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Maritime Tour 2012

Greetings all! This is Carolyn updating you from PEI… I’m typing this in a little breakfast nook overlooking a river on the east shore of PEI. It’s beautiful here – so different from last year’s tour when we enjoyed the remnants of a hurricane blowing up the coast!

Tomorrow we head down to Charlottetown for another Ode to the Broken performance and then onto St. John, NB. We’ve already seen God at work in people’s lives as we perform and we’re grateful to see the healing that He brings. Thank you for your continuing prayers!

And Week 2 Begins …

Hello again from the Philippines! Once again this is Rachel writing under Carolyn’s name … I’m not sure how to change the author on these posts :).

So first off, a correction from last time: mangoes do not grow on palm trees. They DO grow, copiously, on the big tree which is behind our new accommodations. We were moved a few days ago to a small cottage with air conditioning, so we now feel like we’re living in the lap of luxury. I’m not sure what is growing from the palm tree I mentioned earlier, although I know there are trees on the property growing coconuts, papayas, really delicious little bananas, and several other fruits we can’t identify.

We finished up our first week of teaching on Friday, then rested all day Saturday before going to another town to perform in a small church. The church is being built in increments, so the sanctuary is currently a concrete room with large open spaces where windows will eventually go. For now, the spaces are lined with bamboo. They let in a really gorgeous breeze, which was great since the church does not yet have fans! Carolyn danced Ode to the Broken while feeling somewhat under the weather–thanks to all those who prayed for us!

This week Carolyn is recovering, and Mercy is feeling a little unwell in her turn–I am counting on my constitution of iron to uphold me :). We are teaching Monday-Friday, and on Sunday the kids will present the dances they’ve learned and we’ll perform something as well–possibly Ode to the Broken; possibly something shorter.

Please pray for our remaining time with the kids here, that they will see the Lord in us and be encouraged to follow Him with all their hearts. We have a devotional time with each class; if you would especially pray for that, we would really appreciate it.

Rachel

for the SDG team abroad!

Hello from the Philippines!

Hello friends! As I write this post, it is nearly three in the morning … your time, that is. (Unless you’re one of our few readers who doesn’t function on Eastern time.) We’re exactly twelve hours ahead of you in the province of Luguna, not far from Manila, in the Philippines. We’re sharing an apartment with several lizards and learning to deal with rather extreme heat. We have a beautiful view of a sleeping volcano from the balcony, a palm tree laden with mangos not far from our roof, and rice fields all around.

We’re staying at the Institute for Foundational Learning, more commonly called IFL, a difficult-to-describe ministry that is a school, a church, a missions base, an aid center, and a home for children in need. We’re spending every day mostly with the children, teaching dance for three hours, plus doing devotions, and spending a lot of time just building relationship with them. They LOVE the dance classes and are great students.

We’ll be teaching for two more days, then performing on Sunday (we think–our schedule is subject to alteration), then teaching for another week. We’re having a wonderful time and are grateful for your prayers.

Ode to the Broken preview video

We are back in the studio and on to the next tour! Here’s a preview of what’s coming up for February (North Carolina, US) and Ontario (March-April). We’re still taking bookings so get in touch!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U2IEOiY9P98

Ode to the Broken is a groundbreaking combination of personal testimony and soul-stirring artistry. Soli Deo Gloria Ballet welcomes Mercy Hope as the speaker for this production. Mercy speaks from her background of poverty and domestic abuse to the incredible healing power of God. The dance portion of the production features the dramatic choreography of Soli Deo Gloria Ballet’s Carolyn Currey, along with readings by Rachel Starr Thomson. Ode to the Broken is a truly life-changing production that delves deep into brokenness and, especially, the healing that is found in the love of God. This production is uniquely suited for community outreach, ladies events, and parachurch ministry of various kinds.

Back for a new year!

It’s January and we’re back in the Soli office and studio! With last fall’s injury healing well, we’re anticipating a busy year of performing and touring. Here are a few things we have coming up…

  • “Ode to the Broken” Tour. This February, we are teaming up with inspirational speaker Mercy Hope to explore the themes of human brokenness and redemption. We’re expecting “Ode” to be one of our most powerful ministry tours. The production will be touring Ontario and the southern U.S. during the Lent season, February-March. We are currently taking bookings and finishing choreography. Please keep this tour covered in your prayers–for impact, safety for the performers, and smooth logistics for performing in the U.S.
  • Summer Camp! Yes, we know, it’s not nearly summer yet. But we are in the beginning stages of planning for this year’s SDG Arts Camp, including lining up speakers and workshop presenters and booking a beautiful new venue (if possible). The camp will be open to dancers of all levels from beginner to advanced, ages 9-18, and will run for the week of August 6. If you would like promo materials to give out at your church, homeschool group, school, etc., let us know!

Abide In My Love

This morning I read John 15:9-12

As the Father hath loved me, so have I loved you: continue ye in my love. If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept the Father’s commandments, and abide in his love . . . This is my commandment, That ye love one another, as I have loved you.

This isn’t works-based favour with God. It’s about living within a relationship instead of running away from it. The Prodigal Son didn’t lose his father’s love when he left home, but he certainly didn’t abide (dwell) in it. In the same way, if we want to dwell in Jesus’ love, living in close communion with Him and experiencing daily relationship with all its benefits, we need to keep His commandments.

What commandments, specifically? He pinpoints one: “Love one another, as I have loved you.” Elsewhere Jesus calls this commandment a “new commandment.” And it is, because it is not quite the old commandment from the law that we remember — “Love thy neighbour as thyself.” No, this is different. This is a call to love each other as, in the same way, with the same passion Jesus does.  Self-love is no longer our reference point; Jesus is.

In the very next verse He defines this kind of love in a way that leaves no room for watering down:

Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.

Jesus’ call to relationship goes two ways. He calls us to abiding relationship with Him by way of relationship with each other — and to relationship with each other by way of His love.

I think it’s also significant that the verse doesn’t say “a man lay down his life for his wife,” or his children, or his parents, his nation, his cause, his master or king. In all of those relationships there’s a sense of duty and obligation, and in some cases of instinctive devotion (like that of a mother for a child). A secret service agent may lay down his life for the president, but love isn’t necessarily the driving force. But friendship is completely voluntary. There is no obligation in it — it’s love we freely choose. To lay down one’s life for a friend shows real love. And that’s the love Jesus is calling us to live by.

You have a parcel!

We’re home and back to work! The office is buzzing with catching up from our tour and pulling together both Candle in the Window and Ode to the Broken (more about that last one later).

Yesterday a parcel was dropped off for us… the shipment of 2012 calendars has arrived!

We’ll have them at our table during the Christmas 2011 tour, but if you want to order one early (just in case they all sell out at the first venue…), you can stop at our Online Store and pick one up now. :)

 

 

We had a fabulous time shooting these pictures – some of them are from performances from this past year: (Easter – Ottawa tour), but most of them are by Deborah Thomson of Figgie Photography. Whether she’s photographing families or weddings or dancers or shoes, she always does a tremendous job. Check out her blog here - you’ll be in for a treat!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Heading Home

With the tour over, we’re back on the road and headed home! The Charlottetown venues went very well (pictures later this week, I hope), and tonight we’re in Quebec City again.

To all our hosts and new friends, thank you so much! We’ve loved getting to know you and hope to see you again soon!

To all our family, friends, and prayer warriors back home… we’re on our way! Can’t wait to see you!

Chief of Chiefs

One of the prayers we use in “A Celtic Prayer” is Scottish and very old, and it ends with the words:

God with me protecting
The Lord with me directing
Spirit with me strengthening
Forever and evermore
Ever and evermore
Amen
Chief of Chiefs
Amen

In New Minas, after we performed, an African gentleman came up to me and asked, “Why did you use the words ‘Chief of Chiefs’”?

I explained that in a Scottish context, it was another way of saying “Lord of Lords.” He told me that the words had brought a surge of joy to him when he heard them, because in Africa, God is also called “Chief of Chiefs.” For a few minutes when he heard those words, he felt like he was at home again.

To me, our brief conversation was a picture of God’s ideal for His church: one of unity in diversity. In Christ, all of the God-created diversity in our world is brought together in one faith, one truth, one Spirit. In a way, I think the coat Jacob gave to his favoured son Joseph–a coat of “many colours”–was a picture of the church.

And it is a beautiful thing to see :).