Multitudes of people who attended the recent It’s Time prayer day in Pretoria were blessed by the playing of two verses of Amazing Grace by English professional trumpeter Dan Newell.
There was also an air of mystery around his performance, as Angus Buchan shared that Newell had come out from England at his own expense and was flying back to London on the same day that he had arrived.
The significance of the beautiful trumpet playing rose to a whole new level this week when Pretoria prophetic counsellor Brigette Marx shared a vision she had at the prayer venue as Newell played, and her revelation that his playing of Amazing Grace at that time and that place had released a significant spiritual breakthrough for South Africa.
Gateway News spoke to Newell in London yesterday and asked him for his side of his Amazing Grace experience. Our emailed questions and his emailed answers are published below.
1. Flying from England to South Africa to play your trumpet briefly at the It’s Time event, and then flying back to England on the same day you arrived, is quite an unusual undertaking. Why did you do it?
I had a tight window, so could only come to South Africa for a very short time. I spoke with Uncle Angus about coming to play back in August and immediately knew I had to be there. I felt a real urgency and that I needed to be obedient to God.
I suppose on paper it looked quite an unusual thing to do — flying 9 000km to play two verses of Amazing Grace! I knew it was more than that — I wanted to support Uncle Angus and there was no way I could miss it. I just had to be there, to do my bit and trust the Lord for whatever he wanted to use me to do.
The fact that I was able to come out was a miracle in itself. My job is now playing in the orchestra at the Royal Opera House. I had to be released from one of the biggest operas we are doing this season. When asking some of my friends if they thought it was possible that I would be released from the Friday 26th October concert, my question was met by either shock or hysterical laughter.
I prayed about it and went to speak to the musical director. I told him it was something I really wanted to do and that I would never have the opportunity to play to so many people this side of Revelation! He released me from the concert and ROH were very supportive and encouraged me to go.
There were other tests the weeks leading up to It’s Time:
I had a big cold sore pop up on my lips (right where I play) and could hardly play a note.
I was asked to do sessions with a high profile band which I had to turn down.
I also had to get out of playing for Prince Charles’s Birthday concert at Buckingham Palace.
I knew I had to be in Pretoria for It’s Time on 27th October and that was all I could think about – I wanted to serve our King.
2. What did you personally experience through your participation in the event?
It was incredible and my experience seems to keep growing each day – hearing about what is happening as a result of millions of people meeting to pray. I feel so privileged to have been able to serve the Lord in this way.
While I was waiting in the wings of the stage – about 5 minutes before I went on to play — I had an encounter with God. I felt the Holy Spirit tell me that all the hours I have practised, every concert and experience I have ever had throughout my playing career, was for this very moment.
To put this in context, I have been playing since the age of five and professionally for 20 years. I have never had this feeling ever before. For sure, I have felt that certain gigs have been important but not the feeling that it has all been for this very moment.
Even at that time, five minutes before I had to play, it didn’t make complete sense why I was there but that’s the exciting thing when you trust God.
3. What do you feel about Brigette Marx’s angelic vision while you played Amazing Grace and her prophetic revelation that you, as a descendant of British colonialists, played a key part in a spiritual breakthrough for South Africa?
I actually find it too much to comprehend — that God would use me for such an important role.
Brigette Marx’s prophetic revelation is an amazing prophecy that makes sense in the heavenlies — Ephesians 6 v12.
At the time I had no idea of the impact that playing Amazing Grace would have. My prayer beforehand was to bless the people, make a spiritual impact and glorify the name of God. It’s an honour to have been used as an instrument to assist that change. To God be the Glory…Amen Amen AMEN!
4. Your wife Kim is a South African. Tell us a little more about yourselves.
We’ve been married for nearly 11 years and have three gorgeous children. We live in North London and worship at Hillsong, Central London.
Kim has always been so supportive of everything I’ve done and has been a constant encouragement to me. The kids were on half term during It’s Time so it was over to Kim to entertain while I was away — it was definitely a team effort!
We’re very blessed to have spent lots of our holidays in South Africa. In fact my little girl was born there. It’s a country we love very much — in fact, Kim says I am more South African then her. ( Where’s the biltong?!!!….Ha!!!)
This country has had my heart — long before I even met Kim. I remember being a young boy and being fascinated with South Africa. Little did I know it was the place that, one day, I would want to call home.