For KING and COUNTRY Facedown Fear with Faith - Geneva College, a Christian College in Pennsylvania (PA)
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February 6, 2020

For KING and COUNTRY Facedown Fear with Faith

“I’ve never been so thankful in my life,” says Luke Smallbone, one of the brothers in the award-winning, Contemporary Christian music duo, For KING and COUNTRY, about his battle with ulcerative colitis. Luke was diagnosed with this life-threatening, often debilitating, digestive disease in October 2012. This inflammatory bowel disease causes long-lasting inflammation and ulcers or sores in the digestive tract.

His initial reaction to the diagnosis was to brush it off and head out on the band’s first headlining tour with his brother, Joel Smallbone. After two months on tour, Luke realized his new health issue was not going to simply go away if he ignored it. His first son was newly born, and the new dad was not willing to risk his life by postponing treatment any longer. He decided to take a step back from the tour and focus on his health and family.

Despite his life being in danger, Luke Smallbone never lost faith or allowed his spirits to slip. He was determined to fight. During this battle, Luke, 6 feet, 4 inches tall, dropped to 125 pounds. He recalls feeling dependent, stating, “I was bed-ridden and being taken care of like a child - talk about humbling.” However, no matter how beaten down Luke felt, he maintained his faith in Christ and refused to lose hope, knowing God had plans for him.

”On one particular night I cried out to God asking Him why this was all happening,” Luke recalls. “I was in such desperate need of comfort. As God has a way of doing, He turned that moment into a moment I won’t forget. I felt him say, Luke, no matter how dark things might be today, no matter how difficult things might become, no matter what you’ll face in life, there is always hope in me!” Amazingly, after a five-year battle, Luke heard the magic words he had so long dreamt of, “You are in remission.”

It is often difficult to be thankful when faced with adversity. Luke Smallbone, faced with a daunting illness, chose to never lose faith, but rather lean into his relationship with God. Instead of laying down to take a beating, he faced his illness head on knowing that Christ is on his side.

Luke says, “We don’t want to live in the past; we want to move forward.” This concept has inspired the Smallbones’ approach to touring and making music, including their latest album and tour, “Burn the Ships.” In fall 2019, For KING and COUNTRY toured North America and received many requests to perform in more cities. This sparked the spring 2020 encore tour for the duo. Although their music has been featured at major events such as the Emmys, the Super Bowl, and Sunday Night Football, fame is not their main desire. They mostly enjoy sharing their story and helping their fans through music.

Geneva College sponsors the For KING and COUNTRY concert at the Petersen Events Center in Pittsburgh, PA. Geneva is offering discounted tickets to college alumni, parents, staff and friends for $23 each (a value of $50). A limited number of further discounted tickets are available for purchase for current Geneva students.

 Visit to reserve your seats.