If there’s a phrase to describe this last weekend, it would be “passionate prayer”. On Saturday we had a day of fasting with the Castillo del Rey (King’s Castle) kids. Seeing this group of kids give up their Saturday and food to spend it in prayer was powerful. God is doing amazing things in this team, uniting them and preparing them to serve. In our next update I’ll share a little bit more about that story.

The Castillo kids in a time of fasting and praying.


On Sunday evening we had what’s become known as “music night” at our house. It really started a few years ago when spontaneously a few of us began singing around the table. We started looking forward to nights our friends and the youth would come because, after conversation or playing around, inevitably someone would pick up a guitar for a sing-a-long. Somewhere along the way it moved from a sing-a-long to spontaneous worship. Before long, we were setting aside time to skip the playtime and move straight to the worship part. We have an open invitation for the youth to come sing, pray and just unload. Every experience is different depending on who shows up and the size of the group. Sometimes it has been a quiet, small intimate gathering and sometimes it has been a loud gathering of many with lots of instruments. It’s always different. A music night will usually get planned because someone will come to me and say, “Tona, I need a worship night.” Maybe they’re going through a rough time or need to escape life for a minute, and this has become our way to reset and recharge.


We had just had one two weeks ago, but it had been small. It had been beautiful and very special. Some who weren’t there for that night asked on Saturday, “Can we have a music night tomorrow?” Those who know me well know I struggle with saying no, but I really wanted to. Our schedule is overpacked right now and I couldn’t think of when I’d be able to get the house in order and food ready (because you know young people are always hungry!) I wanted to say no, but in typical Tona fashion, I gave in and said yes, in part because one of the youth leaders said he’d cook.


As people started showing up, I realized this was going to be a night leaning towards a bigger group. In the end, there were 16 of us. I prefer a smaller crowd generally because everyone can focus more. When there’s a lot of people, side conversations break out or the overall flow just doesn’t quite connect like we were expecting or it’s just a different vibe, but Sunday night was different. I think maybe everybody showed up expecting something fresh from God, needing to feel a connection, needing to turn their eyes back to Him. It was unlike any other music night we’ve had. As we sang and prayed throughout the night, several started to disburse through the living room and onto the balcony, some laying on the floor, each one in a private moment with God. It turned into an incredible night of prayer, truly more powerful than any we had experienced before. By the end, everyone was on their feet, praying for one another, speaking into each other’s lives, praising God with all they had. In one moment I sat down and looked around as all throughout the room groups of two or three were crying, hugging and praying.

Some of the music night attendees in prayer.

Looking back on the weekend, I see that this year will be different than the last. I can see young people getting tired of the “same old thing” and wanting to experience the presence of God more. I see them being prepared to go beyond themselves and serve God on a deeper level, serve others wholeheartedly. I continue to be impressed by these kids that make it a priortity to be here, whether it is to play in the pool or cry out to God. I am excited for what’s to come and to see what this generation will do. If this past weekend was any indication, it is going to be a powerful 2017!