Friday, December 07, 2007

Continental Singers

The CONTINENTALS were formed in 1967 as a non-profit, inter-denominational ministry. Powerful music and the message of Jesus Christ are the foundation of CONTINENTAL MINISTRIES. From the great cathedrals of Europe to the smallest believers' gatherings in Thailand, we reach out to the hearts of people . . . seeking to meet their needs spiritually, emotionally and physically. The purpose of our ministry is to build each tour member personally and spiritually, to develop a missionary heart, taking every opportunity to proclaim the gospel of Christ throughout our musical programs as well as one-on-one, and to encourage all believers along the way to a deeper and more meaningful commitment to Christ.

Beginning with one tour in 1967 by President and Founder Cam Floria, The CONTINENTALS have grown into CONTINENTAL "WORLD-WIDE" MINISTRIES including over 45,000 people and a phenomenal 1,500 concerts a year. We have performed in all 50 states and 76 countries. We have now established international groups in many different areas of the world including: South Africa, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Slovak Republic, France, Great Britain, Germany, Holland, Hungary, Italy, Japan, Korea, New Zealand, Puerto Rico, Romania, and Singapore. These young people are being nurtured in their own countries to proclaim Christ in their own languages.


As a teen-ager, I first heard the Continental Singers when they came to my church in San Antonio, Texas. My parents bought their long-play record for me to listen to over and over. In May of 1972 (after my second year of college), my good friend, John Lee invited me to tour with his Continental Singers group to Hawaii, New Zealand, and Australia during that summer of 1972. I never dreamed that could happen, but it did, and I believe it stands out as a significant experience (that I continue to reflect upon) that helped shape my future in music ministry. I went on to lead/direct Continental Singers groups in the summers of 1973, 1974, and 1976.

I have remained in close contact with many fellow "tour members" through the years. The founder and director of Continentals, Cam Floria has now (thanks to the internet) begun to reach out to all present and former Continental Singers Directors in a more intentional way.

His most recent e-mail blew me away. I know it is alot to read, but I hope you will take the time. I believe there is a reason the ministry of Continental Singers has continued for so many years, and here are some of the reasons why!

Dear Friends of Continentals everywhere,

On Monday morning December 10th the Continental office will close. And the staff and Dean and I will go to a secluded location to praise God for 40 years of blessing, thanking Him for his love and faithfulness and asking for his direction on our world-wide ministry for 2008 and the future. Please join us on the 10th anytime during the day. The Lord will hear our prayers as the Holy Spirit directs our thoughts and as we join our hearts with all of you. Here is a list of some of the things we are praying for:

1. Our Mission, that it will consume our hearts as we advance THE KINGDOM OF JESUS CHRIST around the world through music, missions, leadership development and performing arts' ministries. Our earnest prayer will be that God will enable us to accomplish this task in the coming year to a greater degree than ever before in our history. In Luke Gabriel told Mary that His kingdom would never end... and our "requirement" is to constantly follow our calling to share the Good News of Jesus Christ through all of our performance opportunities anywhere in the world.

2. The Continental INDIA MISSION-STRIKE TEAM leaves Friday December 7th for Hyderabad India. Pray for these 9 members led by Matt Wilkinson that the Lord will work through this team as he has the others the past 3 years... last year 4,500 people gave their lives to Christ during their Crusades with Harvest India. Pray for an even bigger harvest for the Kingdom this December. After India, the group will join with our Kenyan Continentals (an all African team from Nairobi) and our Brazilian Continentals for special Christmas week presentations in Singapore sponsored by a number of churches culminating in a large outdoor concert on Orchard Road.

3. Our partnership with COMPASSION... our 2008 goal is to sponsor 1,000 children in countries all over the world. Pray that God will open peoples hearts to be generous in offering support to these needy children at our concerts and performances. Compassion provides necessities in all areas of their lives for only $32 a month.

4. The new Continental relationship with CHILD EVANGELISM FELLOWSHIP. Last year nearly 3,000,000 children prayed to receive Christ through that organization around the world. Pray for our partnership as we launch CONTINENTAL KIDS GOOD NEWS groups in cities all over America and the world to reach even more children for Christ through the performing arts in association with CEF over the next few years beginning in April of 2008 in Greenville South Carolina.

5. All of the CONTINENTAL INTERNATIONAL OFFICES and MINISTRIES in Brazil, Chile, Puerto Rico, Costa Rica, Holland, Italy, Romania, Slovakia, Hungary, Japan, Korea, Kenya, Mexico and those developing in Israel, New Zealand, Philippines and through a new relationship with Jamaica Link in Jamaica. These offices will sponsor ministry outreaches with another 42 groups and tours in 2008. Pray for wisdom, continued opportunities in their countries and all of them need major financial assistance.

6. Especially for OUR STAFF that their efforts in recruiting, booking, administration and creative ministry production will be rewarded. Pray for encouragement as they pour their hearts and lives into this ministry. We need 650 concert hosts and 375 new Continentals for 2008! And pray for staffing needs in the areas of business management, recruiting and concert administration and the development of a volunteer staff.

7. That God will bless our BOARD OF DIRECTORS with wisdom, with faith, with financial increase and with the energy necessary to carry out the plans they are outlining for the future of the Continental ministry. Pray for them by name; Jim Schmidt, Scott Rummell, Brent Lauer, Hal Spencer, Thurlow Spurr, Marc Whitmore, Randy Swanson, Howard Parker, Joe Huntsman,Leen LaRiviere and Cam Floria.

8. The most significant new strategy to continue this ministry, the MORE THAN MUSIC PARTNERS fund raising campaign. Pray for enough monthly partners to empower all the ministry groups to continue. Pray that churches will add Continentals to their mission budgets and pray for more large donors whose gifts this year have been the miracle that came at the right time and just in time. Jesus promised that if we ask anything in His Name He would make it happen, so please pray sincerely with us that God will bless Continentals financially.

9. The funding of the CONTINENTAL FOUNDATION, whose goal is to eventually reduce the sponsorships the Continentals have to raise so that more talented Christian young people can come on tour and have the "life changing experience" and fund the administrative end of the Continental Ministries to secure a financially strong future. Pray for the three directors; Randy Swanson, Glenn Hughes and Robert Machado that God will bless their fund raising efforts with individuals, foundations and through estate planned giving.

10. For our 2008 ministry outreaches with the theme, A NEW BEGINNING. The new beginning we are talking about this year is the one that happens when people ask Jesus Christ to come into their lives and change them forever!! Pray for our two tours this winter and spring that will launch the 2008 program. Tour M to the Philippines and Young Continental Tour #1 that will tour the west coast of the U.S. And pray for Dean Butler as he finds the right music and production ideas to open the audiences hearts to receive the more than music ministry.

11. That the 40TH ANNIVERSARY ALUMNI CELEBRATION in Yorba Linda and Anaheim next summer on August 15 and 16 will be a launching success for the Continental future. A New Beginning for the ministry too with alumni support and prayer partners who will stand behind this ministry and pray for God's total direction on every plan, every tour, every person who is involved anywhere in the world as a Continental.

12. And for a young man named CAMERON BONNER, who needs a new kidney and a new future. A supreme and very successful Continental director with a huge following who was hired to run the booking and recruiting side of our ministry and was suddenly struck down 16 months ago with a brain hemorrhage and stroke and two open heart surgeries, all because he needs a kidney and suffers from lupus. Pray that the doctors approve all the blood tests for he and his brother and medicines that will make the transplant work in his body. And pray that this will happen soon!


Cam Floria