Their thanks were enough to make us feel good about going.”

The first mission trip that Ellis made to minister to the Native American children was special, but the second trip changed her life.

“Really, on a personal basis, I have been very selfish,” she said. “But going to South Dakota this time was a stirring experience for me. I realized that I was the happiest when I was helping others – when I could do something to help somebody else.”

There were many opportunities to minister to the Native American children. But, Ellis said that, sadly, there is a sense of hopelessness among them.

The suicide rate is extremely high among Native Americans and the children don’t expect to live very long. Alcohol is a big problem. Drinking is widespread.

“There’s just not a lot of hope,” she said. “The children have material things but not the basic things. They don’t have the love, caring and nurturing of their parents. They are hungry for love. And, we were there to share God’s love with them.”

Ellis and Barnes also shared the message of God’s love with the Rotarians in word and in song.

“I’m not here to entertain,” Ellis said. “I’m here to lift up the name of Jesus.”

Ellis and Barnes minister in song in many ways. She sings with Christian music groups, The Willing Vessels and Beauty 4 Ashes. Barnes plays several instruments including the piano, fiddle, banjo and dobro with The Willing Vessels, The Smith Family and Skeeterhawk. He is also a vocalist with the groups.

Barnes is a member of Perdue Church and, like Ellis, is an active member of his church.

Ellis is the daughter of Scotty and Teresa Ellis of Brundidge. Her grandparents are Vonnie Maulden and the late Ray Maulden and Glenn and Ann Ellis – all of Brundidge.

Barnes’ parents are Rex Barnes of Enterprise and Rhonda Barnes of Troy. His grandparents are Jimmy and Remonia Smith of Troy.