Well, you probably wonder where we disappeared to these past couple days. Our blog faltered because of the lack of available internet access while on the road and because the primary blogger got wiped out with a wicked head/chest cold with fever. The life on the road is tough and I spent any spare time lying in fetal position fighting the aches and chills of the disease. Great timing, eh? My goal is to not infect anyone else on the trip, but the likelihood of that is low! Pray for our health.
Anyway, we've made it through three concerts and a worship service in the past three days, each of them successful in their own way. Glencoe was special because it brought together some friends and family of Lans' past. The poingnant moment for Lans was meeting his godfather, Rev. Paul Rothfusz, who recently has been diagnosed with terminal cancer. Gary's hometown (Amboy) was extra special because we got to see the place for which White Church on the Hill was written. We had a great family gathering/meal before the concert. Doing a concert in a small, old church was a bit of challenge, but we perservered! Thank goodness for extension cords. Oh, and by the way, air conditioning in Minnesota is NOT a luxury! Uff-dah!!
The next morning (today), we conducted a special worship service in the hometown of Christie Pederson. Coming from a family of 13 kids, the pews were filled with excited and joyous Quam relatives, among others. We were clearly an anomaly for the congregation because, while they were grateful for our musical offerings, they seemed quite preoccupied with the new sounds emerging from the front of the sanctuary. We enjoyed a delicious meal with the congregation afterwards. It amazes me how contemporary Christian (Lutheran) music crosses so many generations these days. Our music touched congregants of all ages.
We finished the day playing a concert at the church of our beloved friends, Karen and Jeff Pahl in Rochester. It was preceded by a workshop (which Gary conducted so I could sleep off the virus - thanks, Gary!!) which was attended by respresentatives from several congregations in the area. Again, there is clearly a desire to learn how to do contemporary worship in Lutheran congregations.
The concert tonight was one of our best ever. My voice held out for most of it, and the rest of the band was spot on. Oh, there are always a few bobbles, but we're really getting this concert thing down. More importantly, we're getting the Lutherans inspired. Tonight, I even saw one person in the audience raising BOTH hands in celebration as we played our final song. Imagine that! Lutherans raising their hands in joy! I smiled and winked at him!
We have met so many new friends and rekindled old friendships on this trip, that it's hard to express it all. The grace of God runs deep through this area and it is reflected in the genuiness and love of the Lutherans of the Upper Midwest.
BTW, Karen and Jeff (and Victoria) all say, "Hi!" They're having a wonderful time in the frozen (yeah, right) north of Minnesota. Tomorrow, Shawano, WI - our longest site-to-site drive of the tour. Seven down, five to go!
Quote(s) of the Day(s): "Being on tour is a lot like life." (Karla, recognizing that the fun part goes so fast and the hard work lasts a long time.)
"May I spit?" (Kathy to Karla as they were sharing a sink for primping and brushing teeth before the Rochester concert.)
"I give up. It was a lot easier the first time. Beginner's luck, I guess." (Laura, after trying to back the trailer into position.)
Medical Status: Lans (head/chest cold from hell), Kathy (wrenched back muscle and knot on the head from Lans pulling the van door on her), Penny, countless scrapes, cuts and bruises on her hands and legs.