We arrived at Michael’s house at 5:35 this morning, in order to leave by 6am. After a brief review of the plan for the day and prayer, we were off for Rolla. I drove, Lisa rode shotgun, and Amanda (Pancake) and Lysette took their places in the back seat. For the most part, the ride down was pretty quiet, with the ladies spending a lot of the time asleep.
We stopped briefly at the Rechtien farm, then loaded back up and followed Pa Rechtien to the first church, Vineyard Christian Fellowship. The church was very welcoming and seamed very genuine in their happiness to have us there. Their praise band started the service with a song and then we shook hands with people. Their pastor introduced Pa Rechtien, who then briefly recapped what his experience and interaction with our group has been. He then promoted the Friday night performance of the "Isle of Dreams" and then we came up and sang “Listen to the Rain” and “Blood On My Hands”. The audience was very receptive and it was cool to see the large number of college age students who were there. It’s great to see dedicated Christian students attending service on Sunday morning. After singing our two songs, we left promptly for the next church.
Upon arriving at Victory Christian Center, we were led upstairs to the pastors’ conference room. We met several of the pastors and the head pastor spoke of his desires for his church and for our musical. We then prayed over the upcoming service and the performance on Friday. The service began with their Praise band and team leading several songs (about 20 minutes) and then the pastor, Mike Huff, spoke about his impending trip to Israel (he leaves Tuesday for the 9 day Holy Land trip), his vision for their church and his opinion of the musical. We then took the stage and performed for about an hour. We sang through quite a bit of the musical and everyone did a great job.
My performance was a bit different because I was dealing with a really dry throat. I had to take a couple of breaths in different places and I had to ad-lib some of the chorus the second time through. All in all, I felt like my song was good but not great. Afterwards Lisa said that she thought it was the best performance any of us had ever given and that it was the best she had ever heard us sound.
Of particular note in this performance was the impact of the dramatic acting we have recently added to certain songs. On Martha’s song (“If You Had Been Here”), you could see the audience’s physical/emotional attachment to her character. And when Jesus sang His response (“Show Me Where You Laid Him”), the audience was so eager for the end result that they were actually applauding before Lazarus had even been commanded to raise form the tomb. It was quite the thing to see from the stage, and the joy on the faces of the people was obvious and unforgettable.
After the service we headed to a restaraunt called Cookin' From Scratch, where we all had our fill of Fried chicken, mashed potatoes and other home-style meals. It was a good time of enjoying one another's company. The trip back to St. Louis was rather uneventful and we made it safely home by 5:15. It was another long, busy and great Sunday.
I’m constantly amazed that God uses our voices in the way that he does.
Friday will be exciting – I can’t wait to see how God moves in that theatre!