Tuesday, March 17, 2009
I was in the middle of a week of meetings with church leaders and pastors in Hong Kong. I checked email that afternoon and received a message from Andy asking if I would consider leading worship for the winter youth retreat. 'Winter Camp' was less than 2 weeks away! Yikes! The worship leader who was slated for the event was called away to a family emergency - songs were already selected, the band was rehearsed and my head was totally light years away from thinking Youth Retreat!
It's exactly what God had planned for me since the beginning...through the miracle and speed of technology, I was able to review songs from earlier university gigs we did in Beijing, send the chord charts & mp3's to my friend Don McCaleb. He posted them on the youth winter camp web site for the band to download, practice and 2 days before camp - I was sitting on a stool on the stage of Woodmen Valley Chapel, leading a rehearsal. Two days later (and in the middle of jet lag) I was leading 350 students in worship with a very competent and focused band around me.
The Spirit of God was like a fresh wind that blew through that place as students worshiped with abandon! There's something about youth that is 'free' in their worship, no inhibitions, no pretense - just simply "child-like". (Matthew 18:3) It was a refreshing 3 days hanging out with students, hearing their stories of renewal, commitment, brokenness and determination to live the life for Him! I am grateful to God for the opportunity. Honestly, I was ill prepared, jet-lagged, didn't really want to do it, but the Father in his loving ways, always knows what's best for us even when we don't. Note to self: to obey is better than sacrifice.
Thursday, March 5, 2009
Read at Sunday Night Live in Beijing during the worship service. This poem was written by Francis Drake. He was England's most famous sailor and explorer, he sailed around the world in the ship - 'The Golden Hind' in 1580 and led the outnumbered British Navy to defeat the Spanish Armada in 1588.
This prayer was found in his ship's diary, written on the eve of one of his great adventures:
Disturb us, Lord, when we are too well pleased with ourselves,
When our dreams have come true
Because we dreamed too little,
Because we sailed too close to the shore.
Disturb us, Lord, when
With the abundance of things we possess
We have lost our thirst
For the waters of life;
Having fallen in love with life,
We have ceased to dream of eternity
And in our efforts to build a new earth,
We have allowed our vision
Of the new Heaven to dim.
Disturb us, Lord, to dare more boldly,
To venture on wilder seas
Where storm will show Your mastery;
Where losing sight of land,
We shall find the stars.
We ask You to push back
The horizons of our hopes;
And to push us in the future
In strength, courage, hope, and love.
This we ask in the name of our Captain, who is Jesus Christ.
After a week in Beijing, the Tedders made their way to Hong Kong for meetings and worship leading with some good friends. On Friday night, Mark Tedder and Jeff Caylor lead an evening of prayer at Island ECC. The evening had a focus on praying for mainland China and Mark was able to share some songs from The Door. Jeff Caylor, originally from Colorado and an artist on The Door, is now the worship leader at Island ECC on Hong Kong Island. The Tedders and Jeff were able to explore Hong Kong together in their free time. Above is a picture taken on one of their adventures.
On Saturday, Mark and Carrie taught a worship workshop at Island ECC. Worshiplanet, the non-profit they spearhead, is a worship-equipping and training ministry.
Sunday morning, the Tedders lead worship at The Vine on Hong Kong Island. They ended the weekend with an afternoon service at The Vine, where Tom Read leads worship. Overall, the week in Hong Kong was a time of reconnecting with Asia-based friends and an opportunity to encourage the Church in Hong Kong with worship from the mainland.