City resident Brian Walrond, who settled in Red Deer with his family after the Fort McMurray fires last year, continues to explore new opportunities to reach out and help others.
Walrond and his family, who had called Fort McMurray home for five years, relocated to Red Deer last fall.
Although their home wasn’t damaged in the fires, the experience certainly had a profound effect on Walrond and his wife Dianalee and their two young daughters.
Brian, who is originally from Brooklyn, New York, went on to release a tune last November called When Thank You Is Not Enough, and the outpouring of response to the song was amazing.
As Brian noted on the initial facebook post, “This piece is probably one of the most emotional songs I’ve written. I’ve been affected by all those first responders who have put their lives on the line to fight the horrific fires this past summer and helped preserve more than 90% of Fort McMurray.”
Currently, he and Dianalee are running RS1 Motivational Media Productions here in Red Deer, which was actually launched in 2012. The ministry is described as one that helps people unlock their God-given gifts, talent and passions and inspire them to fulfill their purpose.
Over the past several months, they’ve been putting that mandate to action locally via serving in some local churches, and earlier this week Brian headed to Kenya as part of that goal of bettering other people’s lives as well.
He will be speaking at a couple of youth conferences. “I’ll be talking to them about how to move forward in life as far as how to deal with the giftings and talents that they have,” he explained. Last July, prior to moving to Red Deer, he was ministering out at Hobbema and a couple of people from Kenya were there serving in a local church.
“That’s how I connected with them,” he said. “Then in January, we were about to present our strategic business plan to our board and in that strategic plan, we had a goal to do at least one overseas trip.”
It was about that time that their new friends contacted them and mentioned that it would be great if Brian could come to Kenya at some point. “We feel that we want to build a relationship with the different organizations there,” he said, adding that he flies into Kisumu and most of the ministry will be done out of Mumias.
“The thing I’m excited to see happen is that we have our mandate, and a lot of things have been put into place for us for the foundation to launch. I get to see what God has put inside of us to reach the world.
“I don’t know what to expect – the last time I was overseas it was to Russia in 2001. And so, it’s about breaking that anxiety about the unknown; about what is out there. And to be able to just make a difference over there. Our heart is to serve.”
RS1 Motivational Media Productions is also able to issue receipts for donations. Brian mentioned that Kenya has been experiencing severe drought, so he’s raising funds for food and supplies as well. Folks can find them on facebook for more information.
As for his music, two recordings have already been released – Crocodiles & Alligators (2015) and Beyond Me (2013) – both of which are available on iTunes. Combined with his gift for writing and performing some truly memorable music that wields an undeniable impact, there is no question that the ministry – and the music – is impacting many lives.
As for the fires that swept through the Fort McMurray region last year, the experience was life-changing. Brian and Dianalee were actually out of town – in Grande Prairie – at a church conference when the worst of the flames hit.
Later on came the inspiration for When Thank You Is Not Enough, and an even more dedicated commitment to seeing their ministry grow. Brian and his family have been back to Fort McMurray since the fires, most recently just in March.
“Some of our friends there are in flux, and some are planning to leave,” he said, adding that the economic climate isn’t seeming to be turning around too much at this point.
“On the other side, you see a difference in people,” he said. “There’s a buzz happening in our church community and I think there are others, too, where they’ve gotten a boost in the number of people coming because they are rethinking what life is all about.”
Check out www.Rs1motivationalmedia.com or find them on facebook at ‘RS1 Motivational Media Productions’.