To start off, it's been a long time since we've all posted on the LTF website, but it's great to all be back in Tucson together finally.
This past Winter Break was the first time that our new group here at LTF have set off on a trip together outside of the U.S. It's always a great experience when we travel on a mission trip, especially for weeks at a time. I've never failed to enjoy every moment of it, spending time practicing, eating, or just goofing off with all my brothers and sisters here at LTF. This last mission trip, which was focused in my parent's factory in Dongguan, China, was probably one of the most musically-intense events that we've had so far. Having rehearsal from 8:30 in the morning all the way until 10:00 at night, it started to put a strain on my own energy and focus. However, our events all turned out pretty well, except for the first night when it began raining, but even on that night we could see God at work actively.
My own spiritual experience was probably very different from everyone else's, because I have to admit that I had found myself struggling to become spiritually connected the whole time to God when we were there. There's always a fine balance whenever we rehearse our songs, and I try to not just play the songs, but also worship God or at least draw closer to God when we play songs of praise and worship. But after so many hours of continuous rehearsing, my mind stopped thinking, and I just played the songs until eventually the songs held almost little meaning to me. The important message in every single song meant little to me because I was so tired and our rehearsal which also should have been a time of worship, eventually wore down to just any other rehearsal that any other band would have.
However, as time progressed and as it came to the time of our 4 events, I finally found the spark that I needed to refocus myself and to focus myself spiritually again. There are times when I lose track of the purpose of why we're there, and it's disappointing to myself when I find myself struggling and lost. However, whenever it comes time to play on stage, God always managed to bring me back into the heart of worship, and my mind has found its way to not just playing, but focusing on the true purpose of why we're there in the first place - to serve God and to reach out through the music that we play to so many (thousands in this case) of people who haven't even heard of Him yet.
This trip, by itself, was probably one of the most interesting trips, because I had never played for the factory's annual event nor for Christmas before, and being able to host these events for the factory was a major stepping stone in my own view. I thank God for allowing me to share this winter with my brothers and sisters and to become so much closer with them. I've seen what love can do, not just in ministry and reaching out to others, but also the power of love in a group as close as ours.
Hopefully, our group will have the chance to create even more memories together and to set out once again on another mission trip where we've never been before.