New Album: Legacy
"If the purpose of your life is not wrapped up in God's purposes for the world, you will miss the reason you're alive."
-- Bill Drake


The Mission: Stories

“It’s a tragedy of conscience to receive but not to share
And it's the ultimate injustice to believe but not to care”
- Bill Drake, Ten Four O

Legacy – The Mission is the 3rd compilation of songs in this anthology spanning 30 years of recording music and 34 years of songwriting.  The third song on this album, Send Me, was written in 1982 after my first Missions Conference in Los Alamos, New Mexico. The most recent song on this compilation is Beautiful Wreckage, written in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia in December 2016.  Both are written in “Keith Green piano” style.  I have been writing songs about The Mission from the beginning of my walk with Christ – not surprising that someone who was at one time suicidal would focus in on the purpose and meaning of existence on this side of the “Fall”.  Remember, if the purpose of your life is not wrapped up in God’s purposes for this world, you will miss the reason that you are alive.  And this journey of pursuing the Kingdom of God has found me serving our Lord in over 60 countries around the world!

The song lyrics on Legacy – The Mission are at once striking, deep, and emotive, and I trust you will be able to detect the endless passion from which these are born: passion that can change a life (see Mt. Moriah), and end a life (see Wear The Crown).  These are prophetic songs of challenge; calls to action that unapologetically ask for a radical, unconditional, obedient response; much like what happened to anyone who ever came face to face with the living, missional God. (remember Abraham, Joseph, Isaiah, Peter, Paul, Mary of Bethany, you and I…)

And Mission itself has been sorely misrepresented, and unfortunately misunderstood.  Many followers of Christ think that Mission is a program or initiative of the Church.  And as absolutely important and essential as the Church is, sadly, they couldn’t be further from the truth.  Mission is not an altruistic program of a church with a worldview.  No, Mission IS the program of God – there is no other.  The Mission of God through His Holy Spirit is to invade the present with the fragrance of the future, to bring a foretaste of the fullness of the Kingdom of God that is to come.  And the Church is the tool, the engine, and the beach-head that God has chosen to accomplish His Mission.  And His Son Jesus Christ is the Lord of this Harvest.

“Seek first the Kingdom of God, and all these other things shall be added unto you” – Jesus Christ

In my humble opinion, this compilation contains many of the best and unique music and lyrics I have ever written, and if you have the opportunity to listen to this end to end, don’t be surprised if you sense the call to mission yourself – all of us have been called to this, one way or another.  We were born for it.  And we are called to lay down our lives for it as well.

  • Beautiful Wreckage – 2016 (Previous Unrecorded)

    In December 2016, I was invited to an Aidslink event in southeast Asia.  While there, I had the opportunity to visit three HIV+ ministry centers.  The first one was run by the LGBT community, the second by Muslim women, and the last one was run by an ex-drug addict.  I sat with my colleagues spellbound as he shared his riveting story:

    Hutam* was a gangster, and a drug addict, a violent and abusive person. His hard-scrabble life had left him strung out and homeless, “living” behind the dumpsters on a side alley in a large southeast Asian city.

    He was befriended by some people who turned out to be with YWAM, and did him the dignity of allowing him to invite them into his “home” behind the dumpsters, where he offered them tea. By this time the drugs had so ravaged his nervous system, that he couldn’t sleep, and could barely walk. They took him to the hospital where he was diagnosed with tuberculosis.

    He spent one night there, and the next morning, the doctor came in, took one look at him, and said to the nurses, “Get this piece of garbage off my ward!”  He was thrown back out on the street. The YWAMers took him into their home, led him to Christ, and discipled him for year, after which time he continued in ministry training. It was during this time that he was discovered that he was HIV - positive.  He also married Jamila*, a Muslim girl, with whom he hoped to do ministry one day, praying her into the kingdom of God.  Hutam’s past however would continue to haunt him, as his weakened and ravaged body continued to struggle to go on living.

    One day after particularly difficult disease, Hutam died for eight minutes. The authorities were called to take him away, and the family gathered around to move him to another place. As they wrapped him up in his sheet, he sat up, 100% revived. Many had been praying for his resurrection.  Hutam now runs a rehabilitation center for drug addict infected by HIV out in the tropical countryside with Jamila, his wife.

    I was so impacted by Hutam’s story, and the rest of the stories of those who had come for the conference.  For most the world’s people, when you become HIV+, you are seen to be cursed by God.  “And if God has cursed you, then so must I”, is the mindset, and marginalizing you and disenfranchising you is what you must deserve anyway, right?

    The raw injustice of it all was tearing at my heart, and in that moment, grasping for hope and grace, a song began to be birthed in my mind:

    Bill Drake – Keyboards, Vocals, BGVs
    Tim Jaquette – All Synth Programming

    Beautiful Wreckage

    Oh helpless souls, discarded, forgotten
    Left by the road
    But found down in the dirt by a stone once rejected
    The Samaritan’s purse

    Beautiful wreckage, Glorious waist
    The broken devoted, healed by grace
    Thrown to the gutter, left there to rot
    Embraced by the Father, transformed in His arms

    Oh hopeless souls wait for the gallows
    Stuck on death row
    The judge puts off his robes; is born a Redeemer
    In prisoner’s clothes

     He’s the Builder of Dreams for those who are crushed
    The Payer of Ransoms for the breakers of trust
    He’s the Full Restoration for the ugly despised
    The Garbage Collector of pearls of great price

  • I’ll Obey – mid 1980s (God Is Awesome 1991/Broken & Complete 2013)

    I’ll Obey – mid 1980s (God Is Awesome 1991/Broken & Complete 2013)

    “If it costs me everything…”

    It was early in 1994, and I was on my way to South Africa again after George Verwer had brought me there in 1993 for the first time.  It was just six weeks before the famous elections that put Nelson Mandela into power, and there was hardly anyone on the 747 going down from London to Cape Town.   And even as I began touring around the country, it was obvious that the atmosphere in the nation was tense, and fear was palpable.

    My manager Helena had organized for me to be part of an awesome event in the D. F. Malan Center at Stellenbosch University, and almost 3,000 young people had showed up for my concert. As one of the guest artists there I had the privilege of closing one of the main sessions with a beautiful time of worship with the Afrikaans worship leader, Louis Britz. For my closing song, I had chosen I’ll obey

    I have been taught the song by a dear friend, Joe Friesen, at Alliance Redwoods Camp outside Sevastopol, California in the 1980s.  This song has impacted me so deeply, I’ve probably sung it 80 to 90% of all the concerts I’ve ever done in my life. Jesus himself makes him inseparable connection between love and obedience in John chapter 14, and this simple little chorus binds it together in a song that is at once convicting and unforgettable.  There is no doubt that singing this song has changed my life, in fact, it is my “life-song”.  And I continue to get reports from people all over the world, who sang this song with me at one event or another, and subsequently either recommitted their lives to Jesus, or have committed themselves to participating directly in His Great Commission.

    …as I was leading the Afrikaans young people in this song, I just closed my eyes and began to worship. It occurred to me that something was going on in the hall when it came to the lyrics, “if it cost me everything, I’ll obey”.   Imagine my shock when I opened up my eyes and saw the entire auditorium filled with thousands of young people on their knees, on their faces, crying out to God for their nation and the upcoming election and that God would be glorified, and that their nation would be spared a bloodbath. That image of abandoned worship, tears, and anguish for their national sins, and their desperate desire that God would meet them, forgive them, and spare them, is an image and experience I will never forget as long as I live.

    Helena became one of my dearest friends in South Africa, and organized over 23 tours for me in that country over the next 20 years.  A number of my songs were written there, including Father You Are, and Move Through Me.  South Africans are some of the most precious people you will ever meet in my opinion, and God really has poured out His blessings on that very complex nation. But what happened in 1994 stands in history as one of the most miraculous transfers of power that has ever taken place on that amazing continent.  I can’t help but think that one of the reasons that happened, was because of the impassioned prayers of God’s people all over the country, that He would intervene for them.

    Over the years, I began to expand on this song a little bit, and added what is now the bridge. Of course I did not write this song originally, but after I learned from Joe, I have had a hand in arranging it, having performed it for so many years all over the world.  In another somewhat miraculous turn of events, twenty-five years after learning I’ll Obey from Joe Friesen, I began to work quite closely with his son Tim, who has become my producer, and even more so, my dear friend. Tim has said that a profound joy for him was being able to produce this version of I’ll Obey for my Broken & Complete CD.  God is so amazing!

    I have challenged people all over the world to sing this song with me, and let the truths of the lyrics change their life. If you’re reading this, I challenge you to the same.  I always make sure though to warn people not to sing this song with me, unless they really mean it, because I don’t want to lead people into hypocrisy as I’m leading them into worship! 

    Bill Drake – Keyboards, Vocals, BGVs
    Joe Ricciardi – Electric Guitars
    Tim Jaquette – Bass, Synth Programming
    Josh Fisher – Drums
    Jill McAfee – BGVs
    Jon Simpson – BGVs
    ??? – Bagpipes

    By Jim Custer, Tim Hosman (Additional Lyrics and Music by Bill Drake)
    © 1983 C.A. Music, © 2012 Old Dirt Road Music   Used by Permission

    I’ll Obey

    I’ll obey and serve You
    I’ll obey because I love You
    I’ll obey, my life is in Your hands
    For it’s the way to prove my love
    When the feelings go away
    If it costs me everything
    I’ll obey

    And with all that I am, with all that I do
    With all that I have, my God I worship You

  • Send Me – 1982 (You Are The One 1986/Seasons & Souvenirs 1996)

    Jesus Commands Us To Go, and Why You Should Go to the Mission Field, were two most powerful things that ever impacted my life from Keith Green’s ministry. Somehow the combination of Keith’s songs, his lifestyle, and the message that came out of both of those things totally captivated my heart as a young believer in Christ.

    In 1982, Teresa and I found ourselves in Los Alamos New Mexico as the youth workers in a small church plant. I will never forget my first missions conference, where we had a few missionaries who were working in foreign lands come through and share with us all that God was doing in other countries amongst other peoples. It literally blew my mind.  And caused me to write my first missions song…

    What I didn’t realize at the time, was that God was laying a theological and visionary platform from which he would eventually build into Teresa’s and my heart the conviction that we too were called to the mission field. Truth is, we are all called to the mission field, because to be a follower of Christ, is to be sent like Christ, and to live and die for his kingdom purposes.  I like the way George Verwer puts it:  “Are you preparing to go, but willing to stay? Or are you willing to go, but preparing to stay?”   This from the man who God used to change the face of missionary endeavor through short-term missions, and who not surprisingly wrote a book called Out of the Comfort Zone.

    Send Me was a written based on the passage from Isaiah chapter 6 where we see a direct connection between worship and missions. It’s a holy place where we see an awesome vision of the throne room of Heaven. It’s a place of repentance for Isaiah, who realizes that he’s a liar, and comes from a nation of liars.  And it’s a place of honest challenge, where God asks, “Who will go for us?”  Isaiah gives the only answer worth giving:  “Here am I, send me”.

    Have you ever noticed that everyone who ever came face-to-face with God, gets called into radical unconditional obedience? Abraham did, Joseph did, Moses did, the Apostle Paul did, and of course Isaiah did as well.  Because to see God, is to know God, and to know God, is to have His heart revealed to you in such away that you wind up with “open-heart surgery”.  And if you ever dare to say to God, “I want to see what You see, I want to feel what You feel, I want to do the things that You do”, you will then find yourself confronted with His agenda and purposes for the world, and if you are truly honest with yourself, and to Him, your life will never, ever, be the same again.  Here am I Lord, send me.

    Bill Drake – Piano, Vocals
    John Campbell - Orchestration

    Send Me

    How will they know, unless one is sent
    How can they live if no one saves their soul from death
    How can they see, if we never take our eyes off what we want
    Just for ourselves, feel the burden Jesus felt
    Please help us Lord to care and say, “Send Me”

    On a lonely hill stood the cross of Calvary
    And the wretched sin of all mankind was nailed to that tree
    And we who’ve found redemption there are debtors
    To the Gospel we must share, everywhere

    Some will deny Him, some will curse His holy name
    But Jesus paid for all of that by dying in their place
    And those He saves, He calls and sends
    To go and tell the world that He’s the way – the truth that saves

    You can’t climb a mountain without taking the first step
    And you haven’t lived for Jesus ‘till His commandments you have kept

  • Haunting Eyes – 1984 (Living in the DMZ 1988/Seasons & Souvenirs 1996)

    I was travelling down to Mexico again in the Autumn of 1984, having been 9 months earlier at the invitation of one of the elders of the Evangelical Free Church Teri and I had started attending in Covina, CA shortly after moving to Southern California from Los Alamos New Mexico.  We were driving past El Centro through that low-level mist that hugs the ground when colder moist air passes over warmer terrain.  I was thinking back to my first trip to Mexico – visiting some of the little Ejidos around Rosarito Beach, being exposed to the worst poverty I had ever seen up to that time, and playing with little children in the refuse. 

    It was if through the mist I could see their faces – yes, they would smile as we passed out candy, played soccer with them, gave them piggy-back rides, or told them Bible Stories, but it was when they didn’t know you were looking, a passing glance at the ground, a down-turned expression as they would enter the cardboard boxes meshed with car tires and corrugated sheet metal they called home, that you would see the faces, and the eyes – eyes that communicated a sadness that words can’t express.  And those eyes stared back at me through the mist, and haunted me.

    Why was I going down again?  To alleviate some sort of whacked-out “western-guilt”, that I had more of the world’s goods than they did?  Was it that I somehow knew in the deepest recesses of my spirit that I was actually called to this – and not just to “visit”?  Was I planning to GO as Jesus commanded, but willing to stay, or was I actually planning to stay, but willing to go?  And the way I would answer that question would tell the tale of my life’s honest response to Christ’s great commission.

    During that entire second trip to Mexico, I was troubled in my spirit.  And one of the reasons was because the artist in me had moved passed the ‘perception’ stage, to the ‘processing’ stage.  As an artist, once you are there, it is very difficult to stay focused on anything else – you have to, you must, give birth to an artwork that carries the passion, the burden; giving voice to that which was once a haunting vision – a song that would express what those eyes told me through the mist – “I need Jesus’ love.  Will you be the one to come and share it with me?  I need Jesus’ compassion.  Will you be the one to come and touch me with it?  I need Jesus hope.  Will you be the one to come and give me a good reason to live?” 

    Here is the original version of Haunting Eyes, born from that experience.  At that point in my emerging music ministry, Haunting Eyes became my quincentecimal missions song, and it wouldn’t be until 1991 that I would write another one that was so poignant.  I believe that God used this to “Open my Heart”, prepare me spiritually, emotionally, and artistically for what was coming.  But I wouldn’t really hear it until April 1987…

    (for the more recent version of Haunting Eyes, listen to it HERE)

    Bill Drake – vocals, Piano, Keyboards, programming
    Joe Schmeeckle – Rhythm Electric Guitars
    Tim Jaquette – Bass
    Debbie McKay – BGV

    Haunting Eyes

    I had my vision cleared, and I saw The Lord
    In the lives of the masses and their tears in a lost and dying world
    They have been through life’s common war
    And all the trophies they’ve every won are their many scars
    And I sing, “open up my eyes Lord”, and still don’t see the need

    It makes a mockery of my Christianity
    And it convicts me to change my life’s priorities
    They’re staring back at me, a fading memory
    Their haunting eyes

    Oh, the guilt makes us afraid, so we pretend that its OK
    To live off the comforts of this land, and let God fill missions hands
    And we claim to know Christ personally
    But weren’t not burdened for His ministry
    We don’t have the love, to love them as ourselves
    And go lay down our lives

    The need is staggering – the cost: eternity
    Oh it takes more than your money or a right theology
    They’re staring back at me, a fading memory
    Their haunting eyes

    Oh, they are the least of these
    And The Lord will hold me to accountability
    Oh, come and change my life Lord
    To live what I believe

  • Mt. Moriah – 1986 (There’s An Answer)

    Abraham knew full well what he was going to do up there.  And yet he called it worship.  Isn’t worship just the ‘sing bit’ before the ‘preach bit’ on Sunday morning?  Abraham might have been thinking, “I thought we left human sacrifice behind in Babylon! Isn’t that the kind of barbaric stuff those pagans do to try to appease their bloodthirsty gods?  And now this is the way the Almighty Creator God wants me to worship Him?”

    And not just any human at that.  This was his precious, beloved son.  The miracle child.  The fulfillment of the promise of God, given to Abraham and Sarah in their old age.  And now God wants him dead?  If God showed up one day and asked me to go sacrifice one of my daughters up on a mountaintop, you can bet that there would definitely be some issues, some checking to make sure I heard right, some seeking of Godly counsel…maybe even some psychiatric consultation…

    But not with Abraham.  He got up and went for it.  Straight away.  No argument, no negotiation, no sneakily trying to disguise Ishmael and take him instead.  Abraham called to his son, saddled his donkey, and took the three-day journey to Mt. Moriah…

    But God doesn’t want things, does He?  He doesn't need anything from us does He?  What use would He have for my stuff?  What could He possibly have to gain by having Abraham slaughter Isaac?  Why would He want that?

    Why?  Because God wants the heart.  Your heart.  More than anything else.  His heart beats for your heart.  So why then does He go after your “treasure”?  That’s easy.  Jesus said it:  “For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also. (Mat. 6:21).  If He’s got your treasure, He’s got your heart.

    God tells us that He is a jealous God.  He does not want to be second place.  He does not want any idols in your life.  He does not want anything to come between you and Him.  Nothing.  Not even the best things He has given you.  Not even His richest blessings.  Abraham may have been tempted to be more in love with the blessings than with the Blesser.  It is easy to do.  I love God’s blessings too!  But if I love the blessings more than I love God, I have fallen into idolatry, and God can’t stand sharing my life with such a mistress.

    And so God put Abraham to the test.  He wanted to know, for sure, 100% certainty, that Abraham’s heart belonged to Him and Him alone.  And He especially wanted Abraham to know it.  And He wanted the whole world to know it.  So He had Abraham enter the crucible…

    You know, people often miss the fact that Isaac was an active part of this story, too.  Abraham was an old man by this time, and Isaac was probably in his early teens.  He lived an outdoorsy, physical-labor kind of existence (he was no MTV-watching couch-potato!).  When they finally reached the top of the mountain, and the full extent of the plan became horrifyingly clear, it would have been no trouble at all for Isaac to deliver a few quick jabs to Abraham’s face, throw in a couple of body punches and a swift uppercut, lay his dad out and run back down the mountain to safety. 

    I know kids were more obedient and respectful in the good old days, but this really was pushing the limit.  “Now stop squirming son, just sit nice and still while I tie your wrists together.  OK, could you please come and lay on this pile of sticks?  Lovely.  Now where did I put that knife…?”

    In my opinion, Isaac showed just as much faith as his father, maybe even more.  Would you be willing to quietly lay back and allow yourself to be sacrificed as a burnt offering?  Isaac had been taught well.  He had learned from his father that God can be trusted.  He asks some strange things of us sometimes, but following His commands is always, always the best idea. 

    Abraham was willing to sacrifice his son, but Isaac was willing to sacrifice his very life if that was what God required to accomplish His plan…

    The lyrics to this song say, “I don’t want to live a sacrificeless life out on this altar…”  How should we then define true sacrifice?  A famous 20th century martyr put it this way:

    “He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain that which he cannot lose”

           - Jim Elliott, martyred in Ecuador, 1955

    Of course, we all make sacrifices for the things we value most highly.  Our children’s education, time with a sick relative, a more reliable car...  Sure, we don’t slaughter animals in their honor, but we do make choices and tighten our belts for these things.  Why? Because we trust that what we will gain outweighs what we will lose.

    So that implies that if Abraham was willing to sacrifice his son, he must have had at least some idea that it was going to be worth it.  By this point in his life, he had walked so long with the Lord that he had found Him to be faithful.  If God was asking him to make a sacrifice, there had to be a divine purpose of even greater value.  What could be more valuable than his son?

    And this is what Abraham learned during his sojourn on Mount Moriah.  On the way up the mountain his most precious thing on earth was his son, but on the way down the mountain, he carried the far more precious and usable treasure of radical, unconditional obedience to God regardless of the cost to himself – trusting that God would use it for a far greater purpose.

    And all of this took place, in the shadow of the same mountain that two thousand years later, another Father would take His beloved, on a donkey, with wood for the sacrifice, surrender, and this time, the Father wouldn’t hold back, and would sacrifice His Son…

    Personally, Mt. Moriah stands as one of my all-time favorite songs.  Somehow in music and lyrics, for me, I was able to capture exactly the aesthetic fabric necessary to carry this song of all-out prayer and passion, and just pour out my heart to the Lord through it.

    (Written by Bill Drake, with Jennie Pollock)

    Bill Drake – piano, keyboards, vocals
    Tim Jaquette – Bass
    Joe Schmeeckle – Rhythm & Lead Electric Guitars
    John Waller – Drums

    Mt. Moriah

    Hello Mt. Moriah, I guess my time has come
    To leave the vices of the many, in obedience to “The One”
    The call went out to follow – like to father Abraham
    To live a life for holy passion – to be a single-minded man

    I don’t want to live a sacrificeless life out on this altar
    I don’t want to die with empty hands, half-way up the mountain
    All I want to do is seek the heights, live by faith, and lay down my life

    I’m gonna lay down all my idols, and my license to indulge
    They just wouldn’t make the journey into the presence of your throne
    And all the sins that held me hostage, and all the battles that I’ve lost
    Can no longer come to haunt me, for they stand nailed to the cross

  • There’s An Answer – 1990 (There’s An Answer)

    It was the summer of 1990, and Teresa was beginning to have second thoughts. We seemed to just not be on the same page and I was getting more and more reluctant about moving forward with joining OM and moving to England, without knowing that Teresa and I were 100% united on the direction and future of our ministry. 

    By this time I had finished at Biola University, and had been touring extensively around the western United States.  There was a part of me that might have liked to stay, and see just how far this blossoming music ministry could go.  It is easy to begin to measure your self-worth and identity from CD sales, airplay, and concerts booked.  Moving to England felt like a complete step into oblivion. 

    But then there was God, and what He had spoken to our hearts; and what He had called us to do.  He never said it would be easy.  He never said that it would make human sense.  He only promised to be faithful to us, and to be with us and never leave us or forsake us. 

    One evening after a particularly difficult conversation, Teresa went off to bed without me, and I was left in the living room on my knees praying.  I was in agony.  I didn’t know what the answer was, but I was not going to take my beautiful bride off to another continent without us both being sure this was the right direction.  I gave the entire thing over to God once more, asking Him to please work in both our hearts, give us His direction, give us His plan.  But by the time I was done praying, an idea had formed in my mind and I felt I knew what I had to do.

    I wrote a letter to George Verwer, the founder of OM who had invited us to join him as part of his team in London, telling him that Teresa and I were not now going to be joining Operation Mobilization.  It was basically a gracious letter of withdrawl, citing our current circumstances, disunity, and lack of peace.  It asked him to forgive us if we led him on, and to pray for us.  I then folded it up, addressed it to George, and put the proper postage on it for a letter to England.  I then propped it up on our dining table, where I knew Teresa would sit that next morning and have breakfast before she headed out early for the day.  Next to it I put a love note, asking her to please read it, and telling her that there were two options here.  Either she ripped it up, and threw it in the trash, or, if I found it there on the table, sealed and ready to go, I would go ahead and post it.

    Teresa had a much earlier start that next day than I did, and I had worked late so slept in.  When I awoke, I went down to the dining table to see what the verdict was.  If the letter was still there, I was sending it to George, and we were not joining OM.  If it was in the trash, we were going.

    It was in the trash.

    Many times I’ve looked back at the thresholds I’ve stood on in my life, and one little decision could have completely and drastically altered the ensuing destiny.    But I think now, that the decision to pray through it that night was the one critical thing that was most necessary.  God gave me a solution that allowed Teresa to wrestle it out before the Lord herself, which allowed both of us to be that much more sure that we were doing His will.  And in that decision, He also allowed us to become the answer to our own prayers.  And that decision has totally changed our lives.

    Musically this song was inspired by the 2nd Chapter of Acts song You don’t Know Which Way The Wind Blows by Annie Herring.  I loved that huge fat synth sitting there in the bass clef, unwaveringly filling foundational space – kinda like prayer does!  And Debbie’s haunting backing vocals and harmony on this still inspire me – so awesome.

    Bill Drake – piano, keyboards, vocals
    Tim Jaquette – Bass
    Joe Schmeeckle – Rhythm & Lead Electric Guitars
    John Waller – Drums
    Debbie McKay – BGVs

    There’s An Answer

    As I view the world around me, take in its current state
    Manipulation and injustice do the dirty work of hate
    Technology is reigning as the human heart grows cold
    Oh they’ll sell to you the world my friend but they’ll also buy your soul

    And they live
    Then they die
    Watch the hopeless years go by
    They could see
    If they’d only believe

    And when I see professed believers in the clutches of this age
    Claiming truth and inspiration when so little’s really changed
    Where are the true disciples who have denied themselves
    Taken up the cross and followed to live for nothing else

    And they read
    And they pray
    But they go their own way
    Can’t they see
    They’re in such hypocrisy

    Ooo There’s an answer  Ooo on my knees

    But when I take a look inside me I begin to understand
    For I share the same condition for I too am a fallen man
    I want to stand up for the Gospel, but I’ve bowed my head in shame
    How can I claim to want the heart of God and yet not share His pain?

    Lord I’ve tried
    And I’ve cried
    Watched my holiness run dry
    Can you use me
    To bring Glory to Your name?

    Ooo There’s an answer  Ooo on my knees
    Oh People, there’s an answer  Oh, on our knees

  • Take My Life – 1988 (God Is Awesome)

    My band and I were met at the airport by our tour organizer, and he ushered us out of there as fast as he possibly could for fears that we would be summarily arrested. He was already dealing from the fallout – the police had shut down every single concert that he had planned, as the organizers at the prime venues he had booked turned against him when they were told that he was bringing Christian propaganda into their country.  On the way to our accommodations, he informed us that some of his team had already been arrested: some South Koreans and Germans. The Germans were currently being deported, and he was afraid that the Koreans were going to be tortured. Let’s just say things were getting rather tense…  With all of our proper concert venues canceled, we had to start getting creative fast.  Our tour organizer decided that we would go ahead and run a couple of the concerts in local Christian churches that had been allowed to exist by the government. 

    This one particular night, we set up in a small church, and were getting ready for our first concert. Word had gone out through the grapevine of the local Christian community that our concert tour was going to go ahead, but the venues would be revealed day by day!  The concert started on this particular evening with things going quite well. We even had some Bikers join us, dressed up in black leather, looking real fierce. Imagine our shock when there was a loud pounding on the door, and a number of heavily armed police came bursting into the building with riot gear on and automatic weapons at-the-ready. 

    Our tour organizer, having been in jail over 20 times in this country, didn’t skip a beat. He walked up to the commander and in fluid dialect began asking him what seemed to be the problem? The commander responded that we were going to need to stop the concert. Our organizer gently informed the commander, that there was supposedly freedom of religion in this country, and that we were perfectly within our rights have a meeting inside this church. The commander coldly replied that because we had not applied for permission with the local authorities, the police had not been informed, and therefore were not going to be able to protect us from anyone who might want to harm us. Our organizer calmly informed back, that we didn’t need any such permissions because we were legally within our rights to practice our faith inside church.  He pointed to the bikers, saying we didn’t need any other protection anyway!

    But things just got a little bit more intense when the commander, whilst giving a signal to his men to point their automatic weapons at us, informed our organizer in a very terse voice that because we had not applied for permissions, they were not going to be able to protect us from what they were going to do us, if we didn’t stop immediately.  Silly us – at this time in their history, permissions to do this sort of thing went out with the last Ice Age, and in a religious country, run locally by biased police, this actually wasn’t all that surprising.  Our organizer came back to talk to us, translated everything that had transpired, and informed us that the worst thing that would really happen to us would most likely not be getting riddled with bullets, but rather we would be deported immediately. He could not say the same for the locals that showed up to listen to the concert. Very likely their lives might be in danger, and he wasn’t really to take the risk. 

    So we acquiesced and stopped the concert.  What happened next was nothing short of the providence of God.  With our concert venues taken away, and now our church venues taken away, the only places that were left for us to do concerts were the numerous tea gardens and coffee bars that famously dot that area. The proprietors were more than happy to have a Western rock’n roll band playing ‘live’ in their establishments, thus drawing in large crowds. We were also more than happy, as we eagerly passed out invitations to an internet correspondence course that we wanted them to go through, so they could be introduced to the true Jesus, and to true Christianity!

    The ultimate result of all of this, was that more people signed up for the bible correspondence course then had ever signed up before. What started out as a scary experience where we thought we would be arrested or shot, ended up being a God opportunity, which he used for his ultimate glory.

    Bill Drake – Keyboards, Vocals, BGVs
    Tim Jaquette - Bass
    Joe Schmeeckle – Electric Guitars
    Dave Spur - Drums
    Teri Drake - BGVs

    Take My Life

    I will worship You, like You want me to
    I will come to You in Spirit and in Truth
    And I will give to You, what You ask me to
    I will come present my offering to You

    Take all my passion and pride
    Take every faithless desire
    Cleanse me from all that defiles
    Take my life
    Take my life

  • God Is Awesome – 1988 (God Is Awesome)

    This little bit of fun harkens back to the days when the Bill Drake Band consisted of Bill Drake on keyboards and vocals, Teresa Drake on keyboards and vocals, my brother Joe on Electric Guitar, and Debbie McKay on BGVs.  I got my start in Christian Music at a nursing home in Austin, Texas, singing hymns for the elderly and infirmed there.  But things accelerated for me after being “discovered” at Biola University in La Mirada, California, and I began to get invited to youth camps all over California, and then the Western USA.

    God Is Awesome was born out of those early days leading worship at youth camps.  After getting permission to change the lyrics to Billy Idol’s “Mony Mony” to “One and Only”, and seeing the success of that, I wanted to write another upbeat song that had a similar call and response chorus that could be taught quickly to the young people – and this song was it!  I literally wrote it coming back from a Hume Lake Winter Camp that we had just finished doing. 

    This song became the backbone of my last album before joining Operation Mobilization, recorded in 1991.  The worship album, God Is Awesome, was my most successful to date, especially when it was released in South Africa, and the youth there turned this song into a dance, and it literally went around the country!  It got to the point that every time I went to South Africa, I was expected to sing this song, because they already knew it!

    But what I find interesting is that when I wrote the song in 1988, the lyrics would already be pointing me to the nations…

    Bill Drake – Keyboards, Vocals, BGVs
    Tim Jaquette – Bass, BGVs
    Joe Schmeeckle – Electric Guitars
    Dave Spur - Drums
    Teri Drake & Debbie McKay - BGVs

    God is Awesome

    God is Awesome (He is awesome!)
    God is Awesome (He is awesome!)
    God is Awesome (He is awesome!)
    Praise His name, lift Him up high

    Listen all ye nations, all the people of the earth
    To the truth of our salvation from the pages of God’s Word
    He has conquered “Death” and “Darkness”, He has won the Victory
    For the Lord’s a mighty Warrior, and a King above all Kings

    And though Satan tries to rob Him of the glory due His name
    We will stand in tribulation for it is God Who will prevail
    When we see the battle raging toward the fight to win all fights
    We will win it with His praises as we shout the battle cry

  • Jesus, I Will Follow – 1991 (Against The Night)

    When Teresa and I moved to Los Alamos, New Mexico just six months after getting married, it would be an understatement to say that we struggled a bit!  Newly married, changing jobs, and changing physical location – well, each one of those by themselves are some of the highest stress indicators known to man!  But it was during that time that God also prepared us for a lifetime of ministry, and He forged our marriage into something that would withstand many storms from within and without.

    One of the blessings He provided for Teresa during that difficult season was ‘Paddington’.  I admit, I am not really a “pet” person, even though my dad had a long-haired calico cat named ‘Feathers’ that I liked – but Teresa – she was raised with having animals in the home, and she pined for one after we got to Los Alamos.  Our Pastor had been feeding a stray kitten that had been hanging outside his home, and when Teresa saw it she fell in love with it!  The cat ended up being a beautiful special breed of cat – a Burman (looks like a Himalayan, but not as dark, and with white paws), and she promptly named him ‘Paddington’.

    Paddington was a riot – a smart, beautiful, manipulative cat that had beautiful blue eyes, a pug face like a Persian, and a Garfield-like personality.  He was a real character, and he started to grow on me after a while.  We got him sometime in 1982, and he made the move with us to Los Angeles in 1983.

    A number of years later, after graduating from Biola University and answering the call to join Operation Mobilization in London, England, we had packed up all that we owned at the time, and made the trek to Fruitland, Idaho to store our things in Teresa’s parents’ basement.  We really didn’t have that much stuff but a little furniture plus my touring equipment and our ¾ ton Chevy touring Van – well, Teresa’s folks were gracious enough to let us store it all there for what was supposed to be a 18 month stint (and by the way, we are still on that stint…!!!).

    Just a few days before we actually flew to London, Teresa and I went out for the night, leaving little Shelby with Teresa’s folks.  When we came back, Teresa’s dad met us at the door, and with tears in his eyes, informed us that Paddington had been let out to relieve himself, and was summarily attacked by a dog (that no one had ever seen before or since), went into shock, and died.

    This was really hard, but I will never, ever forget watching that news “hit” Teresa.  Words can’t express the impact – it was as if the news and the loss of everything else material, career, country, culture – why did you allow this God?  Really?  She wept deeply.  It was like the closing of a chapter, where the book isn’t closed – it’s slammed shut.  And it hurt.

    A few days later, flying on the TWA 747 from St. Louis to London-Gatwick airport, the Lord began to call this song out of me.  You can see the tragic loss of a beloved family pet in the lyrics, but you can see more.  The Lord has called out of us more that just a pet, or even a song.  He has asked for it ALL.  Luke 9:27 stands in stark contrast to anyone who would say different.  And while self-denial is not easy, carrying one’s instrument of execution up a hill is excruciating. 

    But the Lord is not a wicked task-master, getting a thrill by watching us die to self.  No, rather, it is a privilege, a reward of sorts, for us to be placed in situations where the props are kicked out and there is nothing left but for us to trust Him, to fall on His grace and His mercy to catch us, hold us, to reset our focus, and right our course.  “But You reward the ones who would be righteous in their ways, by casting them to trust upon the mercies of Your grace”.

    Jesus I Will Follow was the first of my songs to be translated into another language (French) after we arrived in Europe.  I used it extensively in Belgium that first summer in 1991, and continue to use it to this day.  It is my humble answer to Luke 9:27 and Matthew 28:19

    Jésus, je te suivre
    Jésus, je te servir
    Jésus, comme je t'aime Seigneur
    Jésus, je t' obéirai
    Jésus, je donne ma vie
    Jésus, comme je t'aime Seigneur

    Bill Drake – Keyboards, Vocals, BGVs
    Tim Jaquette – Bass
    Smitty Price - Piano
    Bob Soma – Rhythm and Lead Electric Guitars
    Dave Spur - Drums
    Debbie McKay – BGVs
    Teri Drake - BGVs

    Jesus, I will Follow

    Counting up the things I love and what it’s gonna cost
    To take life’s precious souvenirs and count them all as loss
    Oh the value that I place on them could not compare to You
    Your words of truth have gained my heart as this one thing I do

    Jesus, I will follow
    Jesus, I will serve You
    Jesus, how I love You Lord
    Jesus, I’ll obey You
    Jesus, I will lay my life down
    Jesus, how I love You Lord

    I have often wondered, where does my treasure lie
    I finally found it buried with my passion and my pride
    But You reward the ones who would be righteous in their ways
    By casting them to trust upon the mercies of Your grace

    And if You don’t return until forever and a day
    Still I stand with open hands to give myself away

  • Open My Heart – 1991 (Against The Night)

    As told by Teresa Drake:

    It was a cloudy, drizzly day in Hungary and our two vans were making their way to a home for disabled people - our concert assignment for this day. As we approached, it was apparent that the building, in Dunaalmas, Hungary, had a Soviet-era look and feel; almost depressing, cold, and impersonal, and certainly foreboding! However, when we went in we were taken up to a staff dining room and served cookies, tea, juice, water etc. We were being well looked after!

    While we were enjoying the refreshments a call came in from our equipment guy that his van broke down! So the guys had to go take the seats out of our vans and meet up with the broken down van and transfer the equipment so we could get set up. This was a hard scenario because it was raining and dreary and some might have been wondering why we were doing this concert for people who can’t understand anything anyway? Being human I suppose this isn’t an unusual question. But they soldiered on and eventually the equipment got transferred and brought to the home.

    But what I didn't know was the struggling that was going on in the guys' hearts, after being given a brief tour of the facility we were in. Here it is from our guitarist, Joe Ricciardi:

    "What I looked at was distinctly human; arms, legs, etc., but all contorted at an almost grotesque angle. I realized this was indeed a person, very much alive, and this was our ministry opportunity today. My emotions screamed at me – the Spirit telling me to love and pray for these souls, while my flesh wanted to run and hide, maybe that it would all go away. There was a whole ward of folks with incredible disabilities; missing limbs, mental and physical handicaps – plus an entire building of orphaned children with various disabilities. Today, we would worship with them as we played our concert set here.”

    “My soul felt almost hopeless...deeply saddened that these young men (over 100 of them) are almost never visited by family or any outsiders, except those, like us, that come to minister to them. As we got closer to our performance time, my emotions got the better of me, and I broke down, sobbing like I have only done twice before in my life. I felt a deep compassion for these young men and cried out to God to help me lift their spirits, if only for today."

    In the meantime the leader of the Dancelink Team, Cheryl Vigouroux and I decided to find a quiet place to pray. It turned out to be quite powerful. The Lord gave me my first vision during that prayer time! At this point I still had not seen any of the residents yet. I don’t know where my mind was that day but I later realized that prior to getting to the home I hadn’t even wondered anything about them such as how old they were, were they male or female, how extensive their deformities were etc. However, while we were praying, God gave me a vision. I suddenly saw these sickly bodies lying in beds, but amazingly their spirits were sitting up with smiles on their faces eager to receive what God had for them through the band and dancers. Immediately Mathew 25:34-40 came to my mind:

    “Then the King will say to those on His right, ‘Come, you who are blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. For I was hungry, and you gave Me something to eat; I was thirsty, and you gave Me something to drink; I was a stranger, and you invited Me in; naked, and you clothed Me; I was sick, and you visited Me; I was in prison, and you came to Me.’ Then the righteous will answer Him, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry, and feed You, or thirsty, and give You something to drink? ‘And when did we see You a stranger, and invite You in, or naked, and clothe You? ‘When did we see You sick, or in prison, and come to You?’ “The King will answer and say to them, ‘Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did it to one of these brothers of Mine, even the least of them, you did it to Me."

    So during the wonderful lunch we were served I asked Bill if I could share something with the team and he said “sure”. So I began to share what the Lord had shown me as described above. Some had tears in their eyes as well as smiles on their faces. This encouragement helped all us of to be able to minister them, better knowing that it wasn’t their physical bodies or minds they were singing, playing and dancing for but their spirit-man and of course, Jesus!

    So when the event started there were about 100 men, young and old, sitting on benches, not really knowing what was going to happen. There were some who needed to be in a bed due to their frailty but I was convinced they could still hear the concert in their room. Their disabilities were varied but most could stand, sit and walk.

    The moment the first musical progression was played they immediately began to move. Some played air-guitar and air-drums, others clapped, while still other’s swayed or rocked to the
music. Smiles appeared on their faces and the Spirit of Joy was present. After the first dance presentation was finished, the workers cleared a space in front of the benches and they encouraged different ones to get up and “dance”! Some danced while being steadied by the workers others held hands and went in circles. But one of the most profound moments was when two of our beautiful dancers abruptly ended one of their dances, left the stage in the middle of the music, and joined the deformed men and danced with them. Beauty was dancing with Ashes.  One could  totally see Jesus in this.

    It was a joy-filled, two-hour long concert with great exercise for their bodies and spiritual feeding for their souls! But they weren’t the only ones who were ministered to. All of us on the team were deeply impacted by what the Lord had allowed us to see, hear, and experience that day, as we worshipped Him with ‘the least of these’.

    Bill writes:

    Open My Heart was one of a batch of songs I began to write shortly after moving to England.  It is also the only song I have every sung to 80,000 people in one shot – at the Seoul Olympic Stadium in South Korea.  This particular song was written in Holland, on one of my many trips there early in my time in OM.  My eyes were seeing things they had never dreamed of seeing, and the same was going for my ears and their hearing.  But nothing came close to what God was doing in my heart. 

    The reason I put in the above story, a story that wouldn’t happen until many years after this song was written, is because it is a direct answer to the prayer I prayed in this song so many years earlier:  that God would allow me to see the things we so often miss, and that my very being would be opened up like a blank page that God can inscribe His incarnated truth into.  Just like Teresa caught a glimpse of what the spirits of those deformed human beings might look like to God, and the impact our presence in that sanitarium would have on them, I long for God to allow me to see what He sees, hear what He hears, feel what He feels, and then fill me with His Spirit of truth and action to go an do the greater things that He said I would do in His name…

    Bill Drake – Vocals, BGVs, Piano
    John Campbell – Strings
    Tim Jaquette – Bass
    Bob Soma – Rhythm Guitar
    Dave Spur – Drums, Percussion

    Open My Heart

    Open my eyes that I might see a vision of lost humanity
    Open my ears that I might hear the voiceless hurting ones
    Open my hands that I might touch the nails of Godly sympathy
    Open my heart that I might feel the spear of selfless love

    And if I should take the name of Christ and all my talk of sacrifice and yet...
    Not not touch the ones He died for
    And if I could speak with angels’ tongues, sing the best songs that could be sung
    And yet, not love, then I deny the faith I said I’d die for

    And if I should pray in Jesus’ name, gather with saints, worship and pray
    But not let it move me into action
    And if I should study, get degrees, doctrinalize theologies
    But never feel any compassion, what is my faith Oh Lord…

    And if I say I’m a Christian, but not willing to obey
    Then by my life, and by my lips I take your name in vain

  • Sins of Omission – 1992 (Against The Night)

    I can’t help it.  Every once in a while, I write a song that is so influenced by the musical style of Keith Green’s Rushing Wind and Until That Final DaySins of Omission was also influenced by a book that George Verwer would push at many of his events:  The Great Omission by Robertson McQuillken, I read it, and it convicted me much in the same vein as those unforgettable words of George Verwer to me that fateful day at Biola University in 1987:  “How dare you sing songs like that when you’re not prepared to back it up with your lifestyle!” 

    In The Great Omission, respected missions thinker Robertson McQuilkin answers the question, “How is it, with so many unreached peoples, there are so few Christians going?” He investigates the reasons so few attempt to carry the message of Christ to the multitudes who have never heard of him. Not only is McQuilkin well-versed on trends and strategies in world missions, he also knows how to present the challenge of world evangelism in an unforgettable way.  And it blew me away, such to the point, I had to write a song about it! 

    But McQuilken also carried another message – not so much in what he said, but what he did, and in some ways, answered the very question he posed – there are some circumstances where an incarnational demonstration of the unconditional love of Christ can speak just as loudly as a propositional message.  Here is that testimony, from Christianity Today online ( 6/2/2016):

    Robertson McQuilkin, who stepped down from the presidency of Columbia Bible College and Seminary (now Columbia International University) in 1990 to care fulltime for his ailing wife, Muriel, has died. He was 88.

    McQuilkin, whose father was Columbia’s first president, met Muriel when they were both students there. During their 55-year marriage, they raised 6 children and served for 12 years as missionaries in Japan. Both eventually worked at Columbia—Muriel taught and McQuilkin became the president in 1968.  Under his leadership, Columbia’s enrollment doubled and two radio stations were founded, the school noted in its tribute to McQuilkin.

    Their love story went national when Muriel developed Alzheimer’s disease and was eventually terrified to be without McQuilkin. Some of his friends advised him to put her into an institution. But he chose instead to leave Columbia eight years short of retirement in order to care for her.  McQuilkin explained his decision to CT:

    “When the time came, the decision was firm. It took no great calculation. It was a matter of integrity. Had I not promised, 42 years before, ‘in sickness and in health . . . till death do us part’?  This was no grim duty to which I stoically resigned, however. It was only fair. She had, after all, cared for me for almost four decades with marvelous devotion; now it was my turn. And such a partner she was! If I took care of her for 40 years, I would never be out of her debt.”

    His resignation speech to Columbia “has been heard by tens of thousands of people around the world,” the school stated.

    The disease “did not seem painful for her,” McQuilkin said, “but it was a slow dying for me to watch the vibrant, creative, articulate person I knew and loved gradually dimming out.”

    McQuilkin later wrote for CT about how he found joy after life’s blows—“my dearest slipping from me, my eldest son snatched away in a tragic accident, my life's work abandoned at its peak.”

    Muriel passed away in 2003. “I don’t see how I could have any more grief,” McQuilkin told CT then.

    He continued to speak and write, in addition to serving as president emeritus of Columbia. He authored 19 books, including A Promise Kept, about the struggles he had and lessons he learned in caring for Muriel. In 2005, he married nursing professor Deborah Jones.

    CT blogger, Ed Stetzer, said of McQuilkin’s example:  “Not only was Robertson McQuilkin like Jesus in keeping his word to Muriel; he was like Jesus in his love for her.”

    Bill Drake – Vocals, Piano
    John Campbell – Strings

    Sins of Omission

    Hey you – do you hear my voice?
    I’m the One who saved you and gave you reason to rejoice
    Hey you – it’s by design
    That you should go and share the truth with all mankind

    Hey you – do you know my name?
    I’m one of the Least of These that’s measuring your faith
    Hey You – I know it’s hard
    But I’m the One who took for you the nails and the scars
    I’m the One who shook the gates of hell and darkness

    Sins of omission go easily unnoticed
    When you ignore me you turn me away
    You will reap what you sow when it comes time for harvest
    What is your faith, if you won’t obey?

    Hey you – will you seek my face?
    Or have you grown tired of this cross you must embrace
    Hey you – the world will wait
    To see if Christians only wear a phoney face
    To see if hypocrits or if my church will win this race

    Sins of Omission go easily unnoticed
    Please don’t ignore me, or turn me away
    You can say that you love me
    When your heart is so calloused
    What is your faith, if you won’t obey?

  • Ten-Four-0 – 1992 (Against The Night)

    Matthew 25 is an open-handed slap in the face to nominal Christianity.  And it's a serious crisis if you are a “goat”!  Jesus’ words in this passage are at once arresting and convicting, and we ignore them at our peril.  You can see some of His ‘words’ woven into the verse-questions of this unique, prophetic song I wrote in 1992. 

    I had the privilege to travel the world with renowned missionary George Verwer, founder of Operation Mobilization, who is regarded by many as the inventor of what is now termed, the Short-Term Mission trip.  One of the features of a George Verwer sermon was unabashed reality, where one would be exposed to the raw need of the world for the Gospel of Jesus Christ.  And George spent a lot of time talking about the 10/40 Window:

    The 10/40 Window is a term coined by Christian missionary strategist and Partners International CEO Luis Bush in 1990[1] to refer to those regions of the eastern hemisphere, plus the European and African part of the western hemisphere, located between 10 and 40 degrees north of the equator, a general area that was purported to have the highest level of socioeconomic challenges[2][3] and least access to the Christian message and Christian resources[4][5][6] on the planet.

    Roughly two-thirds of the world population lives in the 10/40 Window. The 10/40 Window is populated by people who are predominantly Muslim, Hindu, Buddhist, animist, Jewish or atheist. Many governments in the 10/40 Window are formally or informally opposed to Christian work of any kind within their borders. 2][5][6]  The following statistics are pulled from data garnered about the 10/40 Window:

    • Has 82% of the poorest of the world's poor (per capita GNP less than US$500 per year)[10]
    • Has 84% of those with lowest quality of life (life expectancy, infant mortality, and literacy)[11]
    • Is the hub of the world's major non-Christian religions (Islam, Buddhism, Hinduism, etc.,)[27][28]
    • Has close to 100% of those who were both most-poor and had least-access to Christian resources[29]
    • Is the area of the least Christian resource investment[30] and least sharing of the Christian message[31]

    Friends – as followers of Christ, we cannot be OK with this.  As the second pre-chorus of the song says, “It’s a tragedy of conscience to receive but not to share, and it's the ultimate injustice to believe but not to care”.

    1. "The 10/40 Window". Time Magazine. June 30, 2003. Archived from the original on April 28, 2007. Retrieved March 1, 2007.. The link is to the map, which is part of an extensive cover story.
    2. World FactBook., edition available in 1990. At the time, the authoritative source for socioeconomic and political metrics for every nation. Extreme poverty was denoted as under US$500 per capita GNP (in 1990 dollars). Human suffering was measured by the Quality of Life index, precursor to today's Human Development Index
    3. See the Analysis section of this article for research-based details and cited references.
    4. "Access" is generally defined using a variety of metrics. What is least controversial is those areas with least access throughout history, as all metrics for such areas are zero or close to zero. Examples of metrics used include the presence of (Christian) work and workers (of any kind, whether community development, health, business, child care, house servants, etc), media in an appropriate language (print, TV, radio, web, etc).,
    5. Operation World provides a concise well-researched/cited data summary for each nation
    6. Barrett, David B.; Kurian, George T.; Johnson, Todd M. (eds.) (2001). World Christian Encyclopedia (2nd ed.). Oxford University Press. pp. 1739pp. ISBN0-19-507963-9. Archived from the original on February 6, 2003. Much of its data is available online at the ("World Christian Database". Brill. Archived from the original on March 4, 2007. Retrieved March 1, 2007.) Mind-numbing in its details (with some areas of unique value), but the introduction and definitions in the paper edition are quite helpful to understanding.
    1. The Poorest Countries & The 10/40 Window (Map) (August 1, 1990 ed.). Cartography by GMI/GRDB. AD2000.
    2. Quality of Life & The 10/40 Window (Map) (August 1, 1990 ed.). Cartography by GMI/GRDB. AD2000.
    1. Three Religious Blocks & The 10/40 Window (Map) (August 1, 1990 ed.). Cartography by GMI/GRDB. AD2000.
    2. Islam & & The 10/40 Window (Map) (August 1, 1990 ed.). Cartography by GMI/GRDB. AD2000.
    3. The Poor, The Unevangelized, & The 10/40 Window (Map) (August 1, 1990 ed.). Cartography by GMI/GRDB. AD2000.
    4. The 55 Least Evangelized Countries & The 10/40 Window (Map) (August 1, 1990 ed.). Cartography by GMI/GRDB. AD2000.

    Bill Drake – Vocals, BGVs, Keyboards
    Tim Jaquette – Bass
    Bob Soma – Rhythm Guitar
    Dave Spur – Drums, Percussion
    Debbie McKay – BGVs
    Teri Drake – BGVs

    Ten Four O

    Do you hunger does it burn like a fire in your soul?
    Do you thirst with tearless eyes?
    Are you listening to the cries of the needy and oppressed?
    Are you watchin’ do you see the fire?

    Trapped in the seduction, paralyzed by western lies
    Can we afford to risk destruction of at least 4 billion lives?

    O there’s a window to the planet’s soul
    Will They ever know in the Ten Four O?

    Are you a stranger have you felt the rejection of the law?
    Are you naked do you need more clothes?
    Are you a criminal are you locked in the bonds of living lies?
    Are you sick, or are you well?

    It’s a tragedy of conscience to receive but not to share
    And it's the ultimate injustice to believe but not to care

  • I Will To Obey – 1993 (Against The Night)

    Acts 1:8 – the Ultimate Act of Worship

    There’s a provocative verse found in the first chapter of the book of Acts, that powerfully communicates a number of truths so important, that the eleven men who heard it personally coming straight from the mouth of their Master, proceeded to go out and joyfully spend their lives accomplishing it.  Many people read Acts 1:8, and think, “Oh, that was for those disciples back then, that probably doesn’t apply to me.  Nothing could be further from the truth.

    And you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you, and you will be my witnesses, in Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.  – Jesus Christ, Acts 1:8

    I would submit to you that Acts 1:8 contains our highest calling, our authority to carry it out, and our identity in doing so.  If the purpose of your life is not wrapped up in God’s purposes for the world, you will miss the reason that you are alive.

    And speaking of “alive”, hidden in the English translation of this famous verse is a word that has as its very essence a life and death decision.

    In the colloquial language of the New Testament, the Greek word for witness was the legal term describing someone who today would be willing to take the stand, put their hand on a Bible, and commit to tell ‘the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.’

    And that Greek word was the word – μαρτυρós (In English: Martyros)

    Originally, it did not have the connotation it does today, which is why we have it translated merely as ‘witnesses’.  However, as the apostles and disciples took Jesus’ command seriously to go and be His witnesses in all the world, some of them were challenged to either deny their faith, or die.  In the ancient Roman world, many Christians were thrown to lions because they would not renounce Jesus as Lord.  As their last act on earth, they would face wild beasts and gladiators, many on their knees, praying and praising God, even as He allowed them to be publicly slaughtered. 

    Caesar, and other despots like him, didn’t like to play second fiddle to anyone’s allegiance, and many Christians paid for their loyalty to Jesus with their lives.  They considered their sacrifice to be the ultimate act of worship – a willful act of unswerving devotion and allegiance to a God who was worthy of every drop of their blood.  So the Greek word martyros came to mean “one who witnesses unto death”, and we carry that meaning through to today.

    In their martyrdom they made the ultimate testimony; that there was nothing worth living for if it wasn’t worth dying for.  This is how God wants us to invest the passions of our lives - being a witness, a “martyros”.   And this is how God wants us to define ourselves.  And I don’t think it’s any coincidence that the word martyros has come to mean what it means today.

    Bill Drake – Vocals, BGVs, Piano, Keyboards
    Tim Jaquette – Bass
    Bob Soma – Rhythm Guitar
    Dave Spur – Drums, Percussion
    Debbie McKay – BGVs

    I Will To Obey

    I see the fields are white for harvest, but the laborers are few
    And I stand here cold and complacent, my God, what will I do
    It’s the agony of heart and will to make the choice
    But I can only serve one master, and listen to one voice

    I hear the roar of my rebellion and it drives me to my knees
    As I weigh my strong desire to be successful against what I believe
    I’ve heard the commands, read chapter and verse
    But I can’t wash my hands from the blood of the cursed

    I will to obey, now
    I’m laying rebellion down
    I will to obey, now
    I must take up this cross whatever the cost
    As I press on toward that mark
    I will to obey

    Christ, driven by love
    Written in word, and sealed in blood
    For there was a price to ransom the lost
    He asks us to pay the ultimate cost

  • Shout For Joy – 1988 (Seasons & Souvenirs)

    There is a grand metanarrative running through Scripture, starting in Genesis 1 and ending in Revelations 22.  Simply put, it looks like this:  Location, Dislocation, Relocation, Restoration.  Or in terms you might more easily recognize:  Eden, Fall, Cross, Resurrection (which includes the eventual restoration of all creation).  Everything in the Bible relates to one of these points – they string together from beginning to end, as God beautifully weaves the divine tapestry of His ultimate plan.

    From the very beginning, mankind has tried to ascertain why God allowed evil to exist in the world.  And while God never exactly tells us, what He does do is address the consequences – and then He takes full responsibility for it by having planned from the foundations of the world to have His Son pay the penalty for sin and evil by dying on an ugly Roman cross. 

    Adam and Eve’s freedom of choice ended up getting employed in coming into agreement with the enemy, which in turn unleashed hell on earth.  It also resulted in the potential for eternal separation from God for all mankind.  But God, Who is divine community, Who exists in the personification of Unity, cannot help but respond in character – that is in His Love - with a divine impetus to reconcile, to bring that which is broken back into restoration, to make that which is separate united again.

    And He does it without violating any of His other divine attributes, like justice, and wrath.  Jesus substitutes Himself for us, takes the punishment for our complicitivity in sin and evil, and makes a way out of our potential eternal separation from God, and offers it to us by His grace.  And we must receive it by faith.  And when we do, everything changes…

    We move from death to life, from dark to light, from sand to rock, from wrath to embrace, from isolation to reconciliation, from enemy to friend, from divorce to bride, orphan to adoption, from bastard to son, from disinheritance to inheritance, from sold to redeemed.  I could continue, but I’m sure you get the point – we are SAVED on multiple levels all at the same time!

    And friends, if that is not cause for raucous, unbridled celebration, then nothing is quite frankly!

    Shout For Joy is one of those songs that has had numerous variations.  It started out as a song I wrote for Biola University’s “Bound for India” outreach in 1988!  If you like ‘80s synths and guitars, then you might like the “Send Me” CD version.  (you can listen to that HERE)  The 3rd version, put here on Legacy – The Mission, was recorded in the 1990s in Eastbourne, England, and arranged by Andy Harsant, and appeared on the Crimson Thread of Grace album.

    Bill Drake: Vocals, Piano
    Andy Harsant: Acoustic Guitars, Backing Vocals
    Dan Boreham: Electric and Slide Guitars
    Aaron Frith: Backing Vocals
    Esther Alexander:  Backing Vocals
    Mark Prentice: Bass
    Marcel Zimmer: Drums & Percussion

    Shout For Joy!

    Shout for joy in adoration, there is now no condemnation
    Gone the wall of separation, the barriers are down!
    Lift your voice in celebration, to the God of our salvation
    Take this message to the nations, the barriers are down!

    Once having no hope and without God in the world
    Separate from Christ and from the promises He holds
    But now we've been brought near by Jesus Who died to reconcile and save us
    Conquered death and rose victorious; The veil is torn in two!

    So we’re then no longer strangers aliens afar
    We are fellow citizens with all the saints of God
    We are now a new creation, built upon a sure foundation
    Christ the cornerstone has made us the dwelling place of God

  • Pray For The World – 1996 (Seasons & Souvenirs)

    “For if I run now from the battle, I could I ever face Your Son?”

    “We thank you Lord that these ignorant Americans were willing to come here and
    say things that we would never be able to say in our own country” – The Elders

    It was in a large country in Western Asia, where Dan* finally gave me the green light.  And it almost started a riot.  Allow me to explain:

    On tour again in this beautiful country, biblically famous for containing the seven churches of the Revelation of John, but evangelically famous for being one of the most unreached nations in the earth, I had been kicking around with Dan a thought that had been dogging me for years:  What is the difference between a Christian Martyr and a Muslim Martyr?  Most often the distinction is quite jarring:  a Muslim Martyr is someone who is killed during an act of jihad, many times being killed in the act of killing ‘infidels’.  A Christian Martyr on the other hand, is someone who is killed simply for bringing the good news of Jesus Christ to people who don’t want to hear it.  One is an act of anger and war, the other, an act of love.

    As was our practice when touring in places like this, we were very careful not to “go farther than we should” when it comes to open sharing of the Gospel.  Certain places are more dangerous than others, and besides, the real mechanism for delivering the Way, the Truth and the Life is through the Bible Correspondence Course, which we always made available at our concerts.  So Dan would give me the red, the yellow, or the green light depending on “how far” he wanted me to go – and yes, I was willing to go all the way!

    Well, here we were doing the concert in the fenced in courtyard of the Protestant Church, a magnificent structure built by German missionaries a few years back.  Dan felt that THIS was the place to ask such a question, as we were on Church property, and the community there was known to “possibly” be more tolerant.  So we decided to go for it!

    During the concert, and through the adept translation of a local Pastor who himself had been attacked and knifed by Islamic Fundamentalists, I freely shared the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and that salvation is found in Him alone.  I also shared this thought about Muslim and Christian Martyrs, making the point about not being afraid of the truth, as Jesus was not afraid.  Well, the comments hit the crowd like a spiritual grenade – I could sense the words as the Pastor translated them clearly, hitting the crown like a slap in the face.  They began to get restless, and some obviously got upset. 

    At that moment, the “secret police” in the crowd (they are ever-present when we are in this area, and most of the time they are there to protect us!) showed themselves, came forward, interrupted the concert, and told me through translation from the Pastor that I needed to take back the words I had just said.  I was scared, but was able to blurt out, “I can’t do that – it is the truth”.  They said, “No it is not – true Muslims are not like that, you are referring to terrorists, fanatics, and you need to clarify that you meant that, or there will be severe consequences”.

    I noticed that there was a lot of milling about in the back as Dan worked to explain the situation to the police gathering around him.  He made his way toward me, trying to encourage me to go ahead and make the clarification without betraying my own principles. 

    At the exact same moment I felt a tapping on my left shoulder.  It was Linda Wells, the godly, anointed English dancer who had started touring with me.  I knew she “walked closely with God, but I was not prepared for what happened next.  Acting as if she was completely oblivious to the seriousness of the moment and the mayhem that was surrounding us, an still dressed in her dance costume, she said that God had given her a verse for me that very morning, and told her that He would let her know the right time to share it with me.  I remember thinking, “Go away you foolish woman!  Can’t you see we are about to be arrested?”  But then she said, “That time is NOW”.  The verse was Acts 18:9.  “… the Lord spoke to Paul in a vision:  Do not be afraid; keep on speaking, do not be silent. For I am with you and no one is going to attack and harm you because I have many people in this city.” 

    I can’t explain well the boldness that came over me as the fear evaporated.  I calmly went back to the microphone with my translator, surrounded on all sides by the secret police, and said, “I would like to rephrase what I said earlier:  I was referring to fanatics, terrorists when I referred to killing in an act of jihad.  I want you to know that I sincerely love Muslim people, and I love the people in your country.”

    As I was finishing, I noticed Dan being ushered off to the police station to make a report and to give them a copy of the video he had made of the concert.  In almost the same moment, the pastor and elders of the church approached my band and I, ushered us into the Church building and locked the doors.   They surrounded us, and began to pray for us, our Pastor translator did the best he could to translate them.  They prayed for our ministry, for our protection, that we would continue in boldness, and one of the things they prayed was, “We thank you Lord that these ignorant Americans were willing to come here and say things that we would never be able to say in our own country”.

    We ended up having a glorious time of prayer, and I just wept as these brothers quoted Romans 14:8 “...if we live, we live for the Lord, or if we die, we die for the Lord; therefore whether we live or die, we are the Lord's” and cried out to God. They kissed our cheeks and gave us huge big hugs. There were not many dry eyes. 

    Dan later told us later that in his years of ministry, that it was the best public sharing of the Gospel he had ever heard since working in this country.

    *name has been changed

    Bill Drake – Piano, Vocals
    Mark Levang – Keyboards
    Bob Soma – Electric Guitars
    Tim Jaquette – Bass, BGVs
    Marcel Zimmer – Drums, Percussion
    Jeff & Vangie Gunn – BGVs

    Pray For The World

    Awakened in the darkness, for the lost and the unreached
    For ling forgotten peoples in the clutches of deceit
    I’m confronted by my prayerlessness, my weapons left to rust
    But if I run now from the battle, how could I ever face Your Son?

    I want to fight for little children, for the poor and the oppressed
    Whose lives spill out like water in a barren wilderness
    I’ve had peace in my complacency but that season’s at an end
    The war that rips into my heart is the one that will ravage them

    Father God the Creator of the Heavens and the Earth
    Here I am, use this vessel as a tool to do Your work
    Break my heart, bring me tears, help this soldier to His knees
    To persevere at this commission and secure the victory

    I want to pray for desperate peoples who’ve never heard the truth
    Their individual lives are worth more than a cross to You
    I must crucify my apathy and face the enemy
    For if I don’t offer my life now, I surrender to defeat

    Pray for the World…  Pray for the World…

  • Let Your Kingdom Come – 1995 (Seasons & Souvenirs)

    “I pledge my life – I’m gonna give it to the broken hearted
    I can’t forget where I’ve come from”

    “There was a mural of Satan there in the officers’ mess hall.”  This was just one of a number of eerie epitaphs told us by the Homeless Shelter Church that was now occupying the former Soviet Army Base in Kiskunmajsa (pronounced ‘keesh-kun-mazsha’), the location of the last concert of our 2016 Bill Drake Band Tour in Hungary.

    Most of the buildings around us were derelict and decaying, a living prophetic testament of the vacuous and ruinous philosophy that is Marxism.  In the Communist Manifesto, Karl Marx wrote, "Communism abolishes eternal truths, it abolishes all religion and all morality."  What he and his subsequent tyrannical followers also tried to abolish was the beauty of the message of Jesus Christ and His word.  The fact that there is now a vibrant community of Jesus followers now owning and worshipping on ground that had once been occupied by a menacing force of Soviet enforcers perpetrating their evil and oppression on the precious people of Hungary, clearly demonstrates that “Greater is He that is in us, than he that is in the world” (1 John 4:4)

    How fitting that the little church that invited us there was started by those who had been redeemed from totally ruined lives.  Formerly homeless, drugged out, and selling themselves on the street, many of those who now constitute the church, know what it is to be “a new creation”.  One of the women there had been sold into prostitution by her parents when she was five years old.  In 2016.  In a European country. 

    We set up on a slab of concrete usually reserved for the many bicycles that populated the premises.  Behind us was a former barracks, restored into a beautiful building, housing many of the broken who have been rescued from the trash heap of a harsh life.  Children would come up to us while we were playing, watching the musicians and the dancers as they performed the songs, brining a message of hope and reconciliation.  Concerned parents would come up and pull them back, but nothing would stop these little ones who wanted to draw closer to the art, the beauty, that glorious activity of sharing the Good News!

    Many of the people were Gypsies, and as being their culture, they responded very well to the art forms employed there in bringing the Gospel.  Over 250 people gathered on the grass, seeking the shade of the trees, but riveted on our team as we ministered.  After the concert, many came forward to talk to us further, about salvation, about their brokenness, but also about how God had met and redeemed them.  It was a joyous celebration of new life in Jesus Christ.

    One young woman was brought to me by the wife of the Hungarian Pastor.  Her face was tear stained, she wore a pink dress, and she held some flowers in her hand.  Through translation, she shared her brokenness, involving the horrors of abuse, drugs, and suicide.  Her last attempt had left her in a coma, and only by God’s grace was she still alive.  She was consigned to this community by the state, seemingly a last ditch effort to save her young life, and if possible, put her back on the road to making a positive contribution. 

    Her incredibly blue eyes glistened as she shared that never in her life before had she heard such a story of rescue and redemption that matched hers as closely as mine did.  She shared that my story gave her great hope; that God just might be able to take her broken life and story and transform her to a point in the future where she could also be used by God to bring hope to others. 

    As we left that evening, it struck me deeply that yes, these are “the least of these”.  These are the ones Jesus told us to go to, and these are the ones He is rescuing from the Kingdom of Darkness, and bringing into His Kingdom of Life.  One of my greatest memories from this tour is having had the privilege to worship with such ones, who are fulfilling with their own lives a living testimony to why Jesus came in the first place:

    Isaiah 61

    1 The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on me, because the Lord has anointed me

        to proclaim good news to the poor.

    He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives

        and release from darkness for the prisoners,

    2 to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor and the day of vengeance of our God,

        to comfort all who mourn,

    3 and provide for those who grieve in Zion - to bestow on them a crown of beauty

        instead of ashes, the oil of joy instead of mourning, and a garment of praise

        instead of a spirit of despair.

    They will be called oaks of righteousness, a planting of the Lord for the display of his splendor.

    4 They will rebuild the ancient ruins and restore the places long devastated;

        they will renew the ruined cities that have been devastated for generations.

    Let Your Kingdom Come, Lord!

    Bill Drake – Piano, Vocals
    Doug Norwine – Alto Sax
    Mark Levang – Hammond B3
    Bob Soma – Electric Guitars
    Tim Jaquette – Bass, BGVs
    Marcel Zimmer – Percussion
    Stevie D. – Drums 
    Jeff & Vangie Gunn – BGVs

    Let Your Kingdom Come

    The rank injustice, the lonely cry of pain
    The blood of power and money has stained your name
    The crimes of passion
    But there’s a hope that lingers: all this with change one day

    Let Your Kingdom come, Let Your will be done
    On earth as it is in heaven
    All consuming flame, let Your glory reign
    Come burn in my heart again

    An unwed mother, the child locked in chains
    The homeless in the gutter, their time awaits
    The glut of those in starvation
    The wealth of common beggars, all longing for You to return

    I pledge my life, I’m gonna give it to the broken-hearted
    I can’t forget where I’ve come from
    For You desire a broken vessel that You can fill
    So the Glory and Honor go to You


  • Out Of The Darkness – 1996 (Crimson Thread of Grace, Every Nation Tribe & Tongue, Azure Dawn)

    But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light.  1 Peter 2:9

    I wrote out of the Darkness in 1996 in Teri’s Aunt and Uncle’s house in Renton, Washington, while preparing to fly back to England after a six-month furlough.  I was sitting at their piano, and this song just came out!  I needed some help with the lyrics, and when I got back to England, Jo Harman helped write the verses.  Since then, this simple song of worship based on 1 Peter 2:9 has been sung around the world, and recorded 3x! 

    The version you hear here, is the 2nd recording, from Every Nation, Tribe and Tongue.  It was recorded live at the De Bron Conference Center in Holland in the summer of 2000, and features Glyn Hill on Soprano Sax.  Glyn’s solo is literally breathtaking, especially at the end, when he does this circular breathing trick and lays down one of the most awesome riffs on anything I have every recorded.

    But perhaps one of the most incredible times I have played and sung this song came in 2006 in Barre, Vermont, when I went with Teresa, Shelby, and Sharayah to visit my childhood home on 20 Franklin Street where I lived when my mother died of cancer. 

    I had Teresa drop me off at the bottom of the hill below the house, and while she and the girls drove up and parked in its very large driveway, I climbed the hill praying.  As best I remember, the prayer went something like this: 

    Powers of darkness, I have come here today to declare that you no longer have any authority or dominion over my life.  I renounce all the sins that went on here at 20 Franklin Street, be it abuse, neglect, rejection, mean spiritedness and even death.  I declare that they no longer have any claim to my life, and the life of my sister Lisa, my brother John, my sister Maria and my brothers Joe, Jim, Chris and Pete.  I repent of any sins that I may have committed here as well and renounce any hold they might still have on my life.

    Lord I ask that you would break any power of the enemy that may have come here to generational sin; from my mother or my stepfather and ask that you would also break anything that may have been passed on to my own family.  I ask that you would break any bondage that may have held me back in my spiritual or relational life, or anything else that may have hindered me from prospering in any area of my life.  I ask that you would bless my life and my family from this place to wherever we go after here.

    I believe with all my heart that even those horrible things happened to me here, the enemy meant it for my destruction but you have redeemed it for my good.  In Jesus Name, Amen.

    About the time I finished praying, I arrived at the top.  We noticed the neighbor lady getting into her car, and I could tell that it was the same lady that lived there when he had lived there some 28 years ago!  I walked up to her and told her that I was Billy Drake, Phyllis’s son.  She lit up like a sunny day, exclaimed, “Billy!”, threw her arms around me,  and invited us into her house for a coffee in spite of the fact that she was leaving for Germany the next day!

    We tried to catch up on 28 years – she said she had been praying for my family while my mother was dying, and always wondered what became of us.  I asked her about people who would have known my mother, and especially those who were with her when she gave her life to Christ.  Before we left her, she gave me a list of folks to call, and we prayed for her and her family.  Her eyes were quite wet when we said goodbye.

    If you know anything about Vermont, you’ll know it is famous for fall colors, maple syrup, and Ben & Jerry’s Ice-Cream!  The original Factory was 30 minutes away in Waterbury, and we had decided after we visited my childhood home, we would head there for a sweet treat!  While there, I began to make some calls, and one of them was to Ruth Vickory.  Amazing.  She picked right up – and yes, she remembered Phyllis, and YES, she remembered Phyllis’s oldest son Billy, and “PLEASE, you guys need to come over to our place for dinner TONIGHT!”  Oh, and she was only ten minutes away from the Ben and Jerry’s factory!

    We got to Ruth’s house, and entered into a sanctuary.  Ruth and her husband follow Jesus – closely.  Their lives exude His presence, as does their beautiful home.  Her husband was a contractor, and they were in the process of building a 24/7 prayer center on their property.  We couldn’t believe it – it was as if God had been waiting for me up there all these years… “…Yes Bill, your mother really did walk with God, and she kept good company with other’s who seek Me earnestly…”

    We had a beautiful meal with them, and learned of their lives since they had known my mother, told us about her conversion, and how they had so prayed for her healing.  And they wanted to know all about our mission work, living in England for ten years, and what we were up to now.  It always amazes me how you can have such incredibly deep, authentic fellowship with people you have never met, but you know the same Jesus, and you are instantly united.  I started to feel like I was on the edge of tears the entire time.

    Now when we had come into their house, I had noticed a beautiful grand piano in their living room, but not wanting to be rude, kind of let it go for the time being.  But of course, when it came around to who I was, and what I did, oh, they just had to hear me play and sing.  So after desert and tidying up the dishes, we all moved into the living room and sat down.  I went to the piano, and told Ruth and her husband that I would sing a simple worship song about my testimony, Out of the Darkness.

    No sooner did my hands hit the keys, than the Holy Spirit hit the room.  His presence was so palpable, I almost wanted to just stop playing, and get down on the floor prostrate before the Lord.  But I also knew that this was a holy moment, a point of closing a loop, a moment where a stake goes down, and something gets shifted in the heavenlies.  So I kept playing, and started to sing.

    The second my voice took up the lyric, Ruths arms and hands shot into the air in an act of genuine worship.  She sat there in her chair with a glow on her face, arms raised to Jesus, eyes closed but tears streaming down as I sang.  When I finished she sat in silence for more than a few seconds and then said with extreme emotion in her voice: “Phyllis would be so proud, Phyllis would be so proud!”  She opened her eyes which held /happy’ tears, looked right at me, and said “Phyllis’s prayers were answered.  Hallelujah”.

    I’m not sure how long it took for all of us to recover. 

    I’ll never forget that day – the day I met a special woman who saw my mother come to Christ, who prayed with this dying mother for her children, and who was able to live long enough to see those prayers answered: the oldest son comes back to say thank you, and to give God the Glory for it all, no matter how difficult the years had been from what had been set in motion.

    Bill Drake – Piano, Keyboards, Vocals
    Jo Harman – Lyrics in the Verses
    Glyn Hill – Soprano Sax
    Harry Evangelou – Bass
    Craig Prentice – Guitars
    Mark Boyers – Drums
    Val Boyers - BGVs

    Out Of The Darkness

    Out of the darkness You brought me O Lord
    From rebellion, transgression and shame
    By grace through faith I am saved in Your love
    Made alive by the power of Your name

    And with all that I am, and all that I have
    I long to seek Your face
    And as long as I live, my life I will give
    To glorify Your name

    Judgment, compassion, mercy and wrath
    All met when the nails hit your hands
    Those hands of love have now fashioned my life
    To do the good works that You’ve planned

  • Move Through Me – 1996 (Send Me, Crimson Thread of Grace)

    I remember being schooled on the radical truth of true worship after having witnessed the squalor of a township in South Africa near Port Elizabeth; a place called Soweto-by-Sea.  In between the shacks made from refuse wood, corrugated metal, worn out tyres and worse, were dirt tracks through which ran raw sewage and wandering goats.  Little children were playing in the rubbish piles strewn around the edge of a playing field, all of which seemed to be part of a larger dump.  Foul wisps of smoke were winding upwards from nearby burning mounds of trash. 

    Being blown away, I stammered out, asking my friend Jean, "What economic or cultural forces were in motion to create such squalor?"  Jean reacted quickly, "The real issue, Bill, is not political or cultural, but rather, 'Do you care?'"  He went on to say, "We are scared to care - can you really react, and if you did, how might it change you?  Most of us unfortunately don't want to find out."  Jean's words stung me, not because he shared them harshly, but because as I actually started to apply the words and the truth of what I was experiencing that day, I knew that once again, I was going to have to change.  Later that night, on an old out of tune piano stuck backstage behind some dusty curtains in an older theatre hall in Port Elizabeth, I wrote this song, Move Through Me.

    You see, over the years I’ve learned that true worship in Spirit and in Truth is multi-dimensional, same as love: they both have a horizontal and vertical aspect.  Without either it really isn't love, or worship.  And once again, in the midst of a desperate, human situation, I realized that the appropriate, worshipful response to God's grace to me was to then give Him back my life to be used as an instrument for bringing His grace to others. 

    Grace is God's divine initiation.  And it too has at least two dimensions.  It starts as a vertical thing - God reaching down to us. It becomes horizontal as God's grace moves in us and causes His love to be shared through us to others.  And here we then find true worship – loving God, and loving our Neighbour.

    Our worship of God, our gratitude motivated obedience, mirrors and responds to God's grace on similar planes.  We thank Him, praise Him, adore Him, exalt Him and lift Him up from every corner of our heart as we try to worship Him in "spirit".  But worship “in truth” will have a horizontal application as well, as we obey Him in the reality and truth of the way we live our daily lives.  In Matthew 4:10, Jesus tells Satan very clearly that we are to worship the Lord our God AND serve Him only.  It is here that we seek first the Kingdom of God.  This is true worship service: that we love God with all our heart, soul, mind and strength, and present our lives to Him as living sacrifices, set apart for the purpose of loving our neighbors in this world, and sharing God's love and grace with them.

    I mentioned Move Through Me in the introduction to the Legacy Project, and how Marcel Zimmer and Elisha Krijgsman really helped this song to become reality.  Through their contacts, we recorded it over two days in a studio in Zwolle, Netherlands.  Elisha’s electric guitar solo in this song in my opinion is one of the best pieces of musicianship on all my albums to date; the melody, the execution, the passion, just the whole thing still moves me to the core as I listen to it, for it captures musically the perfect combination of angst, compassion, desire, and burden I first felt when my human senses encountered the black hole of human need that I experienced there in Soweto-By-Sea, and my spirit desired to somehow respond in the grace of God.

    Bill Drake – Piano, Keyboards, vocals,
    Eisha Krijsman – Elecric Rhythm and Lead Guitars, BGVs
    Bass – Mark Dekkers
    Marcel Zimmer – Drums & Percussion, BGVs

    Move Through Me

    Take my hands, take my feet, take my heart soul mind and strength
    So the captives can be free speak through me
    Use Your word, use Your truth, make this vessel pure for You
    So the thirsty can believe, pour through me

    Lord run Your kingdom through my heart
    Crucify self – set me apart
    So that the nations hear Your truth
    Send this ambassador for you
    Move through me

    Take the scales from my sight piere my darkness with Your light
    So blinded eyes can finally see, shine through me
    Let me wipe away their tears show compassion calm their fears
    So wounded hearts will surely heal, love through me

  • Rainfalls – 1998 (previously unreleased original demo version)

    It’s gonna be hard to express how much this song means to me.  I wrote it, arranged and played all the parts, and recorded this demo in my garden shed in Bromley, Kent, and it was intended to be the title song on an album I never ended up releasing.  As a result, the original version of Rainfalls was never properly recorded, although an excellent Josh Fisher arrangement (redux) found itself onto the Aroma CD in 2005.

    As expressed in many of the songs and stories in this Legacy project, I have had an interesting testimony – divorced parents, child abuse, death of a mother, rejection from a father, suicidal at age 19… dark stuff.  And we live in a dark and fallen world, and this song, although written many years later, came from a very dark place – hearing of martyrdoms, spending time with IRA terrorist victims, fellowshipping with those who have been persecuted, watching people succumb to the temptations of the Enemy, seeing rust, rot, and decay slowly destroy beauty in individual lives, family, and society, praying for people who are dying of a horrible disease, and seeing people walk away from Jesus, die, and go into a Christ-less eternity.  Rugged stuff.  And it’s not alright.  Not at all.

    Rarely, but sometimes, in my humanness and fallen humanity, I have allowed myself to feel, really feel, even if only for a moment, the weight of that darkness that almost consumed me in 1979.  And it is a very, very dark and heavy place.  You can see, feel, and hear that ‘place’ in the verses of this song.  Because to get involved in God’s Mission is to go to back to the dark places, the desperate places, the places that suffocate life and spew death.  I have been there, and I can never forget… but not to go back to wallow there, but rather, to bring light into the darkness.

    And in that dark place, God meets us.  He has spent time there, and He knows how to not only identify with us there, but also how to get us out – to rescue us, to restore us, and renew us, even if we’ve been marked by it – as He has been, and will wear those marks forever.

    Redemption, Restoration, Renewal – some of the most beautiful words in the world – words that bring life and crush death.  In this song, I coined a name for God that is so personal, so revealing and descriptive of Who He is for me – I trust He does not think me blasphemous – and I intended no disrespect.  You’ll find it in the chorus – “rain” being the metaphor for the work of the Holy Spirit in renewing and washing the discarded and dirty, strengthening the weakened and weary, brining hope to the hopeless and helpless, raining down the love and grace of God… and then I just took the liberty to “personify” that into a name for Him that captures a beautiful facet of the Life-giver:  “Rainfalls”.  I trust it speaks for itself…

    Bill Drake – vocals, keyboards, programming


    I see the tide is turning, I hear the bridges burning
    I feel the nations’ burden fall on me
    I hear the wind is blowing, I see the shadows growing
    I feel the world closing in on me
    It drives me to my knees

    But when the rain falls, I am renewed again
    When the rain falls, I feel Your strength begin to fill me
    Rainfalls, it’s through Your hope I face reality

    I see the people striving, I hear the children crying
    I feel their spirits crushed in raw defeat
    Life is hard and then you die, the wasted tears run from your eyes
    This fantasy that “It’s alright” is choking me
    God set your people free

    But when the rain falls, I am renewed again
    When the rain falls, I feel Your strength begin to fill me
    Rainfalls, I find Your grace sufficient for me
    Rainfalls, it’s through Your hope I touch eternity

  • Crimson Thread of Grace – 1998 (Crimson Thread Of Grace)

    The prayers of a dying mother, the gift of a new Bible, the friends who shared Jesus with me in a lonely nightclub; In a letter written to my wife's parents, the phrase "Crimson Thread of Grace" just flowed out when I started describing my spiritual family tree.  I suppose I was trying to capture the colour and texture of something that can seem so abstract; the fabric of Grace.

    Grace is the unique, sometimes unnatural, Christian contribution to a world of natural retribution.  As Clint Eastwood said in his Oscar-winning performance: "Deserve's got nothing to do with it..." With these words he dispatched Gene Hackman's arrogant character into eternity, but he also unknowingly captured the essence of Grace in a movie ironically entitled 'Unforgiven'.  Without God's grace we are all unforgiven, and as unforgiven we stand 'condemned already' as Jesus says in John 3:17.

    I myself have been both a victim and a perpetrator of 'ungrace': divorced parents, abused by my step-father, a rebellious spirit, and even a suicidal bent, calculated to selfishly end my unlovely life.  I am still amazed at how the God I blasphemed (and still doubt in my weaker moments) chooses to suspend His wrath, deciding instead to have it satisfied at the expense of His accomplice-Son, Jesus Christ.  Mine is not a religion of good works, wrought out of some misguided guilt trip, trying to appease an angry God.  Mine is a lifetime given to gratitude-motivated obedience to the Father and Son who have offered me an eternal, loving relationship.

    The Christian virtues which have spun out from this divine word fill the hallways of eternity, but they are also the foundations on which the best of any civilisation has ever been built: mercy, gratitude, self-sacrifice, forgiveness, even loving one’s enemies.  The same New Testament word translated 'grace' is also translated 'charity', and is the root for the words 'gratitude', 'charisma' and 'care'.  What a word, eh?  And in a world of political correctness, unbridled greed and ethnic cleansing, this is the word that we Christians ought most to model.  It, above all others, marks what and Whose we are.

    Walk By Faith

    Our faith is not a leap in the dark, as it has been put so often by a world that doesn't really understand the word.  Every human being has been graciously given a measure of it, hopefully to invest in the truth.  It is a reasoned trust, built on the foundation of what has been so clearly revealed to us in the Bible, in God's creation, and through His son, Jesus.  If the mind of a 5-year old child can grasp the surface pillars of this deep and abstract concept, there is hope that the hearts and minds of a world that is so caught up in what is shallow and without substance can actually 'get it'.  They can lay hold of that which is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen: a trust placed squarely in the One for whom faith was designed; the Creator, the Saviour; the Lord.  He is the Father of Mercy who loves the lost, throws parties for prodigals, redeems the rebellious and adopts the orphans, and His divine invitation is delivered to us through His Amazing Grace.

    Faith of course directly affects your behaviour.  Even those who reject the concept of religion as ultimate authority and believe instead in absolute relativism, end up themselves behaving as the supreme judge of what is right and what is wrong.  What is most interesting about faith and behaviour, is that whatever you put your trust in, you will eventually worship.  And that which you worship, you will then serve.  That which you passionately believe will bring about the greatest good, you will pursue with all your heart, soul, mind and strength.  For the hedonist this would be personal pleasure, for the religious zealot: the advancement of his or her religion.  For the Christian, Jesus has made it very clear that a faith alive in Him will produce the fruit of a lifestyle that has Him as its top priority: Christlike Charity, Grace in motion.

    Show His Love

    I recently heard the Sovereign of a major nation say that loving one another, and treating others as just as important as ourselves was a tenet of all major religions.  This highly esteemed and well-respected person was unfortunately very misinformed.  Only in Christianity do we find "there is no Jew, no Greek, no male, no female".  In other words, we are all created equal and all have equal worth.  This is categorically not true in the maze of reincarnation, in the bondage of the caste system, and in the hierarchy of religious legalism.  Only in Christianity is there the slightest notion of all human beings having equal "rights" - those rights being directly attributable to the image of God that He has so graciously bestowed on every human being.  Only in Christianity was it ever made a commandment to love your enemies, and treat with respect and kindness those who persecute you.

    The apostle John says that we love because He loved us first.  Without God's love being shown to us, we wouldn't have a clue what it really is.  What is it that separates hormonal passion from sacrificial commitment?  What is it that separates mere pity from heartfelt compassion?  What is it that separates the mutual toleration of each other's selfish agendas from the true bonds of unbridled unity?  What is it that separates fearfully keeping the laws of religious dogma from cheerfully giving everything you have to offer in worship and service?  The answer?  Love.  Biblical love.  A selfless motivation to actively meet the needs of another, regardless of the cost to oneself.  True worship is gratitude-motivated obedience, and the passion behind all of it is Love.  Love for a God who loved us even unto death, and love for a neighbour, even if he is my enemy.

    This thread of grace that was passed down to me must, by its very nature, be "strung through me" and shared with others.  This sharing with others has unfortunately many times been relegated to only preaching the word.  That well-intentioned sentiment by itself however, is a half-truth stripped of its necessary complement: good works.  Faith devoid of charitable action is not faith at all, but a dead, legalistic system of beliefs that does no-one any good, and robs the holder of the privilege of being Christ's hands and feet.  "But little children," the apostle John implores us, "Don't just love in word, but also in deed."

    Speak His Name

    As was said earlier, faith devoid of charitable action is not faith at all but a dead, legalistic system of beliefs that does no-one any good.  It robs the believer of the privilege of being Christ's hands and feet in a world that is dying for the touch of His presence.  However, there is a counter side: Charitable action, without acknowledging the source from which it comes, lacks any coherent connection to the eternal purposes which inspired it.  It actually robs God of the glory, when it was for Him that such charitable action was carried out in the first place.  It has been well-said, that Truth without Grace kills, but Grace without Truth lies (Eberhart Arnold).  Even though there may be difficult and complex issues involved, we must try as best we can as Christians to make sure that Christ's name gets the credit for all that we do.

    There is incredible power in the name of Jesus.  His name is not magic, it is not a formula or mechanism that can be used to invoke our wishes and desires.  Jesus's name, however, representing who He is and the authority He carries, is said by Him to have a direct connection to how His will is done on this earth.  After all, He has called us to follow Him in His name.  He has told us to ask for things in His name.  He has even given us His name.  Therefore, bringing His name, and all that it represents and manifests into every situation that we find ourselves, is not only our privilege, but aligns us directly with the authority and will of Him who has called us to walk by faith and show His love in the first place.  Whether citing His name in order to designate who gets the glory, or calling on His name for salvation or deliverance, there will be eternal results, because this name has real power behind it. 

    You have probably heard that quote that is apocraphally attributed to St. Francis of Assisi:  “Preach the Gospel at all times, if necessary, use words”.  Well, guess what – you MUST use words to preach the Gospel – it is the good news of Jesus Christ.  And it is the power of His name that authenticates and legitimizes that which He calls us to do in His name.  This is the name that is above every other name; the name at which every knee shall bow, and every tongue confess.  This is the name that brings salvation to the world.  This is the name that can release divine power when things are done in its authority, and this is the name that, when trusted, can forever alter the destiny of one's eternity.

    Bill Drake: Vocals
    Andy Harsant:  Piano, Acoustic Guitars, Backing Vocals
    Esther Alexander:  Backing Vocals
    Dan Boreham: Electric Guitars
    Aaron Frith: Backing Vocals
    Mike Haughton: Tenor & Soprano Sax
    Mark Prentice: Bass
    Marcel Zimmer: Drums & Percussion

    Crimson Thread Of Grace

    There’s a crimson thread of grace, stretching to a fallen race
    Woven by the rich tapestry of love
    For there was a wooden cross, where a wicked world mocked
    And a slaughtered lamb cried out “Father Forgive”

    And I know, there is a Redeemer
    And I know I’m persuaded that He lives
    And if I’ve been bought with such a price
    I must now go lay down my life
    Walk by faith, show His love, speak His name

    If man would give his life, for such a wretch as I
    I cannot escape mercy’s grasp of grace
    For the Father heart of God, running to the prodigal
    Restores what was lost, in His full embrace

  • Let It Reign – 1998 (Rainfalls/Aroma/Broken & Complete)

    Over the years I’ve always been incredibly amazed at how God opens ministry opportunities for me in certain nations.  Like in South Africa, where I have been over 27 times.  Same with Mexico.  But Hungary?  I would have never thought!

    I first visited and did a few concerts in Budapest right after the Iron Curtain came down.  A few years later I was invited to do a summer outreach with OM that would start in an old Communist Camp that had been redeemed for much better Kingdom purposes!

    But since 2009, after the gracious invitation of Missions Elder Bill Trimper from one of my sponsoring churches, I have been back every year, and after taking my daughter Sharayah in 2010, she met her husband there – my interpreter and driver!  Ha!  I’ll never forget that fateful moment when he took me for a gelato, and respectfully informed me that he was developing feelings for my daughter.  Bence won my heart in that moment, and I am proud to call him my son-in-law.  And I am now “married into Hungary” for the rest of my life!

    By 2011, we were doing concerts, camps, and all kinds of events all over the nation.  My dear friend and colleague Attila would organize the tours, and I would show up with Bence and do them with the help of Bill Trimper, who by that time had also become like a father figure to me.  The partnership that the four of us have forged over the last 9 years has been one of the ministry highlights of my life.  We have seen countless numbers of Hungarians come to Christ, and countless more have had their lives changed through the events that Attila has been able to put together.  Praise God!

    And speaking of highlights, we have had the privilege of seeing God bring beauty from the ash heaps of broken lives.  The paradoxical collision of a sacrificial selfless love with the nefarious nature of execution by crucifixion unleashed a tidal wave of impact:  the defeat of the powers of sin and death, and the provision of the saving grace made available for mankind.  All this met at the cross of Jesus Christ.  No wonder this hideously beautiful moment stands as the center-point of human history.  Perfect love, total wrath, graceful beauty, complete brokenness, malicious cruelty and compassionate kindness all occupied the same space in one climactical moment.  And such was the truth that God gave us for Baja, Hungary July 10-17, 2011, all wrapped up in the Hungarian word for beautiful miracle: Csodalotos.
    A visual arts team led on this trip by my Co-Director of OM Arts, Pat Butler, who actually came up with the theme word that became the focal point of our outreach, a Dance team, a contemporary band (Bill Drake Band), and a Church team from Peachtree City, GA, all converged on this beautiful Hungarian city just a few miles from the Serbian border.  The results were eternal.

    Arts Camp, English language learning, a city square concert,  regular team devotions, nightly praise and worship, all great opportunities for God to work on campers and Short Term missionaries alike. We worked together, played together, worshipped together, struggled together, and triumphed together.

    The Tipping Point came on a Wednesday evening when the leader of the Dancelink Team, Cheryl Vigereaux, spontaneously began to dance to the song How Great Is Our God in the little cellar/converted into a chapel of the Language School where we were based in Baja (boy-a), Hungary.  Sharing in devotions on Thursday morning, my daughter Sharayah broke down as she tried to convey a vision she had seen during that dance - the bricks in the cellar exploded outward in an array of blinding light, and all of a sudden Cheryl, who hadn't missed a step, was dancing before the King of Kings, who was on His throne.  Sharayah expressed that our Lord was pleased with this worship, and was pleased to see us glorify Him with our talents and gifts. This set the team up for an expectancy for Thursday evening, and God did not disappoint.

    After a full day of drawing, sculpting, dancing, and harmonizing, the Hungarian campers were ambushed by the love of God. Bence exhorted the campers to come up and share what they were experiencing. Camper after camper related how loved they felt here, and in that love, they were experiencing God. Bence related the love of Christ, which compels us to share Him, His truth, and His love. A number of Hungarians were in tears, and a number gave their hearts to Christ. It was an awesome evening, but nothing prepared us for the explosive response we were to experience the following evening outdoors in the Baja City Center.

    The spiritual cloud burst on Friday night, and the Lord reigned down His glory on a stage in the city center square. Hundreds of Hungarians were drawn to the vibrant sound of our Bands, the colorful power of our Dancers, and the awesome spectacle of our visual artist's graffiti wall, painted on a huge canvas during the last song of the Bill Drake Band concert. I had been leading from the keyboard, stepped to the very front of the stage, and pointing to the graffiti wall, asked the crowd who would like to declare that they would like Jesus to do in their hearts and lives what had just been so colorfully and skillfully displayed on the canvas:  the word “Csodalotos” beautifully revealed for all to see, “live” on stage by our visual artists.

    I then exhorted the audience to indicate a decision to follow after Jesus Christ by coming up on the Stage, wetting their hand with paint, and putting their hand-print on the canvas around the word.  We stood in awe as many came forward, and the Artslink team had the joy of helping all those who were making decisions to come forward and make their mark for Christ.  Around 32 came to Christ that evening, their hand-prints all over the painting.

    Praise God for what He did there in Baja, a miracle of New Life in Christ for many young artistic Hungarians who had the experience of the Ultimate Artist calligraphy His truth on their hearts. Csodalotos.

    Let It Reign was written in the little garden shed at the back of our garden, 23 Howard Road, Bromley Kent where we lived for 10 years as a family in England.  It was part of the Bill Drake album that never was:  Rainfalls.  I loved this song when I wrote it, and so did Shelby:  it was her favorite Bill Drake song for many years!  There are actually three versions of it, the original demo, the Aroma version arranged by Josh Fisher and Joe Ricciardi, and the Broken & Complete version presented here.  There’s a whole story around that, but you’ll have to get that from Joe!  J  But the reason I paired this story from Hungary with this song, even though the song was written over ten years earlier, is because the above story is a fulfillment of the sentiment of the song.  It is a wonderful feeling to know that I am not just singing platitudes – but rather, in faith, the evidence of things hoped for, the essence of what is not yet seen.  Let It Reign.

    Bill Drake – Piano, Keyboards, Vocals
    Joe Ricciardi – Electric Guitars
    Tim Friesen – Bass, Programming
    Josh Fisher – Drums, Percussion
    Jill McAfee  Shelby Drake Arvizo - BGVs

    Let It Reign

    Your people cry out to You Lord
    We come with empty hands, from a dry and thirsty land
    To offer our lives up to You
    As vessels of clay, sacrifices of praise

    Fountain of eternity
    Let Your Spirit make us what you want us to be

    Let it Reign!  Let it Reign!
    Let it flow like mighty rivers
    Healing streams of living water
    Let it Reign!  Let it Reign!
    Let the earth be filled with knowing
    That you are the Lord of Glory over all

    The Kings of the earth will bow down
    To serve and confess, that Your name is blessed
    Dominions and powers and thrones
    Will tremble with fear, as Your Justice draws near

    Arise, risen conquering One
    Let the nations worship for Your Kingdom has come

  • Lord Of The Harvest – 1998 (Every Nation Tribe & Tongue)

    “We present our lives, as a sacrifice…”

    The Slab and the Doorstop

    In 1991 Teresa, Shelby and I moved from Los Angles to London, as we joined OM.  Our first assignment was Love Europe, and we arrived in Offenburg, Germany for the huge conference.  And I had my artistic mind blown.  There were Mime artists, there were Dancers, there was a Classical Music Team and a Jazz Band, there were clowns and sketchboard and all kinds of visual arts and theatre, and unbeknownst to me a seed was planted deep in my psyche…

    Twenty-seven years later, in 2008, with Dileep Ratnaike, Jill McAfee, Tim Friesen, and a few others, I had the privilege of doing what was possibly the first Christian Tour of Azerbaijan since the Apostle Bartholomew was martyred at the Maiden Tower in Baku.  The precious brothers who had organized the tour had purchased a semi, and used the cargo trailer part as a performance stage that would fold out, making more stage space and leaving one side still vertical as a back drop.  The front and back of the trailer were folded out as well and used as projection screens for our translated lyrics.  All the touring equipment was carried inside the trailer, so the entire operation was self-contained.  It was awesome!

    During the set-up I was approached behind the trailer by our country leader, and he introduced me to Azer, an Azeri Pastor who would be my translator for the concert.  Azer was obviously nervous, sporting the scars he received from the KGB the last time he was imprisoned in Azerbaijan for being a Christian Pastor.  (Interestingly enough, later on during the event I did notice the Secret Police casing the concert, talking to each other through mics and ear-pieces, listening to every word and watching every move we made.)

    After the initial pleasantries, he spoke with deep emotion, “Bill Drake, we are willing to die for Christ here in Azerbaijan.  But we are not willing to die because some ignorant American thinks he can come in here and help solve our Spiritual problems with one concert.  That is why your little “crown of thorns” prop on stage, your little “cross”, and other Christian paraphernalia has been removed from the platform.”  And I am sure I heard God say, “That’s right Bill, I am about to kick out all your props.”  Azer continued, “And you will not be using the name ‘Jesus’ during the concert; you can talk about God all you like, and should certainly mention your Heavenly Father, but we are going to be subtle today, so we can be here tomorrow…” 

    I was floored.  We had raised so much $$$ to be there, and assembled an amazing team of talent for the tour.  We had not been told all of this, although we were not completely in the dark as to how we need to tour as Christians in a Muslim country.  But my heart was deeply shaken, so I went for a walk way out into the vast green open space of the Pasture/Fairgrounds that had been given to us to do our concert in.

    Standing out in the vast open space, and looking up at the snowcapped mountains of Dagestan in the distance, I began talking to God.  What was going on?  Why was I really here?  How was I supposed to respond to this?  And then God spoke, and I was not expecting at all what He had to say!

    “Bill, are you willing to be a ‘Slab’ for Me?  Are you willing to lay down like an ignoble piece of concrete on the ground, laid low and laid down?  Because if you are, then on you, and many who I am going to bring alongside you, I am going to build something that no man can tear down.”  It hit me hard.  I knew what it meant.  It meant that my season of being “just” Bill Drake, the international recording and performing artist, was going to diminish, and God was going to do something else.  But I needed to lay it down.  So I got down on my knees, and told God that I would – that my life and ministry were His, and He could do want He wants with me, my music, my talents, and my life.

    But God wasn’t finished.  He spoke again. 

    “Bill, are you willing to be a Doorstop for Me?  Thank you for being willing to lay down that which is precious to you, to Me.  I will raise you from “Slab” status to ‘Doorstop’ status, Bill, but are you willing to be a Doorstop for Me?  A humble piece of wood kicked under a door, watching as others pass you by?  Because if you are willing to do that, then with you, and many who I am going to bring alongside you, I will prop open a door no man can shut.”  I was on the ground.  Through tears and brokenness, I said “Yes, Lord”, and like Mary the Mother of Jesus, I said “Lord, do unto me according to Thy will”. 

    Only heaven will record the fullest results of the sacrificial decisions we make on this earth.  But it does not surprise me now that within two months of this encounter I was involved in the OM International decision to explore birthing an international Arts Ministry within OM, and within two more months a task force was appointed to draw up the initial Charter for OM Arts International.  Two months after that in February 2009, the international leadership of Operation Mobilization laid hands on me at a key meeting in Brazil and commissioned me to lead this brand new ministry in OM:  OM Arts International.

    We started our first meetings as OM Arts International in 2009 with Dileep Ratnaike, Mat and Geinene Carson, Frank Fortunato, Bill and Robin Harris, Pat Butler, Linda Wells, Joshua Williams, and invited guest Colin Harbinson.  As of June 2016, OM Arts is 73 Artists (working in a variety of capacities from fulltime Artist in Ministry to missionaries serving as artists in their spare time) in 23 OM Fields.  In the last four years alone, 517 artists have been on 95 Short Term Arts Missions trips hosted in over 30 countries.  118 artists and arts leaders attended OM Arts training courses.  And over 109,500 locals came to OM Arts’ events in over 30 countries and have heard the Gospel have Jesus Christ.  To God be all the Glory.

    Lord of the Harvest is one of my favorite songs – and I LOVE 6/8 time!  I wrote this song on guitar, and have led people in worship with it literally all over the world.

    Bill Drake – Piano, Keyboards, vocals
    Dave Price – Acoustic Guitar, BGVs
    Elisha Krijsman – Electric Rhythm & Lead Guitar, BGVs
    Glyn Hill – Soprano Sax
    Marcel Zimmer – Drums, Percussion, BGVs
    Bass – Mark Dekkers
    Lydia Zimmer – BGVs
    Rene Krijsman – BGVs

    Lord of the Harvest

    Lord of the Harvest, Shepherd of Righteousness
    You gather Your children, and rescue the ones who're lost
    We fall down and worship, give service to You alone
    We present our lives as a sacrifice

    You are Alpha and Omega
    You are Lord of the Second Birth
    You are King of splendor and majesty
    And You reign over heaven and earth       

    Lord of the Nations, of Peoples and Tribes and Tongues
    The Kinsman Redeemer, You purchased us with Your blood
    Come fill us and send us, as witnesses for Your Son
    We present our lives as a sacrifice


  • I Was Born To Worship You – 1998 (Every Nation Tribe & Tongue)

    “A person doesn’t know why they’re alive until they know what they are willing to die for.”
    - Attributed to Martin Luther King Jr.

    The Apostle Paul wrote to his friends in Philippi:  “…that I may lay hold of that for which I was laid hold of…” (v.12 in the larger passage from 3:7-21)  I submit that this is among the most noble and fulfilling of human pursuits – to set out on a life-or-death quest in order to discover the purpose for your life that God had in mind when He created you and brought you into the Kingdom of Light.

    So many people ask, “Why was I born?”  So many children of the 1960s set out on a desperate search to “find themselves”.  So many people today wander aimlessly through life, not knowing who they are or what purpose their life serves.  The more cynical we are, the more bitter we get.  The more melancholic we are, the more depressed.  Western Civilization has never been more neurotic.

    “That I may know Him, and the power of His resurrection…”  For me, Philippians 3 is one of the most powerful sections of Scripture.  Here you get the heartbeat and passion of a man who has “counted all things as manure” for the sake of getting to know Christ, worship Christ, follow Christ, live for Christ, and die for Christ. (The word ‘rubbish’ there in verse 8 was chosen for our English translations to soften the language Paul actually used in the original Greek!) 

    Here’s how one missionary from New Tribes Mission put it:

    “Don’t be afraid of failure.  Be afraid of being successful at things that don’t matter.”

    Getting to know Jesus Christ has been a life and death proposition for me – without Him, I most likely would have killed myself.  I had gotten to the point of running out of reasons to get up in the morning.  And this journey has led me to some very interesting places, some of them dangerous.  I have had the privilege to minister in over sixty countries, and see people come to faith in Christ all over the world.  And interestingly enough, it led me to do a Master’s Degree in Worship – I really wanted to explore in depth, Biblical and historical truth, as to what this expression of an offered life is all about.  And then I wanted to do it better.  Here are some of the things I learned:

    “Worship of the living and true God is essentially an engagement with him on the terms that he proposes and in the way that he alone makes possible.”
    – David Peterson, “Engaging with God, A Biblical Theology of Worship”   

    “The Structure of Worship is not a program, or presentation of the Christian Story, nor is it the manipulation of emotions into a fleeting experience of feeling good.  It is instead a communal rehearsal of our relationship with God.  The Biblical order of worship itself brings us into the presence of the transcendent God, draws our lives into the story, unleashes the power of the Holy Spirit in our lives here and now in public worship, and then in the worship of our whole life in all that we do ”
    – Robert Webber, “Planning Blended Worship”

    Worship therefore, is an “all of life” response to God, within the freedom and the boundaries that He alone has prescribed for it.  It is NOT the ‘sing bit’ before the ‘preach bit’.  Worship is a gratitude-motivated obedience. 

    Some have made the mistake of thinking that “worship” is a song, or a feeling, or even a genre of music.  It is obvious from the Scriptures, that “worship” must involve heart, soul, mind, and strength in the choreography of the divine embrace.

    Beware of worshiping Jesus as the Son of God and professing your faith in him as the Savior of the world, while you blaspheme him by the complete evidence in your daily life that he is powerless to do anything in and through you.”
    Oswald Chambers

    Worship is altogether consequential.  And the lack thereof is as well, and has moved the heart and hand of the Almighty to initiate what theologians and missiologists from the first century up until now to call Missio Dei.  As John Piper put it in his book, Let The Nations Be Glad, “Mission Exists Because Worship doesn’t”.  The author of Mission is the object of Worship, and the two activities are inextricably tied together, as Isaiah found out in the Throne-room of God (Isaiah 6).

    You see, there is no worship without obedience.  That’s been clear since Abel, Joseph, and Abraham.  And there is no obedience without seeking FIRST the Kingdom of God – Jesus made that abundantly clear as well.  And there is no way one can seek first the Kingdom of God without being involved in Missio Dei as the apostle Paul elucidated in 2 Corinthians 5:17-21, declaring us God’s ambassadors.  Therefore, if you are not involved in Missio Dei, how can you say that you worship God?  Mission is a necessary act of Worship: the Holy Spirit driven endeavor that garners more worshippers for the expansion of the Kingdom of God and the ultimate glorification of it’s King.

    True Worship is an authentically human and yet divinely initiated Spirit-filled response to God.  Worship has gratitude in its heart, renewal in its mind, compassion in its eyes, blessing on its lips, justice in its hands, humility in its knees, and mission in its feet.  And for it we were born.

    Bill Drake – Piano, vocals
    Elisha Krijsman – Acoustic Guitar
    Glyn Hill – Soprano Sax
    Marcel Zimmer – Drums, Percussion
    Bass – Mark Dekkers
    Lydia Zimmer – BGVs
    Rene Krijsman – BGVs

    I Was Born to Worship You

    From an inner sanctuary, in a vessel set apart
    There's a passion that is burning, to be a man after God's heart
    I desire to be broken, for the purpose of the cross
    From a place of full surrender, Lord my heart and voice cry out

    If You need me to be willing for the ends of the Earth
    I will follow You there, I will seek Your kingdom first
    On this altar I am living
    to be poured out for Your truth
    It's for this that I am offered
    I was born to worship You
    Holy God

    It's not gold that You require or my talents or my creeds
    If You have my heart's desires
Then You have the rest of me

    Lord my life is consecrated to bring honor to Your name
    Lord I live to give You glory and to give myself away

  • If God – 1998 (Aroma)

    I was touring in Turkey again, and this time it was in the more eastern part of the country where things have a tendency to be a bit more “fundamental”.  We started in Diyarbakir, an awesome ancient city on the Spice Route, and were treated to amazing hospitality from Pastor Baris, a Turkish Pastor who had once been a Muslim.

    I’ll never forget discovering that just a few weeks earlier in a neighboring city, a German Missionary working with two Turks from the Turkish Bible Society had been beheaded.  Added to that was the uncovering of a plot to assassinate Pastor Baris, just three days prior to our arrival.  I exclaimed to one of our hosting missionaries, “Dude, this is dangerous!  Someone could die!”  He looked at me with a matter-of-fact kind a look and said, “You don’t get it, do you Bill.  We’re already dead.  We made that choice long ago.  Our lives now belong to The Lord, and He led us here.  We’re already dead, so we’re not going anywhere.” 

    September 11th, 2001 will be forever etched on the American mind.  So many events of untold human drama unfolded that day, but a few will never be forgotten.

    Recall the passengers of United flight 93.  30,000 ft. above the ground, their plane was hijacked.  Terrified, they broke the law, pulled out cellphones, and called down to the ground to try to get help and alert people to what was going on.  And that was when they discovered that they were part of something much bigger than what was happening on their 757…

    They heard about the planes crashing into the Twin Towers, and the Pentagon… and the realization hit: their plane was not going to land today.

    My friends, in that moment the men and women on United Flight 93 became heroes.  I’m sure the fear didn’t go away, but they suddenly gained the strength and the courage to stand and fight back.  Why?  What would make a bunch of normal, law-abiding citizens decide to crash an airplane, causing their own certain death?  Were they more noble than the passengers on the other three flights that had been flown into buildings by terrorists minutes earlier?

    I don’t think so.  I don’t think they had more courage.  But did have something that the other passengers on the other flights didn’t have.  They had more information.  They knew that they were a part of something much more sinister, much more evil.  And they knew that they too were already dead. 

    Their only decision then was how to die. 

    Meekly?  Quietly?  Safely buckled into their seats with their heads in their hands?  No. They decided to act.  They were not about to let their sole remaining hi-jacked airplane be turned into a weapon to kill thousands more people.  Yeah, they stormed the cockpit and took their plane down, but in the process they very well may have changed eternity for countless people because of their sacrifice.

    This story has an obvious parallel for us.  We too have a bit more information.  We know that this world is “going to burn”.  And we also should know that we are crucified in Christ – we too are dead already. 

    So what we you do?  Will we sit in our nice, comfortable life, with our pension plans, our health insurance, your family and friends and possessions and reputation safely tucked in the overhead bin, or will you stand up, grab our inheritance, and storm the cockpit? 

    You are dead anyway, why not make your remaining moments count?  Why not do something of powerful, eternal significance?  Let’s step out of heaven for a moment, and do something of eternal consequence.  “Let’s roll!”

    Bill Drake – Keyboards
    Joe Ricciardi – Electric Guitars
    Travis McAfee – Acoustic Guitar
    Joe Simpson – Bass
    Josh Fisher – Drums, programming
    Maggie Vaugn – BGVs

    If God

    If God so loved the world why can't I?
    If You're compassionate why are there no tear drops in my eye?
    Through the Hall of Injustice rings a melancholy song
    That a saint in the House of Faith was indifferent towards the lost

    Light of the World, shine through me
    Live or die, as a sacrifice of praise
    And if the hands that welcomed cruel nails could embrace me as Your child
    If God so loved the world why can't I?

    If You stepped out of heaven why won't I?
    If you could leave the ninety-nine for such a wretch as I
    Through the music and merchandise we've been talking ‘bout it for so long
    How can we say that we worship You if we're only just singing songs

  • Wear The Crown – 2002 (Aroma)

    In November 2002, OM missionary Bonnie Witherall was martyred in Lebanon. I can clearly remember sitting in devotions at the OM office here, listening to OM speaker Chip Kirk share about her memorial service in Lyndon, Washington:  tired of the somber tone of the service, Bonnie’s husband Gary had asked that the huge curtains at the front of the room be opened.  The sanctuary was flooded with light as majestic, snow-capped Mt Baker was revealed, basking in glorious sunlight, a poignant reminder that the Lord is in control and that Bonnie was not in the grave, but joyfully worshiping in the presence of God.  Then he showed a video of Bonnie sharing about her life, her ministry, and her favorite Bible verse. 

    I have no other explanation of this, other than that while I was watching Bonnie on video (especially the part where she quoted Psalm 139 – “He knows all the days that are ordained for me...” ) the lyrics to this started pouring into my head.  I was "creatively distracted" for a few days, struggling to hold on to the lyrical thoughts and the few vestiges of melody that I got at the same time (which is actually very rare for me, cause I usually always write the music first and struggle to get the words), and then finally I was able to totally flush it out upstairs in my studio.  What a time of worship that was! 

    The Lord turned these graphic word-pictures into a powerful song, which was later arranged and recorded, through the incredible grace of God, by David T Clydesdale and the London Symphony Orchestra, and then made into an incredible music video in partnership with The Voice of the Martyrs.

    In 2000 Gary and Bonnie Witherall felt the Lord calling them to leave their home in Washington state, leave their friends and their family and their security, and move to Sidon, Lebanon.  Despite struggling to learn the language, and dealing with a certain amount of culture shock, Gary and Bonnie quickly grew to love the people they lived amongst.  Bonnie worked at a local pre-natal clinic, serving the women from a nearby Palestinian refugee camp.  Gary was in his element roaming the streets day after day seeking out people to start up a conversation with and gently, sensitively, but passionately sharing with them about the hope he had found in Jesus.

    They had been there nearly 2 years when, early one morning, a terrorist followed Bonnie into the clinic and shot her three times in the head.

    Her dedication to the Lord had led her to this place and these people.  She had shown them nothing but love, drawing daily on the resources God alone could give her, and now her life had been taken from her.

    A few months after 9/11, some friends from Bonnie and Gary’s home church came out to visit them.  They made a home-video of Bonnie sharing about her life in Sidon, and they asked her “Aren’t you afraid?”  In the midst of the increased animosity towards Westerners, and especially Americans, didn’t she want to give in and go back home?

    Bonnie admitted that immediately after the fall of the Twin Towers she did feel afraid.  It was hard for her to go on loving these people who had rejoiced and partied in the streets when her homeland had come under such a devastating attack.  But the Lord had been very close to her and comforted her, and had enabled her to continue to express His love, and had give her the courage to go back to the clinic and continue with the work He had called her to.

    A bright smile lit her face as she looked directly into the camera and said these words:

    “I don’t know how long we are going to have freedom here in Sidon, and I don’t want something like September 11 to put so much fear in me that I am disabled from doing what I have been called to do.  I know that God has my life in His hands, and I am happy to be here.”

    Bonnie obviously understood what following Jesus Christ is all about.  She had realized at an early age that she could not go to church on Sunday singing ‘It’s all about you, Jesus’, then spend the rest of the week acting like it was all about Bonnie.  She couldn’t be divided.  She couldn’t serve both God and self.  She couldn’t worship God and something else.  She had to pick one.

    She picked the harder road.  The road that would take her away from family, friends and familiarity.  The road that would lead to her martyrdom at the age of 31.  But it was the road that led to her husband, Gary, being able to share the gospel live on television to the entire country of Lebanon, when the news reporters came to ask him 72 hours later, ‘What do you have to say to your wife’s killer?’

    And it was the road to worship, which led to her Lord saying “Well done, good and faithful servant,” as He clothed her in shining white robes of righteousness, and placed on her head the glorious crown of life that she will wear for all eternity.

    And now it is your turn.

    Bill Drake – Piano, Vocals
    David T. Clydesdale – Orchestration
    London Symphony Orchestra

    Wear The Crown

    Dedicated to the life and testimony of Bonnie Witherall 12/4/02

    For The martyrs, for the heroes
    For the one's who gave their lives on the altar of the lost
    There's a sowing, there's a reaping
    There's a death that comes alive through the power of the cross

    Draw back the curtain, tear away the veil
    There's a crown of glory waiting for the Witness that prevails
    When the days have all been counted, when we face the final hour
    We'll hear, "Welcome home my Child,"
    "It's your time to wear the crown"

    For the mourning, for the grieving
    For the sacrifice of love that redeems the works of hate
    There's a dancing, there's a praising
    There's a celebration raised as a saint completes the race

    Let the Mantle pass to those who're left behind
    Let the runners grasp the batons of their lives
    Let us follow Christ no matter cost or price
    We'll hear "Well done faithful servant!" as we cross the finish line

  • More Than Willing – 2003 (Aroma)

    “Are you willing to stay, but preparing to go, or are you willing to go, but actually preparing to stay?”
    - George Verwer

    Heaven Invades Human Hell

    Walking into the dismal gray "Sally-Port", we were suddenly exposed to the desperate voices and the revolting stench of refuse, decay and unbathed bodies.  We were willingly descending into what seemed like human hell.  Going through the "check-in" had been an experience enough.  It was a bit unnerving, handing over our precious ID cards, only to be given a "post-it" note with a number scribbled on it as evidence that you were only a visitor in the Tijuana Prison.  I'll never forget the Mexican guard who sat stoically typing our names and numbers on a pre- WorldWar II typewriter, as others stamped the underside of our forearms with huge black inkpads.  A few more checkpoints, a few more guards, and whoosh, we were ushered straight into the mainstream, inmates moving freely about, bumping up against us, some asking for "Dollares", drugs, or who knows what else.

    But almost at the very same moment, we were suddenly surrounded by other inmates, gently speaking to us in Spanish, and calmly yet firmly directing us, moving us toward one of the cell-blocks.  "Agua Viva"  (Living Water) was the name of one of ten churches in this Prison, and we were their guests.  Having met us at the "Sally-Port", they now led us deeper and deeper into the Prison; a labyrinth of passageways, alleys, Mexican blankets, scraps of wood, corrugated metal, and men - everywhere.  A place that was built to hold 2,000 people, was now incarcerating 8,000.  As we passed the prison dump, one of the ten or so men who "lived" in the dump, having seen us look with amazement as he foraged through the rubbish looking for something to eat beyond the gruel that was served daily, remarked, "Well, a guy's got to do something to survive, eh?" 

    All of a sudden, we were whisked out of the crowded corridors where men seemed to be on an endless treadmill, and then taken down a cell block where instantly things were different.  Agua Viva had been living, meeting, praying and breaking bread here, winning the entire block cell by cell.  The walls were painted white - a stark contrast to the drab gray and brown of the prisons walls, interrupted occasionally by the dirty stains of God knows what.  They escorted us to one of their cells, where they proudly sat us down in some white patio chairs, and began discussing what came next with Linda, a Chaplin in this Prison, and Martin, a Mexican Pastor.

    Sitting there in the cell block Agua Viva, Linda then bounced up, and asked us if we would like a "tour" of the prison, while other inmates setup the sound system and keyboard. Immediately two inmates took off with us.  I asked one of them what his name was.  He said, "To you Guillermo, my name is Gabriel."  These inmates stuck to us like glue, guiding us, helping us, and even pushing us at times, as we made our way through the human crowded chaos, and went block to block, through the maze of passageways, and visited the "old folks home" where the elderly prisoners looked after each other, and slept on cots piled three high.  They took us to the lock-down area, the isolation areas, and even the places where those who wanted would go through drug rehab.  The churches in the prison would help with that too, but without the drugs and facilities, the only thing they could help with was "cold-turkey".

    But nothing prepared us for the family section:  a musty humid enclosed area, dampened on one end by leaking toilets, with children running around and mothers trying to either rest in the heat of the day, or do whatever women had to do in the prison to survive.  You see, in this prison, the only way you get looked after is if someone outside the prison is sending money, food, and clothes in for you.  If you don't have that, or your family can't survive on the outside without you, then you move in to the prison too.  Linda had started a Vacation Bible School with the children, and Martin was trying to raise the money for an orphanage to help look after the children, for without intervention, these precious little ones are being discipled into a wicked world of vice and sin.  Sometimes a mother or father would be so drugged out that they could not protect their kids from those who would be more than happy to prey on them.  And sometimes the mothers in there would be raped by other prisoners who would sneak into the family section.

    Still reeling from what we had just seen, we were then ushered into the "courtyard", what seemed like the inner sanctum of this labyrinth called a prison, where there was a basketball court, surrounded by what looked like a three story shanty-town fresh out of a "Mad-Max" movie set.  Men were living in accommodations depending on how "wealthy" they were, and strewn around the ground level were taco stands, a mini "AM-PM", and various other cottage industries.  It occurred to us that what we were really in, was a city within a city, where everything was run by the inmates.  No guards were to be seen, and everyone seemed to belong to one group or another, and everyone seemed to know the "rules".

    My keyboard was set up at one end of the court, and so was a decent sound system!  Martin was greeting the different pastors from the different prison churches, and Linda was being a social butterfly, going around and welcoming the inmates as they began to assemble for the concert.  Blankets and bedrolls were pushed toward the far end (those who can't "afford" a house or cell simply sleep on the court), and Martin addressed the 500 inmates or so who stood all around the court.  He welcomed them and then he prayed.  He then motioned to me, and I started the concert.  I was blessed and shocked as the men stood and clapped to the beat, and encouraged me again and again as I sang and went through a few numbers from my new CD at the time, Every Nation Tribe and Tongue.  It mattered not that I couldn't sing in Spanish, because Charlie, Martin's associate, translated the lyrics as I finished each song.  I brought greetings to them from Christians around the world, and they applauded and cheered as I shared where God was at work in the world, and the privilege they could have of being part of His big family.  I shared my testimony, and just as I went back to the keyboard to do the second half of the concert, the power went out.

    Of course we had no idea where the electricity was coming from anyway!  There was quite a scuffling going on as they desperately tried to get it re-connected.  Add to this a former inmate who had come back in to see his buddies:  he had gotten hold of some money, and just started passing out 800 one dollar bills!  This almost started a riot! 

    All of a sudden, one of the Mexican women who had "joined" us, stood up, and facing the mob, raised both her hands toward them, and began to pray earnestly.  Immediately, two things happened.  One, the mob quieted down straight away.  Secondly, two "floors" up, and right behind the end of the court where I was playing, two inmates who had been watching the goings-on, motioned to the sound-man to pass up our extension cord.  They had been playing their music up there, for we had heard it playing between my songs.  But that had stopped early on, and from Teri's vantage point, they had been intently watching and listening to us for almost the entire time.  The extension cord was passed up, and the concert went on.

    When I was finished, Martin came, spoke a small sermon, and then gave an invitation.  Over 25 inmates came forward, and knelt on the hot asphalt of the basketball court, surrendering their lives to Jesus.  Teri and the rest of our team came up and prayed for these brave men, some of whom were openly weeping as they knelt there.  When Martin was finished, there was a loud clap, as the Christian inmates welcomed their new brothers.  New Testaments were passed out, and there were hugs and handshakes all over the place.

    I turned around to find the guys who had let us plug into their electricity.  I saw them immediately, two floors up, leaning over a very nice rod iron fence, which formed the outside boundary for what appeared to be the veranda of a penthouse!  I mouthed a "Muchas Gracias" to them, and they motioned to me to come up to their pad.  I turned to Linda who was standing nearby, and asked her to see what they wanted.  She replied, "They probably want money for using their power!"  But she moved a bit closer to them, as we were both quite hemmed in by the crowd now forming on the basketball court.  She shouted up to them, they shouted something down, and she came back to me with a much different look on her face.  "They want you to go up and pray for them," she said.  I replied, "Are you OK with that?"  She said yes, and we started toward the stairs.  Immediately, one of the Mexican inmate-pastors attached himself to Linda and I, so we went up as a threesome.

    To get up to their place, there was an enclosed metal spiral staircase, which with every circumference brought you up one level of the shantytown built around the basketball court.  At each level, the enclosure opened up to reveal drugged-out men, crowded into what appeared to be sleeping quarters only high enough to sit up in, and the smell of their body odor and the heat and humidity made us thankful that we could continue to rise up the staircase.  As we arrived on the veranda, we were amazed at the beauty of this "house", which looked out over the entire center of the prison.  Besides the veranda, it was one big room, with a smaller one at the back that was their private toilet and shower.  Their room was immaculately decorated, with a big TV, stereo, refrigerator, and kitchenette.  We stood by their bed, which even had a color-coordinated bedspread on it, to go with the green, white and black decor of their pad.

    I asked them what they would like me to do for them.  Linda started to translate, but they responded in perfect English, that they wanted to be free, and they wanted liberty from this prison.  Linda jumped in on that, and said, "You really need Jesus, don't you?"  They replied that they were religious, and believed in Jesus, and this was evidenced by the crucifix with Jesus hanging on it, as well as a "Sacred Heart" picture, nicely framed hanging on one of their walls.  I took my queue from that, and asked them if they knew the difference between religion and relationship.  They said "no", so I began to give them the Gospel, explaining the difference between intellectual assent, and real trust, and demonstrated on their bed the difference between believing it would hold me, and then actually sitting on it.  I told them that Jesus came to offer us a loving, freeing relationship, as well as forgiveness for all we have done wrong.  As I was winding it up, Linda asked them if they would like to receive Jesus into their hearts.  I added that they needed to surrender their entire lives to Him.  They said yes, that is what they would like to do.  I said, "Great, lets get down on our knees here and pray".  As we knelt on their beautiful Mexican tiles, they said timidly that they did not know how to pray, but could I please pray for them.  I said that no, this was something that they needed to do for themselves before God, but that I could lead them, and they could repeat after me if it was the true desire of their hearts.  I promised to pray for them as well.  They agreed, and we bowed our heads.  The Mexican inmate-pastor stood up, extended his arms over us, and went off into fervent Spanish.  I led these two men, and they gave their broken lives to Jesus.

    After we were done, we stood.  Linda and I and the inmate Pastor gave them hugs, and Linda gave them a New Testament.  We encouraged them strongly to go to this pastor's fellowship at Agua Viva, and I told them that I would make sure the some of my CDs got to them.  They were so grateful, and I believe that what went on there was quite genuine.

    We were interrupted by Martin and "Gabriel", shouting up from the courtyard, informing us that we had better move to the gate, or be locked in for another two hours.  We said our good-byes, and went down the spiral staircase, marveling at what had just happened.  As we got to the bottom, some of the team asked us if we knew who those two guys were.  I said "no", although Linda may have known.  We were told that they were Drug-Lords, in fact, two of the most powerful in the entire prison - certainly the most wealthy.  I begged Martin to go back and follow up on them, and He agreed.  And as we were led toward the gate, past the dump, past the children, past those sleeping on the concrete, and all the filth and stench, I knew God had been there.  God was there.  The God who touches lepers and prostitutes, who visits those in jail, and redeems criminals while hanging on the cross.  A God who is neither surprised nor repulsed, but who embraces those who will come to Him, all who are weary, heavy-laden, imprisoned in spirit and in body.

    I don't think I'll ever forget what I saw or experienced that hot July 3rd, 2002.  And any freedoms which were celebrated across the border the next day without the knowledge of Him who grants real freedom in the first place, were at best shallow in comparison to the chains that fell off those precious souls in the Prison this afternoon.

    More Than Willing was one of those songs that just kind of appeared one day on a massive West-Coast Tour I was doing from Bellingham, Washington down to San Diego, California.  My band and I were staying near Salem, Oregon, and there was an old piano in our accommodations.  I remember sitting down to it, and this song just rolled out.  Jill McAfee found a cool harmony, and boom, More Than Willing was born.  Jill ended up leaving the USA, and moved to Italy where she embarked on an international worship leading ministry in many nations where the Christian workers only had cassettes or CDs to worship to – she would go where there wasn’t a worship leader, and bring the sweetness of the atmosphere that is engendered when someone sits down and rests in the lap of the Father Heart of God.  Jill has an unnerving way of getting you “straight in”, and has been known to say that “to lead worship is to host well the presence of God”.  Jill rocks.  And she wrote the tag at the end – no surprise – it just came out of her in the studio as she was laying down the BGVs, and Josh and I were like, “Yeah!  That stays on there!”  Thanks Jill.

    “No more talk or endless speaking, no empty words that have no meaning – I will go for you.”
    - Jill McAfee

    Bill Drake – Keyboards
    Joe Ricciardi – Electric Guitar
    Travis McAfee – Acoustic Guitar
    Joe Simpson – Bass
    Josh Fisher – Drums, programming
    Jill McAfee – BGVs

    More Than Willing

    Past the host of good intentions, past the burdens of my heart
    Past the vows, that men so easily make
    Past my psalmic declarations and convictions that I hold
    Lord I've come to give myself away

    Here am I, send me to the nations
    Take my life, and spend me as You will
    Break in me, a heart that beats for You
    A soul that speaks Your truth, a vessel You can use
    So I say, let Your Kingdom come
    And I pray, let your will be done
    For I am more than willing

    There's a fragrance in costly worship, there's an offering I must make
    There's a self that must now be denied
    There's a purpose worth the living, there's a world left to save
    So I will go as You've commanded in Your name

    I am crucified in Christ, and it's no longer just my life
    But it's Christ Who is drawing every breath
    But I wrestle with the cost, to go and die for the lost
    And drink the cup of obedience unto death
    So I say, let Your Kingdom come
    And I pray, let your will be done
    So I say, let Your Kingdom come
    For Lord, I am more than willing

  • Freedom’s Coming – 2011 (Broken & Complete)

    “Therefore if the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed”
    - Jesus Christ

    Lily* was from a country decimated by war and poverty, and in her short life had seen more tragedy than most people would ever experience in a lifetime.  She had never had much support from her family, different members struggling with substance abuse addictions, depression, and anxiety.

    But the family desperately needed money. Many families in this situation sometimes well their children into prostitution.  In this case, Lily started working in the night clubs as a dancer, but it led her into the arms of someone who pimped her out in one of the sleaziest night clubs in the area, broken, alcohol addicted and very, very angry.

    But somehow, by the grace of God, Lily got the card for the meeting point of a local trafficking ministry, and sought help. While others talked to her, a ministry worker just sat there chatting with other women, keeping an eye on Lily, and praying for her silently. Lily came over at one point and joined the ministry worker, and the ministry worker asked a simple question about Lily’s religious background, if Lily was Orthodox or a Catholic, which was answered by: “As a child I went to church, but I just love the Bible, I would like to get one again and start going to a Bible study.”  This was the beginning of a God-ordained relationship.

    The very next day the ministry worker got Lily a Bible, and then they met together at a coffee shop and spoke for three hours. That was the beginning of a long and difficult journey with many setbacks. But slowly God showed up. The two started to go to church together and sometimes studied the Bible at the ministry worker’s home. They prayed that God would set Lily free and start renewing her from the inside out.

    Due to legal circumstances, Lily eventually had to move to another area. The Ministry worker however heard these beautiful words from her just before Christmas:  “I just want to tell you that prayer works. I have a job now. If it would not have been for you I would have gone over the edge. I don’t know where I would be now. I am very grateful for your time and help. Please go out there and keep visiting these dark places to help many more women who are lost to find Jesus and a way out.”

    My friends, Freedom’s Coming.  It’s coming in the cards that are being distributed amongst the trafficked on the streets, pointing them to a rendezvous point that will change the entire destiny of their lives.  It’s coming in the feet that are willing to go to the dark side of town, across the tracks, or into the gutters.  It’s coming through the hands that embrace, buy a coffee, or wipe tears from a face that has been hit, slapped, spit upon, or cut.  And it’s coming through the voices of those who share love, truth, and hope to those who have lost all of those thing, only to find it again in the One Who is freedom, and Who won our freedom, and offers freedom to all who will come…

    * Name and some circumstances have been changed for the protection of the person mentioned

    Bill Drake – Keyboards
    Joe Ricciardi – Electric Guitar
    Tim Friesen – Bass, programming
    Josh Fisher – Drums
    Dawn Bynoe – BGVs
    Gospel Choir – Dawn Bynoe & Family

    Freedom’s Coming

    Out on the Horizon, a storm begins to blow
    Voices once held silent, rising to a roar
    The desperate and discarded have filled a tomb of woe
    But the cup of restitution begins to overflow

    Freedom’s coming now, hope is reaching out
    Hear the wicked walls of bondage crumbling down
    From the Father’s heart, love is pouring out
    See the vicious chains of slavery hit the ground

    Acquainted with affliction, they’re sold for beans and rice
    Crushed by raw injustice, but God has heard their cries
    And the rain of pure repentance, washes over sin
    And their broken-hearted spirits, begin to live again

    Hit the ground . . . Crumbling down . . .
    There is no God like Jehovah: There is no God like Jehovah
    He binds up the broken hearted; He binds up the broken hearted (Isaiah 61:1)
    He rescues the poor and helpless, He rescues the poor and helpless (Proverbs 31:8-9)
    His joy cometh in the morning, His joy cometh in the morning  (Psalm 30:5)
    He makes beauty from the ashes; He makes beauty from the ashes (Isaiah 61:3)
    He turns sorrow into dancing; He turns sorrow into dancing (Psalm 30:11)

    Freedom’s coming now, hope is reaching out
    Hear the wicked walls of bondage crumbling down
    From the Father’s heart of love, healing comes for what’s been done
    And redemption for their suffering overcomes

     “And I will restore to you the years that the locusts hath eaten” says the Lord (Joel 2:25)

  • Sovereign Lord – 2012 (Broken & Complete)

    “Bill, you would’ve never heard those words in your lifetime, if you hadn’t been willing to Go First.”
    - The Holy Spirit

    While studying for the ministry at Biola University in 1986, The Lord began to speak to me about my troubled past, and how poorly I was handling it.  I felt like the Lord was saying, “Bill, it's going to be very difficult to use you in the future, when you are filled with such unforgiveness an bitterness.”  Hmm.

    So in the summer of 1986, leaving Teresa in Los Angeles, I borrowed a friend’s vehicle and made the 1000+ mile journey to Seattle, Washington, to visit my step-father Roger, who had abused me as a child.  When I arrived there, I knocked on the door, he answered, looked at me, and said, “Who are you?”  He didn’t recognize me!  The last time he had seen me was at my mother’s funeral in 1975, eleven years earlier.

    I said, “I’m your step-son, Bill Drake.”  And the look of fear overcame his face (I think he was afraid that I had showed up to settle some old scores.  (See “Touched By Love” on Legacy – The Song. Roger abused me for 11 years, and we used to get into some vicious fights as I got older.)  I said, “Don’t be afraid of me, Jesus Christ has totally changed my life.  Please let me in and I’ll tell you about it!”

    Roger let me in, and we shared an afternoon together, catching up on 11 years, since when I had become a Christian, gotten married to Teresa, was a Youth Worker and Worship Leader, and was now studying to become a Pastor.  I got to see my 4 youngest half-brothers as well, the oldest of them being Joe, who would later play electric guitar on all of my early recordings.

    That evening, after my brothers left to go to bed, Roger asked me, “Why are you really here?”  I told him, “Because The Lord has been convicting me that I need to forgive you for abusing me as a child.  I need to forgive you for beating mom, and I need to forgive you for that time you hit my half-brother Chris 53 times until he was black and blue.  I had him in my arms, and was headed for the police station, when my mother met me at the bottom of the stairs, and said, “Where do you think you’re going?!”  I said, “I’m going to the police!” and she said, “I’m not going to let you destroy this family!  You are not going anywhere!””  I told Roger that the combined total of those stories and countless others, had produced a bitterness and unforgiveness in me, and I had come to Seattle to make it right.

    Roger looked at me with a strange look, cocked his head, and then said, “Well, you were a problem child.”  It sucked all the air out of the room.  And I became enraged.  A part of me marveled that I could go from wanting to forgive him, to wanting to kill him, all in 30 seconds!  I left Seattle in a rage, and didn’t look back.  For 20 years.  Not a phone call, not a postcard, not a Christmas Card; I gave Roger my silence for 20 years.

    And then my boss and founder of Operation Mobilization, George Verwer, was invited to come and do a concert in Seattle.  I phoned up my youngest brother Pete, and told him I was coming and would love to see him, and maybe he could even come to our event.  Pete said, “I’d love to Bill, but I’m not going to, unless you come and visit my Dad.”

    God used Pete to put His finger on my bitterness and unforgiveness again, and I realized that I could not get past it.  I was going to have to face it.  And I really wanted Pete to come to our event.  So I said, “Yes, I’ll do it.”

    A few weeks later found me in Seattle, doing that large event with George Verwer, and Pete came as promised.  George gave an invitation at the end of his preaching for those who would like to come forward and give their lives to Christ, and up came Pete!  I couldn’t believe it!  And he was for real - he wanted to sincerely get things right with The Lord.  As the evening progressed, it was obvious to me that Pete had gotten real with God!  And as things wrapped up, he reminded me, “OK Bill, tomorrow morning – I’ll meet you at Cathedral Hill, you, me, my Dad!” 

    I didn’t sleep so well that night.

    Got up early the next morning, drove to Cathedral Hill, met Pete in the parking garage, and we took the elevator up to Roger’s apartment.  I was dreading the moment as Pete knocked on the door.  Roger opened the door, took one look at me, and came toward me, arms open, saying “Billy, so good to see you!”  He looked so old to me, not the monster I remembered from childhood, and he wanted a hug!  I didn’t know whether to have compassion, or to vomit.  I was so conflicted, I didn’t know what to do!

    But Roger wanted breakfast, so out we went to his favorite spot!  And we ordered the whole American heart-attack – one of those massive bacon, egg, pancake, cholesterol-filled deals that hardens your arteries just to look at it!  It was awesome, and while we ate it, we caught up on 20 years of silence.  It really was amazing.

    After breakfast we walked around, up to his church, and right in the middle of what was becoming a nice time, he turned me, insulted my ordination as a minister, and called my faith into question.  It was not only so inappropriate, but it was asinine, and it made me mad again – real mad. 

    I remembered asking God, “Why am I having to go through this again with this horrible man?  Did I have to wait 20 years just to go through this again?”  I was so frustrated, and as we made our way back to Roger’s apartment, I began looking for a way to wrap things up.  I had had enough.

    But God was not finished.  And He spoke to me.  “Bill, I need you to say xy&z to Roger right now.”  I was shocked.  That thought did not come from me.  It did not come from the enemy.  And I said, “NO WAY!  He abused me, he is the sadist, he is at fault!”  And thus began a tug of war between my hurt and unforgiveness, and what God wanted me to say.  God won the tug of war when He asked me if I would like to still be breathing when I left Roger’s apartment that day!  I remember this profound sense that He did NOT want me to miss something here that would forever change my life, and my perspective on the entire ordeal of my childhood.

    So I looked at Roger, and said, “Roger, I have something to say to you…” and he looked a bit defensive, not knowing what was coming.  I said, “Thank you for those music lessons you got for me all those years, and for investing in my mind by teaching me how to play chess and reading J.R.R. Tolkein and C.S Lewis to me.  It has benefitted my life so much, and I need to thank you for that.”  Now it was his turn to be shocked – he had never heard me say things like that to him – in all the years he was my step-father raising me, I had never said nice things like that to him – he was my child-abuser.

    With moist eyes, he just simply said, “Thank you.”  And the Holy Spirit spoke to me as well:  “That was real nice Bill.  But that’s not what I asked you to say to him.”


    So I tried again.  “Roger, I have one more thing to tell you.”  At this, he noticeably stiffened.  I had just said some nice stuff, and now, I was going to lower the boom… “No, I said, I have to say this…  Roger, I need to ask you, to forgive me.  Because I hate you.  I have been hating you my entire life.  And I hurt you, and disrespected you, cursed you, and mocked you.  And it’s wrong.  So I need to ask you, to please forgive me.  Will you forgive me?”

    You could hear the strongholds breaking, years of bitterness, rage, unforgiveness being shredded.  And now, Roger’s eyes weren’t just moist, they were crying.  And he raised his index finger at me, and said, “And I hurt you.  And I need to ask you, to please forgive me, Son.” 

    And the Holy Spirit spoke one last time to me:  “Bill, you would’ve never heard those words in your lifetime, if you hadn’t been willing to Go First.”

    I have still been learning the lessons from that fateful moment, where all the ‘grave clothes’ I had been wearing from the past like a shrouded excuse to not do what I needed to do, came off.  Satan loves a “victim”, and he loves it when we play the “victim card”.  And I had been wallowing in my self-pity and self-righteousness toward my step-father my entire life.  Sure he was a Sadist, and sure, he abused me.  But let him who is without sin throw the first stone.  In response, I had also sinned, wanting his suffering and death.  The only way to break it, was to ‘go first’.

    And that’s what Jesus did.  He came down here and took the blame for the world’s sin He had nothing to do with, and He “owned it”, because He knew we couldn’t.  God made Him, Who knew no sin, to become sin, so that we could become the righteousness of God in Him (2 Corinthians 5:21).  When we were dead in our trespasses and sins, Christ died for us – He went first.  And we are never more God-like, than when we ‘go first’ ourselves.

    And friends, this is the Mission – to  tell and demonstrate to the world, that although we have been condemned to death, and Satan has fit us for grave clothes, and we are complicit in wearing them and playing the role, The Sovereign Lord Who went first has made for us a way to be free, to take off the grave clothes, and put on new garments – wedding garments of righteousness, for those who would believe in Him.  And to as many as would put their trust in Him, to them He has given the right to become Children of God.  For God so loved the world, that He gave His only beloved Son, that who-so-ever would believe in Him would not perish, but have everlasting life.

    Bill Drake – Keyboards
    Brett King – Acoustic Guitar
    Joe Ricciardi – Electric Guitars
    Tim Friesen – Bass, programming
    Josh Fisher – Drums
    Jill McAfee – BGVs

    Sovereign Lord

    We have gathered in Your presence, and boldly come before Your throne
    We have listened to the prophets, and shared in Your own body and blood
    We are bathed in Your forgiveness, and have reveled in Your wonderful love
    So now fill us with Your Spirit, Send us in the power of God

    Sovereign Lord, let your glory reign down on the earth…
    Sovereign Lord, send your people throughout all the earth…
    Sovereign Lord, let your glory reign down on the earth…forever more…

    You’re the Alpha and Omega, it all begins and ends with You
    All our life is worship Jesus, an offering of Spirit and Truth
    We’re created in Your image, a community of mission and light
    We are made for restoration, a reconciling movement of life

    Sovereign Lord, let your glory reign down on the earth…
    Sovereign Lord, send your people throughout all the earth…
    Sovereign Lord, let your glory reign down on the earth…
    Sovereign Lord, send your people throughout all the earth…

    For Your blessing, for Your honor, for Your Glory, for Your power
    For Your blessing, for Your honor, for Your Glory, for Your power
    You are worthy, You are righteous, You are faithful to generations
    Your loving-kindness is never failing, You are to be worshipped precious Jesus…

    Sovereign Lord, let your glory reign down on the earth…
    Sovereign Lord, send your people throughout all the earth…
    Sovereign Lord, let your glory reign down on the earth…
    Sovereign Lord, send your people throughout all the earth…
    Sovereign Lord, let your glory reign down on the earth…forever more…

Concert Photos
Many incredible memories with our friends at each concert. Where did you see Bill Drake.