Great morning yesterday in Cobourg

Corey (guitarist) and I had a great morning in Cobourg yesterday playing at Fellowship Baptist Church. There was more spontaneity than normal (I decided to change the set list on the spot) and we felt God smiling on us.

34 children were sponsored through Compassion which was an incredible response for a congregation who have already been Compassion supporters for the last couple of years . I continue to be amazed at the perfect fit between my music ministry (God’s through me) and Compassion International. I am reminded of the words of James 1:27 (Message Bible) which has been a theme verse for me this year:

“Real religion [the true following of Jesus], the kind that passes muster before God the Father, is this: reach out to the homeless and loveless in their plight, and guard against corruption from the godless world”.

I told the story yesterday of how God grabbed my life a couple of years back: He opened my eyes, ears and heart to desperate poverty for the first time as I played my violin for 300 families who made their homes in the Quito City Dump.  As I played on that stage with the band every one of my senses were overwhelmed by the poverty around me …. I started to ask some tough questions:

Why God? Why did you cause me to be born into prosperity in Canada and not in this dump?

Why do Le-Anne and I have three healthy boys while 50% of children around the world die before their first birthday?

Now that I know this and have seen poverty up close … what am I going to do about it? What role does God want ME to play personally?

I truly believe God is testing us – this wealthy, self-centered, materialistic, hyper-busy generation in North America: testing us to see what we will do with our wealth. He has blessed us and now is testing us for such a time as this. If only everyone in Canada were to sponsor one child, what a difference that would make – for eternity!

What is keeping you from sponsoring a child through Compassion today? Let me know your thoughts …

Soccer in Ecuador!

Soccer is huge in Ecuador! It is played everywhere: on street corners, parks, plazas – in bare feet, with dirty rags bunched up into a ball wound with string … it is the nations sport.

A few days before leaving on the Compassion Exposure Tour last month for Ecuador, I visited a local soccer store in downtown Guelph, The Soccer Fanatic, to see if they would be able to donate some Soccer equipment to the children at the various Compassion projects we visited. Paul Smit, the owner of the store and his employees were very helpful and generous in donating bags and bags of soccer jersey’s, shorts, shoes, balls – even some referee flags, score sheets and red/yellow cards! This was a “God thing” as I call it. Much of this equipment had been given to the store by store patrons (coaches, parents and their kids) in a recycling program they run to help families in need. I am sure they would have never thought their equipment was going to end up in some of the poorest regions of South America where the average weekly wage is $5 per adult. Paul gave me everything he had in the store on that day along with a new pump to pump up the soccer balls at each project. How thrilling it was to hand out the equipment to the kids and the organizers and see their excitement and hear their words of appreciation. How much more thrilling to see them play their game! Here are a few pictures and video that capture some of these moments …


A Compassion project court yard in Puertolago, Ecuador, where children were spontaneously playing soccer.


A boy dribbling a donated soccer ball …


The smile says it all … pure joy!

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The Compassion Project Director in Puertolago thanks Paul Smit and the patrons of The Soccer Fanatic in Guelph who donated all the soccer equipment.


A group of children are very excited to pump up a soccer ball with the new pump!


Students and staff with some of the donated equipment.


With three students from a Compassion project who were excited to model some donated soccer jersey’s and balls. Go Guelph Royals! I am wearing a Quito Soccer Jersey – the team that won the Ecuador National Soccer Championship this year. When I arrived in Puertolago, a large group of locals cheered as I got off our tour bus. I responded by shouting out “Vivo Quito”!


Members of the Compassion Exposure Tour team have the opportunity to play a game of soccer with some children in Puertolago.

We have so much we take for granted in Canada – the blessing of sport is just one. My next trip to South America, along with my violin, will include more soccer gear! Until next time …

Spontaneous Music Moments in Ecuador

There were many spontaneous music moments in Ecuador that were enjoyed by all. I am glad I took my acoustic and electric violins. I am constantly amazed at how music crosses all language and cultural barriers … here is a video and some photos that captured some of the moments:


On our first day, I joined the members of east coast band, Life Support, on electric violin as we led worship at a Compassion project church in the South end of Quito – our first time performing together. It was a special moment.


With Rob and Chris from Life Support … this picture truly catches the joy of spontaneously jamming …


I would love to know what this beautiful little girl was thinking …


A cell phone taping moment – in South America? … cell phones can be purchased for less than $30 on pretty much any street corner …



Out of nowhere, a Compassion worker (tutor) produced a violin he must have purchased at a local market(an orange price tag was still stuck on the instrument!). By the looks of the instrument (a Blue Grass set-up), it had somehow made it’s way to South America from Texas … so we played together … no language barrier here …


After he asked me to tune his instrument, he found it hard to play (he had tuned his instrument in an alternate tuning not common for the violin) … so I proceeded to show him how to play a D major scale … Notice the Indian ornament hanging off the end of the scroll? It reminded me of the North American Aboriginal art we see in Canada.

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Some video footage that captured the energy and fun at another Compassion project in Puertolago. Here I am jamming on a fiddle tune with Jordan (guitar), Matt (percussion) and Rob (guitar) from Life Support. Later, while we played a mic was lowered from the floor above and our music was broad-casted to the whole village. Behind the camera, other group members were playing soccer with the children, playing games and painting nails … it was an amazing, festive atmosphere of love and pure joy on the equator!

Quito Bound Tomorrow!

I leave tomorrow morning on an Exposure Tour with Compassion Canada to Quito, Ecuador – the oldest and founding city in South America and capital of Ecuador. I will be joining a team of pastors, Radio and TV personalities, music artists and Compassion staff to visit a number of Compassion Projects (child development centers) in the Quito region of Ecuador. Pastor Dave Ralph and his wife Sue will be joining the team from my home church of Lakeside. I look forward to sharing this time with them. I love South America, the people, the culture, the music and of course the food. It was in Ecuador, December of 2004 with the 5th String BLVD. band, where I was exposed to extreme poverty for the first time. God moved me (from a heart level) in a profound way to do something more than what I was already doing as a music artist while we played on a stage in the Quito city dump where 300 families made their homes out of the garbage. As a result, I began partnering with Compassion Canada to help children and families in extreme poverty situations. It has been an amazing 4-year journey as I have seen many partner with me and Compassion in doing their part to sponsor children. I will try to blog daily while I am away. I appreciate your prayers for safety and a productive time for God’s kingdom.


Quito, Ecuador – at aprox. 9,350 feet – is the second highest capital city in the world

Opening for Rick Mercer and Great Big Sea

I just completed a fun weekend of performing … Saturday afternoon and evening found me playing Aaron’s Song and a new Celtic Medley with a troupe of Celtic Dancers for the pre-show of the annual Canadian Tire Banquet at the Toronto Convention Center with the 5th String Blvd. band. I also opened for Rick Mercer and Great Big Sea on the main stage as a part of the opening band multi media show organized by Ken Vandevrie of ADS Media to kick off the banquet. It was an honour to meet Rick Mercer after his “opening Canadian Tire roast routine” (my whole family are fans – a true Canadian icon) … nice guy … wasn’t able to stay to see Great Big Sea but did hear their sound check … needed to get home to my family because we had an early start the next morning to get to my next event …

Trevor with Rick Mercer

A candid shot with Rick Mercer taken by Ken Vandevrie on his Blackberry …

The next morning (Sunday) Le-Anne, the boys and I were off to London at 6:30 a.m. to do a Compassion concert/speaking event at RidgeView Community Church. It was a great morning of worship. Music & Worship pastor, Barry Usher, led a Jazz combo (keys, upright bass, congas, flute, and vocals) of students and faculty from University of Western Ontario. They had an excellent, unique sound as they led the worship. Aprox. 15 children were sponsored from the congregation of 80 which was a great response. To learn more about child sponsorship through Compassion click here.