There was one other speaker that the Bolivian churches invited to the conference that I was excited and honored to get to spend time with-Mark Young.
I had briefly spent time with him at a worship retreat a few years prior, but we never had time to just talk about life.
He arrived to Cochabamba super early one morning, and we talked for a few hours while the rest of the house was sleeping.
Mark is like the grandfather of the Vineyard worship movement in South America. He laughed when I told him that, saying that there was another guy before him; but truly, Mark has invested so much time, energy and creativity into the Spanish-speaking worship movement.
He has selflessly poured into so many young worship leaders who are now writing and leading in powerful ways in their churches.
And now, he is on his own adventure of church planting in Mendoza, Argentina. When I first heard about it, I just figured that he and his wife moved back to where family was. But, over coffee the morning he arrived, he shared that Mendoza is actually 8 hours away from family; and then he told me the whole story of how God called him there.
Like every wild and unpredictable missions/church planting story, his has its cadre of answered prayers, situations that only God could orchestrate, and trials.
Mark is planting a church that has arms wide open to the pierced, tatooed rockers and others who don’t feel like they belong in a church, welcoming them to experience the reality of Jesus. He is strategically positioned in Mendoza; and with his authentic relationship with the Lord and unique gifts of music and teaching, I know that God is going to pour out His Spirit in a new way in that city through what his church is doing!
I walked away from our conversation that morning absolutely fired up, with my faith growing about ten times, excited for whatever God is going to do with my little family.
And then, we got to serve and do life together. Mark was so encouraging to the whole team, always taking time to explain things, always filled with grace (except when I turned his guitar down too low when I was mixing…lol!).
I made him work hard with mixing when I led worship with the littles, but he handled everything with gentleness and grace.
He came alongside me one morning after a really rough night, not only buying milk that we needed, but gently encouraging me that this call to serve isn’t easy.
I am just absolutely grateful and honored to have shared time and space with Mark. He is a gift to our lives and the lives of so many others!