The 16th of January is the Feast of Blessed Joseph Vaz, and this year being the 300th Anniversary of the revered priest, there was enough reason for doing something different and exciting. And this is precisely what happened!
Having put up some grand shows in Konkani via the brand Konkani Rocks and many others in Jazz, Armando Gonsalves of Heritage Jazz, brought together the best in worship music, and the beautiful St Andrew’s Church of Goa Velha played host to an amazing concert that filled the air with serenity, peace and reverence to the Lord Jesus Christ. The show took off with Goan based 7 piece band “Faith” taking off with own compositions as well as some covers. Singers Glenlord Rodrigues and Vanessa Menezes were spirited and soulful as they whipped up a frenzy that the over 1500 people crowd lapped up with eagerness. The song “Waves of Mercy” which is about lifting everything you do to God was moving, “Undignified” was about being crazy for God regardless of what people have to say about your faith, “Chada” whih means all things are beautiful in Tagalo the Filipino language and written by a filipino band, “No reason to hide”
Thereafter, the star of the evening, Benny Prasad who has the World Record for travelling all 245 countries in the world in a record time of just over 6 years, testified as to what God had done for him. His message to the people was, never to lose faith in HIM. He mentioned how he was thinking of suicide when he was 16 because he had the pressure of coming up to the expectations of his physicist father, and how God spoke to him and told him that he was needed for greater work. The approximately 1500 strong crowd was in rapt attention as Benny delved on real life situations even coming down to advising parents as to how to look after their children.
As the evening progressed, the local Goa Velha choir group belted out some stirring music much to the delight of the crowd, and there was another local group led by Peter Mendes who also managed some lovely music.
As the beautiful stage heated up to high energy Christian rock, Asst Parish Priest Fr Marcelino led his youth into singing, dancing and praising God while the church stood majestically in the background, lit up appropriately for the grand occasion. Parish priest Fr Rahul led prayer at the outset as the crowd joined in in asking God to grant His grace to the occasion.
At the end of the event, the highly acclaimed “Yeshua” took central stage as people sang and jumped with joy, and even whistled as the band sang songs like “My Redeemer Lives”, Rock and Roll, From Panjim to Colva, Tera Bina, and fittingly, at the end “Adios”. The leader of the band Mr Cameron Mendes explained to the crowd that Adios means Go with God, as he took the congregation to a frenzied high. Cameron was ecstatic as he said “We would like to thank GoaForgiving and Heritage Jazz for all the efforts into getting this event organized and pray that god use them to unite Goa and make it a land flowing with milk and honey” He added “Even though Goa Velha seems to be a small place on the map of goa, we believe that God is going to use it as a gateway for His glory to be ushered into the land and He will do things what eyes have not seen, what ears have not heard and what things have not enetered into a man’s heart….a new beginning of revival”
The super charged atmosphere was further enhanced with the birthday celebrations of Armando’s PA Carol Rosario who was presented with a birthday cake in front of the packed audience, and with Goa Velha being her village, it was a fitting tribute to a girl who gave her best to Heritage Jazz and its allied brands. Yeshua sang Happy Birthday as the crowd clapped and sang in unison.
“Liberate your Spirit” was truly an event that stirred the soul, with people from all walks of life being there as one unit for the Lord. People from England, Tibet, Australia, Dubai, Kuwait, Canada which included expatriates as well as foreigners, were present in large numbers. It was a night with a difference, with all being “high” with Jesus Christ!