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Tenth Avenue North use concerts to benefit missionscomment (0)

September 1, 2011

By Leann Callaway

When Mike Donehey, lead singer for Tenth Avenue North, uses concerts to deliver a message to young people about living for what matters most, he speaks with the authority of one who knows firsthand how a near-death experience helps put things into perspective.

At age 18, Donehey broke his back in two places and needed more than 90 stitches after being thrown from a car in a near-fatal accident. Convinced God had spared him for a reason, he committed himself to being used for His glory.

During the two months Donehey spent at home recovering from his injuries, he asked his parents for a guitar and began practicing.

“It was the first time in my life that I actually slowed down and spent time reflecting on things,” Donehey said. “Anytime you have a near-death experience, it wakes you up to bigger things. This experience definitely made me take inventory of my life and forced me to evaluate what was important and what was not.”

After he recovered, Donehey attended Palm Beach Atlantic University in West Palm Beach, Fla., and started leading worship for youth and college ministries at local churches. During this time, he met drummer Jason Jamison and guitarist Jeff Owen.

Donehey and his friends began to play at local coffeehouses and other venues. Their group name is derived from a major road near their college campus. Bass player Ruben Juarez III recently joined the lineup.

As Tenth Avenue North began touring, band members committed themselves to sharing messages about God’s grace that would challenge young audiences to a deeper walk of faith.

“As more people are hearing the songs, it provides greater opportunities to let them know about the grace and love offered to them through Jesus Christ,” Donehey said.

The band’s concerts benefit missions organizations such as Compassion International, a child-sponsorship organization dedicated to meeting the physical and spiritual needs of children living in poverty around the world. As a result of Tenth Avenue North’s fall 2010 tour, Compassion International secured sponsors for 1,700 children.

Immediately following the tour, band members traveled to Honduras to witness the impact of these sponsorships. They enjoyed spending time getting to know the children, playing with them and hearing stories about their lives.

The band’s latest album, “The Light Meets the Dark,” focuses on how a relationship with Christ can help overcome personal struggles and obstacles.

“Our hope is that as people encounter the truth of the gospel through these songs, they would be moved and changed as they desire to live for Christ,” Donehey said. “Through our music and message, we want to lead people into the presence of the Lord and help people to know Christ as their Savior, Lord and Treasure.”

For more information, visit tenthavenuenorth.com.

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