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Friday, April 4th – Village for Orphans, Lima Peru

There were around 200 children at this village, most have had a very tragic past and been through horrible things, like seeing their parents killed, to being given or taken away from them because of abuse. It breaks your heart looking into some of these children’s eyes and seeing such a deep sadness and hurt that you know they have been through something tragic, something far beyond their years. They want to be held and hugged and listened to and tickled and told that everything is going to be ok. We have some really cool costumes that a company in the States donated…

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Wednesday, April 2nd 2014 Prison in Caio, Peru

We were not able to get the authorization to perform in this prison in the time frame we had, so my sisters and I went to visit on the day they allow women to visit. We had to wait in a long line and go through a tun of security and check points. They stamp your arm with a number and that’s the place you get in line. We were 217 out of like 600 so not that bad. You have to know someone on the inside and be visiting them to get in. Since we did not know anyone inside, we…

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Saturday, March 29th – Amphitheater in a poor district down town Lima, Peru.

We were invited into an enclosed amphitheater where local artists perform down town Lima. It was a very large crowd and we only had one hour flat to set up, perform and break down. It was a challenge because the people here were used to traditional cultural singing, not high energy, fast paced music and theater, so it was quit a switch for them. We started with a cultural dance we do which is similar to the style they are used to, followed by a magic routine to the old school song called, “De Colores” and then transitioned into our…

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Friday, March 28th – Largest Prison in Peru, two presentations 1,600 men

This prison is one of the top worst in the entire world. It was built for 2,500 men, and now holds between 9,000 to 11,000 men! There are as little as 100 guards to manage and run the place, so lawlessness and violence are common as guards are forced to leave the prisoners to do as they like to a certain extent. Corruption is the norm, and guards will take bribes from the prisoners with money. Out of the 10,000 prisoners, over 7,000 have never received a sentence or seen a judge. So many are put in here for just…

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Thursday, March 13th Chambuca Granda, Lima Peru

It took a lot of work and a special permission to be able to perform here. Most artists will have these spots reserved for years in advanced but they made an exception and gave us time slots once they saw what we do, the quality of our acts and that we do not ask for money. It was different having the crowd so close and a little intimidating to see some of their hard faces. But once we broke the ice and got them laughing, we won the crowd and so won the place to put a seed of hope…

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Monday, March, 10th – La Merced, down town Lima.

Any dates that we were not at a specific event, we were down town in the city center. This was the hardest city to get permission at so far. One of the secretaries told me honestly that the whole permission system is designed to make people give up because they do not want people performing on the streets all though they cannot legally prohibit it. It took a lot of 1:30 taxi rides to this office and that office and a lot of phone calls but thank God eventually we got permission to perform on the streets of Lima Peru on…

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Sunday, March, 9th – A park on the far limits of Lima in the poorest district.

The director of all the parks in Peru heard about what we do and that we don’t charge and so asked us to visit certain parks in poor areas and attend certain events he had organized. On our way to this park we stopped at a little village and bought a bunch of balls, candy, hullo hoops and toys. The guy that sold them to us gave us a cheep price because we told him we were giving them away and he was thrilled to make such a big sale when he usually sells like one thing a day, so…

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Friday, February 28th – Plaza San Pedro, Down town Lima

We do a choreographed dance where we use torches lit on fire. As I was in the back preparing the fire, someone in the crowd knocked over the container of fuel and I did not see it happen. When my brother came back to light his torch, the ground ignited and fire began to jump all over. It was terrifying. In an instant it began to spread and jump to our equipment. Thanks be to God our beloved Father, who protected us and enabled us to put it all out without suffering significant loss or injury. My hair caught on…

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Tuesday, February 18th – Down town historic center, Trujillo, Peru

We stopped at the city of Trujillo, Peru on our way to Lima. The police said they never let anyone perform in the historic plaza which was in the center of the city and the busiest place. After a long morning of talking to all the city officials and authorities, we were able to talk to the guy highest up who said they would make an exception just this once and just in our case and allow us to go where we wanted to go. He even extensively thanked us for the work we are doing and God used him…

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Saturday, February 15th – A little fishing town just inside Ecuador on the way to the Peruvian Border.

As we drove through Ecuador we passed a small fishing town that was just bustling with people since it was a holiday. We pulled over and set up our equipment in a parking lot where I guy was selling crabs, chickens and fish (nice smell in the sweltering heat). In a matter of minuets, a crowd gathered and was cheering, clapping and participating. A national tv crew was in the area and when they heard we were there filmed our whole presentation, interviewed us to broadcast on the nightly news. The reporter said it personally touched her to hear us talk…

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Crossing the Peruvian Border – There are a lot of dogs in the world!

Crossing the border into Peru was actually pretty easy except that where you are supposed to check out of Ecuador was not marked so when we got to the Peruvian side, they sent us back to Ecuador a few miles to check out. No one knew where the office was, which seems weird, but eventually we found it. A few days earlier they had confiscated four semi trucks full of fish because of some document problem, so I’ll just let you imagine the wonderful smell that loomed in the air as we waited for everything to get cleared in 100…

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Thursday, February 13th -Down town Quito, Ecuador

This city was an absolute nightmare to drive around. I think the only other place I have seen roads this steep was in a Doctor Sues book. Everything is one way and the traffic is so bad if you miss a turn you are in for a good hour to get back there. After some slightly stressful driving, we found a busy plaza down town where were got permission to perform for the day. There was a live radio broadcast going on so we had to wait for them to finish, but they asked us to speak on the radio…

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Sunday, February 9th – Left Bogota, heading to the Peruvian Border.

We sold or gave away everything that was not absolutely essential and loaded all our gear into our van and trailer. The previous week, my brothers and I built a small utility trailer with a bunch of used parts we rounded up around Bogota, in order to help us carry our equipment. So try to imagine 8 people, 8 sleeping bags and pads, 8 bags containing our clothes, a tent, camping and cooking gear, all our musical sound equipment as in two speakers, a generator, mixer, bass, two boxes of props, puppets and costumes, Gospels of John, New Testaments, pamphlets,…

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Wednesday, February 5th – National, Food Bank Conference Bogotá Colombia, 700 foundation leaders

We were invited to perform at a theater for the National Food bank. Most of the time our stage is on the streets, parks, school court yards, prison patios and grass fields, but to be on a big ritzy stage, with curtains and lighting was awesome!  The magic routines I do with my sisters become like Cirque Du Sole performances on a stage and you don’t have to work to keep the attention of the crowd because all eyes are on you. The Food bank sponsors hundreds of foundations that work with kids, handicapped, street kids, displaced families and the…

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Tuesday, January 28th – Fixing up Guillermo’s shack and taking him to a clinic

We have known a homeless man named Guillermo for a long time. He is 70 years old and blind. He plays the guitar and sings to make money. A while back we were down town performing on the streets of Bogotá for the Christmas festivals. We were setting up our sound equipment and a large crowd was gathering when my dad looked over and saw Guillermo sitting off to the side slowly strumming his guitar. We instantly paused what we were doing and brought Guillermo into our crowd so he could sing and make money from our crowd. What is…

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Friday, January 24th- Large School in Bogotá, 2 presentations each for over 400 kids.

The schools here are different then the ones in the States as in all grades, from first all the way to twelfth grade attend the same school. So we have a crowd of a few hundred five to eight year old’s and a few hundred teenagers. This is a VERY challenging venue. We want to engage everybody and sow seeds into their young hearts and our performances is for all age groups but for example, there are all the little kids sitting in front who get so excited, can’t sit still, want to be held and touch everything that it…

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Thursday, January 23rd | A Military Rehabilitation center, Bogotá Colombia.

A few years ago we had performed here at this base and they invited us back for a new group of soldiers who were in recovery. These men have had serious injuries from the war and the time they spend in the jungle chasing the drug lords of the FARC. Many have lost limbs due to land mines or have horrible infections from plants and bugs they encountered in the jungle. The General told me that three days earlier he had been up in the jungle with a battalion of soldiers. They had stopped to take a break and set…

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Saturday, January, 11th | Plaza San Victorina, Bogotá, Colombia.

We performed at a plaza where many homeless people hang out during the day and also at a place by the railroad tracks where numerous homeless families live. Besides performing for them, we gave them all some food packets we had made up and some extra clothes we had. Obviously it would be expensive to feed so many people but it was cool, we asked a bakery on our corner if they had extra bread and they gave us a ton! A grocery store donated a bunch of candy, I had brought a bunch of beef jerky I got on…

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Month of December- City Center of Bogotá, Colombia.

For the month of December, many cities in Colombia put up beautiful displays of Christmas lights and have festivals, shows and music. A few years ago we spent the Christmas season in Medellin, Colombia, performing on the streets and by the river every night. People come from all over to see the lights and parades (they get the lights and displays from Europe and have lit fountain shows) so the city is extremely busy. This year we were in Bogotá and went to many parks, special festivals and the main street down town which is closed to traffic and just…

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December 2013 | Village for Orphans, Bogotá, Colombia.

A few years back we spent a lot of time here, teaching English and Tae Kwon Do to the children. These kids have been severely damaged by things that have happen in their past like seeing their parents killed or from suffering abuse. It was so wonderful to return and see “our kids” run into our arms and call us by name. We did a show in their theater of dance and magic, sowing seeds into their hearts that no matter what, they have a Father who wants them. I was so happy to see that even the older kids,…

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A New Frontier; Brazil And Beyond

This summer we came upon an incredible opportunity to travel to Brazil for the first time, at an extremely low airfare; less than half what it normally costs. We were able to bring our music presentation to the streets of São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro. All I can say is “wow!”. It is another huge country that we look forward to returning to in the future.  So much opportunity. Most of us have become fluent in Portuguese now, by God’s marvelous grace, and we are able to communicate at 100%. One of the highlights of our trip was when…

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Sunday, August 4th | Largest Park in Sao Paulo, Brazil

This is one of the largest parks in the world and we had huge crowds all day as families visited the park. We stayed out performing for long hours and only left because of an evening storm. Taxi’s were so expensive that we had to take the bus around the city which was quite a challenge with all our props, speakers, generator, mixer and other gear (the busses are packed, and here comes a family of eight with all this equipment they have to lift over the turn thing and take up the whole aisle with and then try to…

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Thursday, August 1st, 2013 |Men’s and women’s prison outside of Sao Paul, Brazil.

We sent out a few emails to see if we could get into the prisons in the time frame we had. We instantly received a response requesting us to visit a prison a few hours outside the city. We did not have our van in Brazil and so had no transportation (we found cheep air tickets and so flew here from Colombia. We will drive here in a few years to spend much more time). The director of the prison desperately wanted us to come so he sent a little van and an ambulance to pick us all up and…

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June 20th | Largest Prison in Bogotá, Colombia.

It took a lot of letters and leg work to receive the authorization to enter the Colombian prisons, but once those in charge realized what we were offering, they allowed us access to every prison in Colombia. Over the course of some time we performed at every patio, reaching a total of around 12,000 men. In some cases we performed for groups of up to 2,000 prisoners at a time having a phenomenal effect. We followed up our performances by returning to do clinics where we taught them things and did hands on activities. We also worked extensively in this…

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June 17th |Prison with maximum security sections, Bogotá, Colombia.

Over the course of some time, we performed within every patio, including all those of maximum security. A prisoner who was a reporter and allowed more freedom, wrote a paper about us and made sure it was distributed to every cell. This day it was my birthday, and when we were finished the prisoners gave me a beautiful little tree they had made out of wire as a gift and sang me happy birthday. We also frequently visited this prison in in 2011.

March through June | Bogota, Colombia

We performed at numerous high schools, universities and middle schools throughout Bogotá, Colombia, and surrounding cities, including a school of music and dance for troubled kids far up in mountains. We  also performed constantly at the down town center as well as at the parks, plazas and special events. 

*Gasp! So Much to Do… so little time.

Hello Everyone, Welcome to our blog. This is only the first post but as we go along, by the requests of some, we will be posting updates and journal reports of our travels. This is Joshua, others will be posting as well in the future. Hopefully we will be able to add pictures and videos and what not as we go along. I hope you enjoy it and would like to thank you for taking the time to check it out. Wow. So much to do, so very little time. Each day is cram pack with trying to get everything…

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Military school like our West Point.

It was a bit intimidating performing for several hundred highly disciplined cadets in uniform, but we ended up being able to teach them a lot of things. Tae Kwon Do is a required class here, so everyone knew it and was able to participate in the demonstrations my brothers and sisters and I do. We also do a dance where we use Tae Kwon Do moves to electronic music, were pretty impressed and had never thought of doing the art to music.  

Home for individuals with severe mental disabilities 2 hours outside of Bogotá.

This home is run by a young, 24 year old woman who is probably the most selfless person I have met. Of her own freewill, she drives over two hours every morning to arrive to this home and sincerely care for the severely mentally handicapped people that live there. Most of the men, women and children who call this place home have been given away by their parents or abandoned. When we were in the States, my sister and I had visited a number of different thrift stores like Goodwill and the Salvation Army to ask if they would donate…

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Largest school in Colombia for underprivileged children from ages 5 to 20

This is one of the largest crowds we have performed for. The children ranged from age five, to eighteen as well as numerous teachers, professors and principles. We did a morning presentation and then an afternoon presentation. We do choreography where we throw a ball between us, which is meant to convey our life. Some one tries to steal it, we drop it, but ultimately it is in our hands. We combine hip hop music, cool dance steps and vocals to communicate that their life is in their hands and they must chose to protect it, use it and not…

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Military training school for new recruits, pilots and generals.

It was incredible performing for such a large crowd of men in uniform, and such an honor to speak with all of them. Some will directly be deployed into the jungles and know they may not make it out. Sometimes we break boards in one of our Tae Kwon Do demonstrations that we use to talk about discipline and seeing beyond an obstacle. My brother was preparing to break two boards with a palm strike when he was distracted, struck the boards in the wrong way and ended up breaking his hand.

Military Base for The Generals of the Colombian Army.

It was about a three hour drive to this base outside of Bogotá. The intense heat and humidity really drained our energy. As with most everything in Colombia, the event was delayed and we ended up having to wait several hours before we started, but it was worth it and the Generals were extremely grateful and told us that we had inspired them and given them courage and wisdom.

Village for orphans in Bogotá, Colombia.

We visited the kids once or twice a week teaching courses of English, Dance and Tae Kwon Do. Since we are black belts, we were able to promote the kids who were ready to the rank of yellow or orange belt and had a special ceremony for them. I got the mayor to donate some t-shirts which I painted with a custom logo for them, (painting 120 shirts by hand takes longer than you may think in case you were wondering). We also got donated some tickets to take the kids ice skating, (which was an adventure since they did…

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Military Rehabilitation center

All the soldiers here are recovering from severe injuries which they suffered while fighting the FARC and drug lords in the Colombian jungles. Many were in wheel chairs and had lost limbs due to land minds which to this day are scattered throughout the mountains and jungles.  It was such a privilege to stand in front of them and share the hope of the Gospel with them and use dance and theater to communicate the profound mercy and forgiveness of a loving Father.

Military Base for several hundred young recruits in Antifogasto, Colombia.

This base was way up in the mountains and absolutely freezing. We performed for a crowd of over 600 soldiers, commanders, and generals. The highest Coronal gave all the soldiers permission to participate with us and all the soldiers and recruits were eager and grateful to be apart of many of our acts. The Coronal told us how grateful he was that we could teach so many things to his young men that would then be facing the enemy and very difficult situations. He gave us each a certificate with our names on them to officially thank us. He also…

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The village of Santa Domingo, Colombia.

This town was and in part still is, the most dangerous place in Medellin. The drug lord Pablo Escobar ruled these parts and there is quite a history if you ever want to look it up.  There is a film by ESPN called “The Two Escobars” a 30 for 30 film and in the last shot at the end of the film you can see the exact park where we performed.  

Village for orphans, Rio Negro, Medellin, Colombia.

This village was up in the mountains as you leave the city of Bogota. It was a beautiful place, all green and lush. We did some things that got the kids laughing like crazy and then were able to teach them and tell them how important and special they are. There were a lot of older kids at this facility, and after we were done they came up to my brothers and sisters and I and wanted to talk more. One young man, maybe 15, asked me if I could give him a Gospel of John so he could start…

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Buena Vista, largest Prison in Medellin, Colombia.

My brother and I took a taxi to this prison, knocked on the main gate and talked to the guard in charge, explaining that we wanted to do a show and talk with the prisoners. A few minuets later we were sitting in a meeting with the director, warden and heads of security who were excited and eager to receive us. The director said this is exactly what the prisoner’s need and organized multiple events for the following day! Colombia has a tragic history of war and kidnapping. We do a dance/skit called “search and rescue” where we parallel paying…

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Men’s and Women’s Prison in Armenia, Colombia.

The secretary of education had contacts into the prisons and got us the needed permissions to enter and perform for the prisoners. We did a skit where two people get into a fight that escalates and one man ends up shooting the other. One man is dead and one man is devastated as he is taken to prison, both their families are destroyed. We talk about how the criminal now also becomes the victim of his own crime and needs the healing and forgiveness that God offers. War, Tragedy and suffering marks Colombia’s past and many of the men before…

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Schools in Armenia, Colombia.

The secretary of education in Armenia asked to perform at every school in the city limits which we did over the period of one week, visiting two schools a day. They provided us with lodging, dinner and an escort to every school (very demanding and exhausting but God gave us His grace).

City Center, large park, University, Orphanage and middle school in Pasto, Colombia.

At a camp in Pasto, the owner gave us a place to camp in exchange for a performance Sunday evenings. Families came from all over to enjoy this beautiful camp and at the end of the day gathered in a pavilion where we gave them quite a show and shared some beautiful things with them. We went down town often and performed in the city center. It rained a lot as Pasto is up in the mountains so we also spent days just walking the streets talking and sharing with people. We visited a large University and a middle school…

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Worked with the United Nations in a village in the mountains of San Pedro, Colombia.

It was a long drive to this village, and we got picked up at 5 in the morning. The UN ambassador who was in charge stopped to buy us breakfast on the way and we enjoyed eggs, dry cheese, hot chocolate and fresh squeezed strawberry juice. Most all of the citizens of this village have been effected by the drug wars in some way, many with the loss of loved ones and some with the loss of limbs from land mines. There was an eight year old boy there, named Ricardo, who had the fingers on his right hand disfigured and…

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Medellin, Colombia.

We had originally planned on only spending a short time in Medellin, and then continuing on to Bogota, but after my fathers accident, we decided to stay longer while he recovered and went through therapy. It was over this time that we began to discover the beauty of Colombia and how special the Colombians are. We ended up staying in Medellin for quite some time and working extensively in many venues and at many places. We became pretty well known over time and recognized at different places we would go. During the Christmas season, the city becomes a wonderland of beautiful light…

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Children’s hospital recovery rooms, Medellin, Colombia.

We performed in the lobby of a motel that had been rented out for families whose children were recovering from certain surgeries. The surgeries were apart of a government plan to give poor families free care. We were able to bring happiness to some sad, worried families and bring laughter to some precious little kids. My brother dressed up as a Santa Claus frog and I was the elf as we let the kids sit on Santa’s lap and give them a little present.

Parque de los Deseos, Medellin, Colombia.

Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays we performed at this large amphitheater for several hundred families. It was around Christmas so we put Santa Claus uniforms on our lion and frog costume and played some games with the kids. My parents are able to teach so much in regards to how to raise a family.

Worked with the United Nations in the jungle of San Miguel, Colombia.

I will never forget the drive to get to this village. The UN provided a driver and transportation which was a tiny van with no suspension. After traveling for about 3 hours  on a “highway”  (“highway” meaning one lane, bad, bumpy, windy road), we turn onto a road I would barely consider fit for an atv. I figured we were almost there so no big deal, as my head hit the roof on a bumb. Nope, not almost there. We drove for another two hours, occasional stopping to clear the cows away. We were all a bit sick when we…

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Cartegena, Colombia

We arrived in Cartegena after driving all the way through Central America, starting in Mexico and arriving in Panama. We shipped a van over to Colombia and this is how our South American adventure began. We often walked the streets and beaches of Cartegena, sharing the Gospel and talking with large crowds and individuals. The first evening we went out with our music to perform on the streets, my father was dancing and tore his Achilles tendon. It happen so suddenly. The crowd that was gathered was so kind and quick to help call a taxi, find a hospital and…

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