By MARK MAYNARD / Amy For Africa
ASHLAND — The excitement and anticipation is building for the band Genuine Remedy and the Amy For Africa mission.
The Ashland-based Christian band will debut its first single on Sunday and the story behind the lyrics is Amy Compston, the marathon runner and co-founder of Amy For Africa.
Keep Running is the brainchild of Toby Goldie, who first met Amy and her husband, Chris, during an AFA visit to Lifesong Church in Russell.
“I remember thinking that it was just going to be another missionary story,” he said. “Up to that point I never found myself interested in that kind of ministry. I always thought that we had enough outreach locally and didn’t need to worry about other places.”
And then he heard Amy talk about the needs of the children in the Moyo district of Uganda and about Amy’s personal testimony of 14 years of drug and alcohol abuse. She told it unashamed because that’s not her now. That was before Jesus Christ transformed her.
Goldie’s heart broke more with every word.
“Amy began to tell her story of what she and Chris had come from,” he said. “Wow! She had not only overcome an addiction but was using it for her testimony and not afraid of what people may think. I remember thinking that’s what people need to hear.”
Goldie had faced a similar addiction demon so he listened even closer.
“She was talking about how she ran and that it gave her comfort,” he said. “It made me think of I Corinthians 9: 24-27. That running could be looked at in a physical form and spiritual as well. That stuck with me.”
The song’s title came about because of a line from the Disney movie Saving Nemo. In it is the phrase “keep swimming, keep swimming.” Goldie said he caught himself replacing it with “Keep Running.” The song evolved around the title.
“It wasn’t a few days later that I found an inspiration from God to write a song,” he said. “I believe it was right after Amy had invited us to play a youth event in Huntington, West Virginia. Funny how God works.”
The “Keep Running” riff was stuck in Goldie’s head.
“I was setting in my practice studio when God told me that I need to write a song about Amy For Africa,” he said. “Keep running instantly popped in my head. We had no idea that a month after playing it out for the first time we would be recording it. We knew we didn’t have the funding.”
But God had different plans. “Within a week of the idea of recording, God showed up again. Through donations and support the recording was fully funded.”
And after two months in the studio, Genuine Remedy’s Keep Running will be released on iTunes on May 1.
“Amy For Africa has been a blessing as well as an inspiration,” Goldie said. “We are thankful that our paths had crossed and hope to have our ministries work side by side.”
Genuine Remedy includes Goldie, Scott Raney, Chris Jordan and Joe Melvin.