Herald Brass

Herald Brass

Sunday, December 4, 2016


God has been gracious toward us and meeting our every need, even if our prayers are answered as "wait." Mike continues to serve through the pain from shingles, Ed continuously battles an ear infection and side affects from medication, Teressa developed a severe cold, Anita manages the discomfort from a swollen hand, and all of us are sleep deprived. Even though our prayer for complete healing has not occurred, our God is good and meets us where we're at. Our weakness draws us to our loving Savior in complete dependence so that He is ultimately glorified...a valued reminder for independent and determined musicians. 😊 Your continued prayers are greatly appreciated!

Each day we're here it's one day closer to the Uruguayan summer, so with that comes higher humidity and heat. 😎 The first day we arrived, our host purchased a canopy and we are most grateful for the shade it provides in the heat of the day or during rain. A mid morning concert and brunch was held at a Bookclub member's home. Beautiful setting for an outdoor concert. There were approximately 12 retirement aged men and women in attendance and several of them remembered us from 3 years ago. They were most grateful that we returned to Uruguay and felt as if they were given a private showing. Our hosts and others on the team have been attending bookclub for several years laying a foundation of trust for these well educated, worldwide traveling and living upper class professionals. Our hosts held their first Thanksgiving meal for the bookclub members as well as those in the Reflection Group - beginning to bridge multiple groups. Most had never experienced a Thanksgiving meal and so our hosts introduced the purpose and "traditions" of our faith. As part of that experience, they prayed with them for the first time. Significant step of sharing our faith traditions. They loved it and respect our hosts even more. It's been said more than one time to us, "Uruguayans are not quick to trust, so if you mess up, they don't forget." Continue to pray for this lovely group of people who need to know Jesus. 

Later that evening we played at the local YMCA. The community director was excited for our return. Even though the attendance was not as the director hoped for, several within the audience heard us earlier in the week or saw the poster announcement and returned for the concert. Our IW's had opportunity to speak with them. Positive community relations exist between the YMCA and the IW's due to their desire for excellence and follow through. They've proven themselves therefore they can be trusted. Please pray for continual opportunities for the IW's to plan quality community based programs (i.e. English CamP) that facilitate in roads for the Gospel. 


Majority of the day was spent learning Uruguayan history while visiting historical sites in Montevideo, but that also included shopping for souvenirs in local artisan markets or street side vendors. 😊 The IW's gave us instructions on how the shopping works in Uruguay and then let us loose to try it on our own. Many vendors did not speak English so, if after trying to communicate, we came up needing assistance we called in the translating calvary. The calculator became our best friend for currency conversion.

Remember us mentioning the young couple who owned the nursing home and café? Friday evening we had the privilege of playing outside at this venue. There are several food related businesses in this corner lot, so lots of people were milling in and around the area; many taking advantage of listening to this very unique group of musical instruments. People came as well since they could hear us in the residential neighborhood. Older children would walk near us to watch what we were doing. They especially liked standing near the keyboard and electronic drum pad. Very entertaining! Parents expressed interest in the instruments. We enjoyed conversations with people in attendance. General music class is taught in the school system, but private instruction is required for students interested in taking lessons on a specific instrument.

Pray that this young, influential couple reengages in Reflection Group. Their lives represent many of the middle and upper class so to seek out new friendships may not always be desired. This couple is dynamic, caring, and influential within the community.


Sandwiches anyone? Immediately after breakfast we assembled 100 ham and cheese sandwiches for our morning event at a poorer community near the airport. Previously in the week, 100 bags of candy were put together for this group as well. The IW's contacted this communities' Assemblies of God Argentinian pastor and his wife's to see if they would be open to an early evening concert in the town triangle (park). We were also willing to assist with their morning outreach to the children within this community. This younger family chose to live within this particular area and also send their children to the local public school. Significant step of trust, but when called to ministry, we want to respond. When they moved in several years ago, they quickly learned that their neighbors were either drug dealers or thieves; however, over time, this community has accepted this dynamic, humble family and protects their property which also houses the church. Prior to that, they were vandalized multiple times. 

We had the privilege to love on the children through personal interaction (even though most didn't speak English), as well as through a puppet presentation and illusions with biblical emphasis (Thank you, Steve Green, for your Bible through Spanish song CD!), introduction to a few brass instruments and food. Organized chaos, but the children ate all of it up...literally! This couple pours Christ's love into this community and it's making a difference. They built a space behind their "parsonage" for the people to gather and for food prep. It has a mid-size refrigerator which held the sandwiches and drink we brought for the children. The church also recently experienced renovations - from dirt to tiled floor, painted side walls, a drop ceiling, and two ceiling fans. Significant improvements...and the town respects the pastor/wife and protects the property. 

The pastor's wife and core church group women walked throughout the community to collect the children to bring them to their weekly Saturday morning event. Providing for basic physical needs is paramount to the Gospel being heard. The pastor's wife was amazing in leading the children in singing...loudly. During our puppet presentation the children couldn't get close enough to us. They're curious minds wanted to see what was happening behind the black curtain. Kids are the same everywhere. 

Later that day, we returned to the town green space (small triangle/island with a few pieces of playground equipment) for a concert. This small church has developed a solid team of loving adults who pour into their own community. Tons of people walked by this area and heard the music; however the crowd was limited. BUT those who needed to be there were there. This venue was quintessential of what we typically do...music amidst chaos. Following our musical presentation the pastor shared the Gospel message and 5 people prayed to receive Christ and one recommitted their life to Christ. Praise God! The pastor said that when the one person in the family chooses to follow God the rest of the family is reached as well. We are confident that the pastor and his wife WILL followup with these people and disciple them. Nancy, the pastor's wife, contacted us thanking us for investing in them and blessing their ministry. God is at work. We were privileged to join them in the journey.


Our morning began with devotions led by our IW - setting the stage for our prayer walk on the beach. The Uruguayan Alliance National President shared with all the IW's his reflection on the three primary spiritual strongholds within Montevideo: materialism, unbelief, and freemasonry. As we prepared to pray, we were reminded of what the scripture teaches us regarding prayer and distinguishing between selfish prayers related to personal gain versus seeking God's will in our prayers and believe that He will answer. We do need to dream big with God for spiritual awakening for this city who is in spiritual darkness. We prayed to that end.

This afternoon we're experiencing an Asado at our IW's home along with a newer-to-the-field couple. An Asado is a traditional style of cooking that the people of Uruguay, Chile, Argentina, and Brazil all enjoy. While many foods can be cooked over an open fire the term Asado typically refers to grilled and barbecued beef.

This evening we will conclude our concert tour by playing during A Spiritual Greenspace comprised of IW's as well as locals who they've made contact with - seekers who might not recognize that they have a spiritual need. Families and individuals are invited, but if they get a "better offer" from their own family members or friends, they won't come. It's another opportunity to invest in them...if they come. Pray people come and continue to come. IW's in this city continually face rejection, so we pray for spiritual stamina. They are "called ones" to this field that many times is known as the "death field" so we ask the Father, Son and Spirit to equip them and develop "spiritual fortitude."

Thank you for following this blog and for praying for us as we conclude our time here. Tomorrow as we pack and prepare to return home to our sense of "normal," we're asking God to remind us of the things He's taught us along the way and to infuse them into our everyday living.

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Thanks for bearing with us. We know that many have been waiting for an update. Our schedule has been wonderfully packed but with little downtime. Let me catch you up...

PS...IW = International Workers


The longest day...ever. Well, for this trip. :) After greeting our hosts and loading all our luggage in the pouring down rain, we navigated to our respective homes to quickly unpack, change clothes and prep for our first concert. Many prayers were answered for the IW team since this was an outdoor dinner event for couples. The rain stopped just in time for our team to set up a shelter and outdoor seating for us. Our hosts are truly an example of flexibility. Although spirits were dampened when the rain began at 4PM they mentally regrouped, prayed, and forged ahead by removing their living and dining room furniture outside under a roofline so that the rented tables and chairs could be set-up, ready for 25 couples to attend. Most of those who came did not know each other and this was their first exposure to a marriage enrichment event. Our role was to come alongside the IW's to help build bridges of friendship which will support the weight of the Gospel through musical excellence as the IW's seek to reach the professional class of Montevideo.


We woke to beautiful skies and prepared for a morning concert at Christ Church, a multinational body of believers and seekers. Pastor John shepherds a transient congregation comprised of international business people, embassy representatives, university students, new-to-the-field international workers, almost to the place where very few were true Uruguayans; many languages were represented. This church body is a networking community seeking to build a spiritual kingdom. Following the concert, we enjoyed a fellowship meal that was truly international. Each family prepared a side dish to share and it was naturally an international meal without needing to exert energy to think "internationally." Our purpose was to bring the Christmas message through music and new contacts were made for our hosts. The remainder of the afternoon and evening was spent touring a few historical sites in Montevideo. 


Our audiences ranged from the very young to the very old. Our first concert, which quickly turned into two concerts, was at the British School. There we performed for the 720+ elementary and junior high school student body. The students were responsive to the music, therefore interaction was incredible. This was our third visit to the British school. Bridges of trust began in 2011 when the new-to-the-field IW's contacted school officials to see if they would be interested in hosting us. Since then, we've become a well respected and requested group not only because of our level of professionalism but also because the bridges the IW's continue to build with people, even when administrators change. Our presence continues to strengthen IW's relationships with the school which opens doors for English camp and other initiatives. Relationships matter when building a community of faith. Pray for continued opportunities for our IW's to be in the school. 

Side note...Mike gave us some excitement when we quickly discovered that his "not feeling well" turned into a diagnosis of shingles. An ambulance came on site at the school and provided care for him on location. He continues to rise above the pain and significant discomfort. Thank you for praying. We are in a spiritual battle. That is apparent.

Later in the day, we played an outdoor concert for a group of beautifully spirited mature adults at a nursing home. A young couple attended a Reflection Group meeting prior to the IW's returning to the states. After the IW's returned to Uruguay, they ate a meal at this couple's newly founded restaurant and were prompted to ask if they would be interested in hosting concerts; one at the nursing home the wife runs and the other at the restaurant the husband is chef. This couple owns both of these businesses. Two totally different audiences for the message of hope. The music brought Christmas joy to physically challenged and spiritually hopeless. One sweet lady said the music filled her soul. Later in the week we'll perform at the restaurant.

The music directly ministered to a group of people who were not able to give anything back. We trust the Spirit to draw people to Himself. Relationship building with this couple is important for the IW's. Pray they return to Reflection Group and seek the author of hope.


Much needed rest came with Day 5...aka Tuesday. We traveled up the coast to enjoy God's creation, beautiful sites, and authentic Uruguayan food. We fell into bed at 11PM.

wavy bridge - just because they can

jumping for Emily and Ellie 


Up early and out the door by 7:45AM for two concerts at the American School. The same emphasis of purpose with the British School applies here. A unique experience at the American School was "Ability Awareness Day" - a day focused on student's abilities, not disabilities. This initiative was created by our hosts' daughter, who taught in this school a few years ago. Foundations within the special needs community were invited by the American School to come for a morning of integration and celebration, creating greater people awareness of their abilities. We were touched by the enthusiastic response from the K-10th grade students and guests. The additional children with no vision or hearing were able to enjoy our music either through hearing or feeling the vibrations. Some of these children were able to experience the instruments through touching them as well. Overall it was a time in which all received joy through music and we received joy and satisfaction in return.  Relationships with administrators and teachers were able to continue and be bridged again on behalf of the IW's as their daughter had not been teaching there for a few years and they have been on home assignment for the last year.  

It is important for there to be continued involvement with both of the schools as this provides a positive standing in the community and ultimately a good reputation that will lead to administrators, teachers, parents and children coming to the IW's Reflection Group and other events that will give them the hope they need in their lives.

This evening is a meeting of the Reflection Group in which some who are attending have attended a concert. Doug is sharing some testimony of storms in his life and how God has carried him through with this group.

Please pray for the American School and the students there and the many possibilities to reach into that community.

Monday, November 28, 2016


The Very Beginning

Ed and I were picked up at 1:30 pm on Friday afternoon, November 25th. Some of the others had been traveling for a little while already. 
We had to travel very close together because a third of the van was packed with luggage. We were squished but still had fun any way.
Three hours later we were in New York waiting for the first leg of the trip.

In JFK airport and going through the check in was slightly nerve racking but soon we were sitting waiting for our plane to take off.

Nine and a half. hours later we landed in Rio de Janeiro , Brazil for a six hour layover. Then off to Montevideo!! A lot of us did not sleep well on that long flight so most of us was on the grouchy side by this time.

First Impressions

We arrive safe and sound at approximately 5:20 pm Saturday afternoon. Looking around the first thing we see is it's raining cats and dogs outside, very unusual for Montevideo!!   Our hosts arrive and off we go.

My first impression is that Montevideo is not really that much difference between this city and every big city in the US. As we stay we figure out there are differences.

Teressa, Dean's daughter, noticed the cars are different here. 
Don, Herald Brass's drummer, stated that it is very beautiful but there is a lot more gates and security here.
Sandy, Dale's wife, said it was what she expected. She saw pictures from Dale's trip here three years ago.

Well, we'll be back in touch. Within 24 hours of arriving, we've performed 3 concerts and we're tired. Stay tuned...

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Uruguay 2013

Sunday morning we attended Christ Church in Montevideo.  We were well-received by the congregation, who varied in age and were from many different countries.  The service was in English; God worked through us to encourage many that attended.  We performed our first of three concerts of the day.

This little boy came up to Doug asking if he could play the trumpet.  Doug, instead, taught him how to buzz his lips and told him to practice that all the time at his house.

Our team connected with many people following the service.

Once again we were well fed.  A private place was provided for us to have lunch in which a delicious meal was prepared by a Uruguyan church member who was originally from Australia.

Sunday afternoon we had the opportunity to play at a nursing home that was originally a private summer home for a wealthy family with 14 children. The family reportedly used this mansion once a year as a vacation home.  There are currently 92 residents that live here.  Pictures do not do justice for the grandeur of this building which was inspired by Italian architecture. The wood, marble, tile floor, and other materials were imported from Italy.

The first concert was held outdoors for the convenience of some of the residents who lived on the lower floor of the building.

The second concert was played in the Grand Hall (as shown in the next few pictures) for the benefit of the residents on the upper floor. Residents were actively involved in some of the songs.  For example, on The Twelve Days of Christmas they held up cards and rang bells for other songs.

The director shown in the picture to the left was very grateful for the joy through music that we brought to the residents.

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Uruguay 2013

The Herald Brass played two concerts on Friday morning at the Uruguayan American School, after which they were presented with gift bags and a delicious complementary luncheon.

The Herald Brass introduced students to each instrument, how each one makes different sounds, and how they all fit together in a brass quintet.

The principal of the school took time to thank the Herald Brass for coming, expressed how much their music was appreciated, and how well it was performed.

The group was invited to a first grade classroom where they took more time to demonstrate how to play the brass instruments, ranging from how to make a noise with the mouthpiece, to show how to work the valves/slide, and even worked on learning how to have breath control.

Here are a few pictures of the city of Montevideo from the Antel building on the twenty sixth floor.

Friday evening The Herald Brass performed at an outdoor concert held at the YMCA in Montevideo. The concert was well attended, with an enthusiastic, and encouraging audience.  After the concert, the YMCA presented The Herald Brass with gifts of t-shirts, copies of posters that had been used to advertise the concert, and also treated them to a private dinner of beef and chicken empanadas, pizza, and drinks.

Anita had the audience participate in the song, The Twelve Days of Christmas, by having volunteers hold up cards that had one of the twelve gifts on each card.

Good News!…camera card has been replaced.  See prior days/posts for pictures.