Where We Serve
The next international group to visit - The BONIFANTES MEN'S CHORUS
In July, during our mission trip to Central Europe, while in the Czech Republic, we reconnected with Jan Misek, a very gifted choral conductor and the director of a world-class boy's choir, the Bonifantes. In fact, we were blessed to perform a public concert together in their home city of Pardubice as a benefit in support of the Ukrainian refugees. The concert was amazing and at the end we got to share Christ with the audience and hand out dozens of Czech Bibles. Here is one of the songs we sang together:
We are excited to present the international award-winning Bonifantes Choir on tour in Florida, December 1-13, 2022. This group has a very impressive resume and has a multi-level structure gathering over 350 boys, teenagers and young men. This time around, we are bringing the older members of the group, the Bonifantes Men's Chorus, ages 16-28. Currently, we are scheduling Christmas concerts in the state of Florida working with churches, schools and cultural organizations. We are also looking for volunteer families in the Stuart and Palm City area to help us provide housing for these Czech students for the duration of their tour. It is not a difficult task as they are gone during the day and in the evenings performing concerts. You can drop them off in the morning after breakfast and pick them up at the end of the day. If you can help or would like to schedule a concert in your area, please email us at Michael@WeGoVertical.org.
To find out more about the Bonifantes Choir, please check out their website at www.Bonifantes.cz. (and make sure to select "English"). This is an amazing group of young singers and we are looking forward to welcoming them to Florida!
A Gift Beyond Music
(An article about the visit of the Czech student group, "The Smiling String Orchestra")
They returned back home on March 15, 2022. Twenty gifted teenagers from the Czech Republic led by a great director with a vision. "There is a reason the group is called the Smiling String Orchestra," said one of the partnering producers after a performance that brought the audience out of their seats several times during one of their outstanding concerts.
If you know us, you also know that this is one of our signature ministries at Vertical Fellowship: bringing Czech student groups to the USA and taking them on tour. But that’s barely half of the story. Music comes and goes, but its greater purpose as a vehicle for the gospel, overture to God’s Word, testimonies of salvation and friendships that last is the part that remains.
Since 1995, many students who traveled here become teachers and mentors who now bring their own groups to continue this legacy. They love giving the students the same opportunity they received – not only to sing or play abroad, but to live with Christian folks who house them, participate in the church life, hear the Word preached and realize there is more to life than the elusive center-stage spotlight.
Here is a classic example: Four years ago, a fifteen-year-old violist named Jakub visited the first time and became a Christian. He returned as one of the oldest in the orchestra and a true mentor to the younger students. It was amazing to watch him share his testimony from the stage or witness to other students in the van during the many hours we drove around South Florida. He even composed a piece of music for the orchestra called Almighty God. "I just wanted to glorify the Lord," he said… He will graduate in May and go on to study at the Czech national conservatory. He will take his faith and God’s power with him to his new environment. Perhaps one day, he will return leading his own group to help us continue the good work.
They returned back home, exhausted from the tour. Nine concerts heard by close to three thousand people in seven cities! We know that some of them recognized that God Himself is the source of the joy they tasted and experienced - a joy that cannot be denied by a sceptic or taken away by a government shutdown. God willing, some of them will come back the next time as mentors to help the younger ones to receive the fullness of this gift beyond music.
Many thanks to all who support us prayerfully and financially and in prayer to keep this ministry going!