Hello everyone!  Here is an update of the goings-on in my life as we kick off 2009!  Thanks for reading!

Six Months?!

It’s hard to believe that as of January 15th, I will have been on staff here for six months already! I have a lot to be thankful as I look back at my first half-year with the ministry on staff.  God’s provision for me has been undeniable.  Because of God’s provision, I was able to buy a house last month.  I officially closed on December 22nd.  It turns out that owning a home is actually cheaper here than renting most apartments.

God provided the perfect place for me and I am so thankful.  I got to work with a wonderful Christian realtor, who is actually on our board of directors, and the perfect place just kind of fell right into my lap! I am working on getting all of the little things taken care of that go along with owning a home, but it is such a blessing!  If any of you need a place to stay in Willmar, feel free to let me know and you can crash at my house!

My new address is 1416 7th Street SW, Willmar, MN. For now, though, any mail that you’d like to send can still be sent to the ministry (P.O. Box 100, Willmar, MN 56201).Thanks to all of you who prayed for my housing search.  The Lord definitely had His hand on the whole process!

Teams head out on Winter Tour
Just this past weekend, we bid an early-morning goodbye to our team members as they departed for what will be their longest tour to date.

Allow me to backtrack a bit before I outline their tours.  The teams left for an approximately two-week long Christmas break on December 19th.  They returned on New Year’s Day and left for tour early on the morning of January 3rd.  As you might imagine, this was quite the whirlwind for all of us.

I spent much of their break (aside from the normal Holiday hustle and bustle) getting everything ready for this quick turnaround, so that the teams could hit the ground running.

After brushing up their repertoires and loading the trailers the teams were ready to spend three months touring most of both coasts of the United States.  Team 14:21 heads south and then east.  They kicked off their tour with some time in Illinois, will make a whirlwind trek to Florida (by way of Texas) and then spend the bulk of their 12-week tour working their way up the eastern seaboard.  Team 14:22 heads west and south.  They had a snowy drive out to Nebraska this past weekend and are slowing making their way to the Pacific Coast of California.  They’ll spend large amounts of time in Colorado, Arizona and California.

Live in or near any of these areas? Interested in seeing a team? Check out our website (ctimusic.org) for booking schedules.

Some Words from One of Our Team Members
“One of the most common expressions I hear on the road is “Wow, the same six people for a year! Don’t you get sick of each other?”
People are fascinated by the idea of choosing to live with the same people for so long.  Honestly, I see it as a gift: God has given me six other people with whom to share this experience. Six people to offer encouragement and support. A six-person accountability team!  Yeah, it’s actually not that easy.

We have to work on keeping our relationships going in a positive direction. We have to make time to spend with each other and grow in togetherness (believe it or not!)  We have to sacrifice for each other.  Sometimes we have to work just to love each other!

But still, with all the work involved, isn’t this something that everyone longs for?   An opportunity to live in community, where people are willing to do that kind of work for each other?  A chance to connect on a level deeper than mere small talk? To live with people who have seen us at our worst, and love us anyway?”

These words were written by Laura Schuh, team leader for Team 14:21.

At CTI, we desire to achieve a level of community that has a life-changing impact on all who are involved.  Laura’s words illustrate just how hard that process can be, but also how rewarding community can be as well.

If you’re interested in this kind of community and are a musician between the ages of 16-30, consider joining one of our teams.  Visit our website for more

Specific Prayer Requests
–          Our Teams’ Winter Tours

–          Continued prayer for our ministry as a whole

–          Thanksgiving for my new house

–          My continued fundraising process

How to Support Paul:
Sign up online to be a monthly supporter:  Click here.   Click on “automatic recurring gift” to set up a monthly draft from your credit or check card.  (You can also manage your monthly gift manually, by mail if you’d prefer- just follow the appropriate link.)  Be sure to fill “Paul Vasilko” in the “staff member support” blank.

*You can make a ONE-TIME (non-recurring) gift at any time – just go here and click “one-time online donation.”

Friendly reminder: This is a tax-deductible gift.  If you are looking for a destination for some tax write-offs, consider making a donation to my support account!

I’m really starting to feel at home here in Willmar.  I finally have a place of my own and I am really settling in to the work that I am doing here at CTI.  It’s been such a blessing to see God’s providential hand at work in my life and my decision to step out in faith and take this job.

As one of our team members put it: there is no failure in obedience.  Through the grace of Christ, I am learning just how true that statement is.  Thanks for helping me through that process.  Your support makes it possible.