What a great God we serve! It was so awesome to be a part of an event for the A21 Campaign and the End It Movement!
After a day of scrambling to fill missing spots in the band, we’re off to the races. We met Anthony Rick, the drummer from Coastline Community Church who actually preached a sweet message last weekend. He’s a fabulous drummer and we were so grateful that he was willing to jump in last minute. He got to learn the songs on the way over to Tampa where we met the bassist for the night.
Band practice itself was a bit rough but throw in a spaghetti dinner and we’ll recover!. The night started with the Icarus Account– twin brothers from Satellite beach who rocked the mics with their sweet harmonies and made all the ladies swoon.Next was a speaker for the Rachel Project, a local organization supporting the restoration of those involved with human trafficking. Turns out, the Tampa Bay area is #3 in the state of Florida for human trafficking. Their first week of operation, their safehouse was completely maxed out, with hundreds on the waiting list. Heartbreaking.
Kristen spoke next. She has been involved with the A21 Campaign since she was 16. In high school, she and a group of friends raised over $30,000 to help raise support for A21. She challenged the crowd, “If I could do this, you can too. It just takes a willing heart. Everyone can make a difference.” She spoke from Nehemiah and how when there was devastation, his heart was broken and God gave him favor to build a wall which represented safety and protection for his people. It was so difficult to hear of the stories of the women and children who have been trapped into slavery. I know I wasn’t the only one that shed tears. Kristen’s hope was that by spreading the word, people will educate themselves and others and that we can begin dismantle of power of these criminals. Education is were it begins and yes, the numbers look dismal now but there is hope for future. We must act now.
Next up was Jonathan and the band. It was an incredible time of worship. Everyone was lost in the moment singing songs like, He Will Come and Awaken Me. Jonathan challenged everyone to remember it was at Jesus’ darkest hours that he begged his disciples to stay awake; Here we are in the midst of a dark time in history, more people are enslaved now than in history and the Church is called to wake up.
The night finished with another band and after packing up, we needed food! Jonathan, Andrew, Jordan, the drummer Anthony, myself and a friend headed to Chili’s. We talked about the night and how cool it was to see God orchestrated the event. “It wasn’t about us,” Andrew said, “God put that whole thing together, we just got to play music. We just got to worship along side everyone else.” Anthony agreed, “I was ministered to in the drum cage. God was doing something big and it wasn’t just about us serving people musically, I was encouraged just being there.”
Sometimes when we lead people in worship, we can make it about how good we played, what we sounded like or even stress out about messing up. But when we take the focus off ourselves and put it back on God, it let’s off the pressure us and He gets all the glory.
What a night it was indeed! We are thankful to be a part of it.
In His Grip,
**Check out the A21Campaign, the End It Movement and if your from the Tampa Bay area, the Rachel Project to find out how you can get involved. Education is the first step to conquering this devastating crime in our country. You can make a difference!!