David had an amazing round the world tour after recovering from his May operation and infection.
David’s trip to Willow Creek with friends, for the Global Leadership Summit, was an amazing, inspiring experience. We received so much from hanging out as friends, our church hosts, the world class teaching on leadership, business, ministry, sport and China. There was the chance to see some of the operations of this amazing large church, the beauty of Chicago’s architecture, and across the lake in Southhaven, a taste of old style holiday America, where I was able to bodysurf on one rough day! A lake the size of an Ocean! Everything is so BIG in the USA! A real insight in to the pressures the nation is facing in identity, security, immigration, finance, the military etc
2. London, Finland and Singapore
Thanks for your prayers for and help to the family, staying home in NZ, as this was a total of a month away for David over these two trips.
Guitar – was broken on way to London! Guitarist in Finnish band Anders is a luthier, and did a great job of fixing it once I arrived in Finland
Travel – the flights went so well in terms of exit row leg room, sleep etc
Concert with Mike Burn hosting on the Sat night – was a great chance to connect with a number of friends from the South East, and enjoy working with a super young band. A lovely way to recognise all God has done over the last 9 years, and to share some of the new songs charting the way forward.
Many were on holiday then sadly, so we will need to visit again sometime. The Sunday morning church service with Mike was a powerful time, as a flood of worship was released.
FINLAND 23 Aug to 1 Sep
David helped to lead worship at the 3rd annual Urban Dream Mission in Helsinki.
There was further opportunity to promote the Finnish/English live worship CD ‘Urban Praise’ (of which we are really proud) and to work with ministry friends and the band who we have built such a special connection with over the last 2 years – I felt we went deeper again in God as a ministry team, with several key leaders expressing they felt this was the best mission so far, in terms of teamwork and ease of atmosphere.
There were many highlights
- Singing on the streets and a café – reviving the busker spirit and that cutting edge evangelistic feel, meeting street people etc
- Working with a major Finnish pop star there who is wrestling with her faith and life in a very public way, but made a strong city witness
- Leading worship for our Finnish publisher Paiva and staff there with Max (percussion and vocals) and Jarmo (flute) – something about the intimate acoustic approach with no mics etc!
- Church ministry on the Sunday
- 12 noon service with Tapani Suonto at One Way Mission
Again lovely intimate worship service, with Jarmo’s 17-year-old daughter Jemina joining us to sing – great to see many younger ones having the opportunity to learn about ministry from every angle
- Suhe service – the home church for most of the band
Time and time again God uses us there in fresh ways, this time particularly through the song ‘Stolen Years’ from Joel 2, which will feature on the new CD
SINGAPORE Thurs 2 to Mon 6 Sep
Fri 3 Sep
Meetings with Integrity Asia about the release of Devotion went well
Good discussions re the right plan to come together for publishing and distribution
We are so grateful for this new door, and the opportunities throughout the region
Sat 4 Sep Worship workshop
with Bethesda Cathedral worship team of around 60 – was a wonderful day of opening the word, sharing experiences of the challenges of the ministry, playing together and critiquing songs, techniques etc.
The Church is so strong in Singapore (probably 3 times as many of their similarly sized 4 million population go to church, compared to NZ!) – this is one of the mid-tier churches and has a 2000 plus seater auditorium, among other facilities. Singaporean Christians have a strong sense of mission, and being a gateway to the Chinese world. There is a new challenge to them I sense in the area of materialism, and also the influence of the casino culture, which is only new there.
Sun 5 Sep
Led morning worship at Barker Rd Methodist church – played with a couple who are considering coming to NZ as missionaries! Great response to our songs, with a real hush over the end of the service as I played ‘Who can separate us’ from Romans 8. CDs were lapped up and always the Chinese would like them signed, so neat chance to meet and talk to many. A real boost of confidence comes from the way they honour us.
Evening live radio concert with 107FM at 7pm
This is an Adventist ministry, the only Christian radio station broadcast into Singapore. The concert was a beauty, as I played solo, and sang with a crowd in a lovely theatre. Was a super way to finish up, with a strong sense of Jesus close to us.