Well, I see I’m well overdue for one of these. Sorry for my slackness for those who have felt uninformed. Time really seems to be moving along at an ever quickening pace.
So I’ll do a little recap of 2015, a very remarkable year. I am recording now on average a new album at least once a year…so in the early part of the year I was able to get another project done, an album entitled ‘High Tide’ scheduled for a 2017 release. (I have another one to release before it.)
Then in April I set out for Indonesia, and spent a very active 3 weeks there ministering at churches, high schools, and universities. That was a wonderful experience and I witnessed (especially in the latter venues) some with a great openness and hunger to really know Jesus. I really love the people there and stayed with a couple great families who made my time there extra special.
In early May, I hooked up again with my good friend Frans in Kota Kinabalu (west Malaysia, Borneo) and we embarked on the next 2 month adventure from there, and going on to Cambodia, Philippines, Nepal and India. And an adventure it was. Except for Nepal and India, it was basically familiar territory for us, but so rich as far as ministry and connecting with the many dear friends there, some old and some new. I can say for a certainty my heart was so enriched by these people and experiences, and we just love seeing God touch people.
Some of you may remember the devastating earthquake that happened in Nepal last year…this was about a month before we were scheduled to arrive in Kathmandu, and we very much doubted if our flights would still be operating. We were delightfully surprised to find that they were. Of course people there were still reeling from the damage, loss and heartbreak…and constant aftershocks. But we found such a resilient spirit in the capital city of Kathmandu. Over 7000 lives were lost in the quake, many hundreds in the city, but somehow, life was carrying on almost in some form of normal. Streets were chalk full of merchants and shoppers, folks just trying to get on with their lives. We very much enjoyed our short week in the capital, helped out by Sonny, who was our great host, but then we traversed by bus thru mountains and plains to the far southeast of the country, to the city of Birtamod and had an awesome week there ministering at a worship school with a group of new friends, who joined us (and actually invited us here) from Kalimpong, West Bengal, in India. We thoroughly loved meeting this group and we left Nepal together with them for our final 3 weeks in Kalimpong.
Kalimpong is situated very high up in the foothills (we would call them mountains) of the Himilayas, and though we were often in the clouds and mist during our time here, still there were times and moments where we were treated to the most stunning panoramic vistas…just breathtaking. It was also the start of the monsoon season, and though cool enough, the condensation was a constant struggle, with our clothes and all our possessions getting damper by the day, to the point, we were never putting on dry clothes and in fact I feared my precious Bible, 30 yrs. old and full of notes and markings, was going to be ruined by the damp…(very thankful it was salvaged, but a few more days and I’m not so sure). We left with some great sadness and concern as the night before we left, after a great all night storm and heavy rain, many mudslides occurred wreaking havoc in the area, and dozens of lives were lost. We were thankful not to be among them, as one big boulder and part of the mountain came down very close to our house destroying several homes and burying 20 goats next door. I actually was the last one up that night, felt the ground shake from the great boulder tumbling down the mountain, and thought it was an earthquake. We only learned early the next a.m. what had actually happened. Because of this, we decided we needed to leave that a.m. (a day early) to try an ensure we could actually get out while roads were open. It was still difficult to find a ride out and the journey was somewhat precarious and took 6 hours as opposed the normal 2.
We concluded our time in India, with 3 days in Calcutta, which were memorable as well. I haven’t time here to elaborate. So it was at this time, Frans headed back home to New Zealand and I returned for 3 more weeks in Indonesia. What a wild ride!
I got home again in time to enjoy a bit of the remaining summer, which was a rare treat. In mid September I did a 3 week tour to Saskatoon and area. I just love the folks there and my times ministering. I am very blessed by these good friendships, and again to see Jesus touch/heal hearts was so rewarding.
Well, this is getting lengthy, so I’ll end up here by saying I spent the rest of 2015 at home, beginning yet another CD project, which I am working on still now as we approach March. I’ll be off soon on another great adventure, this time down under.
Til next time…keep your eyes on Jesus. It seems ever more evident to me that we are living in the very last days…he’s coming soon!1