La Bella Vita!

Bella Vita

Life is beautiful!  Haven’t always thought so, but in my deepest self I know it’s true.   Just read a blog from our sweet Caitlin Ruff (18) who’s spending a year of her life in China to work with orphans.  She spoke of finding God in the journey of mundane life.  Last night we visited with friends to celebrate the life of our dear friend Nancy D. whom we lost to this world just months ago, it was her birthday earlier in the week.  We’re still in shock she’s gone, rejoice over where she is, and mourn for Mike as he’s facing every day without her.  Just returned from India with fresh images in my mind of kids with babies on their hips begging in filthy streets.  To the point of being pests they persist and tug on you, yet we know they are put up to it by others whom they report back with the money, who then decide who gets food based how much they’ve made.  Some are deformed and missing limbs simply because it makes them a better more convincing beggar.   
Hard to see the beauty in everything, some of life is just not beautiful to see.  Most of it is not grandiose or spectacular.  Yet it’s given to us to steward, experience, and enjoy.  What I marvel in today is that I’m at home with my wife and best friend and our k-9 kids; enjoying the sun, yard, house, and peace together.   It’s a gift every day and not one I take for granted.  I also think of our family back home that we see far too seldom.  Life is flying by, everyday they engage in it another day and we scarcely know about it as we’re so far away.  Though we know we’re where we need to be to do what God has put in our hearts to do, we miss them and realize we’re missing a lot of their daily lives.  Still, they’re a gift every day!
So today, I’m happy that I can say “La Bella Vita,” “The Beautiful Life” is  mine!   God is gracious to grant every breath and when they’re all done- to take us on an even more glorious adventurous journey!

Headed Home!

This tour has been quite the adventure and is almost over.  We begin the trek home tomorrow from Oman, via Dubai-Atlanta-Home!  We’ve met some wonderful people in India, Sri Lanka, Dubai, Oman and again realize how blessed we are to do what we get to do.  What we take for granted on many levels is out of the ? for so many in the world.  It sure opens the eyes to God’s view of the world He loves and how important a role we play as His hands and feet on Earth.   Thanks for all the prayers!

Chennai-Dubai-Sri Lanka-Shillong

Been quite a road the past few weeks.  Our full band finally arrived by the Dubai concert after much hassle and confusion with visas, etc.  It turned out to be one of the best concerts and events in general.  A King of one of the 7 Emirates States died the day we arrived and the gov’t cancelled most all events but for some reason let ours go on.  We had real favor there which is a miracle itself.  It’s is an unbelievable place, not like anywhere I’ve been.  They tout having the biggest and best of everything and I guess they do, lot’s of $$$.  We went up the worlds tallest bld. the Burj Kalifa, Tom Cruise was filming that day for Mission Impossible 4.  The chopper was flying around the bld filming, we later heard Tom was swinging on the outside of it doing his own stunts.

We went on from Dubai to Sri Lanka and had a warm welcome including some great Tea.  The people have only lived in freedom from war for one year now, this was a first of a kind worship event there.  Went out one night for some Sri Lankan Curry which they say is hotter than most-it was!-and very good.  After a few days there we began a 12 hour trek to Shillong India via 3 flights (all chaotic) and a 4 hour bus ride up into the mountains.  It was one of the hardest days of travel ever for all of us!

We’re in Shillong now still.  The first day we had seminars, concert the next and today was the first of 3 days off which we all are excited about.  Most have gotten sick, I have a bit of a cold now too.  Leann was unable to come to India with us due to visa problems so she couldn’t come.  Just found out she’s sick and went home today instead of joining us in Mumbai in a few days.   Shillong has a rich heritage of faith, 80% are Christians.  Though it’s India it’s really another country almost, with more chinese and mongolian influence than Indian.  We not all that far from Nepal, China, and Bangladesh.  It’s also a Hindu holiday so there have been non stop fireworks to sleep to.  They were going off during the entire concert also.  There must be no restrictions whatsoever because everyone everywhere were involved, a wonder the town’s not on fire.

I’m ready to be home, it’s been a long trip.  We go to Mumbai the 10th, back to Dubai the 14th-most will go straight home to the US then but a few of us will go to Oman for 2 more days then home.  I’ve a feeling Mumbai will be an unforgettable experience from all I hear.  22 million people there.

OK, I’m sippin a tea by a fire in my room nursing a cold-more news soon.

Some live footage!