This past trip to China was a rollercoaster ride of ups and downs. I had no idea what to expect going into this trip because it was the first time I had ever gone to China let alone with a group like LTF. Despite having practiced thoroughly for this trip, I still felt unprepared, both emotionally and spiritually. Before this trip, I was unsure of whether or not I was even deserving of such an opportunity. I kept asking myself if I was spiritually ready to lead others. At my church in Phoenix, the role of worship leader and the worship team are reserved for only those that have been baptized and have shown that they are ready for such a responsibility because leading a congregation is so much more than playing the right notes. On a worship team, musical abilities are minute in comparison to the individual’s passion and thirst for the Lord. If a person does not have a strong relationship with God, how can they be expected to lead others to Him? That was the daunting question that was on my mind the entire trip.

The adventure started at 4:30am that would soon be followed by 24 hours of waiting in airports, waiting in line, plane rides, and car rides. A great way to start any adventure right? But it actually didn’t turn out to be as arduous as it seemed, mostly thanks to my plane buddy (Harmony). But the moment we got to the Transtek Factory, the employees were so welcoming. We got to the factory at around 2:00am and there was already food ready for us to eat. We definitely hit the ground running by having rehearsals at 9 every morning till the first performance. During these rehearsals, I met a chunky, sarcastic, angry, Taylor Swift loving person: Chuck. He would turn out to be a great leader and mentor for me during that trip. He taught me so much not only about music, but about leaning on your teammates for support. He was…for a lack of words…awesome. After the myriad of rehearsals came our first performance. There weren’t any major train wrecks and it was a very smooth evening. Then came Christmas Day, our main performance, the end all be all, the big kahuna. We were all set to play outside on a stage, but it had rained all day. When 6:00 rolled around, it was still raining. The performance was delayed. It was heartbreaking to see all our rehearsals potentially go down the drain. We then prayed fervently as a group, as a team, as a family. At 7:30, the rain began to die down, and as the saying goes, the show must go on. While I was excited to play, I was worried for my violin because water and a violin don’t mix well. Sadly halfway through the performance, my bow had swelled up from the rain and I couldn’t play. I was really torn up because there are few things that I take in my life more serious than violin. It has been one of the few constants in the torrent that is my life. But, God had called me to China and who was I to question His plan? I tried my best to move past this by using my spare bow the rest of the trip. Luckily, there was only one more performance which went without any more unexpected hurdles.

This trip taught me trust God more especially during the tough times and to never forget the power of prayer. He blessed me with so much on this trip from meeting Chuck to being able to bond with the team more. Through all the turmoil of this trip, I learned to always look on the bright side of matters and to always give thanks no matter what life throws at you. He also taught me that I should have more faith in myself. Even though I was unsure of whether or not I deserved this opportunity, God did.

Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. 1 Thessalonians 4:16-18