Compassion sponsorship helped the Tugulinango brothers, pictured here with members of their singing group, to become successful at their chosen profession-music. Now they travel around Ecuador singing the praises of Jesus Christ.
The Tugulinango brothers never expected to "make it" as musicians. By their own accord, they are "a group of praising ministers," not a music group. But when David, Samuel, Efrain and Daniel pick up their instruments, the transformation is immediate. Poverty is ushered out and praise is ushered in.
Instruments of Praise
Looking at their childhood, some might think the Tugulinango brothers wouldn't have much to sing about. The brothers belong to an indigenous tribe in Ecuador. And more than 70 percent of indigenous people in Ecuador live in extreme poverty, surviving on just $1 a week.
Generally, children who live in these conditions don't believe they have special talents. There is little time for music and fun in a world where most children must leave school to help support their families. When the Tugulinango brothers where young, their father could not afford to pay for school or medical care for his children. With such poverty, buying musical instruments was out of the question.
Life would change for these four brothers when they were registered at the Mushuj Causay Student Center (EC-424). The Compassion-assisted project provided the boys with food, tutoring and other assistance, and project workers encouraged them to use their God-given musical talents. "Compassion was (one of the first) promoters of our group because many years ago we were able to participate in a music festival organized by Compassion," remembers Samuel. With encouragement from family and friends, the brothers became Los Hermanos, "The Messengers of the King." The group now travels throughout Ecuador playing music at churches and festivals.
Los Hermanos Are Discovered
In 2003, The Messengers had their big break. American Christian recording group Caedmon's Call was visiting a Compassion-assisted project in Ecuador when group members heard The Messengers' music. Caedmon's Call was so impressed with the brothers and their music that the group invited The Messengers to sing on its Share the Well CD.
"We learned a lot from (Caedmon's Call)," says Samuel. "It was an enormous blessing from the Lord for us because we didn't speak the same language, but we were joined by the music and by the same cause. I believe the fact of being brothers in Christ joined us more than anything else." Word of the Tugulinango brothers has continued to spread, and they have become a Compassion favorite. In fact, the brothers are now making their first CD. Yet the Tugulinango brothers are less concerned about record sales and more concerned about more children finding sponsors through Compassion.
"Compassion inspired us to use music for worshipping God," says Samuel. "I know our story has been a blessed instrument to have more sponsors benefit many lives. This is for the glory and honor of the Lord."
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