Here I am in Zilina, Slovakia. Sitting at a long table, drinking coffee. Two other people are in the room, its quiet. It’s Sunday. Today is our day off from Exit Tour and it seems just in time after a week of Exit in Zlin, Czech Republic and before that, a week of 9-5 rehearsal days. My allergies have been off the charts lately but it seems to follow a pattern of setting off only when im not busy. Maybe I should say that when I need to be doing something, its nice enough to give me a break. Its not nice though, really. It’s very frustrating, and yet its being nice as I’m writing this.
We left LAX the 3rd of October, miraculously getting our oversized, overstuffed bags through the size limits. I literally had to stomp my carry-on duffel bag into a metal cage to make it fit. Its not that I’m trying to take my whole life with me but really..I have my whole life with me, fit into a large suitcase, A duffel bag and a military backpack. We said goodbyes and before we knew it, we landed in Prague, Czech Republic greeted by our friends waiting for us! And then we went to Slovakia. Hilarious. Both times that I’ve come over here, we went to Krakow Poland after stopping in Chicago and Germany and then had to drive to Czech. This time we went from LAX to London and then straight to Prague! Then drove to Slovakia…
So we spent a week in Zilina, Slovakia rehearsing . Not much to say about that time but that we did Exit Tour in this city last year so it was a familiar place. We placed HQ at Kompas which is an organization that works with JV in Slovakia and is also where we currently are. When the time came, we packed up and moved to Zlin for the week.
Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday were school days, which means 530am wakeup, out the door by 605 and load in 3 tons of equipment to a school in record time before school starts. Hopefully we have enough time for breakfast! MC’s will introduce the Exit Tour and Dizmas will play 3 songs throughout the morning session. Half the school then leaves to go to lectures including one from Tomas Graummann, a holocaust survivor and one of the “Winton Children”. The rest stay with us in the gym and we play a game called “American Road Trip” where students break into four teams with an American in each and play games to break the ice. The games are a lot of fun and usually embarrassing in some way! Before that class is over, we spend 30 minutes with our teams having a discussion group where we can talk about anything including our testimony and the gospel. It’s a time to build relationships and open doors. After an hour and a half of “English Class” we then switch students and do another session! We close out the school day with another three songs, pack up, have lunch and then head back to HQ for an hour nap before afternoon activities. Friday was our concert and it was a blast! The venue was super rock’n’roll with old tour posters from Judas Priest and BB King.
The show went great, had a few slip-ups but that’s expected from a first show. It was Zachs birthday so we surprised him by singing Happy Birthday with the help of our friends from Fusion Choir. They helped us sing two of our last songs! We handed out 80 bibles that night and heard plenty of good feedback about the gospel that was shared during the set. We met a lot of the people again the next day at the after party where we could share stories and see pictures from the week and say our last goodbyes. We pulled out with the vans packed and made our grand exit when Jena, our Czech bassist stalled the van! We headed right around the corner to KFC to have dinner and then head to HQ in Slovakia. We did all of our laundry last night and its now hanging on hangers all over this place because it seems that NO ONE in Europe has machine dryers..
Tomorrow is a new day and we go to Nitra, Slovakia for city number two of Exit Tour! We are also privileged to share the stage Thursday night with our friend Noah Ellenwood who was one of the top contestants in Czech Superstar (American Idol) and also an American Missionary Kid to Josiah Ventures Vice President. I’ve had the joy of seeing him a couple years ago grow up (literally he got way taller!) to where he is now. I’m super excited to see him play and I’m also excited to play his last song of the night on drums with him for his new single, “People Like You”.
Well to wrap it up, I wish I could share every experience of this trip but then I would be writing 24/7. I am so blessed by my friends and family who are supporting me through much needed prayer and even finances. I’m learning to really count on God providing and not just saying He will. It takes much more to really believe it and have an ounce of faith that He will.
Luke 17:6 New King James Version (NKJV)