Bountiful couple sells music collection to help Swaziland orphans

Friday , July 18, 2014 - 8:55 AM

RL 071414 Murphys' Music Collection-2-2

Paul and Jenna Murphy pose for a photo surrounded by thousands of CDs and LPs along with hundreds...

BOUNTIFUL -- Paul and Jenna Murphy always knew there was magic in music just by the sound.

But now, they believe their music collection literally can open the door to their being able to fulfill their spiritual needs and to serve a large population of orphans across the globe in the tiny African country of Swaziland.

Tonight, the couple plans to sell their enormous selection of vinyl records, compact discs, posters, books and music memorabilia in their effort to help the orphans.

"My husband and I are hoping to get to know people and get back to what’s important,“ said Jenna Murphy. And she said she already knows the material world is not what life is all about.

"We are hoping to spend time with them and bless them in some way,” she said. “Often we believe as Americans we are going to fix them.”

But she admits that she’s hoping the children of Swaziland will “fix” her and her husband.

“We have such a materialistic view in the U.S.,” she said.

The Murphys are members of a church that has a particular concern for tiny Swaziland, where most children have no parents.

Two years ago, K2 the Church and Children’s Hope Chest began working together to provide for orphans at a care point in Ekudzeni. They have provided food, built a well and latrines and are continuing to send humanitarian and medical teams.

The Murphys will be going with 14 other members from K2 the Church and the Risen Life Church to Ekudzeni from Sept. 13 to 26.

Because of the AIDS epidemic in Swaziland, a majority of the children became orphans. They often lack food, clean water and medical care.

Swaziland has many times been deemed as the area of the world most affected by AIDS, said Sally Townsend, a member of K2 the Church, where the Murphys attend. Almost the entire generation of 30- to 50-year-olds has been wiped out by the epidemic, Townsend said.

“If nothing was done, the entire population (of 30- to 50-year-olds) would have been wiped out in seven years,” Townsend said.

Townsend said she and another member of the church both shared a passion for that country that spread to the rest of the church.

“My husband and I started raising money for education and solutions,” she said, noting efforts to help teach the people of Swaziland trades that allow them to earn sustainable wages.

But at the heart of their efforts have been serving a care point where children go six days a week for a hot meal and activities. She said often children walk a half-dozen miles just to participate in the program, which has grown in the last few years to where about 250 children rely on the effort.

“In some communities, adults were led to try to feed the children however they could,” Townsend said. “These are places where adults are willing to volunteer. They see this as a community.”

Townsend also encourages anyone she can to sponsor a child who visits the care point by paying for his or her food and supplies.

For $38 a month, people may sponsor a child, which includes the opportunity to correspond with that child.

“We truly have found that the relationship side means far more to the children than anything tangible,” Townsend said.

And the Murphys spoke of reaching much of the same conclusion in their efforts to serve the Swaziland children.

Speaking of materialism, when the Murphys looked around at their own home, they found much abundance that could help fund their trip.

Others in their church sold homemade salsa, some mowed lawns and others made handcrafts in order to pay their way to serve an orphan care center in Swaziland.

The Bountiful couple looked around their house and focused on their enormous collection of vinyl records, compact discs, posters, books and music memorabilia they could sell.

“We owned Imagine Music for five years in Bountiful and I’ve been collecting anything related to music for more than 40 years,” said Paul Murphy. “We have also served in third-world countries before and realize stuff doesn’t matter, people do.”

To help pay for the trip and materials, the Murphys will be selling thousands of CDs, records, posters, books and magazines, plus a Gilligan’s Island pinball machine and an antique juke box.

The “Sound Cause” Fundraiser will be held at 6:30 p.m. tonight at their home at 1498 Maple Hills Drive, Bountiful. The evening will include live music from local artists.

“We have both been on humanitarian trips before and have learned that people who have very little have a lot to teach us,” said Jenna Murphy. “We may be going to help them but we are confident we will learn many valuable lessons to share with our friends here in Utah.”

For those uninterested in purchasing music items, tax deductible donations may be made at www.k2thechurch.com/give-financially/. The couple asks anyone who donates to include a message that the gift is to support Paul and Jenna Murphy. Donations may also be sent by mail to K2 The Church, PO Box 521138, Salt Lake City, UT 84152-1138.

A blog has been created to post information and photos from past trips and will have daily updates during the upcoming trip. The blog is at http://k2swaziland.wordpress.com/.

More information about sponsoring a child in Swaziland may be obtained by calling K2 the Church at 801-486-2240.

You may reach JaNae Francis at 801-625-4228. Follow her on Twitter at JaNaeFrancisSE. Like her Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/SEJaNaeFrancis. 

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