Call time was at 9:00 am on Monday morning. After we had everything loaded we headed for Argent Courts rest home in Bastrop to sing a few songs for the old people, and after doing a few circles through downtown Bastrop we finally got there.
We sang in the lobby and the residents and other staff passing through seemed to really enjoy the music. We also did the skit for them which was awesome as usual and enjoyed Paul & Martha’s yodeling as a bonus. Afterwards we talked to the residents and got ready to get back on the road. Zeke (our mascot) had a short conversation with one of the resident’s dogs who seemed to be unsure how to take Zeke’s forwardness, but enjoyed the exchange all the same. :)
Before we (Susanna & Kim) went to the rest home, we met up with our friend Jeannie for breakfast at a cute cafe in downtown Bastrop. Jeannie is a lady we met 2 years ago when the Cedar Crest youth group went to Bastrop for a mission trip. We painted her house that was built by CAM to replace the one her and her husband Russ lost in the wildfire. We had a really good time catching up with her and her 2 little girls Rosie and Eleanor. Jeannie is not a believer, so we were praying a lot about our time with her, and God definitely answered our prayers although she hasn’t changed where she stands. Please keep her in your prayers.
We left Bastrop around 11:30. Our next stop was for lunch in New Braunfels, TX. People ate at Chick-Fil-A, Schlotsky’s and McDonald’s. We had an hour break, so some people went shopping at the local Goodwill. Stephen, Tony & Kenneth found some pretty sweet straw hats there.
The afternoon on the bus consisted of quiet time, prayer group time, and random games & conversations, including story time with Uncle Kristen & Aunt Carolyn.
We arrived at the Deluxe Inn in Fort Stockton, TX at 8:00 p.m. It looked very interesting from the outside. Think Trail West Motel in South Hutch. The rooms turned out to be more deluxe than the outside, so it turned out okay.
After we got settled in our rooms, the cleaning crew cleaned the bus and excitedly found many treasures that people had left on the bus. The cleaning crew is in charge of administering penalties to whoever doesn’t properly put their things away. Stay tuned to hear what the penalty was. Meanwhile, everyone else wandered off to find food. After a ½ mile walk, we finally found a Mexican restaurant that was open. Since we are headed to Mexico and will be eating a lot of that type of food, some people thought it was a bad idea to eat Mexican while still in the states. Others were tired of walking and thought it was a great option and headed inside to eat some fantastic food. Several people went to Dairy Queen while the remaining half eventually decided to keep on walking in search of steak. They walked/jumped/ran through another 1 ½ miles of ghetto desert and finally arrived at their destination: K-Bob’s. By the time they got there, they had worked up some pretty good appetites and were quite excited about the prospect of good food. But to their dismay, the adventures weren’t over. They waited “forever” for their food (which came out cold). The plates at the salad bar were kept in a concealed place and when found had “mysterious, clear bumps” on them. For some reason, this didn’t keep Stephen from using the plate & enjoying his salad. :| To add to the drama, Marvin tried to order chicken-wagon rice instead of the the normal chuck-wagon rice. He was pretty sure he saw some chickens on the wagon somewhere. After all they’d been through, no one felt up to walking the 2 mile trek back to the Deluxe Inn, so they called our bus driver Tom up and he kindly picked them up.
Oblivious to the struggles the steak people were having, the rest of us had a peaceful walk back to the inn and had a great time hanging out there. After our adventurous day, the deluxe beds hit the spot!
Nelson Garcete & Kimberly Miller
After an over-all restful night at our host’s places we met at Osceola Christian Fellowship for warmups and prep before a 9:30 program. Because of the large stage we decided to try a two-row arrangement which made a bigger sound for the audience, and was an enjoyable change for the choir.
The congregation was very appreciative and we even got a number of comments from young children about how much they enjoyed it. We were able to connect well with the congregation, and Paul talked with a man who was still healing emotionally from an automobile accident in his past and he said that the program was meaningful in light of that.
After the program they fed us lunch before we left for Bastrop TX. After most people caught their Sunday afternoon naps, there was a live music session in the back on the bus. Zeke (our KYC mascot) also got an updated hat to match the ladies purple choir dresses.
We arrived at Grace Bible Fellowship Church in Bastrop at 4:30 where we found that the program was changed from 6:30 to 6:00. The church had a small sanctuary with very live acoustics which made singing a pleasure.
They served us supper after the program, and expressed their appreciation for our singing. Many of the choir members were able to make connections with people in the audience through the “Mennonite Game.” We again got comments on our expressions. One lady commented that it was nice that we didn’t look like a bunch of lemons “some choirs do.” We praise the Lord that he is answering our prayers that people would see Jesus and not us.
We all found places to sleep at host’s places. Ten of the fellows were hosted by a young man from the church. I hear they had an interesting time of enjoyable fellowship in the evening, and pizza, cinnamon rolls, and coffee for breakfast. A good bachelor breakfast eh?
Kenneth Shenk & Clarissa Miller
We met at Cedar Crest at 9:30a.m. Most of us were expecting a bus, but it was no where to be found. We milled around, got our things together, and just waited. The bus was scheduled to arrive just after 10:30. About 10:55, the bus finally arrived. One interesting note about the bus is that it has Texas Tech Red Raiders emblems on the sides. After an explanation from Tom, our bus driver, on how his business began and his connection to the Peters, James Shetler prayed a blessing for us as we go sing at our various locations and we headed out.
Our first stop was for lunch at 2:00 in Perry, OK. People enjoyed Subway, Taco Mayo, Braums, and McDonalds for lunch. We continued to party and play games, one of which was corn hole, after we were back on the road. We stopped again for a restroom break around 6:30 in Dallas, TX. The remainder of the trip was filled with various discussions and activities, and then we arrived at Osceola Christian Fellowship around 8:30. We loaded our luggage into our hostess’ vehicles and went inside for a snack. Most of our hosts were not home this weekend, so we had full roam of the houses. :) We heard reports that some settled down at a respectable hour, while others enjoyed exploring their hostess’ house.
Lorin Nisly & Susanna Yoder
Hey y’all! We’re headed to Texas! I thought I’d post our itinerary right quick so y’all kinda know what’s going on. Don’t forget to like our page on Facebook!
July 26: Travel
July 27: (Morning) Osceola, TX
July 27: (Evening) Bastrop, TX
July 28: Old Folk’s Home Program in the morning and travel for the rest of the day
July 29: Oasis Colony, Mexico
July 30: Cuauhtémoc, Mexico
July 31: Los Jagueyes, Mexico
Aug 1: Travel
Aug 2: Carlsbad Caverns and Travel
Aug 3: (Morning) Mennonite Evangelical Church in Seminole, TX
Aug 3: (Evening) Somerfeld Church in Seminole, TX
Aug 4: Travel back home!
Aug 6: Last program at Center Church
Our Bus! Texas Tech Red Raiders!
Saturday, August 10, 2013 – Marvin, Kerri, Christy
Thanks to our late arrival home Friday evening/Saturday morning, we were allowed to stay at home on Saturday until 5:40 p.m., which was our call time at the Hutchinson Correctional Facility (central location). Security went quickly and we then gathered to warm up (pun intended) in the break room.
They escorted us upstairs to a large auditorium, where we were greeted by the loud roar of fans (the metal kind, not the human kind). They were trying to cool the place down, which was nice, but it ruined the otherwise great acoustics. After some more warm-ups and discussion, we decided to turn off most of the fans, which allowed us to actually hear each other.
The program itself went really well. The men were responsive and the message really seemed to resonate with them. Afterwards, one of the men said he thought it was angelic—he just closed his eyes and imagined he was hearing angels. God definitely was present.
After that, most of the people went home while the rest went to the Ave A park to sing under the bridge. A band was singing in the nearby pavilion, so we waited to sing until they were finished. The moral of the story is that we did sing under the bridge and had a great time. After that, the more lively people enjoyed themselves at nearby restaurants.
Note from the blog editor: this is not quite the end of our concerts, but the rest are in our home churches; therefore, we will call the journal entries for KYC 2013 complete.
Friday, August 9, 2013 – Kenneth, Lillian, and Louise
The day dawned bright and early, although most of us were still in blissful repose since call time wasn’t until 9:00. It rained most of the night and was still raining lightly in the morning, which made packing of luggage a great joy.
Our first activity of the day was to entertain the residents at Hillcrest Home, beginning at 9:30. We blessed them with the skit from our program, juggling by Tim and Jon, and some impromptu singing, while Stephen made balloon creations for the residents. One of the resident women clearly remembered going to school with the man who made the balloons, although she was pretty sure it wasn’t in Kansas. A good time was had by all who enjoyed it.
Stephen’s balloon-making didn’t stop when he got on the bus. He first made a fantastic hat for Willard, then created a beautiful red rose of apology for “Thing 1” to give to “Thing 2.”
We stopped at Lambert’s Café for lunch and were informed that we would have an hour and ten minute wait. Thus we proceeded to do some window shopping and cheese tasting at local shops while we waited. Interestingly, they were ready for us in about 45 minutes and we were called from all the four corners to quickly take our places. The food was excellent, including the big white rolls that were thrown to us from across the room. The décor largely consisted of old license plates, including an old one from Kansas that said “UKNOWIT,” which we felt was fitting.
We arrived in Parsons at 4:30 for a 6:30 program. It was a meaningful program for many in the choir, and it seemed to resonate with the audience as well. It was a pleasure singing at our “home church away from home,” as John so aptly put it. They served us a wonderful supper of haystacks with a wonderful selection of desserts after the program. Unfortunately, we could not spend the night with the dear people there, and we couldn’t even socialize long because our bus driver was running out of legal driving time.
There was some talk of hijacking the bus and simply making the tour longer because we suddenly realized that the bus tour is pretty much over. So we are doing our best to enjoy each other during the last few hours on the bus.