There’s been a flurry of activity around the office the last couple of weeks! Students arrive this Thursday for Keynote’s upcoming summer missions project for college students. They will receive three weeks of training in music evangelism and then tour throughout the US to share Christ through their concerts. I would love to have your prayer support during this busy time!
The Keynote Summer Project always brings heightened spiritual warfare with it. Our adversary doesn’t want students to grow in their faith and ability to minister, so he usually does all he can to prevent it! Please pray that all of us, staff and students alike, will put on the spiritual armor spoken of in Ephesians 6:10-20, and please claim the promise of 2 Thessalonians 3:3 for us: “But the Lord is faithful, and he will strengthen and protect you from the evil one.”(NIV)
Our summer project gives us the opportunity to train more Keynote staff how to teach our training materials. This is important because we are being asked by more and more overseas ministries to provide training for their staff and students. Pray for me and several other experienced trainers as we coach these new teachers.
Some of the internationals who were hoping to attend the project will not be able to do so. Please pray for those who are still coming: Isaac Yedla and Tom Frakes from India, and Oscar Nduwarugia from Kenya. Pray for safe travel and that God will use their experiences here to equip them for music ministry in their home countries.
I take my final this week for the theology class I’ve been taking this semester. Please pray for me as I finish the assigned reading and study for the exam.
Please pray that I would walk closely with the Lord and minister in His strength this summer, not my own.
Keynote band blueskynine recently ministered at Ft. Jackson. Bassist Dan Bongard wrote,
On Saturday night we played at the stadium for around 300 new recruits… I will say they thoroughly enjoyed the show and were all ears for the gospel. 7 received Christ , 34 were interested in talking to someone about spiritual things, and 26 were interested in a bible study.
On Sunday we played for their chapel service and it was full. They are beginning a new training cycle which adds to the numbers, and it’s good to reach out to them early on. Again there were about 300 in attendance… The results were 16 starting a relationship with Christ, 2 rededications, 44 interested in a spiritual conversation and 51 desiring involvement in a bible study.
Giants of Silence performed at Ft. Knox, and guitarist Sam Leo wrote,
…we played at a Sunday morning chapel service for over 600 army recruits, all of whom were in different phases of their basic training. A lot of these young men joined the army to escape from a bad home situation. Spiritually speaking, the chaplains told us that some recruits will say they’re atheists, agnostics, or even Wiccans, but the truth is, they usually don’t know what those words actually mean. They don’t really know what they even believe, and they’re starting to think they’ve gotten themselves into more than they bargained for…But they’re also doing a lot of thinking about their lives, and are asking questions and looking for someone to talk to.
“…When all was said and done, we got 438 comment cards back. Around 90 people said they were interested in studying the Bible with someone, about 80 people said they wanted to talk more about spiritual things, and 40 people made decisions to start a relationship with Christ!!!!!
I’ve begun work on the training calendar for Keynote’s upcoming summer project, which starts in May. In addition to the American students, nine internationals (five from Thailand, two from India, one from Ecuador and one from Kenya) are planning to join us. Please pray for them as they raise financial support to come to the U.S. for summer training.
In other international news, my friends in our band Chasing Elvis just finished up their 18-day, 6-country tour of eastern Europe. In Budapest, Hungary they were the house band for a “Battle of the Bands” and shared how to have a relationship with God. Over 500 were in attendance, over 400 surveys were collected, and over 300 gave names and contact info to the hosting ministry.
Frontman Jimmy FauntLeRoy said this after a Prishtina, Kosovo concert:
I totally blanked on the gospel. I did not know where to start, and I thought for a moment that the whole thing was ruined. Then somewhere inside, I decided to just tell them what I know. We realized later that we think God’s Prints were all over that.
Like Arlee [another band member] said later, “You threw out about 4 or 5 separate thoughts, and just when I thought ‘Oh, no, how are you gonna get out of this?’ you tied them all up with a bow!”
God did that. For the students in the audience.
The result? More than half of the comment cards turned in by the students were marked “interested in spiritual conversation” or “interested in Campus Crusade for Christ.” Go, God!! Please pray for the follow-up of the contacts from Chasing Elvis’ concerts.
That’s “Hello” in Portuguese! My ten-day trip to Brazil with three other Keynote staff was wonderful! The four of us taught classes and coached students in public speaking at the request of Janiê Sucupira, the director of Campus Crusade for Christ’s new Brazilian music ministry (Brasil Música e Missão, or Brazil Music & Mission).
As in many Latin cultures, the people of Brazil are warm and relational, and we were welcomed with open arms. Friendships quickly grew with the students, even (through translation) with those who didn’t speak English.
There were ten students on the music summer project, which ran simultaneously with a Brazilian Campus Ministry project, with about another 30 students and staff. The Campus Ministry folks were invited to sit in on six of our public speaking classes, and most took advantage of that opportunity. Despite cultural differences, it was quickly apparent the principles of our classes are transferable!
It was wonderful to hear the students (and the members of the church we attended Sunday night) sing familiar praise songs in Portuguese. It reminded me that, as Paul said in I Corinthians 12:20, “there are many members, but one body.” There is one church with many members around the world, and we are all brothers and sisters.
Up until now, Janiê has been the only staff member with Brazil Music & Mission. Janiê asked each of us from Keynote to tell the students how God led us to join the staff of Campus Crusade for Christ, and she asked them to pray about joining her with Brazil Music & Mission. As of this week, seven of the ten students said they will join her after they graduate, three of them as one-year interns and four as full-time staff
After we returned home, the student band performed three concerts at the state university nearby. They had to perform all three times with only one speaker functioning in their new sound system (personally, I think the devil enjoys messing up technology!). But God worked in spite of the technical difficulties: 165 people indicated on comment cards that they accepted Jesus as their Savior!
I’ve loved helping my dear friend Janiê turn her ministry dream into a reality! And I’m awed and humbled at how God can use ordinary people who are yielded and available to Him to make a far-reaching impact for His kingdom. People like Janiê, or my teammates, or me…or you! Thank you for extending God’s kingdom in Brazil through your gifts and prayers!
For the students who want to join Brazil Music & Mission: Klécia, Stella, Jessica, Irene, Henrique, Andre, and Leandro, that God will enable them to overcome any obstacles to following His call
For Janiê as she prepares to give further training to these new staff members when they arrive.
For Janiê’s knee surgery on March 3 to repair a torn ligament.
Thanks so much for your prayers! I arrived safely in Indianapolis yesterday afternoon after roughly 26 hours in airports and in the air. Needless to say, I was tired (is it possible to sleep soundly on an airplane?), so I’ve been resting ever since. I’ll put a letter together soon with more info. Thanks again!