This one’s for Jo.
I had dreams of keeping up with my blog on Cali tour, but sadly, it never happened. So now I’ll have to update you all on how it went.
This year’s tour was quite different from previous tours I’ve been on. For one thing, I was a dean, not a student this time. That makes the whole experience a bit different. Well, maybe a lot different.
But in general, it was great. In most ways, it was better than it ever has been before. Where should I start? First things first, many seasoned Cali-tourists say this was the most restful Cali tour ever. The schedule was quite relaxed, with time to stop for meals and play at rest stops and PLENTY of time to shop (most of us went FOUR times). We also had a whole day off! The plan was to do laundry, go to the beach and go mini golfing, but we were apprehended by rain and seagulls, which made for just a short beachside picnic lunch and a mad dash to the bus, and yes, SHOPPING instead of mini-golf (who would have guessed?). We had no concert that evening and also on the Friday before (which has never happened before I believe).
Speaking of picnic lunches. The food was AMAZING on this tour! We had four lovely alumni ladies as our cook crew, plus Mr. Roque. MMM MMM MMMMMMMM… For that picnic lunch we had amazing veggie burgers on big fluffy buns, 3 or 4 varieties of chips (the gourmet, Costco kind), a small bottle of Naked juice for everyone (that’s for Liss and Amie). Other meals consisted of sushi rolls (anywhere from 1-5 each—that’s a lot of sushi rolls for over 100 people!) with rice, flat noodles, carrot salad; the famous Roque Filipino meal with caldaretta, pansit, and fried rice; baked potatoes with every kind of topping you can imagine (mushrooms, vegan sour cream, vegan cheese sauce, green onions, bacon bits, chilli, ETC.). For supper on the bus from Sacramento, we had Roots 500 (a delicious mix of potatoes, carrots, and other goodness), fruit trifle, AND fruit salad (mangos and watermelon included). For breakfasts, we had really good cubed potatoes mixed with tofu scramble, Fountainvew-canned applesauce, and among other things, they tried a new delicacy on us: chia pudding. A whole lot of healthy energy packed into some slimy, white goo full of frogs’ eg—I mean, swelled chia seeds.
But we didn’t go on Cali tour to eat (though the eating was much fun). We went to share Christ. And this, I believe (and I agree with Scott), was most important “better” thing about this tour. Overall, the spiritual impact of this tour seemed to be greater. The more lenient schedule allowed for more time for personal devotions, which meant that students and staff alike had the opportunity to establish their connection with God in the morning, thus making our interactions with the people at the concerts more meaningful. It allowed the Spirit to work more through us in the performances. Scott also pointed out that he noticed that we treated each other better than in years past (he would know, because he drives the bus for a bunch of us teenage girls). Because the love of Jesus was affecting our interactions with one another, it made our impact on others that much stronger. We also integrated some “Friends of Fountainview” cards to go in the programs that were handed out, with options for people to ask for more information, for prayer, and for Bible studies. We realized that the impression made on people at the concert should be followed up with an opportunity for them to learn more, to really be pointed to Jesus. The students were encouraged to go into the audiences after concerts, to talk and pray with people, and collect the request cards.
God also blessed our fundraising for newer buses (ones that won’t break down at midnight in the middle of winter on a high mountain pass). We raised enough to cover the expenses of the trip and at least half a bus. (For more info go to: http://fountainview.ca/donate/)
I’m so glad this year’s tour went so well, and that God is still improving our music and program even though we keep graduating many of our leading musicians and singers. It’s only because of Him that we meet with success. All the glory goes to Him.