We left for the West Coast on September 16th, 2009 and were looking forward to our performances in every location including Nebraska, Oregon, California and Arkansas, as well as the adventure of seeing so much of this country.  Our first adventure was that evening when the van’s transmission went out in Columbus, Indiana.  But God is good.  He allowed us to have the van and trailer towed almost immediately and allowed us to be blessed by a wonderful organization who put us up for the night.  A few of us even got our first ride in a police car!  What service!  We were back on the road 24 hours later.  We also thank God for always supplying our needs.  He provided most of the money needed for the repairs with a love offering from a Wednesday night church service at Central Assembly of God (www.centralassembly.com)  in Vero Beach FL, the church that provides our financial covering!

Lincoln, Nebraska Performance
We arrived safely in Lincoln at The First Nazarene Church (http://lincolnfirstnaz.org) where we were to perform that weekend.  The story of how this all came about is a great one.  Our contact with The First Nazarene is an old acquaintance of Steve Newcomb’s recently reconnected through Facebook.  Ask him to tell you the story sometime.  We performed twice at the church and both performances went very well.  The cast was amazing, and we were so blessed by our hosts as they helped with some tech needs and donated new equipment.

Divine Detour
We left Lincoln on September 20th and headed for Cheyenne, Wyoming, our next stop.  We made it as far as Julesburg, Colorado when the engine threw a rod.  But, God continued to bless us as He sent a towing company that had a vehicle big enough to transport the 6 of us, the van and trailer!  We spent the night in Julesburg and then were taken to Ogallala, Nebraska, a larger city.  Upon arrival we camped out in a Dodge dealership as we prayed and discussed what to do.  We had planned to be in Oregon for a rehearsal on September 24th.  We then found out it would be several days and that the new engine would be about $6000!  We also emailed our supporters asking if they could pray about giving $50 toward the van.  It was amazing that shortly after sending the email, our Paypal account was already receiving donations.  In the end, God more than supplied our need to pay for the engine!  As we sat in the lobby, a man from the dealership came and spoke with us.  We thought he was one of the car salesmen, but found out he was the owner!  He took us to lunch and then he and his wife invited us to stay with them!  The dealership gave us a van to drive around in and to take down to Colorado Springs after we couldn’t find a place to perform that weekend.  We “earned our keep” during our time in Ogallala by helping paint the walls of the showroom floor.  We jokingly told the customers waiting that they would get their cars faster if they helped paint!  All in all, even though it wasn’t a planned stop in our schedule, God blessed us with wonderful lifetime friends.

On the Road Again
We left Ogallala, Nebraska on September 29th and drove about 24 hours to Sunriver, Oregon.  We were able to rest in the home of some pastor friends of Susan Jones.  What a gift to have a wonderful meal and a bed after trying to sleep in the van.  We then headed for Corvallis, Oregon for our next performance.  It was such a beautiful drive through the Willamette National Forest!

Corvallis, Oregon Performance
We arrived October 1st at the home of Pastor Mark of Calvin Presbyterian Church (www.calvin-church.org/), where we were to perform that Sunday.  Pastor Mark is a longtime friend of Steve Newcomb.  We performed The Last Supper that Sunday and everything went really well.  It was a joy to watch and participate in fellowship as we met and were helped by so many during the striking of the stage.

A Busy Week
Our next performance wasn’t until October 11th in Oregon City, but we definitely stayed busy.  Those who hadn’t been to Oregon did some sightseeing, and the Joneses planned a night to share about His Majesty’s Magical Mystery Tour and invited some of their supporters to actually participate in a scene from His Story.  Everyone who attended was thankful to meet the whole team and truly see what this organization is all about.  We also rehearsed with the Oregon City church and volunteered at another organization based in Portland called Open Arms International (www.openarmsinternational.com).  What a blessing to see those being the hands and feet of Jesus all over the world!

Oregon City, Oregon Performance
On October 11th we joined Won by One Ministries (http://wonby1.net/) for their morning worship service and shared some special music and a scene from His Story.  It was such a time of ministry that morning.  We were able to pray and be prayed for; a beautiful picture of the church coming together.  Immediately after the service we packed up and continued our journey on to our next performance in California.  We were thinking that we would have to stay in a hotel that night but God worked it all out where we could all stay with friends who lived close.

California Here We Come!
The drive down to California was a great time to see some beautiful scenery including sections of the North Umpqua River, Southern Oregon and the Redwood National Forest!  The road to the Redwoods was not the straightest.  One of the team wanted to get a t-shirt that says “I survived Route 299!”  God continued to bless us with a place to stay the night of the 12th.  It was an Assemblies of God RV park.  The whole team shared one room with bunk beds.  Again, we kept making more friends and connections.  What a gift!  We arrived in San Francisco on October 14th where we had some time to explore.  We had a nice break from almost steady rain.  We then arrived in Santa Ana and got situated in our host homes.

Van Nuys, California Performance

Our next performance was at Wings of Faith (www.wingsoffaith.org), a church in Van Nuys near the San Fernando area on October 18th.  We performed The Last Supper and the gentlemen from the congregation who helped us in the cast did a fabulous job.  Most of them were blind and handicapped, but from watching them you would be impressed.  Even though they couldn’t see to grab the cup and eat the bread, they knew exactly where it was and put it back in the same place.  There was one gentleman who also showed so much joy during the music.  It was such a gift meeting all of them and being a part of the service.  This really filled a need that Pastor Tom saw: providing an activity that his special congregation members could be part of to lead worship.

Ministry, Work and Sightseeing
During the week we were able to minister with some special music and testimonies at Mary’s Shelter, (www.teenshelter.org) a home for teenage mothers.  After the sharing we were able to talk to some of the teenagers and meet their babies. Such a special time!  Also during our time in California, a few of us were able to be in the audience of a couple of game shows.  That definitely was an experience.  It was also a blessing to be able to get together with family and friends and catch up with what we’ve been doing and how God is pouring out His love on us and others as we travel and perform.  We also were very productive in our work as we helped sew/ pin costumes, paint the backdrops, wash the trailer, update the database and work on financial reports.

Santa Ana, California Performance
Our final performance in California was on November 1st at Calvary Church (www.calvarylife.org).  This is the home church of Steve and Charlotte Newcomb.  We had a great cast, including a very enthusiastic gentleman who played the blind man in His Story.  It was a great time and we were so thankful for all the help we received as we packed up.  A lot of us had friends and our host home families attend.  It was a great ending to a wonderful 2 weeks.

Grand Canyon, Air Force Base and Oklahoma City

We left California on November 2nd and headed for our next destination in Arkansas.  The first night we stayed in Flagstaff, Arizona and then drove to the Grand Canyon- a first time for a couple of us.  So powerful!  We then drove to Albuquerque, New Mexico to stay the night at the Kirtland Air Force Base!  The scenery was like stepping into a John Wayne film!  I kept expecting to see a cow skull on the side of the road.  When we arrived we met another new friend connected to Charlotte Newcomb, who blessed us incredibly.  He not only paid for our stay on the base, but he paid for our gas and took us out to eat!  Thank you, God!  He truly is Jehovah Jireh, the Lord who sees ahead and Provides!  Our next stop was Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.  We arrived at the Character Inn and Conference Center, a Christian ministry led by friends of the Newcombs.  Again we were given a place to stay and meals, and a tour of the memorial for the Oklahoma City bombing in 1995.  It was sobering how every person who lost their life was honored.

El Dorado, Arkansas Performance

We arrived in Arkansas on November 5th ready to rehearse with the gentlemen of East Main Baptist Church (www.eastmainbaptistchurch.org) for our final performance of the tour, The Last Supper.   The performance went very well.  The gentleman who played the part of Peter sang so well.  We’d like to record his voice!  After the performance we had a reception where the Joneses shared with their supporters what they’ve been doing and how God is moving.  It was well received and we all had a great time.

A Long Drive Home
We broke up our trip home by stopping at the home of some friends of the Shorts, southeast of Nashville, Tennessee.  They are songwriters and recording artists of Christian Country.  They fed us and we had a wonderful night of sharing music.  The couple even said that they wanted to work with us.  We also were able to meet with the couple who hosted us in Romania last January.  They were visiting the states and staying in Tennessee.  What a blessing to see them again.  We had another great time of catching up and music sharing.  We finally arrived home on November 11th and were happy to sleep in our own beds for a while.