The newest member of the TeenStreet (TS) worship band is also the youngest. Yara (18, Portugal) saw an OM stand at a festival in Portugal in 2015, and her road to the TS stage began. She signed on for and participated in TS 2016 as a teen. During that year, she participated in a multi-lingual song during a Throne Room session. Two years later, she’s standing centre stage and singing with the worship band.
“Yeah, I sang a couple lines in Portuguese as part of the song that year,” she recalled. “It was really cool. Afterwards, I thought, ‘This was really cool. I did TS, and now I’m going to live my life.’”
After that incredible experience, she skipped a year. “My first TS was awesome. I got to see different cultures, but it didn’t really have an impact on my life. Most people say, ‘TS is life-changing’, but for me it wasn’t that first year. I didn’t go last year due to funding, and I didn’t want to go.”
Like many TS attendees, Yara discovered God’s plan proved different than her own. “In January/February 2018, while I was practicing for worship at Sunday school, the Portuguese director contacted me and said, ‘Are you going to TS this year? Uhm, the worship leader wants you to join the band.’
“It was totally unexpected [to me]. I was applying to American colleges/universities at the time, and God just turned me in a whole different direction. I wasn’t expecting it at all. Now that I’m here, I’m having a great time with the band. They’re great. I get to sing to TS what I feel about God’s love, and it’s pretty amazing.”
“She adds a cool, new energy to the band,” Femka (Belgium) said. “She and Dania [last year’s new addition] are just full of life. We sail on their energy. [Yara] is very honest and very close to herself. The stage is her home. She walks on that stage, and she’s right at home. She lives in the moment.”
“Her heart is in exactly the right place every time,” team leader Ty (USA, living in Belgium) shared. “She closes her eyes and forgets what we’re supposed to do, but it’s perfect. It raises up the people around her. It’s another little piece to the puzzle that makes the whole picture. It’s awesome.”
“Now that I see this whole new experience, being in the band, now I can see it is life changing,” Yara said. “I’m learning so much. I didn’t know that I could do things that I’m doing on stage. It’s amazing how God works in mysterious ways. These two experiences combined have become life-changing because of this.”
To anyone wondering how they can be used by God, Yara shared this thought: “Use your talents as much as you can because you never know when God will open a door for you. If God gave you this talent, it’s because He wants to use [it], and He has a purpose for each of those talents. Oh, and be ridiculous. If you’re being ridiculous on stage, you’ll be awesome because everyone on stage is ridiculous.”
So there it is: Show up for God; use your talents; and be ridiculous.