Solu, a new worship ministry and house of prayer, released their debut music video “Bamidbar,” which means “in the desert.”
Professionally made with some amazing drone shots from the Judean desert, they sing: “A voice cries out here in the desert, build up a highway, straighten for him a path.” And they sing this in the very same desert where John the Baptist cried out those exact words!
Solu is currently on a tour in the US, but KNI caught up with Shilo Ben-Hod, one of their lead vocalists, for an interview.
“The song speaks about a voice that is crying out in the wilderness and all across the land,” he told KNI. “Therefore, we thought it would be fitting for the filming to feel continuous, flowing from the big, aerial shots to the close, ground level ones. The filming was really fun & took about three days to shoot! Most of it was done in beautiful locations near the Dead Sea except the one on the roof, which is in Nazareth, and another on the beach near Netanya.”
So what is Solu, and what can you tell us about it?
“SOLU (or SOLU Israel) is a new ministry established in Maale Adumim, Israel, just seven months ago. The base of the ministry is a house of prayer with the goal of having a daily rhythm of night & day watches, from which ministry will flow to the body in Israel and the nations. Our ministry team will continue to create media content (worship videos, teachings and more), regularly visit congregations in Israel that would be interested for us to minister, and a few times a year go on ‘Out Of Zion’ trips to minister in the nations and build up bridges between Israel and the nations.”
What can you tell us about the meaning of the name “Solu”?
“Solu is the biblical Hebrew command to ‘build up’ a highway. The prophet Isaiah used this word several times in relation to preparing for the Messiah’s return. Isaiah 40 speaks of a voice calling in the wilderness to prepare the way of the Lord, & we believe God is calling us in this generation to be that voice in order to partner with him, helping build up this highway & furthering His kingdom in Israel and the nations to prepare for His return. We really liked the name ‘Solu’ because of its strong connection to our vision & its biblical depth.”
You’ve produced two albums under your own name. Will you continue to also make songs as Shilo Ben Hod, or are you focusing on being a part of Solu now?
“Right now, the plan is to develop Solu as a ministry platform from which new songs can be released. We want to see many of these songs written by the team, but some may also be written by individual members of the team.”
What can you tell us about the people making up Solu?
“Our team is a group of friends even before it’s a ministry team. Thirteen years ago, Jon Mark & Sandra were the youth leaders of Shilo and Sarah with whom they now co-lead the ministry. Then, several years later, Shilo & Sarah also became youth leaders to the teenagers who are now the young adults of the Solu team. We are all close friends & even family in several cases. Sarah’s sister, Rebekah, made aliyah with her family sixteen years ago & served in the IDF as did Shilo’s brother, Yedidya, and Jon Mark & Sandra’s son, Levi. Nethaniel was also born and raised in Jerusalem, and has been in university studying political science. They all grew up together in the environment of the House of Prayer.”
What is the reason you started this? Whose idea was it, and how did it start?
“We all saw and experienced what serving in the house of prayer did in our lives and how it impacted the community around us, so we desired to establish an Israeli/Hebrew expression of it that would also be intentional about taking ministry outside of the ‘four walls’ of the building. It’s difficult to say that it was one person’s idea, but instead was more of a series of things that happened throughout the years which led to the establishment of this new ministry. Five years ago, was the first time the idea was talked about. A year and a half ago we started praying intentionally for vision and guidance, and seven months ago we officially launched Solu.”
How did the idea for Bamidbar come about?
“A few months ago, our friends Sergio and Rodah contacted us with an idea. They have a wonderful YouTube channel where they release videos from traveling around Israel and sharing their faith in Yeshua through them. Sergio told us that he had some First Person View (FPV) drones that can shoot really cool videos & asked me if I have a more upbeat song that has to do with the desert. So I replied that we just wrote the perfect song for such a video! Then we had the idea to ask the music video producer we’ve already worked with in the past – Michael Hilsden – to collaborate with Sergio and Rodah in order to make the video both in the air and on the ground.”
What do you hope to accomplish with your music?
“The music serves two basic purposes: to glorify God by expressing our love for Him, and to build up His body on earth. We want to be able to regularly release new, inspiring music that will be a fresh source of encouragement for believers to live a lifestyle of worship & be strong in their faith. We also believe that making Spirit-filled worship music is a powerful way to touch non-believers in Israel.”
I understand you are on a tour in the US right now. What can you tell us about it?
“As part of our mission, we want to be a light to the nations, bringing worship and the word out of Zion, from the Israeli believers to our brothers and sisters across the earth. Last year we did something similar, driving all the way down the East Coast & across the South to the West Coast, stopping at the different congregations and churches along the way. This year our tour started in NY and will finish in LA, with about 33 worship services in 35 days! Our team is made up of eleven people, of which two are small children and one is a very pregnant woman. Every single day is full of successes and challenges. It’s not an easy thing to do, yet we believe it’s what God called us to do. Most importantly, we get to see Yeshua glorified in the USA, by people who are hungry and thirsty for Him and also to know what He is doing in Israel. Every single day we hear and see testimonies of people’s lives that are being touched & changed by God and we are so grateful to be part of it. Another outcome of this trip is that our team is being built up. We are always together, going through the good & the hard, and serving together – both others and each other. Throughout the time, the team members are taking turns leading devotional times, which is also a great way to grow together in the Lord. We drive an average of four hours a day & we get to see beautiful places, meet wonderful people and experience the amazing colorfulness of the body of Messiah with all its different cultures and expressions of worship. We have so MANY stories! From being locked out of our van while visiting the Amish, being pulled over by a kind police officer in Georgia who had served in the Middle East, having personal body guards assigned to us, & worshipping with people who blow the shofar throughout an entire song! Of course, we had lots of good food and even better fellowship!”
What are Solu’’ plans for the future? Will you make an album? More tours?
“Yes, and yes! The plans are to continue building and developing the ministry according to the things He has called us to do: House of Prayer, media production, equipping & building the body, and being light to the nations. Our ministry’s first full album will hopefully be released by the end of the year with eleven new, powerful songs written together as a team. As for tours, it is not clear which nation will be next, but we are planning to have some shorter trips in the coming months. We are also planning some different events in Israel that will be coming soon, so stay tuned!”
A final question: how can our readers pray for you?
“As we are in the early stages of establishing and building up SOLU, we need a lot of wisdom, grace and guidance for all the vision God has given us. We are also looking for and asking God to give us a partnership team to regularly pray and give financially to support the work of the ministry.”
To learn more about Solu Israel and listen to their music visit their website: www.soluisrael.org