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Voices Of Diversity: White Ribbon Day

CEDAR RAPIDS, IA (CBS2/FOX28) - At River of Life Ministries, a comfortable coffee shop provides the perfect backdrop for the band, White Ribbon Day. The lyrics written by the bands Evangelical frontman, Zach Blickens, share a message he learned during a very dark time.

I was really a hurting individual on the inside, Zach said. 

As a teenager, he struggled with depression and thoughts of suicide, but he said the darkness vanished with one request.

"It really was literally me in my attic at home just hurting and broken and saying, 'God, if youre real, I need you, Zach said.

Zach explained that finding God set him free. The ministry he shares is about finding freedom for others.

I consider myself a very not religious person. For me, I just believe in a real God, Blickens said.

Zachs R&B influenced rock sound fits well at River of Life Ministries in Cedar Rapids. Zach first came to the church as a worship pastor and student minister.  The churchs Lead Pastor, Steve Irwin, described the music at River of Life as upbeat and expressive. Zachs band makes guest appearances at the church from time to time sharing their upbeat tunes. 

"They're a huge asset at our local church in helping us think outside the box to use our imaginations within the gifts we have to be a representative of Christ," Irwin said.

Zach, his two daughters, Sierra, 17, and Kailah, 13, and his wife, Sarah, are part of the band.

We want to reach as many people as possible because we want to bring this hope and this message to as many people as possible, Zach said.

Its an opportunity, Sierra relishes. 
Sometimes I feel too blessed, because I get to do such amazing things!" Sierra shared. 

Together they've traveled to seven countries outside of the US in the past two years. Many of those countries have been in Africa. They plan to visit all 196 countries in the world, singing and sharing their message and music. 

Its about God and God is good, and he makes me happy.  It just really brings me life, I guess, Sierra said about singing in the band.

The band even uses translators to help incorporate the countrys language into their lyrics.

I'm hoping we're saying, 'God is great not, there are monkeys, in the trees!' Zach said. 

Yet, wherever they go, one thing is universal.

From the jungles where people have nothing, to the places where the people have everything, there are hurting people in every place," Zach said.

White Ribbon Days music is their way to end the pain, to make things okay.

To learn more about White Ribbon Day, and to even to listen to more of their music, click here:


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