Here’s another Mangofish tour update. Mangofish is swimming Pacific side right now (we just left California)! We did have another show at Malmstrom Air Force Base which went well, we connected with some of the airmen and played facing the dorms on base, so more people heard us than we thought. One person indicated starting a relationship with God! Overall we had an amazing time there and could see and feel God working. Next was our stop at Yellowstone National Park to work with the Yellowstone Summer Project students. We played in the employees’ pub, which was an interesting – but very fun – experience. We had opportunities to have several good conversations with the park’s summer workers…
From Yellowstone we went to Salinas, California. We played in a Salvation Army community center for an audience that did not really seem to know what to make of our musical style, which added another challenge and created, in the end, a great experience…two people indicated on the comment cards that they accepted Christ that night!! The next night we went to Lake Tahoe to play at their summer project site. One of the [Lake Tahoe Summer Project] students was able to share the gospel with three girls who showed up during the concert as a result of hearing our music.
The next morning we drove to Santa Cruz to play at their summer project outreach. We set up outside a hotel a block away from the boardwalk, and were very excited by the amount of people God brought off the street! …Immediately after the concert the project students hosted a dance party, which drew in even more passers-by. At the time, we were worried we wouldn’t have the same opportunities to talk to people that we are used to, but God really humbled us by allowing for even more meaningful conversations, both with people who had come for the concert, and people who had been drawn in by the music, and people who stopped by to dance afterwards. Five people became Christians that night, and we just felt amazed that God let us be a part of what He’s doing in Santa Cruz…
Now we’re on our way to Colorado for a show in Fort Collins on Thursday. We would really appreciate prayers for our safety (there are a lot of miles to be covered in just a few days), health (some of us have started to get hints of a cold), and unity as a band as we continue in close quarters. (We also are praising God that this hasn’t been a problem so far!!) We’re also praying for the Santa Cruz summer project. So many people in Santa Cruz are searching for meaning, and almost everyone is open to listen. But the hotel that has hosted the summer project there for several years is being torn down after this year, and there’s a possibility that this year’s summer project will be the last. So we’re praying for God’s will to be done.
Thanks for your prayers and support!!
Stephanie (and Mangofish)
The past two weeks seem like one day for me, but somehow, we have this film called “wreck”. After long days of shooting and long nights of editing (literally), our film has made its way to the big screen.
[Last night] was officially the FIRST short film outreach in the history of the Keynote Summer Project. We…showed 6 short films at Creekside Ministries in Fishers, IN tonight. There was an audience of 30 and we had one person receive Christ as her Savior!
The audience consisted mainly of Junior High and High School students and they were very responsive when Will and Marissa would ask questions about the film last played. To us, that was so relieving / encouraging / invigorating / uplifting / etc.
We will be making quests to Cincinnati on Thursday, Chicago on Saturday, and a few other places near Indy to show these short films to a variety of audiences. Please pray for our whole team that God would use us and speak through us as we set out on a mission with a new kind of ammunition.
… I will leave you with some of the comments we received from our Friday night premiere and tonight’s outreach:
- “You have been given the gift of story-telling (like Jesus); keep using your God-given gifts”
- “Really different, it caught my attention”
- “Wreck was incredibly powerful. What a beautiful way to share the love of Christ”
- “These films really opened my eyes. Thank you”
…The past week has been tough for the band, there have been small conflicts here and there, we have been feeling extremely tired, and things just seem to be harder and harder. But in this desert land we have found fountains of living water and we have experienced the great mercy and love of God to us. We all know that being on tour is fun and exciting but at the same time a challenge. A comfortable bed and a good breakfast feels like heaven sometimes. Our visit to Vineland New Jersey was just like that. This is Nellie’s home town. They made us feel loved and welcome from the first day. We stay there four days and three nights and every minute of it was amazing. Our hosts treated us so well that it felt just like home.
Two of our concerts took place at Vineland. The first one was at Chestnut Assembly church where our band played for their youth service. Everyone was excited that day. They were all clapping, dancing, and singing. A girl named Skye had just come to know the Lord ten days before the concert. She is also a musician and she was very encouraged by our music. She expressed to one of our band members that the music moved her to tears. It was very touching to see how God can use His stewards to make a major impact in others people lives.
The second concert took place in a small church called Massai. Really it was very small but what we experienced in there was bigger than anywhere else…That night two names were written in the book of heaven. One of them was Ashley, a beautiful half African American, half Dominican girl who was adopted and had never made the decision of giving her life to Christ. The other new believer was a 26-year-old man named Juan Carlos that said, “You guys are amazing. I truly felt you were sent here tonight to speak to me. God bless you all.”
During our debrief time God placed in Christy’s heart for everyone to kneel before Him and lift prayer and praise for all He did that night. The words to describe what happened that night don’t exist. That night the Lord confirmed to us that the only way we will succeed and survive as a team is through prayer.
Thank you all for taking the time to read this e-mail. God Bless you all!
This is Jordan again with PoP on the road. Wednesday afternoon we attended a cookout with the youth of Grace Missionary Church in Celina, OH. We had a blast just getting to know the kids, playing volleyball, and swimming in the pond. After eating some hot dogs and getting dominated at foursquare, we headed to the church to prepare to lead worship. The event itself was well attended, with between 30 and 50 of the youth making it to the church to join us. It was really fun to see so many young people lifting their hands in genuine praise and dancing in the aisles. After the music was over the youth and adults alike were eager to talk to us, and doors to many meaningful spiritual conversations were opened.
Lantie with PoP here in Marysville, Ohio. Thursday night we played two shows at the county fair in a tent sponsored by a local church. We were informed that the local community is very rooted in tradition, as opposed to a real relationship with Christ. As expected at a fair, the audience trickled in and out of the tent, while other passers-by paused outside of the tent. Jordan recalls that while Casey was sharing his story on stage, the kids playing mini-golf next to the tent stopped to listen. Several comment cards were particularly encouraging. One woman wrote that she had not been to church for months, and raised her hand in worship for the first time that night. Another wrote that she was deeply touched by the testimonies.
(Jordan again) Last night was another blessed night for us. We decided to make both shows more like concerts in an effort to bring in people to hear our gospel presentation. The tent we played in was a great location for us because it was very near the entrance to the fairgrounds. After the tractor pull hundreds of fair-goers passed by, and many stopped in to listen to our music. After our last show, we got to meet a family of five who had listened to the entire concert. Upon hearing Jodi’s presentation of the Gospel, Charity and Sandra, the two daughters of the family, both prayed to receive Christ! Brian, the pastor of Heritage Church (who owned the tent we were in) also informed us that our music gave him invaluable opportunities to speak with local people from the community and invite them to become part of the church family.
Please continue to pray for our mission, our travels, and our health!
… So far, we have had much success on the road. We have had four evangelistic concerts and 30 people have made decisions to know Christ personally! The comments on the comment cards have been so encouraging, not only do people love the music, but we’ve had youth writing things like, “your testimony made me cry. After hearing it I really had to examine my life and I ended up rededicating myself to the Lord”. How awesome is our God?!
On the lighter side, we have truly found out what it means to be ON TOUR. We had two days, back-to-back, on which we had two concerts scheduled. The first day went extremely well although everyone was concerned about how it would work out, especially with regards to our energy. The second day (yesterday) one of our concerts fell through for a couple of reasons; the threat of rain and a competing event in the park our host was not aware of. We got all of our instruments and equipment set-up and we were actually starting sound check and then we had to tear it all down and pack it up again, but God is definitely the Grand Architect and knows what He’s doing, because at the second concert, which was an outdoor concert at a church right at the heart of a neighborhood desperately in need of the good news, (we were setting up at the church and I could smell the marijuana smoke from the house right next door to the church), we had five youth come to know Christ! We are truly amazed everyday at how God works.
A way that you all can be praying for us is to pray that we don’t grow weary in well-doing. So far, we have had such a hectic schedule that we haven’t gotten much sleep and when we do, it’s not necessarily the most restful sleep, I’m sure ALL of you can relate to that! LOL. So please pray that God would just renew our strength and mount us up on wings as eagles so that we can soar above the enemy’s tricks and still minister and give God the glory…Thus far, we’ve been in Milwaukee, WI and the metro Detroit, MI area. We finish our run in Detroit today and head out to parts of OH (Akron, Cleveland, and Springfield) on Friday. Following our Ohio run, we’ll be in Pittsburgh, PA, Wheatfield, IN, Chicago, IL and then closing out the tour in Indy. We love you all and pray God’s success for your tours and ministry as they continue. Love and peace, Level 3:16