Thursday, August 28, 2008

Sixth Leg, Icelandic, Já (Yes)

Hello all,

This is close to the final entry for the tour, but it's not. We still have South Dakota to visit and we'll play at Life Light festival, which I'm looking forward to and will describe later in this post. But I'm back in Minneapolis, and loving it.

FYI, this is a longer post, because I think we were given some clear lessons and I feel it's important to share them with you. So be prepared. :)

For the Icelandic part of the journey, it seemed as though we might get off without a fight. It's a place of intense beauty (of which we were able to see more of due to a bus trip to the north of Iceland), cool temperatures, a national history that recently includes Christianity, and wonderful tour organizers (of wonderful Polish origin! I like Poland and those who are Polish.) Nevertheless, we ended up with challenges, mostly within ourselves, but definitely spurred by the devil's efforts.

One challenge was tiredness. At this point, I think I can safely say that we were all pretty tired. In Finland, I was already feeling like I wasn't going to be able to correctly answer the questions people had about who I was, what I did, and when did I start playing in the band. One time I said that I taught graphic design, which I don't, but I do teach violin and cello and do freelance graphic design.

In the face of tiredness, the next challenge was overcoming tiredness because we had our first of three sequential shows the day after we arrived and after a 7 hour bus ride to get there. I was surprised, though, at my alertness, and must say that God gave me what I needed that day, and I saw that he continued to do that each day. At no point during the shows or after did I feel like I was going to fall over tired, or was too tired to talk to people afterwards. I felt the opposite, actually, and God gave me specific people to talk and pray with.

Our first show was in Akureyri in the north, outdoors on a trailer stage in the main square. Though it wasn't an enormous crowd, many more people came than local people had expected or had seen in previous square concerts of any sort. At this show, God reminded us of the rewards of obeying his whispers. As David and Luke were getting ready before the show, at the end of the warmup band's set, David saw some guys who were leaving and said to Luke, "Those guys need to stay for our concert." So Luke jumped out of the bus and said to them that they should stay, and they said, "Okay," turned around, waited for our show, and were some of the people who responded to give their lives.

During our sound check, one girl stood towards the front of the stage watching for a while, and then I didn't see her any more. After sound check, I saw her walking by with some of her friends, and felt a distinct urge to invite her. It was one that I knew would not let me rest if I ignored it. I ran down the steps from the back of the stage and towards them, hesitated, realizing that it was going to be awkward when a girl runs up from behind them to invite them, but I went for it anyway and invited them. At the end of the show, she was one who responded, and was also supporting one of her friends who had been really touched. Grazena and I began to talk with her and another girl after they had prayed. She believes in God, and prays and thinks he's a "good dude." She explained that she likes to call him "Dude," like a friend. She asked me what I think God is like. I talked about the time that he showed his back to Moses and through that I know that he is the most powerful, dangerous, awe compelling being, but within that, he is the most loving father for us personally. She had had a stillborn baby two years ago at the age of 14, and said she has to believe that he is in God's care. We prayed together, and I prayed that her life would be guided by God, and that her compassion for her friends will come from His heart as the source. It was a blessing to pray for her, and I felt that God was able to reach her in a way she wasn't expecting. During our discussion, she told me that the reason she came to the show was because some lady had come running up to her and told her to come back for the show. It was a gift that she said that, and hopefully is an encouragement for you to follow those silly-seeming nudges.

Our second show was on the Christian stage in Reykjavík at their annual national culture night. This festival is the biggest party night in Iceland, and most bars and clubs stay open all night. A major problem, though, is that there are many many young people who are on the streets all night drinking lots. Before our show started at about 9 pm, I looked out of the parked bus window to see a group of 14 or so year old boys pretty publicly finishing off a bottle of vodka. On our walk home, I was amazed at how many young people were on the street drunk, and my heart hurt for them. During our shortened version of the show, though, I was very happy to see that the square was filled, and people were even standing and watching in the street beyond the square. When David was talking to the crowd, there was one group of people who yelled a couple of times in unison, "shut the f up" and some who mockingly responded to David's call. But there were those who were serious, and many responded. I talked with two girls after they prayed. They both had a belief in God, but hadn't experienced it as a relationship. They felt the spirit of God throughout the show, and one said she felt something inside her that she hadn't felt before. I talked about the greatness of God as a creator and father, and said that those things they felt were probably God's reaching out with the greatest love we could experience, longing to be in friendship with them.

Our third show was held at a prayer and worship center for those who are in rehabilitation from addictions. It's a really good place, and their motto is "loving people back to life." The setup went slowly because we had to tear down their regular music setup, clean off the stage, and then set everything up for our show. The show went well, despite some blood spills on the carpet, and I was able to talk and pray with a girl who had joined up with this group only three months ago.

Radek, one of our tour organizers, shared the next day about how he had felt that the devil was going to try to destroy our unity during the day of our last show here in Iceland and the following day. I had the same feeling, and even though I sensed that our being able to finish well was in danger, I failed to thwart it and I handled a situation during setup poorly, the poorest I had handled any situation on tour yet. After my reaction, I felt as Peter must have after the rooster crowed. I had been used as a tool of division. Fortunately, we have a good father, counselor and conqueror on our side, and I was able to make reparations fully before and after the show.

But this last challenge continued the day after the concert, our only free day in Iceland, when we got calls from both the rehab center and the festival stage organizer telling us that we had to clean up the stage blood from our shows. On tour, free days are like gold. Sometimes we joke that on free days we are "masters of our own destinies" for a few moments with no one saying when we need to be anywhere. Usually, the stage blood is not an issue, and we've never been asked before to clean up blood from a stage with an easily cleanable surface like the one for the festival. The carpet is understandable, but our ability to do much more than we had already done the night before was small. Discussions and decisions on what to do and who would do it brought some tensions, but in the end, both dilemmas had simple resolutions. 5 minutes after the arrival of those who went to clean the carpet, a lady came and told them that they were going to hire a steam cleaner instead. So they hadn't even begun before they were released from that duty. When the few guys arrived at the festival stage and they saw that there had been no attempts to clean it, they just sprayed it with a hose, and the stage was clean. Easy. But these situations were definitely tests to see what our reactions would be, and to test our unity. I can't say that I or we got gold stars in this test, and I don't think that the test is over, but during a meeting that Radek called, we were able to voice the divisions we saw, ask for forgiveness, and expose the junk underneath the surface to clean it with God's grace. (cleaning pun not intended...)

So I guess these long explanations only serve to illustrate the point "Listen and Obey in humility."

As far as the general feeling from Iceland that I have from this tour is that, unfortunately, the church serves the church within itself, and doesn't know how to or see the excitement in reaching beyond their own walls. The organizers were given close to no help from church leaders and members who said last year they would help in this year's tour. Also, finding a home for new believers is hard because of the lack of church involvement. But on the other hand, we were blessed by some great individuals, including a pastor in the north, our amazing, good-hearted bus driver, Joseph, and the people who provided us with the bus at half the price, and, again, our tour organizers and helpers.

During our meeting with Radek, the idea of beginning a group of people who are active, supportive and welcoming to events like No Longer Music and to those who wouldn't normally go to a church came up, and is something to keep in prayer. Iceland needs a revelation of a powerful, kind God, and with only 300,000 residents, the devil doesn't want that word to get out. Pray that it does.


Yes, I'm looking forward to playing at LifeLight Festival! You can see all the details at We're playing tomorrow, Friday, night at midnight on the "Souled Out" stage, after David speaks at 7:15pm on the main stage, and after Switchfoot plays on the main stage at 9pm. Last year, 320,000 people came to this cost free festival, and I'm really excited to see how it goes there, and the sorts of things God will do. Please be praying for our safe travel, as we leave tomorrow morning, and also for David that he hears exactly what he is to say from main stage. Also pray for each of us that we would have a burst of spirit-led energy and enthusiasm, and would be used to speak to and encourage many many people.

Thanks again, so much, for reading and praying along with us. I'll post another blog after LifeLight to let you know how it goes.


Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Fifth Leg Finland, Yes Iceland

Hello All,

Our time in Finland is over, and it's been a great mix of busy and not busy, but always surrounded by dedicated Christians ready for their country to understand God in a new way. On our first day here, were given some insight on the Finnish mentality and average "religious" experience. Basically, if a Finnish person were in the same room as an elephant, they would be wondering what the elephant thinks of them. It's a huge generalization, but still says something. Also, most see Christianity as something that's for boring people. There are thick clear lines that are put in place by both sides where if you're a Christian you would never do this or go here, and if you aren't a Christian you would do those things or go to those places, and to become a Christian you would have to stop doing everything and become boring. Those are international thoughts, of course, but here, they seem to be pronounced. Depression and alcohol are also big things here.

The first city that we began doing things in was Tampere, which is north of Helsinki by 2 hours. On our first day there, the organizer for that city, Jukka, arranged a meeting for the youth leaders from the different churches in Tampere, and David spoke to them about seeking God and being radical in they way you reach people. This was the first time that they had assembled like this, and many of them were inspired and had questions. I saw many of them the next day during the setup for our show, involved in the many things that were going on there. They set up a skating half pipe, and hosted a competition, and also helped arrange the 4 hard core/metal bands that played before us. During the day, there were skaters, punks, normal folks, everybody, and vegetarians (due to a large vegetarian festival that was going on in the neighboring square) who came through to see and hear a bit. A couple of guys wrote satan's name in the gravel in front of the stage and after a few attempts, successfully drew a pentagram. Even though that's a bit funny, we did hear that there were some serious satanists who were praying against us during our show. When our show started more people came to see than earlier during the day, and by the end of the show, the seating was packed and the people in the surrounding areas were listening also. There were just two girls who came to talk with us more after the show, but I am certain that God was doing lots in everybody's hearts. I was able to talk with the two girls. One of them was not a Christian, and said that a month ago, she wouldn't have been open to thinking about God. She said that our show came at the perfect time, and she now was open to thinking about God. She is connected with Pilkku, a great lady who is the youth leader at one of the churches.

We had 2 more shows, which, at this moment, I don't have the time to be able to share about in detail... I went out for a meal of reindeer and mashed potatoes last night instead of working on this. Sorry. But it was very good. In short, the show in the far north in Rovaniemi was really good, at a great venue, and two guys responded and were incredibly serious about it. The third show was at a small small venue and was generally good.

Also, I experienced a true Finnish sauna that was very hot, and was interspersed by dunks in a very very cold lake. Perfect.


I know only a little about our time to come in Iceland. We're leaving today and will get there late tonight. Then, at 8 in the morning, we'll begin a 7 hour drive to the north then have a show. The next day drive again, have a show, the next day drive a little and have a show, and then we have a day or so to rest. So we're busy. Pray for endurance on this push.

Thanks for reading and praying along with us.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Wait, this was the Fourth Leg! Croatia to Finland

Hello All,

We had a wonderful time in Croatia, I'm happy to report!

The first wonderful thing is that I was able to see and spend some good time with my sister, Johanna. She came down from Vienna and she experienced the group herd mentality that one must accept while on tour, and handled it well for the few days she was with us. But it really was a blessing to spend time with her like that right in the middle of the tour.

We were also blessed by the amazing people who organized the tour and helped make it happen, as well as the blessing of having a great covering of prayer from people of many denominations praying together for about 8 months before NLM came.

The second wonderful thing is that we were able to complete one and a half shows! Yes, I'm being a little sarcastic because, of course, we would have liked to complete 2 full shows. But this time it was merely the weather that stopped us short during our first show. Even so, David was able to speak clearly about the meaning of our show to those who attended, as we hurriedly packed up in pouring rain, and many people were moved to kneel in the mud and pray for Jesus to come into their lives in a more powerful way or for the first time. It was quite dramatic!

During the day before our second show in one of Zagreb's center squares, I was feeling pretty lousy in the stomach. Most of our group got hit with some sort of stomach flu while in Turkey, and some of us are still struggling to fully get rid of it. Please be praying for our health. But that day, I wondered if I would have problems during the show. The stage was great and it had a tent top covering the stage, so even if it rained again, our electronic things wouldn't be in such danger. Fortunately, it was a sunny day. The setup went pretty well, and the band who played before us were really good and nice guys. While they were playing, we realized that nobody had remembered to buy kerosene for the fire. Greg had to run to a store with someone and was able to create a mixture of Alkohol and something that was useable for fire. But it was a stressful thing for him, and a general stress for our group has been communication and a sense of teamwork. Even though the job gets done in the end, I think that we are all mostly tired, and the road can be a difficult one. So be praying for that also. But the show actually was completed, went well and many people responded. Just the fact that we were allowed to complete a show was a blessing and a relief after Turkey, but it was also great to see that God used it to reach individual hearts.

Personally, one of the greatest things I saw happening in Croatia is the unity of the church beyond denominational boundaries. Each person involved sees the need to reach outside of their doors and they are actively seeking God on how to best do that in their own country. It's great! Also, I felt that God was able to use me to connect different people that I was meeting through their involvement with NLM. Their is a web of support for radical Christians that is getting stronger in Croatia. Some of those people are interested in partnering with Steiger to work effectively together in Croatia, and that's exciting to me. So please be praying for all of the Christians in Croatia.


I am very excited about Finland! We had a meeting today with our organizer, Michal, and got the scoop on the schedule. We also were given a look into the social realm of the finns by Laura, one of three super kind gals we have met so far who are helping us in different ways. Pray that we will know how to be sensitive and bold at the same time, that God will be speaking to their hearts and that people will feel comfortable stepping out in response to that call.

Here's the schedule:

13th - We drive to Tampre and in the evening we will have a meeting with youth leaders.
14th - We have a concert in Tampre after a skate competition and two bands. Should be great.
15th - 7 hr drive north to Rovaniemi
16th - We will have a concert in the evening, but in the morning, David and Jodi will be lecturing at a big Christian conference.
17th - A 1000km drive back to Helsinki
18th - We have a concert in Helsinki at Liberte Cafe, and then a conference with Christians.
20th - We leave for Iceland

Also in the itinerary is gender seperated sauna time! We're expecting to get 4 sauna times, actually. It's just what they do up here.

Thanks for reading, and I'm hoping that each of your summers are going well and you aren't feeling the joys of experienceing a perpetual sauna.


Monday, August 04, 2008

Fourth Leg of Heat and Hardships

Hello all!

I will attempt to sum up what has happened in Turkey in a brief way, but there have been things that I have not witnessed before, and things that members of the TACO team (the creative outreach team that we have been working with here in Turkey) has seldom experienced in the way of opposition. That being said, there were also wonderful times where we were able to share with individuals about a life that is freed from pains of the past and about a father who is good.

Our tour was a hectic arrangement for the organizer, Kati who is from Finland, to put together, as plan A and B had both fallen through with crazy circumstances and there was no tour set up a week before our arrival. But through a great guy named Safak, we were able to arrange four consecutive shows in south eastern Turkey, around the major city of Diyarbakir, where he had grown up. We were based in Diyarbakir, had two shows arranged in that city, one show in a town called Silvan, and another in a town called Batman. Of course we were all pretty excited about Batman for obvious reasons, being the super hero.

We met with a pastor of one of the two Christian churches in Diyarbakir who came to faith through Dave Wilson's efforts, the founder of TACO, and the pastor talked to us about the history of the area and his church, which was described as a "thriving" Turkish church at 60 members. This area of Turkey, which is nearly completely Kurdish, has been scarred the deadly radical Islamist Turkish actions that took place during the 1990's against the Kurdish people, and is the home of the PKK, a Kurdish political party, often seen as a "terrorist" group, which we found was not true as one Kurd explained that they are all part of the PKK, they are the PKK. Turkey is expecting a Kurdish revolution and is anticipating that it will come from this area. But, as we have learned, people are also anticipating the return of an era of radical Islam through political means.

Politics aside, this area is very hurt and is dark. We had our first concert in Diyarbakir. Not long after getting off of the bus, we were swarmed with very poor children who desperately wanted to sell us packages of tissues, but who were also very interested in finding out who these wierdos were. Through a few of these children, I saw how generally unaccepted Christianity is in this area. They saw the cross that Steve wears around his neck, made a cross sign with their fingers and then waved their hands to the air as to say that the cross shouldn't be there. Then one of them made Steve's cross flip under his shirt so that it was hidden. Steve put it back out again, and that was that, but it was a pretty big sign to me that this was hard ground.

During setup, we had such battles as having to wait for the city workers to finish their work on the exact spot where we needed to set up the stage, the hot hot sun, and an electrical outage just before sound check. Unfortunately, we learned a day later that that outage was not unintentional, and was arranged by the authorities to delay or stop us from doing our show.

Before our show started, though, the mayor presented NLM and Safak with flowers and plaques of appreciation. This possibly showed the split that is going on between the local and national governments. The mayor watched the whole show and particularly identified with the parts that spoke against fascism. The show went very well, the crowd of 99% young guys was crazy, and therefore it was deemed not safe for the women of our team to go talk to people after the show. It was a good decision. After the show, the sign that this was hard ground was confirmed by some of the guys shouting that "This city! Islam!"

I heard of some very good conversations that were had, and that some people gratefully received Bibles. Us girls packed down what we needed to and then left, but as we were leaving, some small stones came our way from the hands of some kids, and one of the stones hit Jodi on her head. She wasn't hurt, but we didn't expect this activity to be a foreshadow of the next day.

The next concert was in Silvan, which was about an hour's drive from Diyarbakir. The breeze coming in from the windows of the bus was like that of an open warm oven. It was actually cooler when the bus was stopped. When we arrived there, at about three, the sun was burning and the guys had to begin setting up the stage. Again there were many many children with nothing to do who were so excited to see us. After a while, the girls of our group were invited into the house of a woman and her family who lived right by where we were setting up. It was such a blessing, and they had air conditioning in one room! We were able to talk a little bit with them through one young guy who spoke English, and after one of the calls to prayer, there was one woman who was praying in the living room. Later on in evening, we were able to talk more through a relative of the house's who was visiting from Sweden, named Dilvie. She grew up in Sweden, but is Kurdish, and is still about high school aged. She was very sweet, and was very good at interperting, and through her I was able to encourage her cousin, Dilovan, in her starting to play violin. Later in the evening before the show, Dilovan gave me a very nice necklace that she got from Sweden and earrings in a pretty box. It was such a kind expression, and I wished I could give her something also.

We were invited to eat our lunch in the back yard of the house of a man who is one of the main leaders of Silvan. It was an area shaded by trees, and was nice for the guys who had been in the sun. David had a good discussion regarding Jesus with this man later that evening, and he really appreciated what David had to say to him, and that he was truthful. We knew a bit about this town but also learned more things, that it was actually somewhat dangerous, but we knew that God would protect us, and we saw that he did. It was very significant that we went there as a Christian group and were able to spend time with this guy.

Unfortunately, I have to cut the rest of this post short, (or maybe fortunately for the sake of length! :) ) I will go into detail later as to all that happened in Turkey. But I will say that the show in Silvan was canceled after we had set everything up, and were ready to do it, and that during the teardown, some of the police quietly encouraged the kids to throw stones at those who were tearing down and to call them infidels. I was safely inside the home that we were invited into earlier in the day, and we prayed for the family with the family, and also I was able to give them a gift by playing some things on my violin, one of them a worship song. It was a very good time, and at the same time, outside, it was more of a battle than we had experienced before.

After this night there were more conversations that were really great, and a visit to the church.


Now we are on to Croatia where I will get to see my wonderful sister, Johanna, who is coming down to visit from Austria. We have two shows there, and have been excited by the reports of how the Catholic and Protestant churches are working together.

We will have one show on the 8th outside of Zagreb, and one show on the 9th in Zagreb in the main city square, which is really exciting. We got permissions from the government, and don't expect that they will pull anything out from under us. Pray that these shows are solid in stone. Otherwise, we will be handing out flyers for our concerts and hopefully getting in some good conversations. This country is one that is also recovering from the effects of war, so also pray for everyone we meet.

Thanks so much for reading and praying!!
Pictures will be up soon.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Second Leg of Lebanon & Then....

Hello from Turkey after a great week ın Beırut, Lebanon, where the people are so wonderfully frıendly and the cıty ıs bıg!

(Please excuse the strange letter i. The englısh i ıs ın a dıfferent spot on the keyboard)

We had an array of experıences, trıals, successes and surprıses wıthın our 6 days. We had 3 planned concerts, one unplanned concert, and one canceled concert. So ın the end we played 3 concerts total, but one of the most ımportant thıngs that happened ın these days was a meetıng that was defınıtely set up by God.

On our fırst day ın the cıty, whıle gatherıng thıngs for the shows, a lady who was ın the Vırgın Records musıc store was ıntrıgued by one of our member's dreadlocks (fancy that)enough to come up and ınspect ıt, and through that funny encounter we came to know thıs lady, Myalın, and Joseph. They are dynamıte people who are ınvolved ın the arts and musıc scene ın Beırut, Mya beıng the contact person for the head of Vırgın Records and havıng many connectıons to the medıa. Part of our group spent tıme wıth them that day, explaıned our show to them fully, and ın no tıme we were famıly and they were offerıng to arrange a show at the Vırgın Records store the next day, a radıo ıntervıew and a TV ıntervıew. Davıd and a couple of members, as well as Myalın, went on the aır and promoted our show, and durıng the tv ıntervıew, were able to explaın the reasons behınd why we do the show. I should mentıon that ın Lebanon, every televısıon statıon has some polıtıcal tıes to thıs or that party, and thıs statıon has tıes wıth the Hezbollah. God can use everythıng!

Our first show was a last minute show that was set up by Myalin in the Virgin Records parking lot. The head of Virgin Records came with his daughter to watch the show, which we were all excited about. Since this was our first show there, it was very difficult to get the sound set up correctly, and an hour and a half after we were supposed to start, we decided to go ahead with the show even though the sound wasn't any good. The whole show was a sound struggle, but we were able to finish, and the head guy really enjoyed it and welcomed us back anytime.

Our second show was at a music club called Cherry's that's known in the area as a heavy metal club. It had been closed for about 2 months but opened for one night for our show, so this fact attracted a lot of the folks who came there regularly before. The were a great crowd. Our sound turned out to be much better, even though the setup was a bit of a battle. For this show and for the following show, we played with a Christian band called Tak-Ween and they are part of a church that is a good home for "rocker" type people. We had heard that many of the churches in the area don't allow for people who have peircings or tattoos to go to their church. The show went really well, there were good converssations with people before and afterwards, and lots of encouragement for the Christians. I talked with a couple of people after the show who were Christians and they were encouraged by the show. When we got to talking about Turkey, they were really surprised about last year's results and that we are recieved well there. One of them was an Armenian who is openly "racist" against the Turks because of the genocides that happened. There is so much war in this part of the world and in the history, that it is a sad and frustrating fact for those who inherit it. There is a word in Arabic that encomapasses most people's outlook towards all of the religious and political conflict that has become a slogan. That word is HALAS! which means ENOUGH!

Our third show was in front of a large Catholic church in part of a crazy traffic conundrum of a of 7 street intersection. Our fourth show was also to be at this location the next day. It was actually a miracle that we were able to play there for this first night because they agreed to move their church's mass to a different location, and the priest gave David and NLM his blessing. While we were setting up and getting close to the time we were to play, we recognized some of the people we saw at Cherry's, and again, we opened with the other band. Also the kids who were part of the youth group from the Catholic church there put on a drama that presented struggle and success against the blockades between a person and Jesus. This night the sound went pretty smoothly, and was good. At the end of the show there were good conversations, some supportive people and there were some upset people. There were a few people from the Catholic church that we played in front of who were very upset and confused, drawing some incorrect conclusions and generally in opposition to our show and us, even though there were so many people who were hearing about Jesus for the first time in a way they could relate to. When Luke was talking with a group of people who came to the show on the steps of the church, really explaining some good things, two of the guys made him and the group move from the steps and the courtyard because they were disrespecting the church, in their opinion. So that was all a bit frustrating, but all in all, good things happened.

For our fourth show, we could have used the easy sound setup and check as a gague to predict that the evening might be the opposite of easy. During the sound check, we just went down the line of musicians and Phil, who's doing sound, got nothing but thumbs up from us. We also saw ven more people from Cherry's and their friends waiting to see the show! As I passed by some of the members of the church in the courtyard, I sensed some definite disdain, as one lady backed away from me as though I had a sickness. 5 minutes before we were going to start the show, it became apparent that things weren't going to go as planned. Our organizer came backstage and had David come talk to some people who were upset. They were the few Christians who were upset the night before and they told David that if the show happened, there would be violence. We were not expecting it to get to that level, but when David heard that, he made the decision that we weren't going to do the show. Instead, he just began preaching from the stage, but they didn't like that either, and turned off his microphone. While David was out in the crowd we were praying backstage, and we heard that there was a secret policeman watching us, trying to figure out if we were satanists. The few Christians who were giving us trouble had begun saying that we were satanists, and in Lebanon, satanists are put in jail. We were told by our organizer to stay behind the stage, then that the guys should take off their makeup and dress in their street clothes, and then that maybe we should leave in the bus (which wasn't around) for 30 minutes and come back after people had left and after the security guys he had just called had arrived, and then just to stay on stage and pack down the set, but everybody had to be on stage so that no one could have discussions.

Arguments within the crowd started happening between people who wanted the show to happen, and those who didn't. Some of them even turned into brief fist fights. Seeing that the situation was not one that we wanted to be around for much longer we had our set torn down within 30 minutes total, said very quick goodbyes, and got a very brief report from Steph, an Austrailian lady who had lived in Beirut for 9 years and who had been helping us, that there were many many people who were very interested in going to the "rocker" type church. Also we heard that the members of the Christian band that we played with were really excited to do more evangelistic things in the city. Unfortunately we also heard that there were more fights after we left, but I don't think there were any major injuries.

So I have to post this before heading out.
But we are in Turkey right now, going to the south east expecting 100 farenheit weather.
This is the schedule
31 show in Diyarbakir
1 Silvan show
2 Diyarbakir show
3 Batman show

Love y'all and I'll be back on Monday in Istanbul

Sunday, July 20, 2008

First Leg of the Journey!


Hello All,


We have successfully completed the first leg of the journey in Poland! This means, in short, one show at the Slot Art Festival as well as supporting David's speaking at the festival, and a week of the Steiger Gathering which includes lots of intense and great discussion as well as prayer regarding all things Steiger. Also included in all of this is the joy of reconnecting and spending time with wonderful Polish and German friends I've made through the years, hearing of all the things God is doing and has done in their lives. And I've been able to spend time getting to know Kate and Bryce, Annadore and Johannes, and Melissa and David, whom I will be joining in Karlsruhe in October.

At the Slot festival, we saw around five thousand young people from Poland and surrounding countries come through the gates to camp and enjoy displays of arts, various workshops and 4 stages that presented a wide variety of bands. One new stage this year was a hard core stage which attracted many young people who would not have normally come to the Slot Fest. Every year, a team of prayer-focused people are assembled to make themselves available to the festival goers, and this year, they were happy to report that there were many testimonies of changed lives.

After one of David's speaking times under the big tree, I met Martin and Mary (not real names). Martin was not a Christian and had had a difficult life. He felt that he wanted to search out the truth for himself, and to really know that God was real, but didn't feel ready to commit himself to God. He was open for prayer and I was able to pray for him for peace and rest from burdens, and that God would reveal himself to Martin. Afterwards, he said that he felt a peace.

Our show during the festival was on the main stage on Saturday night in the prime spot for the night. The nights before I stayed to hear some of the bands that played during that spot. When I looked from the stage at the start of our show, our prayers were answered that many many people had stayed after the event prior to see our show, and the whole large courtyard was packed! Our preparations went well, though during the show, I felt very clumsy in remembering the things I was responsible to do. But in the end, everything went swimmingly.

Towards the end of the concert, while the coffin was being dragged to the front of the stage, my ears heard something that sounded like one of my instruments hitting the floor of the stage. Of course, and unfortunately, this had happened before, so I was only hoping for the best, that nothing serious had happened. When I came out to play violin during the reconciliation that happens between the character of Jesus, and the two characters in the show, I saw the strings of my violin loose, shining in a curved and unnatural way. The glue connecting the neck of my violin to its body had come apart and the two parts were separated in a way I had never seen before! It was a shocking sight, but I felt a peace, feeling that it was not an irreparable break.

We asked that all of those who wanted to know Jesus come with us to a large hall in the building adjacent to the main stage courtyard. The hall was filled to capacity (maybe 300) with those wanting to know more, and those available to pray with people. There I saw Martin and Mary waiting for prayer so I went to them along with Michael, our band manager, and was able to talk with him and with Mary about their individual journeys with God and was able to lead Martin in a prayer accepting Jesus into his life. It was wonderful to see that he was ready and willing to begin his walk with God.

Regarding my violin: During our last day at Slot I searched for a new violin online with a violinist from Wroclaw, but didn't find anything promising. I asked those at Slot who I suspected might have leads to more violinists (or unused/inexpensive violins) or a repair person for information. I followed leads, and ultimately the search ended with Irek, a musician. After discussing options, we decided to go with lo-fi repair with he as the repairman. So the next day he bought some epoxy glue, glued the pieces together and secured them with string. I waited about 48 hours, prayed for healing, removed the string and put the parts of the violin back in place. And it is completely fine! It's been assembled for about 4 days now, and I am so happy to be able to play it and know that I have an instrument still.

The Next Leg

Our next leg of the tour is Lebanon. We have only one show at an American Lebanese University in which we are not allowed to preach and have only 40 minutes to do our show. We will have to tailor the show to fit within that timeframe, and we have to decide, after discussing with the organizer, which part of the show to do. If the show is well received, we may have the chance to do another concert, and we may have the chance to do an outdoor show on a mobile stage by the beach. But we need to have wisdom in what to do.

So as far as I know, that's all we know.
We will leave for Berlin on Monday morning, and then will leave for Lebanon on Tuesday morning.

When we were praying about Lebanon, this picture came up in one of the guy's minds. There is a very thin melon plant vine that has blossoms on it. From these blossoms will come melons that, when they are left will leave many seeds for new melon plants. We are thinking that this represents what God wants to do with those individuals or those church bodies that are there. He wants for them to be multiplied after bearing fruit.

Please be praying for our time in Lebanon:
For this one show to go really well
For us to play more shows!
For safety
and for what God wants to do in Lebanon

Thanks for reading, and I'll be sure to post another update as soon as I can after our time in Lebanon!


Wednesday, July 09, 2008

In Germany To Poland

I am typing from a terrible keyboard in the Berlin airport, so please excuse the mistakes. We made it! And we will be heading to Slot Fest in a couple of hours by van. The festival runs from the 9th to the 13th and close to 6 or 7 thousand people will come for the music and workshops offered there. We will be playing on the main stage on the night of the 12th and wil be hoping to meet al sorts of people during the day and after David speaks under the big tree most days. After Slot, 15 to 17, we will go to the Steiger gathering to meet and pray with folks who are working ith or are leading different parts of Steiger arund the world. After that we will have som time to prepare for the rest of the tour and will drive to Berlin on the 21st to leave for Lebanon on the 22nd. I will write again as soon as I can after the time in Poland. Sorry to be so brief, but my muscles are getting tired from pushing these buttons! Pray for our time at slot. Much Love!