Josue Hurtado, a 30-year-old staff member with Youth With A Mission (YWAM) from Ecuador, was a drummer at the London Olympic Games opening ceremony on Friday night. The morning after he told us his story.

“When I arrived at the stadium last night and saw the massive security I realised I had a huge responsibility to play well. It felt incredible to be one of a thousand drummers all playing the same beat.

“I was standing close to the bell, and my favourite moment was when the Olympic rings came together. Something happened in me right then. We were all drumming in time and I was just loving being part of a team, and part of something so magnificent. With the surge of rhythm it felt like I was in a huge wildfire, the power was amazing.

“I was standing quite close to the Queen and was praying for her, and blessing the nations, thanking God that the Holy Spirit was with me, and that I had the chance to be part of it. I was so thankful to be there. I haven’t watched it on television yet, but to actually be part of it was like a dream.”

Josue came to England in 2011 and did a six-month Discipleship Training School (DTS) with YWAM in Harpenden. At the end of the DTS he heard about the opportunity to audition for a part in the London Olympic Games opening ceremony. After two auditions Josue was accepted and extended his visitor’s visa. He moved into London and threw himself into rehearsals, preparing to play in the opening and closing ceremonies for both the Olympic and the Paralympic Games.

Josue has history when it comes to playing at important events. “When I was back in Ecuador I was the drummer in a band from Wednesday to Saturday. We played Latin music and jazz in lots of clubs. I used to teach the drums to kids in church as well. The band was popular and we played a few times at events for the President of Ecuador. It was incredible to even receive a letter from the vice-President, thanking me that I would be representing Ecuador at the Olympics.”

Currently, Josue is working with YWAM Urban Key in London. “I love drumming,” he continues. “I want to record my own albums. I’m a musician and know the power that music has. Everyone listens to music, and music can play a part in people being transformed. I would love to stay in London, I don’t know the doors God will open, but I want to follow God. Last night I was just praying, I felt like crying, so grateful that I got to be part of something so massive, and for God to use me. God is good!”

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