November 2005


…which means: Jesus Loves You, in Cantonese. Yep, you guessed it, I am writing to you from an internet cafe in the busiest district in Hong Kong. Just off of the world famous Nathan Road, where we are blessed to live. It’s hard to believe that we have been here two weeks now. We have been playing and being a part of so many ministry opportunities, it is humbling to think about how much the Lord has trusted us recently to make His Name known to the people of Hong Kong.

So a brief recap is in order. We arrived in Hong Kong on November 18 and met up with the YFC (Youth for Christ) staff. They quickly shuffled us into vans which took some of us to the office to drop off our sound equipment and took the rest directly to the apartment that all eight of us are sharing during our time here. We tried to catch a few hours sleep (which was difficult because our bodies were saying that it was 10am) and then we hit the ground running the next day, with 4 concerts.

We got over our jet lag after the first couple of days, but our schedule has not gotten any lighter. We have definitely been used by God and by the staff here. They are so willing to serve and inspire us to follow suit.

One of the highlights of our time here was this Sunday, when we got to play a Philipino church where the whole service was in English. The Spirit of the Lord was definitely there and we got to pray with people (a whole new experience for us in Hong Kong considering the language barrier). It was great. So the bottom line is…we are crazy busy, but the Lord is good and He gives us all that we need and more.

I’ll write more as soon as I can…

So, I now realize there is a huge difference between doing missions work with an organization and doing it independently. It is a lot more seamless to do it with an organzation. My manager Chris is amazing, and it is very easy to tell that he is experienced at this. You see, this is his job, and so has done this a time or two and he has made my job so much easier. Granted, my job still involves a ton of responsibility, but it makes things a lot better when your manager just walks in and hands you a box full everything that you will need for your month overseas.

We leave tomorrow for Hong Kong. I guess I keep writing it and saying it out loud in hopes that it will sink in at some point. It still seems surreal. But the trailer is packed, my binder full of info is neatly organized, and I have a stack of passports and plane tickets that say that this is definitely going to happen. My prayer right now is for peace of mind and that I can already begin to put on the mind of Christ and adopt His servant posture.

Preparations are pretty much complete, but my mind is still racing, so that’s a definite prayer request. We also have 84 concerts in 30 days coming up, so please be praying for strength and safety as we travel all over Hong Kong. This blog is probably going to be the best way for me to keep everyone informed about what’s going on in my life, so check for updates…I’ll try to make them frequent.

Mondays are such a weird day for me now. For the majority of the tour we just finished, we had Mondays off, which was great considering the fact that Sundays were usually one of our busiest days of the week. Now, however, everyday is busy, so working on a Monday is necessary but still weird reality.

Anyway…we spent the afternoon today getting ready for airport stuff. It’s a pretty complicated process to try to get eight people with a full sound system through customs without them thinking that we are going to sell all of it in Hong Kong. We should be good to go, but that is still a major prayer request.

Yesterday I actually got to go to church just to go to church, and that was amazing. Then my host family took me out for lunch at a nice little place in Spicer. I got a great nap in and then went over to our manager Chris’ house for steaks and some good down time.

We leave for Hong Kong in three days. So strange.

So it’s Friday night at 10:30 and I sitting in the studio listening to Jon, my guitarist, record an amazing guitar solo. As you might guess we are in the midst of recording our part of the CTI album, “When I’m Empty.” We have been basically living in the studio since Wednesday night.

I actually got my part of the recording done for the most part on Wedneday and since then I have just been hanging out helping out in various regards throughout the process.

It’s been a crazy week thus far…we got back home and were greeted warmly by several members of the other team. It has been weird being back, but it has been great to be home. I never thought I would call Willmar home, but it is starting to feel closer anyway.

So…we leave in like a week for Hong Kong. More updates soon..

So this is officially our last morning of Fall tour. We are currently in Topeka, Kansas at a hotel getting ready to head on the final stretch of the drive home to Willmar. You know, I never thought I would call Willmar home, but since I have been on the road it feels a lot more like home than I ever thought it would.

The drive yesterday was incredibly uneventful. We are so thankful that we serve a God who provides us with safe travels. We started to go crazy after about hour twelve, but we made it and now we only have 8 hours left until we are home. Please continue to pray for us as we travel….

Sorry this is short, but I need to go get the van now. I will write again soon!

So I have discovered that being in Texas in November is very similar to being in Illinois in June. When you sweat (as I unfortunately seem to do profusely) it just sticks to you and never dries. Gotta love that humidity. So we are just north of Houston right now, preparing for our last show of our fall tour. It is pretty surreal to think that my first tour with CTI is over. I look back and think about how awesome it has been, and yet challenging at the same time.

So when last I wrote I was in San Antonio. Since then we drove to Gonzales, Texas, which was a quaint town of about 7,000. It was nice to be in a town that wasn’t over a million in population. It feels like since we hit Seattle, everywhere we have been has been huge. We played at First Assembly of God in Gonzales this morning. It was great and the people there were so gracious!

After lunch we headed towards Houston. Along the way was Katy Mills mall (one of the top 5 biggest malls in America) so we naturally had to stop and check that out. Conveniently we were well ahead of schedule and therefore we had some time to kill. After finishing up there we headed to Concordia Lutheran High, where we will play our final show of tour tomorrow (Mon.) morning. There Tyler and I were greeted by our most amazing host family experience yet. Not only did our host family greet us with huge, personalized posters welcoming us to Tomball (the city we are in), but they also brought us gifts. These weren’t just any gifts either. They were hand crafted, camouflage painted marshmallow guns. That’s right folks, Tyler and I are now equipped with projectile hurtling devices just in time for the 22 hour drive back to Willmar. (Insert collective groan here from the rest of the team.) It is going to be great!

Chances are when you read this we will be in the van. Chances are if you come back and read this again we will still be in the van. Chances are if you check this before you go to bed and then again when you wake up we will still be in the van. So if you could pray for Kevin and I and everyone to stay sane on the trip home that would be great. My next post will probably be from Minnesota, so until then…

So I have to admit that my last post must seem pretty dreary. I also have to admit that it was pretty honest. BUT, the Lord moves in mysterious ways (does this remind anyone else of 80’s song lyric?) and things are looking much better right now. In fact, the Lord is so faithful that I am actually going to end up in a better position gear-wise than I previously was.

Let’s backtrack a bit. Wednesday was a big turning point for the team. We finally recognized that no matter what happened God had an ultimate purpose behind this happening, and the He is faithful. So we just gave ourselves up to His plan. Consequently, we played possibly the best show of our tour Wed. night using mostly borrowed sound gear. God is so amazing.

So Thursday we jumped into the van and embarked on a drive across Texas. Does anyone realize how amazingly huge Texas is? Oh man, I cannot believe that we drove 10 hours and basically only got halfway across the state. Anyway, after the rigorous drive we arrived at our host homes. Great times!

Friday has been spent recovering from the driving yesterday and resting up for the drive to come. Tomorrow we’re off to Gonzales to get set up for a Sunday morning service and then we have a Monday morning chapel as well. After that we head back to Willmar! I can’t wait for that drive…let me tell you! Hopefully my iPod will cooperate and make the time slightly more enjoyable.

Also, though, I found out today that the insurance company is going to cover more than I expected them to, and so I should be in really good shape with my gear. I am super excited. Please pray for us we travel, we have a lot of driving and little rest time in between.

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