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Archive for June 18th, 2013

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This past Saturday a team of us went into a local prison to serve in worship services.  We had to wait a while to get it, but that gave us an opportunity to talk story and get to know each other better.  We didn’t have any issues getting people or instruments into the facility.  (Phew…that was one of my biggest prayer requests.) As we headed down the long cement walk way to the gym we looked up and saw a beautiful rainbow hanging over us and an overwhelming feeling of peace came over me.  (Another answered prayer.)

Our sound check happened while the groups of inmates were led into the gym.  While the sound team, also inmates, were making sure our sound levels were okay, the Halau discussed where they would perform their dance for the services.  We knew we may have the entire time allotted for the services or maybe not.  Our sound check was the prelude, which is a good thing because then the men were that much more familiar with the songs for the service.

Our set list:

  1. Our God
  2. The Glorious Cross
  3. Revelation Song
  4. Halau: Forgiveness
  5. All Who Are Thirsty/chorus of Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus

Notes on the nuts and bolts of the set:

  1. They seemed to respond well, and picked up The Glorious Cross pretty quickly.  They seemed to know Our God, and especially The Revelation Song.  Overall the sets went pretty well.  I had trouble hearing Joe’s guitar especially with the reprise of Glorious Cross.  Next time I’ll make sure to ask the guys to boost it a bit.  We also need to make sure that we have extra music for the play out, and/or at least that we talk it through before we sing it.  We tried The Everlasting and did well for the chorus, but I’ve never really sang the melody alone.  When Joe switched to the harmony I was a little lost.  We made it work.
  2. The Halau was fabulous.  They dressed very conservatively and Gayle kept the movements discreet.  They danced to Mathew West’s “Forgiveness.”  One of the really cool things about this is that a few months ago I heard the song on the radio, and I had a picture of Gayle dancing hula to it.  WOW!  I saw that same picture on Saturday in real life.  Thank you Jesus.

I’ve missed leading worship; not just the singing part, but also putting together a set list and helping to craft a service.  It was such a blessing to hear the response of the inmates to the music and to the message.  Pastor Louie is the person for this time.  On so many levels he understands what these men have been through.  Hopefully I will be able to be a part of something like this again.

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Our trek to the most remote island chain in the world started almost 12 years ago.  Even though we never really felt compelled to travel here, we jumped at a chance to buy a voucher for two tickets at a garage sale.  We chose a hotel that was being remodeled.  We traveled one month after 9/11.  There was plenty of room to spread out on the beach, and we found really good deals at the market place.  The total trip cost around $1,000, with the tickets included.  We found ourselves pleasantly surprised by how much we were enjoying our surroundings.  About two days into the trip we prayed for God to show us how we would minister in this place.

A couple of years later my husband won a trip to a neighbor island through a sales promotion.  It was beautiful.  The island moved at an even slower pace.  The hotel upgraded our room to an ocean view.  We found the perfect breakfast place, and loved learning the local history.  Sitting on the beach during sunset with our feet in the surf while listening to a band play James Taylor covers was pretty magical.  Again, we prayed how God would have us minister in this place.

Not long after that my husband was invited to teach and train the sound team of a local church here on the island.  They graciously offered me a ticket to join him.  I spent the week reading books, swimming, and taking in the local sites, sounds, and cuisine.  It was a pretty sweet adventure.  We left wondering how God would end up using us on this Island.

Our home state is beautiful.  Our hometown is an hour from the beach and an hour from the mountains.  It didn’t take long to get to Mom and Dad’s, and an even shorter time to get to my in-laws.  Siblings and nieces live close by.  Why would we want to move away from it all?

Our family spent a month here the year before we moved.  By the end of that month we were invited to come join the church for a season.  We loved the people.  We really believed in the church’s core values, and  were encouraged by the emphasis they put on creatively sharing the Gospel.  It still wasn’t an easy decision.  We thought it through.  We knew we had to say yes, or we would regret for the rest of our lives.

It’s been almost a year.  We continue to pray how God wants us to use our gifts here in our new church.  We are still figuring out the balance of ministry life and family life.  It’s a bit more challenging, honestly a lot more challenging, without a support system like we had at home.

There have been moments of greatness, and that keeps us pushing forward.  In a future post I’ll share a timeline of events of this past year.  It’s been a doozie, but one that is full of the evidence of God’s handy work in getting us from there to here.

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