Friday, December 22, 2006

Bolivia in a nutshell...

As I sit here in my favorite chair in my parents’ living room, I am drawn to a slightly retrospective corner of my mind. I am starting to wonder if I have become a professional compartmentalizer (yes, I know I just made up a word), that is, I wonder if I have stored up too much experience in past year and a half without unpacking some of it. I am making an early resolution (New Year’s is only a week and a half away) to share more of my experiences with the people I love. And you are the people I love…so here goes.

Bolivia was/is one of the biggest growing experiences of my life. I did not realize it during the experience but God used the people there and the experiences we had to teach me so much. For example, one of my friends commented last night about the fact that I was not wearing a watch (a very atypical behavior for me). I said to him, “Yeah, I have come to realize that time is not nearly as important as the people that you spend it with.” That was definitely a lesson I learned in Bolivia. They take 2 hour lunch breaks so that they can spend that time with their friends and family! We enjoyed many a long lunch while we were in Bolivia.

I also learned that God is an astounding Creator. If you get the chance to see any of the pictures that any of the team members took, take note of the beauty surrounding that place. The mountains will take your breath away, literally (if you have never experienced life at two miles above sea level, you should really try it sometime).

I think for the first time in my life I caught a true glimpse of the enormity of the spiritual battle that goes on without our realization. There is a very real battle being fought around us each moment, but we can be confident because the Lord has claimed victory already.

I learned that there really are people out there who care about others more than themselves. And a bunch of them work for YFC Bolivia. People like Pedro, Andrea, Priscilla, Randy, Danny, Hannah, Omar, Henry, Sergio, David and so many others have touched my life in way that they may never truly understand until we see each other again someday. But I know that it was not just these people or that place that taught me all of the important lessons that I learned, but rather it was the Lord carefully crafting an experience to teach me everything He needed me to learn to prepare me for something He has planned for me. And THAT makes me feel warm and fuzzy. That kind of planning communicates a serious amount of care.

I would like to close with a word of thanks to all of our friends and family that support us through prayer and so much more. We could not do the work that the Lord would have us do, if you were not there supporting us each step of the way. So from the bottom of my heart, thank you.

May you be blessed by the Creator of the Universe, who came in the form of a baby to prove how much He cares.

Merriest of Christmases!


Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Phone call from Paul

I spoke with Paul this morning. The team is spending their last day in Cochabamba today and will head back to La Paz overnight tonight. Paul shared a few prayer requests and praises with me:

A piece of their sound gear that is supposed to regulate the power for the rest of the system has been damaged by an electrical surge. This means that the rest of their equipment will not be protected from such surges for the rest of the tour.

The girls have their voices back!! They had lost them for a bit, which was putting extra strain on Willie and Nathan.

Matteo Villareal, the 4-year old son of Bolivia YFC's national director Pedro, suffered a bit of an accident last night when his finger was slammed in a door. He actually lost the tip of his finger and is having surgery. Please pray for him, and for Pedro as Mrs. Villareal is out of the country right now.

Thanks for tuning in!

Monday, December 04, 2006

Brief note...

Hello all...

Just a quick note to let you all know that we are now in Cochabamba, in southern Bolivia. Our schedule has picked up substantially and we are doing 3 or 4 concerts a day, and sharing the Gospel with many. Please pray for our physical bodies as well as our spiritual lives as both are being stretched and grown!

God Bless

Thursday, November 30, 2006


Well first off let me just say thank you to all of you who have been praying for our time here in Bolivia. WE appreciate your prayers so much. Well things have been going so well here. We arrived in La Paz two weeks ago and did some ministry there. We did a lot of concerts in churches and I enjoyed them so much. We then left for Oruro, a city smaller than La Paz but it is such a wonderful city. I personally loved our time there. We did a lot of outdoor concerts, which I have come to really enjoy. But we also did a concert in an old theatre which was used for church services. I think so far it is one of my favorite concerts. The people were so responsive to the message. After the concert I couldn´t stop smiling, I just had so much fun and I think the rest of the team did too. We stayed in Oruro for a bit and then traveled to Llallagua. It is a very small mining town. We did three concerts there. All of them were outside and two of them were in the main square. The concerts went great... people would just gather around and listen as we played for almost two hours. It was very cold both nights we played there, but the people stayed and listened. Afterwards I got the chance to talk with several young girls. A lot of them were from broken families and some had no family. I tried to encourage them as best as I could with the Spanish that I knew. I just pray that God continues to work in their lives. Yesterday morning we left LLallagua and traveled 8 hours in a bus to arrive here in Cochabamba. IT is much bigger here and very touristy. Today we actually have a day off to rest. Tomorrow we have 4 concerts and I am very excited.

Well other than that my Spanish is very much improving. I was definatley not fluent when I arrived here but I knew a bit. But now I understand mostly what people say and I am able to get around quite well. I love the language and the people here. Bolivia has a unique beauty that is hard to explain in words. It is simple and just so beautiful in its own way. I am falling more and more in love with the people here and I just pray that God continues to work here. Again thank you all for you prayers it means so much :)Well everyone stay well... I can´t wait to share more stories with you all when we get back to the states. Que Dios te Bendiga!! (may God bless you)

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Checking in...

Hello to all!

Just wanted to write a quick note to let you all know that things are going well here in Bolivia. We have had a busy week. We left the capital city, La Paz, on Friday and headed to Oruro. We spent the weekend there and were very busy. We played in plazas, marketplaces, and churches. On Monday we headed up to one of the main mining towns in Bolivia. We will be leaving here on Wednesday for Cochabamba to spend over a week there doing a lot of concerts.

Expect much more detailed updates on the ministry we have been doing here once we return. Please continue to pray for us as we have a lot of work left to do here!

God Bless,

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Hola from Bolivia

Hola Everyone!!

I just wanted to write a quick note about how things are going down here.

We arrived on Friday and the YFC staff took us to our amazing apartment and then gave us the rest of the day off to rest and adjust to the altitude. Saturday we played two concerts at churches and Sunday we played in a community center. On Monday we played at one of the busiest plazas in La Paz. It was great!

I don´t have time to write a lot, but I just wanted to let everyone know that things are going well. We don´t have a lot of internet access so don´t worry if you don´t hear from us too much. The YFC is taking great care of us.

Please pray for our continued adjustment to the altitude!

God Bless,

Friday, November 17, 2006

Safe arrival

I just received an e-mail from Paul. The team arrived safely very early this morning and is resting up after about 24 hours of travel. Since La Paz (the capitol city of Bolivia) sits at about 12,000 feet in elevation, the team needs to rest well to overcome the altitude sickness that will add to the travel fatigue.

They'll start into a busy outreach schedule tomorrow (average of 1-3 concerts a day according to an e-mail from Willie.)

Check here for updates either from the team, or from us here at the office (it is likely that they will periodically be able to update, but probably not as often as in the states as they will be travelling to more remote parts of the country.)

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

The time has arrived...

The bags are packed (mostly), the equipment is ready to go and we will soon be departing for the Minneapolis/St. Paul airport. It seems hard to believe that we are done with fall tour, and now we are already starting our international tour. Thanks so much to all of those people who made our fall tour great!

Please pray for us as we start our month of ministry in Bolivia. We are excited and anxious and ready to get started with what the Lord has for us there. Please pray specifically for safety as we travel, friendly airport officials, and strength for the journey ahead. Please also pray that we would truly understand what it means to take on the nature of a servant.

God Bless.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

One week and counting...

Hello all!

We leave for Bolivia in a crazy is that?! Things out on the road are going swimmingly, we are in Waterloo, Indiana. We just played a chapel service this morning at Huntington University, and played at New Hope Christian Center last night.

We can't believe that our fall tour is nearly over! On Sunday night we will be returning to Willmar for a whirlwind week of preparations to go to Bolivia.

Please pray for us as we prepare our Spanish repetoire, and try to figure out how to pack our equipment for the flights!

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Fall Tour

Well I seriously cannot believe we are nearing the end of our Fall Tour. It has gone by so quickly and yet it has felt like forever (weird how that works). We just got back today from a week in Canada. It was amazing. I personally had such a great time there. Big shoutouts to Michelle, Jimmy, Eliot, Cindy, and Gable. It was so awesome hanging out with more CTI people. Our team has had some great times with ERS games, "24" nights, 5 Pin Bowling, and Lazer Tag. It was so much fun. But I also personally felt like our ministry was so effective there. I guess I just felt like we were really usable there. I was also very humbled in Canada. I rememeber this one host home that was just amazing. They were so giving to Ruth and I and to our ministry. They just gave and gave of themselves so that we would be comfortable. They also did so much for their church. They seriously taught me so much. I feel as I look back on the last 7 weeks that I've grown and learned so much. I hope that people can see even a small difference in me because I can feel a huge difference in just the way I look at an event we are playing at or at opportunities around me. What we learned in training about how we are missionaries first and musicians second really rings so true to me now. I really didn't think too much about it in training and now I realize how much that mentality needs to be my outlook on this ministry. It isn't always easy to do but it is something that I have really asked God to help me with. I seriously have loved everyday of this tour. I mean there have been difficult days and tiring days but at the end of a day I just get so happy knowing that I get to do this for a year. :)

I am so excited as I think about Bolivia. We have been learning our Spanish music and I love it so much. I can't wait to get involved with the people there. :)

So thanks to all who have been praying for us, we greatly appreciate it.

God Bless!!!

Team 14:22 hope you guys are doing awesome... miss you all!!

Monday, November 06, 2006

G'day y'all! Well here we are nearing the end of our time in Canada. This week has gone by so fast - it's hard to believe that we'll be going back to the US tomorrow! We've had a wonderful time here. A huge shoutout goes to Jimmy who has looked after us tremendously and has been a huge fan at each concert! It's also been great to meet Cindy, Michelle, and Elliot who are also past CTIers. We've all been so blessed by you guys! Thanks so much!

I have to admit that I've felt more at home in Canada...I mean, they use the metric system like us Aussies do! So for once when they say it's 3 degrees I know exactly what they mean! It's been a great experience as I've never been to Canada was the first time for all of us actually except for Luke and Nathan. Last Sunday Jimmy took us all to see the Niagra Falls which were absolutely beautiful. I've never seen anything like it! God's creation is so amazing.

We've had concerts most days and they have been a blast. The audiences have been awesome and we've seen God move in people's lives which has been a huge blessing and encouragement for us. Please continue to keep us in your prayers as we have only one more week of this tour and then will be leaving for Bolivia. Bless you guys! Oh, and a big hi to 14:22 as well! Can't wait to see you next week!!

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Timmy's, milk in a bag, and other things...

Hello all. I am sitting in the library of Redeemer University in Ancaster, Ontario (This school is where Michelle Kikkert, who was on my team to Singapore this past summer, is studying). We played a concert here last night. A big shout-out to Michelle and everyone else that came. Thanks for everything.

Another HUGE shout-out goes to our amazing host the last few days Mr. Jimmy Rintjema (FT 05-06). There are no words to describe how much he has blessed us the last few days. Whether it be sushi, Niagara Falls, or Tim Horton's there are few other words to describe Jimmy other than "baller" (If you don't know what that means just ask a full-time some time. Don't worry though, it's a good thing).

We're off to Belleville today, but know that we are having a great time here in Canada!

God Bless.

Saturday, October 28, 2006

Maple Leaf Land here we come!

Just a quick note to let everyone know that in a few short hours we will be entering the great country of Canada! So the next time you hear from us it will from across the border!

Thanks and God Bless.

Friday, October 27, 2006


I'm not sure why, but all of a sudden I had 26 comments to moderate- some a week or more old. So there are some new comments on some old posts for everyone's reading pleasure.

Saturday, October 21, 2006

For all those who haven't heard...

...We're going to Bolivia! You can check out the details of our trip to South America on CTI's website under the news section. We're pretty pumped and it's going to be here before we know it!

In other news team life has been going really well. We are in New York right now, at the home of my former full-time teammate, Beth Russell's family. It is so great to see her family again. We are also now joined on tour by the one and only Chris Reed, our manager. We can't tell you how excited we are about that.

We spent most of the last week in northern PA and southern NY working with YFC chapters there. We had a blast getting to experience life working with YFC. It is great preparation for going overseas in a month. Big shout outs to Melody Crawford, Shaye, and everyone else at YFC. After a brief stop in Walden, NY at Freedom Road Bible Church, we made our way here to the Russell household. Last night we played a concert at a youth center in Middletown, and it was a blast.

Today we roll out for Rhode Island so watch out for more updates from the East Coast!

Wednesday, October 18, 2006


Okay so it has been a bit since I wrote a blog. I am going to go back to last week. Last week we were in Bristol Virginia or Tennesee depending on what side of the city you are on. We had several shows over the weekend. And then we had a couple of days to kind of relax. Rick Call ( our contact) said he was going to set up some special things for us to do. So Last Monday (9 days ago) we went on a 17 mile bike ride (it was all down hill). It was gorgeous. I have never done anything like that before. We were taken to the top of a hilll by this shuttle and then we rode all the way down. So that was awesome

Then Tuesday Rick again had something special for us. that morning he called us to the computer. He wanted to show us pictures of what we would be doing. It was pictures of Bristol Motor Speedway. A lot of you know that I am a huge NASCAR fan. So I seriously liked frieked out when I found out we would be going to the track and would be able to go onto the track!! So after breakfast we drove to the track. I was so excited in the van. We go to the track and started our tour. We drove the van onto the dragstrip which was awesome and then we went to the stock car track. The same track that Jeff Gordon and Jimmie Johnson had driven on. :) So we went up to this suite that overlooked the track. I got so many pictures. Then we went into the grandstands and I got even more pictures. Then we drove the van onto the actual Bristol Motor Speedway track!!! WE stopped at turn one and I sat on turn one for a while just taking it all in. Then I ran over to the finish line and got more pictures of me standing on the finish line and to top it all off we then raced the van around the track. Wow what an amazing feeling :) Oh and then we got to sing at the Speedway. That was awesome...So thanks to Rick because that was seriously just so much fun.

Anyways yeah so I hope everyone is doing well. Hi team 14:22!!! Hope you guys are awesome, miss you all!!

~ Julie

Saturday, October 14, 2006

I'm dreaming of a White October...

It snowed on us today. It was beautiful. Especially since none of it stuck on the ground. Just thought you all would like to know.

Monday, October 09, 2006

Whirlwind week...

It feels like it has been forever since we left Minnesota, but it has really only been just over two weeks. I think that is largely due to the fact that we have been so busy, especially lately. Since last Tuesday we have had at least one concert a day, and some days we even had two. It is so great to be used by God though! We would not want it any other way.

Here's a few highlights and lowlights of the past few days...

We got to help serve and perform at Evansville Rescue Mission, which is an organization that reaches out to the community of Evansville, Indiana with a message of hope, and a helping hand. We even got to be a surprise worship team at their chapel service prior to our concert.

From there we headed to Berea, Kentucky where the team began to get our first taste Southern hospitality. We played at the River of Life Foursquare Church and had a blast. We had awesome hosts and we really enjoyed ourselves.

Thursday on our drive to White Pine, Tennessee we had a flat tire on the van. No need to worry about anything though, we were very careful when changing the tire and the Lord provided for us in many ways through that experience. It also brought us closer together as a team.

Friday night found us rocking out acoustic style at a coffee shop in downtown Bristol, Tennessee. Our team loves coffee shops and acoustic sets, so it was a great fit.

Saturday night we met up with Rick Call who has been our host in the Abingdon, Virginia area since then, and we played at the Arise Center in Glade Spring, Virginia. The people there rocked! The guys got a chance to skate with some of them before and after the concert so that was really cool.

Sunday we peformed at Rick's church in the morning and then helped out at a youth rally in the afternoon. From there Rick took us to our luxurious accomodations at the Martha Washington Inn, which is essentially a five-star hotel. Needless to say we were living it up! Thanks again Rick!

Monday morning we gave a short concert at Graceland Academy and then changed into our riding clothes in preparation for our 17 mile bike ride down the Virginia Creeper Trail. This day was so full of memories it is hard to put them into words, but suffice it to say that we were truly blessed beyond our wildest imaginations!

Tomorrow holds more suprises from Rick and a concert at Emory and Henry College. Please pray for us as we are starting to feel the weariness that accompanies a busy tour schedule and we want to keep pressing on toward the prize!

Monday, October 02, 2006

here's my first one on this blog...

well it's been about two weeks since we left. everythings been doing well.
we've been a week on tour and are now in Marion Indiana at the Indiana Weslyan University.
we are going to be going to Tennessee or Kentucky tomorrow at 10am.
musically it's been going good. i miss home.
i'll try to update more asap.



Well I am sitting right now in Indiana Weslyan University. We have a table and we are attempting to recruit people :) Luke is playing the guitar and everyone else is just kind of chillin. It has been such an interesting week. We've been through many states and have had some fun concerts. I think everyone is mostly healthy right now which is just awesome. We will be here at the college for like another 3 hours and then we get to just hang out for the rest of the day. So yeah...

This past week has taught me so much on so many different levels. One thing that I guess I shouldn't be amazed at and yet I am all the time is how faithful God is to give you the strength you need for each day. Everyday teaches me something new and I am so excited to see God work in and through my life over the year.

Well I'd like to say hi to team 14:22!! Hope you guys are doing great :)

~ Julie

Saturday, September 30, 2006

Fun and Games

G'day people! Yes, well we are all having a blast here and as Paulie said we went through 4 states on Thursday. It was pretty exciting for me as an Aussie to go through Chicago :) These last 2 days we've been in Michigan in Luke's home town. We had such a fun time playing at his church last night and meeting his family and friends. Today we are on our way to Ohio!

The weather is SO cold...I reckon it's gonna snow, but my teammates are telling me that it won't happen for another month yet...:( I reckon if it has to be this cold it may as well snow but apparently it has to be a LOT colder before it snow...oh dear...

Oh now, before I forget, on Monday night the guys on our team took Julie and me snipe hunting...we'd never been before you see. It!!!! I nearly caught one....;) Well, now we want to take team 14:22 snipe hunting...maybe we'll do that during winter partnership hey guys?!

Thanks so much for all your prayers and support. Tour is going amazingly well and God has been so good and faithful. We are all getting closer as a team and love spending time together. God is amazing and it's awesome having you all on this journey with us!

Friday, September 29, 2006

Four states in one day...

On Thursday we covered four states in one day...quite an impressive feat for not being on the east coast. We were delighted to introduce several members of the team to the windy city of Chicago and its beautiful skyline.

Perhaps I should backtrack slightly. On Tuesday we drove up to West Salem, Wisconsin and set up for our early morning chapel services on Wednesday. We then headed to our host home for the evening where we blessed to enjoy quite a few amenities (including, but not restricted to, a hot tub with an input jack for an iPod).

Wednesday was quite a busy day for us. We played two high school chapel services in the morning and then drove 3 hours to Fon du Lac, where we played a youth concert. Needless to say, we were quite tired when we reached our host homes. Thursday we drove to Grand Rapids, Michigan to the home of our sound tech, Luke and that is where we are currently. We played a concert tonight (Friday) and it was a blast! Tomorrow we head for Ohio and cross yet another state off the list.

Thanks so much for all of the prayers and support, you have no idea how much they mean to us!

God Bless!

And Now A Word From Our Sponsors

Okay Paul, take it away...

Monday, September 25, 2006

Simply amazing...

...two words to describe how we are feeling right now. We have completed our first weekend on the road and are enjoying our day off in Prairie du Chien, Wisconsin. We spent the weekend at St. Paul's Lutheran church in Red Wing, Minnesota, and the people there were great!

We are enjoying the time that we have had to get to know one another and are still learning more and more about each other every day. I don't think that the entirety of being on the road has fully hit me yet, but I am looking forward to the times ahead, and the transition will be eased by the amazing people on my team and the amazing people we will meet as we travel.

Thanks for your prayers and support and check back often for updates.

Saturday, September 23, 2006

I Fall Asleep With My Friends Around Me...

It's currently about one o'clock in the morning on Saturday, September 23, 2006. I, Nathan Walker, am about to set out on my second fall tour at 7:00 later this morning. I'm setting my alarm for six so I can pack. The procrastinator in me takes over when it's time to leave.

Having "done this all before" I can honestly say I'm both excited and scared about this tour. Not because we suck (we don't suck, you should come see us) but because I *haven't* "done this all before". Each tour is different, even if the faces are the same. Each team is different, even if personalities are the same. Each year is different -- I'm convinced that *my* life is 1% what happens to me and 99% what I choose to make of it. I'm choosing to make this year a good one.

So come out and see us. Check out our tour and drive an hour (or 15, eh Jess/Wes?) to see what we're doing this year. If you're reading this, I want to meet you. Sorry in advance if I'm shy -- I'm working on that. Sorry also if I'm loud -- I'm working on that.

Hi Moms!

~Nathan Walker

Monday, September 18, 2006

Did we really just see that?

A twister...a real life twister. Yup, we sure did. Now for me it was nothing too out of the ordinary (being that I live right in the middle of Tornado Alley) but for many members of my team is quite the new experience. So here's the scene:

We're driving up I-29 just north of Sioux Falls, SD and there to our left appears a pretty unique cloud formation known as a funnel cloud. At this point, I looked away from the formation, having seen them before and realizng that it was some distance away. But, I soon heard from my teammates that it definitely touched the ground and threw up quite a cloud of debris. Needless to say, it was quite exciting.

Parents and family, there is no need to worry. The storm was nowhere near our van and we made it safely to the church shortly after that and were prepared to take shelter if need be.
It was a great highlight to our first weekend on the road.

Thanks to all those who came out to our workshop on Saturday and the worship service on Sunday. They were both great experiences.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Training Continues

Wow.. I can't believe that tomorrow we'll have been here for 4 weeks!! Training has been going really well. I am getting so excited for this upcoming year. We led our first worship service last Sunday and it was so much fun. It was exciting to get rid of music sheets and just enjoy playing music together with the focus on God. I feel nervous and excited as I think about touring. I love my team though and I am excited to continue to get to know them better. Wow and I just realized that said the word excited a lot in this blog so far :) But I really am so yeah... keep checking back for updates from the teams. This year is going to be awesome!

~ Julie

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Training, training...

Training is in full swing now. For me it's been an interesting transition from FT last year to Summer Team Round 2 this year, to FT this year. I have also had to miss a decent amount of training due to extenuating circumstances, but I finally am getting into the training lifestyle and it is great.

Teams are set and our fall tours are mostly booked, so check back for updates on our exciting times as team 14:21. We get to go to Canada!

In America with!

G'day all! Wow, what a busy but wonderful time we are having...right now we are in the middle of training and yes, they sure are keeping us busy and out of mischief :) If you've read Christian's post from team 14:22 you'll see that he mentioned they have their first booking this weekend. Our team also has its first booking this weekend at a church here in Willmar so we'd really appreciate your prayers as we prepare for that. Yes, there definetly are nerves there.

I hope you all enjoy reading our blogs and seeing what we're doing and what God is doing in and through us! It's tops having you on the journey with us :)

The Aussie,

Saturday, September 02, 2006


Welcome to CTI 14:21's one and only official blog! Members of the team will be posting their thoughts on their CTI experience here periodically.

And YOU, dear viewing public, are invited to respond! You can't post directly, but you can all comment on existing posts! Your comments are subject to moderation (that means I have to approve them before they go live) so keep them family friendly, OK?

Be sure to check out the team's bios, pictures and other posts on just click the "CTI Music Ministries" link to the right. Their tour schedule can be found there as well.

Happy commenting!
-Chris Reed
CTI Program Director / Blog moderator