Ian's HILC Funds

tl;dr at the bottom

    Greetings my name is Ian, I'm not foolish, this probably your first time hearing from me.  
Let me give you a little history.  

    *West Philadelphia born and raised, on the playground is where I spent most of my.... eh, just kidding.  I was born in the bleak dessert of Arizona.  To a man and a woman, who couldn't have been more deserving.  To there sadness, I was born with a rarity called Ocular Albinism, which happened to be accompanied by Nystagmus.  What do either of those mean?   Ocular Albinism; my eyes are missing retinal pigment.  It also means I am legally blind.  20/200 (two zeroes there).  Nystagmus; means my eyes can't focus and are always dancing around.  The good news is, this will never get any worse.  The bad news is, there is no treatment.  All of that aside, I have never seen or known any different.  
So to me, my eyes are normal.  :-)
My parents brought me up in a Christian home.  In 2nd grade, God put it on my mom’s heart to homeschool my sister (Jenna) and I.  Keep in mind; she is not a teacher in any facet at this point.  Throughout the years, my mom made sure to keep me involved with other kids; she kept me from becoming too unsocial.  One of the activities she enrolled me in was Piano.  From then through the next five years I learned and played in piano recitals.  Unfortunately, music lessons had to stop due to financial issues.  Money gets tight.  Up through this point, my parents owned there on moving company. During the early 2000's we got hit by the recession.  We ended up having to close our once thriving company and move out of the only home I knew.  Big change, very hard emotional and physically to deal with.   But by the grace of God we were able to find a new house, and my dad got a job with the post office.  

    High school.  Though most people look back and say how much they hated it, I look back and am thankful for it.  In high school, I got the desire to learn guitar.  Fortunately for me, I was able to teach myself the basics through my passed with piano.  To my benefit I was taking classes through a homeschool co-op (essentially a small private school.) throughout all of high school.  One of these classes was called Worship Team.  We learned and played music for our monthly chapel.  Because of this, I gained an affinity for worship music.  I went in barely knowing anything and came out four years later knowing how to: play guitar, play bass, sing (better than before), conduct / coordinate a band, and do live audio engineering (mixing).  These are things that, without God, I would never have been able to do.  

    College.  I graduated in 2011 with a desire to go to a far off land to learned how to lead and play music better (more on that later).  Do to my disability; I was blessed with the ability to have the state of Arizona pay for most if not all of my college.  Unfortunately, music / leadership colleges are not on their, "we support you" list.  So I compromised.  For the next two grueling years I jump through every loop I could to get follow my backup plan of going to school for journalism.  Two years passed, still now school.  The finish line was finally in sight.  But here’s the hitch.  Finally reaching my target of actually starting college, I was denied by the state.  This means two years wasted.  Nothing accomplished.  Now what?  By this times, all of the scholarships I would have had from academics in high school, gone.  Things get worse.  Near the same time, because of unforeseen circumstances, my parents got a divorce.  Chaos now became Hell.  Do to this, it force to my mom to find a job at a full time job while in a emotional state of wreckage. A week after divorce news, my grandmother was diagnosed with Alzheimer's and had to move in with us.  What?!  But things get better.  Sometimes chaos is a blessing in disguise.  Through disaster, my mom was able to focus her emotion on someone who needs her more than anything.  A distraction.  For the next year I continued working at my current job as a bookstore supervisor.  About at the point, my best friend asked me for some help in his new position leading worship at a church I had never been to.  That church is now my home church.  I currently play electric guitar and occasionally lead worship solo.  Something that, up until this point, I had forgotten that I loved to do.  

    Almost up to date now.  

    January 2 - 4,  2015.   Passion Conference, the biggest young adult gathering in the US.  20,000 students striving to grow closer to Jesus.  It begins.  The worship, incredible.  The message, convicting.  The challenge, occupy all streets for the glory of God.  This challenge to occupy all streets hit home and reawakened a disire to go to the distant place I mentioned earlier.

    Hillsong International Leadership College.
Sydney, Australia.

    After having been graduated from high school for 4 years, I know my calling.  To spread the word of Jesus through the outward act of worship music.  But to do this, I need experience and knowledge in that field.  The place where I was called to four years prior; is the place I am going in January of 2016.  At least, that's the plan.  Here is where YOU come in.  There is no financial aid for international students.  I have calculated the cost for: Airfare, student visa, passport, rent, tuition, food (2 meals a day), needed supplies for Australian living, to be roughly $12,000.  I saving everything I can, but in my current standings it wont be enough.  

    If Jesus.  Your wife. Your dad. Your neighbor.  Your kid.  Anyone.  Puts it on your heart to help me out, I would be eternally grateful.  Not only would you be helping me out, you would be investing the spreading the Gospel of our King, Jesus!

    I love you all regardless of your decision.
    Thank you so much!

~Ian Baker

I was born.  I was homeschooled.  I learned music.  I grew up.  Life got bad.  Things got sucky.  Life got better.  Jesus said, "Hillsong".  I said, "Yes!"  I leave in January.  Want to help?


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Ian Baker 
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