Music Alumni Ray and Kovach Minister in Brazil
Mia Ray and Loni Kovach recently took a mission trip to Brazil to present concerts of classical and sacred music at churches and schools.
Ray graduated from Maranatha in 2017 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Music with concentrations in Arranging and Piano Pedagogy. After graduation, she taught kindergarten through twelfth grade music at a Christian school in Indiana before being accepted into graduate school. This fall, she will begin her second year at Butler University, pursuing a graduate degree in Music Composition.
Kovach graduated in 2015 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Piano Pedagogy. For the past three years, she has been teaching piano and voice at Rogers School of Music in Rogers, Minnesota.
This summer, Ray and Kovach spent 10 days in Brazil, where they worked alongside a missionary family and played and sang at a church plant in Presidente Prudente. The missionaries set up many opportunities for them to perform both classical and sacred music, including a classical arts concert at a Catholic school in Osvaldo Cruz. Ray recalls the eternal impact of this opportunity: “We were allowed to invite these students to a concert at the church the next day. We pray that God will lead them to His truth in His time.”
Ray and Kovach also performed classical and sacred concerts at a seminary in Curitiba. “One of the concerts at the seminary turned into our listening and enjoying the seminary students’ music as they played the piano, guitar, recorder, and sang for us,” Ray recalls. “Getting to know these students and seeing their hearts for the Lord and their desire to serve Him was an encouragement and challenge to me to make sure I am stewarding the gifts God has given me correctly.”
One of the highlights for Kovach was providing music for the church services in Presidente Prudente. When asked how the mission trip influenced her, she replied, “I learned how important it is to stay connected with our missionaries, pray for them, read their updates, reach out to them, communicate with them, encourage them, and visit them on the field.”
Ray likewise learned about the challenges and opportunities of missionary life: “My biggest takeaway is how big God’s world is and how small mine is; how challenging their Brazilian world can be and how comfortable my American world is; and how much God has given me and how little I often give Him. I was inspired to consider the world when praying about where God would have me serve Him next: ‘The harvest truly is plenteous, but the laborers are few.’”
“I would also encourage others to consider using the unique gifts God has given them to go serve with a missionary,” Ray continues. “Everyone has something special God can use. We just have to be willing to step out of our comfort zone, and He will take care of the rest!”
Written by Makayla Stevenson