Back from Central Asia…

Okay – I’ve been back a week or so and I’m finally adjusted to our time zone again, I think.

There was simply no way to connect wth the Internet where we were, and the few times we found an ‘Internet Cafe’ (which in Tajikistan are about as fast as dial-up…), I used my time to send email to check in on things at home (since we also had no reliable cell coverage).

So, no blog entries – sorry! And now, there are too many stories to tell to know where to start – or stop, but here’s the overview.

First, Ed and I stopped in Istanbul. We played some music in the street and helped lead worship at a 150-year old church, made some new friends and met with the dirctor of a music ministry that works specifically in that part of the world – great strategic contacts for Keynote.

Then, off to Tajikistan, where we worked with a ministry outreach center (which we just called ‘the Ministry Center’) that is part of Campus Crusade’s international efforts. We went to train people, and that we did. 17 or so people were with us for basic ‘Keynote’ training – but since many of them worked with other ministries (on campuses and in prisons and remote villages and other outreaches), we adapted our training to non-music ministries as well.

The ‘New Life’ band, which is part of the ministry there, was really great – it was fun to get to know them (and play some music with them). 2 of the members were in our ‘classroom’ training as well.

Many of the places the Ministry Center does long term ministry came as a result of the band’s outreaches – they are the tip of the spear, so to speak. It was great to see God at work in that part of the world, and even better to contribute towards making people better communicators and storytellers. Plus, we were able to help them better use the recording studio we helped them build, so we know they will continue to use music and the studio as an outreach tool as well.

But now I’ve gone on too long… below is a link to a short slideshow; just a few of the several hundred shots we took.

http://s5.photobucket.com/albums/y177/crash37/tajikistan%202007/?action=view&current=596b5867.pbr