There are some people that you meet in life that you never forget. Richman Syabbamba was one of those people for me. Richman had a dream that he would give the gift of music to children who were affected in some way by the HIV/AIDS virus. He believed that God could use music to give them hope and a future. With that dream before him, he started the Choma Music Academy in Choma, Zambia. At the academy, Richman taught the students how to read and write music and to play instruments. He accepted instrument donations from drives that were run in various churches in the United States that allowed more students to learn to play an instrument. After helping with two different instrument drives, I had the privilege to deliver some of the instruments to the Choma Music Academy. I met some of the students whose lives were being impacted by the work he did in Choma. I was blessed to see their excitement and smiles as they saw the instruments and had the opportunity to hear them play their instruments. I also was blessed to be a part of some Hopefests that Richman helped organize, which spoke a message of love and purity and educated the students about AIDS. All of this was wrapped around the amazing message of the Gospel.
His dream grew bigger than he imagined and he became the International Director of Poetice International in Choma, Zambia. In this role, he ran his music academy, organized Hopefest, and also ran youth camps in order to bring the hope of Christ to a hurting world. He believed that saving one life was worth everything he did. Richman wasn't a famous musician that will be written in this world's history books or studied in our conservatories, but Richman faithfully served God with his gift of music. Richman understood how important each and every person was to God. So, while we say "Farewell," to our friend, God is saying, "Welcome home my faithful servant."