Somewhere Over Frink Park

Jennifer and I had a wonderful evening leading worship at Frink Park in Clayton, NY last night. Joseph Gilchrist sat in on drums, and his brother Daniel on bass.

With a huge storm front moving in from the south, we decided to start early as there was already a good amount of people seated. We asked the Lord to hold off the rain, then told the audience we’d play as long as we could.

After more than an hour of playing, the dark sky loomed overhead. I turned to Jenny and asked her to sing one last song. She picked our favorite: Somewhere Over the Rainbow.

Just as she started the bridge, she pointed up behind the audience and said, “I just want everyone to know there’s a giant rainbow up there.” To all our amazement, right on cue, a rainbow appeared. As if God was reminding us once again of his promises, and heard our request to keep the rain off.

As we pulled out of Clayton with all the gear packed away, the storm hit. Hard.

I asked people to take pics and send them to me so I could make a collage and post it here. If you were there last night and see a photo you took, please leave a comment below so we know who you are and can give you props.

Thanks to all those who came out; we love playing for the hometown crowd. ch:

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Friday Night in Manchester

My phone was charging on stage and I totally forgot to grab it, so I didn’t get nearly as many pics last night as I wanted. Maybe someone can post a couple, or send me a few.

We played to a packed house at Church of the Living God in Manchester, CT and what a night it was! My band has never sounded better, and I’m not exaggerating. So proud of their dedication to their music craft.

The flow we had in the Holy Spirit was indescribable; at one point, everyone stopped singing and Denis played the keys for about five minutes. No one moved. It was truly a #heavenmeetsearth moment as God visited us in that room.

If you were there, what was God speaking to you? What was your favorite moment? (Use #heavenmeetsearth on Twitter & Facebook).

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We had lots of great conversations after the concert, and “Michelle the Merch Queen” was selling the new Bald V-Neck t-shirts and #heavenmeetsearth wristbands faster than we could stock them! Yes, the infamous t-shirt design we toyed with a while back is a reality, as pictured by Mike Kim, who’s responsible for designing that crazy bald head icon. (We’ll make them available in our store shortly).

The fellowship that followed was nothing short of chaos. We crashed at my favorite Jewish deli out here, and I snapped a picture. Of course, not thinking, I had everyone say “Yahtzee!”

…which to the rest of the restaurant sounded like we screamed “Nazi!”

Perfect. ch:

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The Land of Passion

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I know. Provocative title. But if you have ever spent time in any Latino culture, you know what I mean. These Spaniards are one passionate people! And I like it.

After a very long goodbye with all those we got to know in Yverdon, and a surprise visit from Manu & Racqel Fernandez, with their new baby girl, Abby, the team boarded a plane for Madrid. But communications malfunctions caused massive delays. Normally, it´s not an issue. But when you are landing and driving straight to a large venue to put on a concert, it tends to put pressure on everyone involved. Especially the hosts! They were seriously beginning to doubt if we´d make it on time.

The plane landed, our van was warmed up and ready, and we arrived at the concert hall with 30 minutes to spare. [gulp!] It was just enough time to pick the set-list, eat a piece of fresh bread, and pray. Then all systems were a go. This concert was especially important for the hosts, as it was their first community outreach in their city, their church being only 6 months old. Even the Mayor´s office was represented, presenting Jennifer and I with a hand-painted glass plaque of the city at the end. We felt so honored. The band was outstanding, and the people were warm, engaging, and very Spanish! We were able to share with love of Jesus through our music with many who had never stepped foot in a church before. That, and we helped the church forge new and legitimate relationships with the community, one of the things I love doing the most for the churches we are serving.

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When we finally got back to our host homes, the team was introduced to one of the most dramatic Spanish traditions: starting another dinner at midnight. Granted, we got home late, but unlike the US where we´d just eat a piece of toast and call it a night, they pull out an entire smorgasbord of cheese, beef, prawns, drinks, and fresh bread. I´m getting hungry just typing this. Lunch time! ch:

CD Release Concert Series: Dryden, NY Tonight

For all those in the Central NY region, Paul Rohling and I will be performing in my hometown of Dryden, NY tonight at Reach Out for Christ Church. The concert is free and begins at 7pm, with copies of our new CD, Live at the Lyric, sold for $10 each. I’m really looking forward to seeing everyone again! Dryden Lions forever!  ch:

Metz Tour: Fruit in France

A shot from the stage in Woippy

ch-ichat-logo.png This past weekend’s ministry in France was truly marvelous–many souls were saved, the churches encouraged and new and old friends met. I landed in Luxembourg Friday afternoon and drove in to the north of France where I stowed my gear and headed out for an evening meeting in Longwy. Pastor Vincent Ferenandez and I lead worship at L’Eglise Sans Frontiers followed by a powerful message from Rosemarie Claussen and Boris Grisenko.

Rosemarie Claussen and CHRosemarie is Adolph Hitler’s god-daughter; her father was the General of the Nazi Police. When he began to see the atrocities be ing committed against the Jews, he began smuggling them out of the country. Finally caught, he was given the choice of watching his family murdered or taking cyanide. He chose the later–Boris and CHjust days before the Russian liberation of Poland. Rosemarie and her family were taken into custody and grew up in very poor conditions in Russia. Eventually she went on to write about her story and now ministers on the dangers of bitterness, the need for forgiveness, reconciliation and support of Israel. All that to say that seeing her and Boris on the same stage was one amazing image I’ll never forget.

Why? Because Boris Grisenko is the Rabbi of the Kiev Messianic Jewish Congregation in Ukraine–one of the largest Messianic congregations in the world!

Street ministry in a market in MetzSaturday morning we hit the road, pounding the streets of Metz with flyers and the Gospel, promoting the weekend’s events and telling people about Jesus. I joined my friends Sverker, Nils and Alain in spreading the news. My favorite conversation was with a street begger, a young man that needed a lot of love and encouragement.

From there we drove to the city’s prison, a large monolith on the east side. I was unable to bring a camera in so all I have is a picture of the outside (pictured right). Metz PrisonBut how I wish I could show you pictures of what happened! I played and ministered for about 45 minutes to a crowd of men and women, encouraging them and telling them about the life and love of Jesus. People wept as the spirit of the Lord began to move in their hearts. Then a new friend, Tony Anthony, came and shared his testimony. And what a testimony…

Born to a Chinese father and an Italian mother, he was taken to China by his grandfather at age 4, a Grand Master at Kung-Fu, to be raised in the tradition of his ancestors as a Grand Master himself. A brutal childhood ensued, his grandfather teaching him the ways of being a warrior. He returned to England at age 12 where he continued his training and eventuallyTony Anthony & CH went on to start competitive fighting. It wasn’t long before he earned the prestigious “world champion” title three years in a row, having never lost a single fight in his entire career.

The tragic death of his fiancee sent him over the edge and he turned to a life of violence. He became a professional body guard and then a debt collector, using extreme action against people, breaking limbs, backs and killing them. He was eventually caught in Cypress and put into a Turkish prison where he had to fend for his life. But it was here in prison that a pastor began to reach out to him. Six months later, Tony surrendered his life to Jesus and has been preaching the Gospel as an evangelist for the past 18 years!

Over 25 prisoners gave their lives to Jesus that day! The pastors and volunteers who minister there every week were really blessed by our presence and we encouraged and prayed for them as they continued their work with these new converts.

Meeting inside Salle St Exupery, WoippyFrom there we grabbed a meal together and then headed to Salle St Exupery in Woippy on the outskirts of Metz. Here we had a huge meeting where over 40 people came forward to give their hearts to Jesus!

Sunday morning we returned to the hall for the day, starting with a joint church service. The Spirit of the Lord was so sweet in the room; then I remembered that God commands life and blessing upon us when we work together in unity!

In the afternoon I met with my France-based music team and held a practice for the evening’s outreach concert. The concert started at 5:30pm and I walked out to a packed-out hall. We played many familiar French songs from my CD and then a number of news ones, including new translations Manu, Samuel, CH, Vincentof “Amazed” and “Beautiful One.” Many thanks to Elie and Malikah for running sounds and lights, and my band Xav, Greg, Florian and Stefan! (I took a few shots from the stage–the header above–after calling Jennifer on the phone so everyone could shout hello).

I shared a brief Gospel message, including a few of the stories closest to my heart about how God birthed a love for France in my spirit. (LEFT: Manu, Samuel, CH, Vincent). My French brother Manu translated for me as we went into an altar call. Many people, young and old, came forward for first time salvation and rededication; we loved on each of them in a wonderful time of prayer and prophecy. A number of people were delivered and set free! Hallelujah!

Flying over the Southern coast of EnglandThe very next morning I was up at he crack of dawn and on a plane headed back home. After numerous delays, airport changes and last minute re-routes, I finally got on the last flight from Boston to Syracuse and made it home just after midnight.

Please keep Jennifer and I in your prayers as we depart on Thursday for a week of meetings in Dalkeith, Scotland. I’m very excited about this trip and have a very expectant heart about what’s to come! We’ll keep you informed as things progress.

Thanks for reading! Blessings to all my peeps in France!

CH

Driving down the streets of Metz, FranceVincent & Mare-EliseAn old catherdral in Metz