Higher Tour came to South Africa in 2019 and we kicked off our very first large-scale gospel proclamation event in Parkwood. This was an exciting new project that involved all hands-on deck at The Message Trust. Our team had this remarkable opportunity to equip, encourage and strengthen the local church to raise up a generation of culture-shifting disciples. In practice, we were able to do evangelism, discipleship training, and to partner with local churches, schools and ministries in one of the toughest neighborhoods in Cape Town – Parkwood.
Over 1000 young people attended Higher at Fairmount High School in Parkwood on the 6th September 2019 resulting in a massive number of young people raising their hands in response to the gospel. It was an unforgettable night and the team, as well as the local community, were pumped to make many more Higher Tours happen in the future.
Using the momentum we’d gained, and our excited partners, we began planning 4 Higher Tours in different communities across Cape Town for 2020! Then Covid19 hit, and it hit the Higher Tours, HARD – we were no longer allowed to host any public events! While the team mourned our plans, we adjusted, knowing we had to find a way to present Higher Tour in spite of the global pandemic that seemed content on stopping our plans. There was only really one option, we needed to take Higher online – Higher Live was born!
In September 2020, we launched our very first Higher Live series with pre-recorded performances and encouragements especially relevant to the youth of Cape Town, and South Africa as a whole. Drawing up schedules to get a large group of creatives, ‘the Higher Collective’, together proved to be challenging but it resulted in definite success. Seeing musicians from all walks of life come together and perform, in one of the most difficult seasons, was mind blowing.
We’ve reached over 4000 young people through Higher Live, through watch parties, social media platforms, youth sharing it with their friends over WhatsApp and probably in places we are completely unaware of! It’s the hearing of stories from the young people it is impacting that makes us thrive on mission and encourages us to continue to reach young people who are lost.
A teenage girl shared that:
“The Higher Live has been amazing to follow and being in contact with the program makes me feel a little closer to church!”
Higher Tour has seen us pursue and be involved in many firsts. From our first Higher Tour in Parkwood 2019, navigating a global pandemic, learning how to adapt, and even filming a full series of episodes to be made available to anyone without an internet connection. We are so excited to see that all the time and effort we put into Higher Tour 2020 was still able to create a space for young people to be reached.
The even more exciting news is that Season 2 of Higher live is about to be launched, with a new line-up of our amazing Higher Collective artists, alongside a new series of challenging and encouraging messages for the youth of South Africa. We hope that you will join us on Friday’s at 7:15pm as Higher goes LIVE for the second time – all you need to do is join us via YouTube!
Written by: Michaela Tait, Higher Tour Coordinator