So what of our last trip ……well this was an amazing trip with many connections with people of a similar heart, a time of real encouragement, lots of laughter and generous hospitality. Thanks to Mark Riley who put this trip together and was a great comrade in mischief!!!! www.markrileymusic.com
We started in the hills outside Vancouver, WA. Forward Edge International (FEI) is an organisation who sends out short term teams all over the world, helping local home grown projects. For the last 20 years they have helped with anything from building works to sending medical and dentistry units.
Their annual conference, (which we had been invited to help with the music and lead a workshop on music and cultural expression), was a wonderful time of like-minded people sharing their stories and experiences. We really connected with Joseph and Karin Anfuso, the founders of FEI and we are discussing working together in the future, possibly taking teams of artistic people to help practically and creatively.
Quote of the conference ….
“You can’t take a 100 ton truck of truth over a ten ton bridge of relationship.”
Check them out at www.forwardedge.org
Also during our time in Portland, Oregon and Vancouver, Washington we had concerts at a homeless project and a coffee house in downtown Portland, helped at a church service and a youth gathering.
We spent a wonderful evening with Jerry and Leslie Chapman hearing about their work on the American Indian reservations and playing his wonderfully unique, hand made native drums. a big thank you goes to our wonderful hosts for 10 days … Doug and Debi Parker a lovely, lovely couple …. who like a “spot of tea”!!!!
After this we flew down to Reno, Nevada where we spent the next few days driving in a “big truck” under the capable hands of Dave and Anne Clark. Heading down to San Diego we drove through incredible contrasts of mountain passes with over 20ft of snow, poppy covered green hills and arid desert. All this whist they were “wheeling and dealing in the truck office” and sharing stories, hopes and dreams.
In San Diego we spent a few days with the De Witts. A couple who have been working with street people in the city for the last 9 years, presenting church in a wonderfully “out of the box” fashion ….. 6 years of which every Saturday they put on a music event on the streets and then hand out food. This is the 2nd time we have been able to learn from these guys … what a privilege.
Our last day was spent with our good friends Robyn, Eliot and Vinnie (the dog but what a dog!!). We are discussing the possibility of a trip together to India later in the year …. please pray for this.