A miracle in Santa Cruz’s Soccer Stadium: Estadio Ramón “Tahuichi” Aguilera

Kicking off our set on the Estadio Ramón “Tahuichi” Aguilera stage

My journal entry read: “Santa Cruz, Bolivia, Flyingbow Mission Trip , Day 2, Saturday March 24” …

While the rest of the group decided to go to some tourist spots outside of the city, Tony and I (a little jet-lagged from the long flight the night before) made the call to rest and to prepare for the large concert/outreach event at the Estadio Ramón “Tahuichi” Aguilera (main Santa Cruz Soccer Stadium) that evening. ROJO (“Red”), the top Christian rock band in South America from Mexico was the headlining act. We were invited as guest artists to open for them for this evangelical crusade. We are learning that everything takes a little more time in Bolivia, and we didn’t want to risk getting back late (by joining the Gideon’s Canada team) and being a little rushed for our 6 p.m. load-in and sound check with a concert start at 8 p.m. This ended up being a really good call, because the rest of the missionary group of 29 ended up getting back to our hotel after 6 p.m. that evening …

My day was spent doing a final tweak of our set list on Pro Presenter, setting up my effects on my travel rig of effects (Zoom pedal and Boomerang Looper), taking a much needed nap, working out and swimming in the outdoor hotel pool. Later that afternoon, Tony and I (along with our Bolivian translator/road manager David and his wife) arrived by taxi to Estadio Ramón “Tahuichi” Aguilera at 5:45 that evening to scout out the venue. We were surprised to observe a large line-up of young people already winding their way along the side of the stadium. They were wanting to get the best seats to see ROJO. We could tell this was going to be a big event. We were escorted through the back stage field level entrance and proceeded to wait for our sound check. David, our translator, was very helpful in communicating all our performance needs to the sound company. It was soon apparent that there were more delays …

The final minutes before the official start of the event were pretty crazy as we sourced out power (220 volts in Bolivia), set up our gear and barely managed a sound check before the program started with opening acts, dancers and musicians. A local evangelist/pastor, Nelson Matto, preached a powerful Gospel message. Our role on the team for this event was to provide a 20-25 minute set of music immediatly following the message while the rest of the team handed out bibles in 5 stations scattered throughout the stadium to those who made commitments to Jesus. Our set started slowly and reflectively with “Holy, Holy, Holy” followed by “Passion”. While we played, all over the stadium young men and women were giving their lives to Jesus – it was truly an incredible thing to witness God at work in this way. We then picked up the pace in celebration with “Iyale” – the stadium of 14,000 came alive clapping along the world-beat West African beat. The energy was awesome. Our set closed with our rock rendition of “Everlasting God” – a great way to worship God and set up ROJO’s set.

Truly God worked a miracle in Estadio Ramón “Tahuichi” Aguilera that evening! T

It was incredible to see 1600 + youth give their lives to Jesus!

Tony and I after our set

Enjoy these live video clips of the “Iyale” and “Everlasting God” performances …

Flyingbow Mission Trip to Santa Cruz, Bolivia in partnership with Gideons Canada

Bolivia is one of the the poorest countries in South America

Tony Lind (Flyingbow Guitarist) and I are just days away from embarking on a Mission Trip to Santa Cruz, Bolivia. Here are the broad details from an excerpt of a letter written by Elizabeth Sharpe (chair of the Flyingbow Ministry Board) to prayer partners and supporters:

… I write on behalf of Flyingbow Music Ministry. We support a community of Christian artists and musicians including violinist, Trevor Dick and guitarist, Tony Lind.

In partnership with the International Missions branch of Gideons Canada, Flyingbow Music Ministry has been given the tremendous opportunity to be represented by Trevor Dick and Tony Lind in support of a Mission Trip to Santa Cruz, Bolivia, South America from March 23 to April 1, 2012. They will join a team of 30 men and women who will distribute 100,000 New Testaments and share the gospel of Christ as God leads and opens doors. This mission trip follows in the wake of a similar project last Fall to Lima, Peru where a Gideons team of 19 strategically worked with 230 local pastors to distribute over 47,000 copies of God’s Word in Spanish and share the gospel. On that trip the group celebrated as they witnessed 11,000 individuals come to Christ through one-on-one evangelism and a further 5,000 group decisions for God.

Building on this incredible God-response in Lima, the Gideons have invited Flyingbow musicians, Trevor and Tony to join the Bolivia Team in Santa Cruz to minister in the streets, schools, market places, churches and the main soccer stadium – to attract larger crowds and share their love of Christ in music and testimony. This team will again work with many local pastors and churches in the street evangelism and Bible distribution. Pastors and church leaders in Bolivia are excited about this project and pleased to work in partnership with the Canadian team.

To support this project, please make cheques (designated: “Bolivia Mission Trip”) payable to Flyingbow Music Ministry. You may also donate online at: Charitable tax receipts will be issued through Flyingbow Music Ministry for each donation. Feel free to contact me if you have any questions …

According to the Center for Economic and Policy Research, which published an in depth report in December 2009 (using poverty data from 2007), 60.1% of Bolivia live in poverty and 37.7% in extreme poverty. 80.2% of the population have no access to electricity, 86% have no access to running water, and 50.8% have no sewage system connections. It will be a real honour to serve the Lord and the people of Santa Cruz, Bolivia for this 10 days of music ministry and missionary work. We really appreciate all your prayers for safety, open doors and hearts and God’s empowering in every way. As of yesterday, here is how our itinerary is shaping up:

• Thurs/Fri. Mar. 22-23 – travel to Santa Cruz, Bolivia from Toronto, via Miami.
• Sat. Mar. 24 p.m. – Perform and share at a large Crusade Event in the main Santa Cruz Soccer Stadium for 10,000 + people
• Sun. Mar. 25 a.m. – Perform and share in a Church morning worship service , Bolivian Mennonite Colonies
• Sun. Mar. 25 p.m. – Perform and share in a Church evening worship service , Santa Cruz
• Mon. Mar. 26 a.m. – Perform and speak to students of the largest high school in Santa Cruz
• Mon. Mar. 26 p.m. – Street busking, bible distribution and 1 on 1 evangelism in Santa Cruz
• Tues. Mar. 27 a.m. – Perform and speak to 1500 inmates in the Santa Cruz prison
• Tues. Mar. 27 p.m. – Street busking, bible distribution and 1 on 1 evangelism in Santa Cruz
• Wed. Mar. 28 p.m. – Perform and speak at the Santa Cruz military base
• Thurs. Mar. 29 a.m. and p.m. – Street busking, bible distribution and 1 on 1 evangelism in Santa Cruz
• Fri. Mar. 30 a.m. – Perform and speak to students at a Santa Cruz College/University
• Sat. Mar. 31 – To be decided
• Sun/Mon. April 1-2 – travel back home to Toronto from Santa Cruz

The beautiful city of Santa Cruz, Bolivia

I will be posting some updates here as the week progresses so stay tuned. Until next time. T