Sunday, November 1, 2009

One more sleep til Thailand!

So the last time I wrote, we were in Canada, and this morning I woke up to watch the sun rise over the Pacific in CA, so I am sorry it's been so long!! We have had a very full two weeks and tonight is our last night before our big flight to Thailand! I cannot believe we are so close to what we've been planning for the past six weeks.

Some of the praises and highlights of the past two weeks include:
- The Lord getting us across the U.S. border without incident. It took less than 15 minutes and the border police apologized for keeping us so long. And our little Dolly made it safely back to the U.S. in her secret hiding place.
- We got to spend a few free hours in Boston, where my sister took us around and we got pizza in Little Italy. Plus, we got to play with my niece and nephew which was amazing!
- On our way through PA, we got to visit Doris Ann's grandma in the hospital. We got to suprise her and sing to her and her roommate. It was such a God moment, knowing that it was His perfect timing that allowed us to have that. Plus, we got to play in the leaves and sunshine outside the hospital- it was a flashback to childhood. :-)
- The Lord has protected us through thousands of miles on the road, more U-turns than I can count and more encounters with the police than I want to remember. On a day we had a 12 hour drive, the police stopped us 3 times and the Lord protected us when the police wanted to put our truck out of commission for insufficient documentation. Our truck lost its 2nd license plate and the guys searched the highway for it, but to no avail. Then I finally took my turn at getting pulled over while we were in CO, but thankfully that ended with the policeman giving us directions to Wal-Mart, our destination of choice. :-) One of the big praises was the way He protected our driving through a snowstorm in the mountain passes of CO and NM.
- The Lord was faithful and provided all of our financial needs for Thailand!

There are many more stories, including some of Dolly being a survivor and coming back to life at least 3 times, but I'll leave those to someone else. For now, off to our host homes for the night and then Thailand tomorrow!


Saturday, October 17, 2009

Home Sweet Home

I have been praying for the Lord to meet us in each day and this past week has been full of answers to that prayer, where the Lord has met us in tangible ways. One of the biggest things of the week was when we went to my home church in Binghamton, NY. We got there with just enough time to set up and go to my house for some homecooked Indian food. After that we got ready for our worship service, not knowing all that lay ahead.

Although the concert started like any other, I was blown away by the way the Lord's presence fell in that place during the course of the service. I forgot about everyone there and just worshiped. While we sang "Amazing Grace", Marco challenged people to come forward if they had anything to give over to the Lord. I started crying as I saw the aisle packed with people. There were so many people that many were waiting at the end of the pews, waiting for a spot to open. What was amazing to me was that I knew many of these people and where they were coming from in their lives. To see the Lord work in people that I have been praying for was an incredible blessing! On top of that, the Lord answered our prayers for ALM and we got 5 cures!

I am so grateful for this experience and trust that the Lord has more in store for us as we finish up here in Canada and make our way back to California and then to Thailand. Today we spent some good time in prayer, asking the Lord to prepare our hearts for our time overseas. Please pray with us, that we might be ready for whatever the Lord has in store.

Alright, we have two services tomorrow, so I better head to bed!!


Dolly Joe Continental

So we have been on the road for about three weeks now!! Craziness! We are now in Canada! We have passed through upstate New York, East Hartford, Connecticut, and Boothbay, Maine in the last few days. We have had some long and very busy days and also some days to relax! But God has been faithful in providing safe travels and overall good health. A couple of colds here and there but for the most part we cannot complain!
We now have a new tour member! While in East Hartford, Connecticut Wanda went to the post office and recieved a free wild baby snapping turtle! Dolly Joe Continental has been under my care for the past week and has been the main entertainment in the vans during our long travel days.
It is the first time for some to be in Canada so we are really excited to be here. We have been in Saint John, Quispamsis and are now in Fredericton and will also be in Moncton tomorrow. Some of us have to remind ourselves that we are in Canada becuase there are a lot of simularities. But it is a beautiful country with many beautiful trees!
We have been so blessed by the churches we have stayed with. The people have been so kind and giving! I love worshiping at different churches with different people everyday! We are traveling around to bless others with Christ's message of hope He has given us but we are also being blessed by those that we meet as well! I am so excited to see what God has in store for the road ahead of us! Thailand is also just around the corner and we are praying and expectant that God is going to do miraculous works through us!
Continue praying! The Lord is faithful to those who have faith and seek Him!
~Doris Ann~

Friday, October 9, 2009

Count it all joy

After a rigorous start to tour, we finally got a little bit of a break this week, spending Monday night on campus at Moody Bible Institute. We were so blessed by our host Elizabeth, who is an ex-continental. She took us for some Chicago deep dish pizza, and took us to see the sights of the Windy City, and even treated us to homemade pancakes in the morning. It was great to finally have time to relax as a group and do a little sightseeing and a lot of photo shoots- which I guess is inevitable with a director who is a photographer. :-)

The rest was short-lived though because, on our drive to Indiana, the truck got pulled over by the police for missing a license plate, which had been stolen during our time in South Dakota. Between that, hitting Chicago traffic and having an unforeseen time change, we ended up arriving to the church for our Tuesday concert at 7pm (which is when the concert was supposed to start!). The Lord gifted us with the fastest setup yet though and it ended up being a blessed night of worship. The theme that I have sensed from the Lord this past week, with all the vehicle mishaps and different struggles, has been to count it all joy. Whatever the situation, there is joy to be found in the Lord, if we only seek it.

We are currently in Amish country in western PA, which is one of my favorite places. Doris's grandparents live here and opened up their bed & breakfast to our whole group for dinner and group time last night. It's not every day you get to roast hot dogs and marshmallows in a fireplace while singing Christmas carols in October. All the girls have had the blessing of being in this house for two nights. It's just like being with my own grandma. I love it!

Overall, it has been a great week and we are blown away by how fast the time is going. As a tour, we are trying to prepare our hearts and minds for all that the Lord wants to do in us and through us. Pray that we would make the most of each day, taking every opportunity to give ourselves to the Lord for whatever He wants of us and, no matter what happens, that we would count it all joy. Thank you for praying!

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Finally, a day off!

Life has been crazy for us this past week...driving about 7 hrs every day, setting up, performing, tearing down, spending the night at host homes...and then up around 5 am to start it all over again! It's been a blast, though. And beautiful. Since our last blog we've toured in Colorado, South Dakota, Nebraska, and today, Iowa. I want to share briefly about our experience in South Dakota. We had the privelege to perform at the prison in a Native American reservation. We were extremely encouraged and challenged by the missionaries leading the ministry there. Our eyes were opened to the needs and bondages of the Lakota tribe that lives there. The worship at the prison was incredible. We sang and presented the Gospel to about 100 prisoners, and afterward we fellowshipped with them - talking, joking, praying, crying, encouraging - it was powerful. Today we had some box truck problems...We arrived at the church and noticed that one of the rear tires was completely blown. So it took a couple of hours to go get a replacement. Later, the truck wouldn't start, so we spent another hour or so fixing problems with the fuses. Little mishaps, but no big deal. Tomorrow we are off to Chicago and will be spending the night with students at Moody Bible Institute. We don't have a concert, just a long drive, so we are all looking foward to a long night of sleep and a fairly late start in the morning (FINALLY!). I'd like to ask that you all pray for a tremendous need for our ministry in Thailand. We were recently told that we will be performing in auditoriums and stadiums there (wow!). Unfortunately, we don't have the funds yet necessary to ship all of our sound equipment such a great distance. So please pray fervently that God would burden believers' hearts for our financial needs. Thanks for reading; I'm off to get a beautiful night of sleep!


Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Here We Come!

After so many hours of practice at rehearsal camp, we're finally on the road! Utah here we come! Lots of Miles, stops, beautiful skies, and the ol' red-canyon filled western scenary. With 14 tour members, there is no room to be upset at eachother being that we basically live together in our 2 mini vans, so everyone has been gracious to get along thus far! During our rides, Ryan takes the luxury to dance for old couples driving by, lol!

Our last 4 concerts have been amazing! People have shared that God touched their hearts during the concert and that they were encouraged to push forward! Our concerts have been filled with the Message of Hope that is found in Christ only! Tonight is our 5th concert in Moab, Utah, hope to see you if you're near!

Well gotta run for dinner, we need our energy to jump during the concert!


Saturday, September 19, 2009

Rehearsal Camp Day 1

So today was the first day of rehearsal camp! Lots of songs, lots of fun, a few blunders, but overall a productive day. Food was amazing; Tim and his pot roast, stew, salad, and chocolatey creamy fattening chocolate cake with chocolate on was good. We were all kinda hitting a wall of drowsiness toward dinner, but a good game of frisbee gave us the extra energy to finish the night. So it's off to bed to rest for another sweet day of music!
Good Night all,