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Omar's Story
By Traci Tripes

Imagine you were given the chance to meet anyone in the world. Who would you want to meet? Diddy? The Rolling Stones? David Beckham? For 16-year-old Omar Melendez, his dream came true when he received the opportunity to meet Hillsong United.

Omar is battling spinal glioma, a form of cancer. As with any typical teenager, music is very important in Omar's life. Once Omar realized that he qualified for a wish through the Make-A-Wish Foundation, he began the process of discovering his heart’s desire. Omar's wish was to go to Australia and see the band, Hillsong United perform.

The San Diego Make-A-Wish Foundation®, which grants the wishes of children with life threatening medical conditions, heard that Omar wanted to meet Hillsong United. The task of planning Omar’s wish to Australia began. As it turns out, a trip to Australia would have been extremely difficult for Omar and his family and they were not able to go. Then of course, God heard about it, and decided to bring Hillsong United to San Diego so that Omar could have his wish!!!

The Make-A-Wish Foundation® set up a special celebration for Omar centered around the sold-out concert on April 21st at the Rock Church. Omar is a huge fan of the Australian-based, worship band that has played sold-out events in churches and stadiums in the Americas, Africa, Europe, and Asia.

Hillsong United also prayed for Omar. They prayed he would be healed and that he would someday be able to come visit them in Australia.

Omar and his family were given the VIP treatment with dinner in the green room before the concert, access to the private sound check, and a special opportunity to meet the band one-on-one before the show. Omar was greeted by friends and volunteers on the second floor of the Rock Church. People filled the hallway and surprised Omar and his family with signs and banners! Everyone cheered as he entered the meet and greet room.

After the meet and greet, Omar and his family were taken to a private room to interact with the band up close and personal. Little did Omar know that the band had a very special present for him, an autographed guitar. When the band presented Omar with the guitar it took his breath away and the entire Rodriguez family cried tears of joy. They are all Hillsong United fans.

Hillsong praying for their new friend Omar.

Hillsong United also prayed for Omar. They prayed he would be healed and that he would someday be able to come visit them in Australia. Everyone in the room put their hands on Omar as they prayed for him. Despite a language barrier with some of Omar's family members, God’s message of hope and love was known to all. The presence of the Holy Spirit was evident in the room.

It’s not so much the music that makes the band, its Hillsong United’s walk with God that makes the music. The love and hope conveyed in their songs really connect Omar and his family to God as they continue to pray and battle this cancer.