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Saturday, March 25, 2006

Stories from St. John, NB

We played in Saint John, New Brunswick last night and had a great time with the folks there. I'm the "trailer guy", which means I'm in the trailer coordinating the unloading when we arrive and the loading when we tear down... and we had a stellar load-out crew last night! Many thanks to you guys for all your help.

Here's my fun story from Friday night: we're traveling with a band called "The Silent" - they're from eastern Canada so we're in their "home and native land". Well, because we drove through the night after our Montreal show, we headed straight to the hotel for a quick shower before going to the venue to start loading in. One of the Silent guys (who will remain nameless) told us that the church was really close to the hotel - "just around the corner". So I thought, cool - I'll leave my suitcase here and come back to get changed into my "rockstar clothes" (i.e. put on a clean t-shirt and clean pants).

Well, as Murphy would have it, the "local" boy was loco - the church was a good 15 minutes away from the hotel, and most definitely NOT a straight shot (I believe St. John may be the most confusing city I've ever been in as far as getting from Point A to Point B!). So I had to find a ride back to the hotel after dinner to grab some clothes before the show started... and the only ride available was on the back of a BMW motorbike. Now remember, we're in Canada in March - there's still piles of snow where parking lots were cleared - most of it is gone from the roads and ground, but it is still quite chilly - especially to be riding around on a motorbike! But we did it - Chris and I - and had a great time too (although the helmet he had for me was quite tight - it squeezed my ears so tightly I had a hard time having a conversation with him!). I was definitely the envy of the crew when I got back. It got me thinking about buying a motorbike again - what better way to spend a Sunday afternoon (after a nap, of course!) than driving on back country roads with the love of your life squeezing you from behind enjoying the scenery and the company? And they're GREAT on gas... Hmm - maybe we'll try the moped first and see how things go...

Jeremy

Thursday, March 23, 2006

from the road in Quebec

I am typing this blog at a coffee shop in Montreal just down the street from our venue. And nobody around me is speaking english. I love that for some reason. I suppose I may not love it if nobody spoke english anywhere but it's nice to be in foreign environments once in a while. Plus with our trip to Morocco coming up I'm trying to relearn the French that I once learned in school. French is the second language there so at least we have one guy who will be able to communicate with them!

Tonight we are at a club here in Montreal with The Silent (great guys, great band) and Onlyforward. Another great band which is fronted by Marc's brother Dave. It's not the usual church gig which is nice for a change, however, the smokey room is not a nice change. I forgot about that part of the deal. Oh well.

All night drive to New Brunswick tonight. Yippee! I was hoping to recover from a sore throat. Guess that won't be happening.

Anyway, there's a quick update. We will check in with you later!!

Glenn

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

The Amazing Race

Today is another beautiful day here in Kansas City. Yesterday was also beautiful and nearly perfect. Then suddenly, without warning myself, my wife and several others were thrown into what I would like to describe as The Amazing Race. No we weren't on the cool T.V. show or anything but our day definitely took a turn for the surreal very quickly. Myself, Jess and Glenn had been having a great day with the morning off to relax and go for a good long run. We didn't have to be at the venue for our show that night until 5pm. It was about 30 minutes away so we had lots of free time which was great. It was also and incredibly beautiful day at about 70 degrees outside. The three of us decided to go down into the city so Glenn could get his computer fixed. we then would have just enough time to come back, pick the rest of the gang up and be on our way. We would get to the venue, load in, have supper and have a couple of hours to hang out with some friends. That was the plan until 3:30 rolled around. On the way into the city the van was making some strange noises but we figured it was nothing serious. We got into the city and walked around and Glenn got his computer taken care of. Everything was great and we were on time to get back to pick everyone up.

We got in the van and started to make our way up the road to leave. We got about a 1/4 mile from where we were and as we were going up the hill our transmission decided to commit suicide, leaving us in a very bad situation, with traffic behind us as we began slipping backwards. We managed with much effort to get the van parked on the side of the road and then the insanity began. We immediately called Jeremy and informed him we would not be picking them up and to get the ball rolling on how to get the van to the shop and our trailer to the show as well as the 7 of us. So after about 45 minutes and many phone calls the tow truck came to pick up the van. Glenn went with the van to the shop leaving me and jess behind to stay with the trailer.

The plan was for a guy named Chad to come pick the trailer up with his truck and tow it with us to the show and the rest of the guys would borrow a car to get there. So, after more than an hour of waiting on the side of the road with our trailer my bladder was in a bad way. After being denied at the only possible bathroom facility close by, I was forced to take drastic measures. I'm not ashamed to admit that for a very brief moment our trailier was transformed into an emergency bathroom or washroom for you canadians. After that emergency was taken care of, our new friend chad arrived with his truck. We got the trailer hooked up quickly and were on our way. At this point we would only be about 30 minutes late so not too bad. We were moving along just fine and enjoying a beautiful sunset until we noticed a huge cloud of white smoke pouring out the back of his new truck. We immediately pulled over on the side of the highway, got out and watched the transmission fluid pour out of his truck. So now our trailer has claimed the lives of 2 transmissions within two hours and we are still 20 minutes from where the show is.

But wait, the grace and providence of God is way bigger than any stupid transmissions. The craziest thing is the spot we broke down at just "happened" to be at the exact exit where his inlaws lived less than a mile from. Chad quickly called his father in law and found out that he had just pulled in the driveway and was free that evening to come help us out. They were there in less than 15 minutes, that's faster than AAA. He had a Chevy Envoy with a tow hitch that would do the trick. So once again we took the trailer off Chad's truck and put it on his father in laws envoy. Now quick visual here, our trailer is massive. It is 14 feet long and about 9 foot tall and it is now hooked to a chevy envoy, which although it is classified as an SUV it's pretty small. I was worried the whole time that our trailer was going to tear off the back bumper of this poor car and claim the life of a 3rd vehicle. Thankfully it held up rather well. At this point we are now about 2 and a half hours behind schedule from what we were planning. While we were changing the trailer on the side of the highway the car with Jeremy, Marc, Jason and Erin caught up with us and would follow us in the rest of the way. Glenn had already been picked up by one of the people who we had stayed with the night before and been brought to the venue. So, we took it nice and slow and limped the trailer on into Lawrence, KS and on to the KU campus where we were to lead worship for some college students. We arrived in one piece minus a van and truck. We frantically unloaded the trailer and got everything set up in record time thanks to some great volunteers.

By the time the show started no one would have known that any of this had even happened. The worship was great and we even had a few world vision kids get sponsored. If all of this craziness to get there was just so those kids would get sponsored, I think we all would say it was well worth it and we would do it again. The thing that was so cool to see was how awesome everyone was who stepped up to help us get there and to get back to KC which was a task as well. It really showed us how God's church really works and how great it is to be a part of it and be blessed by it. We sincerely thank everyone who helped us out then and in the past as well. So today we will finally be on our way back to Nashville, a day late and an expensive new transmission later. We will be enjoying a good weeklong break once we get home and then we hit the road pretty hard so check out the touring section to see if we will be coming near you. Please pray that we make it home ok today and continue to pray for safety on the road. We are very blessed despite these minor setbacks. It could have been a lot worse, we didn't have to cancel any shows and we really haven't been that inconvenienced. We all have positive attitudes still and thank God for what he's doing with this band and what he is about to do. Thanks for reading if you've made it this far. Stay tuned for more adventures from Downhere.

Dave