MARY REICHARD, HOST: Today is Wednesday, September 7th. Thank you for turning to WORLD Radio to help start your day.

Hello. I am Mary Reichard.

NICK EICHER, HOST: And I’m Nick Eicher. Coming soon to The World and All in It: Singing for the Homeless.

Ministry to those in need takes many forms: food banks, medical services, temporary housing. But a Nashville musician decided to do something different.

REICHARD: He uses his God-given talents and as part of a national tour, he performs for free at homeless shelters. WORLD Senior Writer Kim Henderson tells us the story.

KIM HENDERSON, SENIOR WRITER: A lot of musicians are vying for attention in Nashville.

Artists like 40-year-old singer and songwriter Steven Cade.

MUSIC: [Steven Cade – The Best Thing]

He has black hair, black eyes. Wear the black t-shirt and jeans you’d expect to see on someone playing guitar in Music City.

But lately, Cade has been traveling a lot… and performing in unusual places.

CADE: Hi, everyone. We’re at the Rathgeber Center in Austin, Texas. . .

CADE: Hi, everyone. We’re in Scotsdale, Arizona, at the Family Promise in Scotsdale, Arizona…

ANCHOR NEWS: The Salvation Army of Savannah saw some star power tonight. Nashville country music singer Steven Cade performed. . .

Since last October, Cade has been on a musical mission. He performed at the Salvation Army in Murfreesboro, Tennessee. The City Gospel Mission in Cincinnati, Ohio. House of refuge in Prescott, Arizona. Palmetto House in Daytona Beach, Florida.

And 50 other shelters in between.

CAD: Of course. What we did was we moved from Southern California about four years ago…

Cade is an award-winning country music artist. He’s shared the stages with Darius Rucker and Carrie Underwood, but he has something in common with people who live in shelters. He and his family had their own season of homelessness just before a big move several years ago.

CADE: We just had financial problems that we hadn’t anticipated, we didn’t have enough money to get the first month’s rent, after all. We had friends who were very nice, and sometimes people we didn’t even know would just let us stay in their homes. . .

This common ground helps her connect with the residents of the shelter. Cade describes what happened during a rescue mission in Orlando, Florida.

CADE: There were people standing in the back. . .

And they weren’t too sure what was going on. They weren’t too sure about Steven Cade.

CADE: The moment I told them my story and sang a song, they got up and sat down comfortably to learn more and be open to it.

Cade says he’s seen the same thing happen with the shelter staff. They too are skeptical of the country music artist.

CADE: I don’t know how many boards I’ve met, but every shelter has one, a third of the way through the song, they’re singing and they’re clapping. . .

THE AUDIO: CROWD

Cade is a Christian and in the past served as a worship leader in churches in California. Her refuge concerts are upbeat and positive and include songs like “Pinky Promise”, inspired by her 11-year-old daughter.

MUSIC: [PINKY PROMISE]

Cade’s family travels with him. Cade’s wife, Kellee, homeschools their daughter and son. The family often joins Cade on stage when he gives guitars to shelter residents.

Yes, they give away guitars. Loads of them.

MUSIC: [GUITARS]

CADE: We approached Taylor and asked if they would come on this tour and give us a discount on the guitars, and they agreed. . .

It’s Taylor like in Taylor Guitars. …one of the largest guitar manufacturers in the United States. They make the acoustic instruments that Cade leaves with residents of shelters across the country. That’s why it’s called the “Giving Guitars Tour”.

A Christian philanthropist funded the tour. Cade’s Christian faith goes far beyond guitar gifts and concerts.

CADE: Music is an incredible tool. It is a gift from God. God uses music and the guitar, especially the guitar right now, to break down barriers. . .

MUSIC: [YOUTUBE LESSONS]

Cade visited the Orlando Union Rescue Mission in February.

CLAYTON: My name is Freddy Clayton and I am the president of Orlando Union Rescue Mission. And at the mission, we just enjoyed a spectacular blessing from Steven Cade and his family. . .

Clayton says Cade didn’t just wow them with his music. He gave his testimony, and the guests of the mission still talk about it.

What about those two guitars he left at the Orlando Mission? Well, Cade has an instructional video on YouTube. . .

MUSIC: [LESSONS]

Some Orlando Mission guests learned to play guitars he gave them. And they helped form a praise group.

Cade and his family’s home base is Nashville. In addition to his sanctuaries, he must also maintain a healthy mix of paid gigs.

MUSIC: [NASHVILLE]

Yet he looks to the future with a focus on ministry. He says there are some 11,000 shelters there and he can’t wait to visit them all.

When he does, Cade will probably sing his original song, “Better Me,” because the residents of the shelter love him so much.

The lyrics are about a man who wants to change. But in the concerts, Cade makes it clear that it is Christ who is responsible for the lasting change in his life.

CADE: A better me, a better shoulder, a heart willing to bring you closer. A human being, human being. Walking miles in different shoes and trying to be a better me. Yeah.

Reporting for WORLD, I’m Kim Henderson.

EICHER: For more on Steven Cade’s Giving Guitars tour, read Kim’s story in the next issue of WORLD Magazine.


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