Day 4 in London

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We’re on day four of the trip. So, it’s been a busy two days since my last post. We spent yesterday just prepping for our time here, which means getting all our tech ready and instruments in order and making sure really that our power voltages run DC to AC and AC to BC. We’re matching and converting, right? And then today, we had the gracious opportunity to go and play at New Valley Primary School, which is in Purley, right around the corner from the church that we’re mainly based at, at Old Lodge Lane.

Primary School in London… So the way the school system works is primary school is from what they call reception, which is kindergarten, all the way up to the sixth grade. They call it year six. And then secondary school is from seventh grade up until I believe 12th grade, or year 12. But for them, they end at the age of 16, and then they go into what they call college, which is really kind of a fine-tuning of whatever kind of profession they want to go into. So if they want to go into being a mechanic, then they’ll go to school for mechanics. So it’s kind of like a trade school, in a sense. And then after that, there’s university level.

So anyway, we were in primary school today and working with a lot of the younger students. When we first got in there, they were just so happy to see us. It was almost like the highlight of their day, it seemed like. And their classrooms are immaculate, with so many hanging decorations of all their work they’ve done in school and they’re just awesome. They’re these small people talking in these awesome London accents, and they’re just such smart kids. This school has had a big accomplishment recently because they were considered a failing school by the government and they were in the process of receiving high remarks for bouncing back basically into a well performing school. Which is great for them. So they’re really happy and celebrating that.

And so, they had a sports day where basically the kids … It’s like their own kind of version of the Olympics, and everybody comes out from kindergarten/reception all the way up to year six. And so students came out, and we were just mainly with the kindergarten kids. That’s just kinda the way it happened. They’re just so adorable, doing the different sports, long jump to the 40 yard sprint, the 50 yard sprint, the 100 yard sprint, 200 yard sprint. Anyway, they’re all racing each other and we got to do a concert for them. So we’re setting up and sound checking, and the kids were just gathering around like we’re about to have this big concert. I was like, “No, hold off guys, it’s just a sound check, we’re just getting levels right.” And so then they got kind of really excited, and then they went off to their games and played.

When it came around 1:00, it was time for the concert. So we go ahead and Steve, who’s our host missionary, introduces us to the school, and they’re all just sitting down chillin’, just in high anticipation of the the show ’cause they heard us during sound check. Like “oh, this is cool.” So we kick it off and I remember we were saying, I mentioned the last time how we covered that song by Coldplay and we got into it, and those kids jumped to their feet and were having so much fun. And it got to a point where doing like a four song 20 minute set. It’s interesting because … It got to a point where the power … It got so crazy, the kids were jumping and screaming and it almost made you feel like you were in the arena somewhere with crazy fans. It was kind of like a really surreal kind of experience, and these were just little kids. But it was so cool to see them so excited. You could see we were the highlight of their day.

So basically, all they know is we’re this American band from the States, and they don’t know if we’re famous. They just know we’re a band that sounds good, and maybe we’re doing something big. But for them, they were just so happy for us to be there, and so excited. I got off the keyboards and I actually started jumping around with the kids and singing with them, and it was just so much fun. And then from there, it got so big that we were drawing power from the school to power our sound system and instruments on the blacktop. And so we were running the power lines from that, and the sound system started blacking out. It started turning off because I guess the power draws were maxing out. Anyway, so regardless of the sound going out, regardless of the instruments going out, those kids kept jumping and singing with us, and just so excited.

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Luckily for us, Steve recorded the show on Facebook Live, so you can check it out on our Facebook page. But anyways, it was just such an amazing opportunity to work with those kids. Just the highlight of our day. And mind you, as sort of a preface to all this, today is our first day of doing some real ground zero ministry, so it was just a great kickoff to everything that we’re doing.

Afterwards, we had a lot of downtime. I think really it was more so that the host missionary and the host pastor could kind of get some time to do things at their house and personal. I think they just needed a break. So we were at the church just working and playing with our boy Kenny. He’s from the neighborhood. The church has been trying to pull him in. He was one of those kids that terrorized the neighborhood, just comes from a very rough background. The church has been doing a really great job with cycling him and working with him and spending a lot of time with him. And so he just loves hanging around with us and he was playing ping pong, foosball and playing on the drums and the piano with us. He just likes to be around.

I had a delicious cook out dinner over at Ken and Richard’s house. We had some great burgers, hot dogs and sausages and coleslaw and it was just really good food. Really kind of pampered us in that way. Basically, we just had a great time hanging with them and getting to know them. They brought members from the church, older folks. And they were looking food for their age. We’re talking about in their 80s and 90s, and still walking and talking and kind of making sense of everything that’s going on around them. So it was beautiful to see them, being a part of the evening and interacting with us in that way.

We then were able to debrief at the very end of the day, which was cool because we hadn’t debriefed since we got to London. So it was good to just kind of do a very quick debrief with the whole group before we split off to our hosts’ homes. It was really cool to see everyone’s kind of reaction. Everyone has had … We’ve had the highs and lows and everyone’s highs and lows have been pretty remarkable. Mostly highs, very little lows. But any lows that were there were more logistic stuff more than it was anything bad that happened. Which with mission trips, there’s always logistics to be worked on. As you may well know.

And now, we just kind of been kicking it back at the house that we’re staying at and kind of just having a good time and hanging out. I’m excited for tomorrow. We’re planning the benefit concert, so I’ll let you know how that goes. Thanks for reading. See ya.

– David