Leaving New York City is kind of a surreal experience. In the morning we were holding up traffic and dodging pedestrians trying to get our suitcases loaded on the bus, and not an hour out of the city we were flying by corn fields. The contrast was jarring. Getting off the bus at Oasis of Love just compounded that mismatch as we stepped out into the near silence of Huntingdon, PA.

Of course, they were waiting for us with smiles and a home cooked meal. This struck me as equally jarring compared to NYC where you have to fight for your food even when you’ve paid for it. Bemo mused about what it must feel like to be a native New Yorker making a trip to the Kansas City area. What does it feel like if you have spent your whole life in the city and then eat at one of our fine midwestern steak houses where you can order a meal fit for royalty for under $40 AND the servers practically trip over themselves to refill your soda FOR FREE. It must feel like they have been transported to the garden of the gods. We think it is, and we miss you all back in God’s country😉.

Once we had eaten, we began to get set up for tour worship, our annual mid-tour reflection on what tour has meant so far and what we want it to mean as we close out the second week and prepare for homecoming. I think I can honestly say it was one of the best I’ve seen. Matt and Emily try (and fail) every year to not make it a giant blubbering cry fest, but alas, they are teenagers and blubbering crying is one of their favorite pastimes. I will say that this year they did an awesome job. It was a time of fun and games and reflection and conviction and reconciliation and rededication to the mission of tour.

By this point on tour a singer has spent hours upon hours with a handful of people on the bus and has been pinned up in hotel rooms and host homes with basically the same group of three other people.  That would wear on the toughest folks, and usually after a week or eight days have passed there needs to be some release. Tour worship often provides that release. It is really amazing how it often marks the turning point in tour. The first week is the week of adventure and newness, but week two really is about one thing and one thing only: getting psyched up for homecoming.

We are all psyched up, and kinda like leaving the city, coming home is a jarring mix of emotions. Emotions of desperately wanting to see those we’ve left behind, and emotions of longing to be out there on the road again, doing something you really feel makes a difference.

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