Tuesday, June 07, 2011
Praise Fest and Cruise With A Cause
Cruise With A Cause teamed up with Jamaica to host an evening ministry program (http://cruisewithacause.org/jamaica/) on June 1st. A group of our students from the Montego Bay Campus were asked to participate with Newsong (http://www.newsongonline.com/) as they performed their song "Arise, My Lord." What I initially thought would be a couple hours with me taking some pics and video of the kids, turned into a 6 hour ordeal that became very memorable. The CCCD kids did a very good job, you can check out their performance on my YouTube website (www.youtube.com/blakewidmer). The artists that performed did a very good job also (a moving Josh McDowell message, Lecrae, Casting Crowns and even Lex Lugar and a professional wrestling outreach ministry called WWO) and I even got to meet a very down to earth, humble man named Anthony Evans. If you don't know him, you'll likely know his father, Dr. Tony Evans (well known for his radio ministry) or his sister, Priscilla Shirer (known for her Bible studies, in league with Beth Moore). The quick story: I was standing near the front of the stage so I could get a good angle on pictures and also interpret for the group of CCCD students who had come down to watch their classmates perform. A couple hours into the show I received a text from Felicia Campbell (missionary at JDV, her husband is Damian, the pastor for the New Life Church of the Deaf) asking me if I could get in touch with Anthony Evans, they went to college together and wanted to reconnect. My first response was, "Anthony Evans?....this is impossible." I doubted I could really make contact with him backstage and also, he had performed at the very beginning so I didn't even know if he was still around. Anyways, I felt I should try and so I contacted a CWAC volunteer and asked where I could find Mr. Evans. He said to check with a woman named Kim. I found Kim and asked her, and a minute later she was ushering Anthony over to me. I just said, "Hi, I'm a friend of Felicia's, she went to Liberty with you" and before I could finish he got all excited and said "Oh yeah, I think she was going to come to this tonight!" I replied that the rain had prevented them from making the 3 hour trip from Mandeville, but if he could come up to the campus in the morning, they would come down to visit with him. He said the bus schedule would be difficult, so I told him I could pick him up in the morning, and that's how I became the Jamaican Taxi man for Anthony Evans :) Erin and I went down in the morning to pick him up, and I was impressed with his humble demeanor. He asked each of us a lot of questions about how we got involved with CCCD, how we decided to move to Jamaica, if it was hard to miss our families, and if our families were supportive of what we were doing. He was genuinely interested in each of us as a person, which I guess I just didn't expect from someone so famous. It was a blessing to see Felicia's reunion with an old college friend, they hadn't seen each other since graduation in 2000. Anthony got to meet Damian and all their kids for the first time. Another thing that stuck with me was how quickly his signing came back to him. He told me that he only really knew sign because of Felicia, but that he hadn't used it in over 10 years. However, once he started conversing it kept flowing and he did a very good job. I've listened to a few of his songs the last few days, and would encourage you to check out his work at www.anthony-evans.com Oh, and he also sings with one of my favorite artists, Lecrae. You can check out one of my favorite songs at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4Ec7ofMOqVM&feature=related with Lecrae doing the rap part and Anthony singing the vocals...for some, this genre of music might make you want to put in ear plugs, but check out the lyrics as they sing, it is a powerful message.
Anthony performing "Mighty to Save"
Anthony and I backstage when I first met him
Damian and Felicia Campbell family with Anthony at the CCCD MoBay campus
Kishaun, Mario and Romeo performing drama in conjunction with Newsong's "Arise, My Lord"
Wish this was clearer as it is a powerful image, where in the song the Resurrection has taken place
Lecrae, one of my favorite artists, performing "Identity"
The beautiful sunset God painted for all 30,000 of us to see...it was better in person