Well we’ve been in the wars again – sliced and stitched up hands and throat infections being the main injuries!
We had to cancel our service at Emseni – so disappointing – because on the Thursday I developed a throat infection and was in bed for days. No singing for me that weekend. But I truly believe that our rescheduled date – August 6th – is going to be powerful, and that perhaps God only meant for us to play then all along.
Then the Saturday after, a message came through on the band WhatsApp group. Kevin sliced his hand open and had to go for stitches. Nasty!
So we called an emergency band meeting. Do we cancel another service, or can we make another plan? We agreed that canceling wasn’t an option. So I isolated the drums from our recordings of the Rock of Ages album, and we set up the songs so we the three of us could play along with the drum tracks. Not ideal, but it worked.
And so we were off to Aldersgate Methodist with a PC instead of a drummer! Not nearly as fun I must say – no chirps and jokes coming from the back as we set up. We sent Kev this picture of us after setting up:
And he sent this one back:
But we were very glad that we could still come to Aldersgate and share our music. Dad and I met Jeanette for coffee last year to discuss it, and so it had been on the calendar for a good few months. We arrived nice and early to set up for the 8:00 service, and after getting everything up and ready, shared in a time of prayer before we began.
Both services were wonderful – as we’ve often found, Rock of Ages seemed to really “rock” some of the more stoic congregation members at the back! But by the time we had worked through our songs and told our stories, God had worked and their hearts had softened.
Somehow, this still worries me whenever we start off a service. I see some older people and think “oh no, they are going to leave during Rock of Ages!” But then God just does what He does, and I feel ashamed for doubting. This is what He does best – drawing people in, showing them love and grace, and softening their hearts so they can love Him.
We started something new too. Instead of the band guys sitting in the congregation while I do the Never Again talk (which they’ve heard a million times!) they went into a side room and prayed during the talk. This is very encouraging to me, to know that my brothers are praying as I share the Word.
The people sang along to the old “rocked up” hymns, clicked fingers with Sinner’s Blues, and by the time Come Unto Me and Never Again were playing there were tears flowing. I always think to myself, God must have appointed us to come here at this exact moment, so that these people could hear these songs. So often, the songs just touch someone at exactly the right moment. And that’s God, orchestrating like only He can.
We were very well looked after by Jeanette and the team – tea, biscuits, cakes and all sorts were laid out for us, and we felt so cared for. Thank you to all who were involved – this was a memorable morning for us, and we can’t wait to be back in August!
Usually when I phone a church to see if we can come play, there is, understandably, some hesitation on the side of the church. They have a look at the website, and phone some references and listen to the songs, and then make a decision.
But when I phoned David Payaniandi from Turning Point Ministries, I had hardly finished saying hello when he said “just tell us when!” And so we booked a date and it was done.
That date was 19 February. Off we went with our gear, our faith and no drummer! Sad, because Kevin lives in Springs, and we’d been talking about this service for a while. And Kevin, being the man he is, showed up anyway to watch from the sidelines, which must have been very difficult for him! What a guy.
Now Turning Point has a wonderful story. God took an old abandoned warehouse and turned it into a packed out church in 4 and half months. Looking through the “then-and-now” pictures David was showing us was quite a thing. God really is good!
And I love this church’s motto, or mission statement: “It all starts at the foot of the Cross”. Amen to that! That’s what our band is all about. About showing people that.
So we were excited to be there, and God worked in a big way. So many people came to us telling how the songs had touched them. One man who had lost his daughter a few months earlier was brought to tears in Come Unto Me. Another who had attempted suicide last year spoke of how God has brought him through dark times, and how he could relate to the songs. And many others just came to us to say that the songs moved them. Awesome stuff. God gets the glory.
Now, I’m not sure why this is happening, but we were terribly forgetful this month. Arriving at Aldersgate, we discovered that we’d forgotten to pack the cds. Somebody (no names mentioned) forgot…
Then at Turning Point, we arrived to find our batteries were nowhere to be found. We need those to run our in-ear monitors. What’s going on!?
And just when I started to get smug about these OTHER guys forgetting things, I arrived at a men’s breakfast to share songs from I Owe You Everything on Friday morning… and the power cable for my keyboard was mysteriously missing from my bag. Turned out I had to borrow a guitar! Humbling.
I just hope nobody forgets our plane tickets when we leave for the US in a few weeks!
We’ve only got one service before then: St Francis in the Forest on 5 March. I’ll be playing my solo album at a few churches between then and our trip.
Pray for us, would you, as we prepare for the trip. We are eager for God to use us as He sees fit. It’s all for Him.
God bless everyone.