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Every year, Fountainview’s concert tour down the west coast is rather predictable: we drive long hours, play many concerts, and sleep when we can. But a few months before our most recent California tour, the school was contacted by an Adventist church in Boise, Idaho that was asking something very different from us.  They wanted us to design a unique evangelism program integrating music from our Christmas and “Gospel” repertoires with speeches aimed at bringing people to Christ. Craig Cleveland, our music director, decided to accept this challenge, and turned the responsibility of developing the special programs over to Ms. Raney, one of the teachers here at Fountainview. She in turn asked me and Sarah, another student, to work with her on this daunting task. From the outset we knew we had a lot of work to do. After a few minutes of talking and praying together, we came to the consensus that we needed to try something revolutionary. God impressed us with the idea of tackling the two largest questions faced by Christians and non-Christians alike: Who and where is God when we hurt, and is God really enough to satisfy all our eternal longings? The idea to address these questions was accompanied with a feeling of overwhelming helplessness. The more we delved into those two topics, the more we realized our own lack of a good answer. We knew there was only one way to get the message across to our audience: we had to be brutally, intimately honest. The three of us were excited by the prospect of doing something outside the usual “sing, play and smile” concert routine. We saw these presentations in Boise as an opportunity to speak to people on a deeply personal level, from our hearts. While such boldness and honesty is scary, it usually pays off. And for us, with God’s blessing, it did.

Who would have thought that high school students could have spoken, in such a direct and honest way, words that found their way directly to people’s hearts? Our goal was to reveal necessity, unveil questions that we all struggle with sometimes, and push people’s buttons to turn them towards a Saviour who is also in pain from sin, but a Saviour who can satisfy eternal longings. And by God’s grace, we achieved our goal. Lives were touched. There are many stories we could share, but suffice it to say that students witnessed the rededication of their own friends, and complete strangers, to Christ.

For me, this project marks a milestone in the way I approach evangelism, and possibly in the way Fountainview approaches its music ministry. In speaking to a fellow Christian about evangelism, Ellen White wrote:

Your ideas are altogether too narrow, too bound about; you need to widen and broaden. Do not educate your mind to see afar off, thus making the subjects on which you dwell not of enough consequence to engage immediate attention. Carry your hearers with you. You can change your manner of labor; you can put energy and deep interest into your subject. You can allow the Holy Spirit to work the man. You can bear responsibilities which you are inclined to neglect. {13MR 24.2}

After joining in the opportunity to minister in Boise, I experienced this “broadening” of viewpoint. I had the privilege of talking directly and honestly with people who were searching for the truth; I played my instrument in the orchestra with renewed purpose; and I witnessed firsthand the power of the Holy Spirit inspiring people—not just the people we spoke to, but also each and every one of us who participated in the project. It was truly a blessing.

Michael Jensen
Grade 12 Student