Christ's object lessons 2

Kees and his wife Nicole decided to study theology at a university in The Netherlands. Kees was steadfast in his spiritual and theological preparation for his calling to be a worship leader. Kees says, ‘Just as church pastors and missionaries prepare themselves for ministry, it is imperative that worship leaders also prepare themselves for their particular ministry’. Flevo FestivalFlevo Festival is a large Christian youth festival in The Netherlands. About 10,000 people gather for a weekend with great bands, speakers and all kinds of other activities. “Flevo” invited Kees in 2002 to lead worship for two of the services. In 2003 Kees was invited again, but this time the worship services were recorded. These recordings became Kees’ first CD, This Is My Cry, which released in October 2003. In the months that followed, This Is My Cry was listed as number two in the Dutch praise charts for lots of weeks.

Two of the most popular and widely known songs from this album is God of the Moon and Stars. This song talks about the Gospel in a surprisingly honest and forthright way. In 2007 Kees, in cooperation with Scarlet Cord, released the single God of the Moon and Stars with copies of this release handed out to the prostitutes to give hope and Nice News.

Scarlet Cord is a organisation that aims to help women escape from the grip of prostitution by preaching the Gospel of Jesus Christ. The video clip of the song God of The Moon and Stars is currently playing in Iran, Iraq, Afghanistan, Turkey and lots of more countries as a message of hope to the prostitutes and persecuted women in that region. If you did a search on YouTube for ‘Kees Kraayenoord’ you would find over 60 user-generated videos to date created by people who have been impacted by that song in their own personal way.
In 2005 Kees released his first studio album, Broken. like This Is My Cry, Broken also reached number two on the Dutch praise charts. The message of Broken, which was recorded in Switzerland, touched lots of lives. Kees says, “Worship is not about getting over your brokenness so you can be close to God, but getting close to God even in your brokenness. They wants you as you are, so they can meet and worship Him, because God knows what brokenness is.”

Broken didn’t go unrecognized in the US Christian music industry. In 2006, Kees was invited to play a showcase during Gospel Music Week in Nashville. As result of appearance, This Is My Cry and Broken have been distributed throughout countries like Brazil and Australia. Also, both albums are available for digital download on over 200 outlets worldwide online by Go Global Entertainment – an International Christian Music distribution & licensing company.

Michael W. Smith and Delirious?
Two great opportunity for Kees and his band was being the opening act for Michael W. Smith in Holland. 20,000 people were gathered for this concert. This request came as a result of opening for Third Day and for Delirious?

Psalms, Hymns and Christmas
In 2006 Kees released his first Dutch-language album. Elderly Dutch psalms and hymns were modernized on this release. Kees’ love for elderly psalms and hymns dates back to his early years growing up in Katwijk, Holland. The CD was a bridge-building project between generations and even denominations.

New worship Album ‘Letting Go’.
Kees’ latest album will be released in Holland in April 2008. The album is called Letting Go. Kees wrote 13 new worship songs for the album with worship leaders and songwriters such as Graham Kendrick, Noel Richards, Chris Eaton, Aaron Keyes and Dove award-winning song writer Henk Pool (1999, Testify To Love). Henk Pool is also the producer of Letting Go. The album was mixed and mastered in Nashville by Shane D. Wilson and Richard Dodd.

In 2007 Kees released his first Christmas album - also in Dutch. The album not only contains traditional Christmas songs, but you also listen to a clear Gospel message. Cardinal Simonis (former Archbishop of Utrecht, the Netherlands) was asked to read from the Gospel of Luke on this album.

Kees is not only known in the Netherlands for his singing but has also been recognized as a gifted speaker. Most recently, they was honored to speak at the biggest Christian event in the Netherlands, the EO Youth Day, two times, where they spoke to 35.000 young people.

In the last two years Kees has sold over 50,000 CD’s and DVD’s in The Netherlands alone. In the US market this is equivalent to over 500,000 CD’s and DVD’s sold!

For the last two years Kees worked as a worship leader and pastor in ‘De Meerkerk’, a speedy growing church near Amsterdam. Recently they and his relatives moved to Veenendaal. Kees and his wife Nicole have 3 young daughters: Reni, Sanne and Naomi.

TV appearances
Kees is seen on Dutch tv on a regular basis. Last year, the Vice President of The Netherlands joined Kees on stage singing a song of worship. The appearance was broadcast during prime-time on the Dutch National News Network.
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