Follow along as I write about life, lessons learned, and experiences as a singer/songwriter, time on the mission field, and co-founder of an organization to encourage the called to take the gifts and abilities given, go out, and rescue the lost sheep in the world.
You can listen to the interview here! Pure Worship is a conversation about the stories behind the music. I had an opportunity to share about my life story, Face of Harvest, and God's sweet call and how He has shown me to respond to that calling through simple obedience in the little things of life.
I hope you'll listen and be encouraged to take WHATEVER has been put in your hands, sit at the feet of Jesus, and then get ready to RUN wherever He leads!!!
In the middle of the United States is a state filled with beautiful people (not to negate all you other beautiful people). Last year I had the opportunity to go to South Dakota and had a week filled with musical appearances and times of sharing. I loved EVERY MOMENT. So, this year when I had the opportunity to go back, I was so excited!
Here's a brief overview and pics to tell the rest of the story.
Thursday: arrived in Rapid City, but my keyboard didn't make it. So Haley and I made sad faces while trying not to laugh. (They call her my shadow. I don't have to chase this shadow!) I grew to love her beyond human understanding! This is a special child!!!
Friday AM: participated in a 5k RUN/walk and made new friends saw old friends. I TIED for second place!...."Dupree is a small town... There were only 3 runners and the rest of the folks walked. :) LOL
Friday PM: went to the radio station KLND for radio interview that didn't happen. Met up with a different DJ (DONNA) who invited us to have as much time as we wanted in her Saturday show.
We visited her miracle church and I took a picture in the baptismal. :) the church needs some roof repairs! Please pray a team goes and helps with this!
Saturday AM: 4a - we headed out to KLND and I gave a LIVE mini concert and shared hope and life stories related to the songs. My "Home Away from Home" Maryann also shared her story! ....which gave DJ Donna an opening to share a part of HER story too!!! It was an AMAZING morning over the airwaves of the Indian Reservation Radio Station.
Saturday afternoon: painted faces, shared Jesus with visitors to out tent at the Pow-Wow while giving away CD-samplers and Gospel of John books.
Saturday evening: Sang the Star Spangled Banner at the POW-WOW opening ceremonies.
Sunday AM: Led worship at the Calvary Chapel Dupree Tent on the Pow-Wow grounds.
Sunday PM: participated in the CC Dupree Sponsored (pedal) Bike Ride.
Monday (July 15- my wedding anniversary!): visited the Cheyenne River Indian Reservation Cultural Center where I met one of the Tribal Council Leaders and sang for him and to whoever was in the gift shop. :) Ben Elkeagle then gifted me with a camouflage Cheyenne River hat. So touching.
Monday Night: I gave a house concert at the house where we celebrated with a couple of my girls as we prayed with them to receive Jesus.
Handmade Gifts from Wanda:
Handmade Gift from Una
Handmade gift from Stacey
I want to especially thank Pastor Chug and Karen Garreau for hosting us and allowing us to join them in HOW God is shining His Light in their community and now, mine!. :). They honored Maryann and I with Star Quilts and a prayer. It was SOOOO touching!!!
It was a pretty uneventful take-away. As always though, I expect a bit of adventure and moments that you can only trace back to "There is a God and He has revealed himself to us clearly."
It's exciting to think that God would include any of us in His plan for this world. His plans for this world are quoted so often from Jeremiah where He was speaking to the Jewish people. However, it is a promise I know that fits within his character for all people who put their hope in Jesus.
When I was invited to go to Russia again this summer, I begged the question, Lord, can I go?" Is that what you have for me to be a part of?
If you are asking God how He can include you in the BIGGER picture and His plan, He won't just throw you out there, He prepares you in every way.
Sometimes that means enduring various obstacles, lessons, difficulties, sorrows mixed in with Joys, triumphs, lessons learned, freedom which yield both the best of times and the worst of times.
But, if out of those times you can keep yourself from becoming angry with the circumstances or people in those circumstances to the point of a hard heart, bitterness, or unforgiveness, then you will find yourself in the middle of a real life Bible story where God begins unfolding your life and it's narrative is triumph in the midst of looming defeat., adventure, hope, and a certain awe of, "How is this even happening, Lord? I am nobody!"
Or, we can resign ourselves to a life of constant bickering with loved ones, ones we don't care to love, and a monotony of life mostly enjoyed by the animal kingdom: live, devour or be devoured, pro-create, and die. Except
for the fact that our destiny without truly seeking after God for His purpose and Call on our lives, leaves us with a loss of something special, wonderful, and beautiful to be a part of.
This wonder, beauty, and special undertaking comes with the cost of denying ourselves, our right to surrendering our rights and allow God to have the Glory and Vengeance that only He has the right to undertake. He is the one who paid all penalty for all sin, and He is the only one who has that right.
Surrendering ourselves means we can offer him all we are, long to be, and all we lack... It's coming to terms with who we are without Him. It's coming to terms with what is hidden in iur hearts that we dare not admit and hence, deem ourselves broken or imperfect. It's the sick who need a doctor! Be quick to recognize sin you don't want to acknowledge: bitterness, resentment, unforgiveness, pride are ones that go on unnoticed.
Oh how I pray you and I would surrender ourselves so that He can use us as His loving hands and feet that being good news, and tongue that gives life through the sharing of His ability to rescue us from death and all that makes us fall short of Him.
What a summer this is turning out to be! When you surrender your life to Jesus and you say, "Here I am, Send Me!" He does. I have experienced some highs and lows during these missions/music trips and all of it has such value and learning to be had.
Russia was filled with times on the streets of playing the guitar and singing as passersby stopped to listen, or receive a Gospel of John handed out by the team. I was partnered with CCCPM and Riding High Ministries along with my dear friends/family Perry and Maryann Willer.
We had some wonderful laughs and time together in addition to "if it can go wrong, it will" moments. But in the end, You see Jesus bring others into Himself and encourage the sheep who already in the fold to step out and be bold enough to be used to rescue other lost sheep! I learned alot and gained many new friendships/relationships and solidified others!
I posted tons of pics on my facebook page. Internet was extremely spotty!
http://www.facebook.com/elvafrye" South Dakota Dupree Indian Reservation: David and Roseann Mapa have become dear friends through knowing my "home away from home" Maryann Willer. I was invited to come out to South Dakota to do missions/music in Dupree on the Reservation. A missions team from Calvary Chapel Melbourne, Florida was out and they became instant family and Background vocals and a choir! I was in a parade for the town which was just adorable and sweet, sang the National Anthem to start their first ever 3 on 3 basketball tournament during Alumni Weekend, did a few concerts: some planned and some impromptu, and led worship with a new friend, Glenn from Hills View E. Free. Many in the community came out and made the service such a special time. CC Melbourne Team did skits and gave a small message, and we shared in music when my new choir joined me for the last song... it was quite the surprise for those in attendance. A few other folks from Hills View W. Free like Fay and fam were also a huge help in Dupree! Pastor Chug and Karen are the pastors at Calvary Chapel Dupree and their hearts for people was evident and I am honored to have come alongside and been a part of their ministry to their community! I also made some really sweet little friends who were wonderful helpers and assistants throughout our time there!
Rapid CityBenefit Concert: I also did a benefit concert for a missionary named Mitch Hildebrandt who is in desperate need of funds for His continued emergency medical care in Swaziland. $11,500 was raised that night! What a miracle! I met Pastor Ron of Hills View E. Free church in Piedmont at the Reservation and what a beautiful and sweet couple he and his wife are. Pastor Ron MC'd the Benefit Concert and it was wonderful. The concert was held at South Canyon Baptist Church were the Church Family there was SO helpful and accommodating to all the needs for that night! Some wonderful folks, Pastor, Paul, Bob, Mary, Dale (Sound) and do many of the Church family so warm!!! Thank you for amazing sound and servants' hearts!
Rescue Mission: Oh, this was sweet. I did a one hour concert of music and sharing. It was such a sweet time with such sweet people. I love them all!!! Maryann and Roseann also shared their stories and what was on their hearts. They asked if I would return to do a benefit concert of which I am so willing, should God provide the way and means for me to return to them. Such a beautiful place!
Alternative Fuel Coffee Shop: Did an almost 2 hour concert here with a couple of breaks to meet people. I managed to learn everyone's name in the room which was ALOT of people! IT HAD to be God! We became a family and had so much fun and a sweet time of worship. I loved every minute and felt so at home. Had quite a few there who Jesus touched and I am so thankful to have been a part of what He is doing in people's hearts. I made LOTS of friends who just kept coming around and so we got to see them alot.
Korean/Japanese Restaurant: Oh what good food and I sang for the owner and the patrons before dinner and shared CDs for everyone who happened to be there. It was so much fun, that one of the patrons requested I sing Happy Birthday for His friend who had just turned 30. :) The owner, Grace, is a jewel and she and her staff treated us so well. What an honor that was.
Visiting with a new friend in Custer: Mourn with those who mourn, and laugh with those who laugh and was this ever that opportunity to come alongside a VERY special lady and family and encourage her that the Lord is near. We prayed with her and sang songs of peace and hope for her, praying that Jesus would comfort her, and HE DID and Is, and continues to. She prayed for assurance in committing her life to Jesus and having His peace, and I just LOVE this gal and her family. She lost a brother whose life brought life to many others through organ donation. This is a special family and I ask you keep them in your prayers.
Hills View E. Free: Beautiful church service where I again had the opportunity to lead with Glenn Bailey and then shared some songs from Five O'Clock AND meet MORE new friends and Church Family. It was a sweet time and we just loved the morning!
Fatima and Samuel: are a mom and son whose lives have touched me deeply. They are my new family as a result of David and Roseann and those four are bound by a yearning to see God raise up Sierra Leon in Africa. I pray that God would touch them and supply their every need, and if He wills, allow me to share in any way to see their hope for this country come to pass... that all would know Jesus!!!
Misc: We had opportunity to see the sights and visit Mount Rushmore. Loved it! Maryann was such a huge blessing to me. She manned the CD table, prayed with people, handed out videos, Gospels of John, and Cd and made sure I was taken care of.
This really was a remarkable trip and I am so excited for when I can return to South Dakota in God's timing.
Remember, we just have to sit at the feet of Jesus, He'll unfold His plan for us. There is no striving or worrying, just walking and following and HIM unfolding and doing through OUR hands and feet as His!
I have left out SO many intricate details, but these posts really cannot endure lengthy novel-like sentiments. Oh how I wish I could replay the week for you so you could experience it. Please pray for all the people we had divine appointments with. Some prayed to receive Jesus, some reconciled and returned to Him, and some are still pondering, I am sure. There were a lot of these appointments, and God knows if you help pray how to respond! Thank you to all of you who bought CD's to help support the work I do in music and missions. I am forever grateful!
That's the quick recap. Now off for my East Coast Mini-tour with my mom making a surprise visit to the stage with me and Kenya with Maryann! Please keep us in your prayers. Calendar and locations can be found on http://www.reverbnation.com/elvafrye
I cannot close this without saying that NONE of this would be possible if I did not have the most WONDERFUL husband in the world whose company I always long for and whose heart is one of Gold. He is the best husband anyone could ask for and I thank Him for being my "sender" in so many ways. Truly, a gift I have received in my brian.
We're preparing to go back to Russia in two days! This time Riding High Ministries will be on the helm with CCCPM and I am here to serve as FOH in whatever capacity requested, some of which I know is music,
These guys are pretty awesome in the gifts they've been given, so I am definitely excited to be joining them along with Perry and Maryann Willer of NorCal,
If you've read other posts in the rest of this blog, you'd know who they are. I call MaryAnn my "home away from home"!
We're headed to Russia this Monday. Of course, I'll jot notes and keep you posted on our missions adventure!
What do Russia, Jan 2012 and Nashville, May 2012 have in common?
My first trip to Russia was full of unknowns. 25-30 women would travel to Russia with Debbi Bryson and CCCPM. I only knew Maryann Willer and had just met a few of the gals going down in Oceanside a couple months prior.
I was on my way to see MaryAnn, whom I call, "My Home Away From Home". She was down in Oceanside helping with a women's conference. Perry and MaryAnn have become such dear friends to me as they gave me a home while I was recording "Five O'Clock" with Danny Donnelly in 2010 for about 6-8 weeks in Northern California.
The thought crossed my mind, "I want to go to Russia with MaryAnn," as I drove down 45 minutes to Oceanside where MaryAnn was visiting. I thought that was a strange thought because I hadn't thought of going to Russia since we had "almost" gone to Russia in 2008 when our church missions trip was changed to go to Africa. When MaryAnn opened the door of the house, her first words were, "Do you want to go to Russia?" I intended only to visit for an hour or so, when circumstances turned and I ended up staying the entire evening. I went to dinner with the girls where we shared life stories, prayed for each other, and attended the women's Bible Study taught by Debbi. At the study, we covered a verse that I felt was the verse that confirmed me going, but I didn't want to acknowledge it till I could pray with my husband about it.
Long story short--- I found myself in Russia with these girls a couple months later. Non-stop work and fellowship with the ladies from Russia and America. When we arrived at the Women's Retreat, we all went straight to work in the areas for which we were each responsible.
When the Russian women arrived to the women's retreat, we greeted them and laughed with them. Oh it was SOOO cold outside.
They each walked from the train in the dark, cold and bitter air. It was so cold, you cannot leave your smart phone exposed and out of your pocket without it shutting down in just a few minutes. We tried standing out there to watch them arrive, but not without a heavy coat you couldn't!
The weekend was filled with worship, teaching, workshops, praying with girls, crying and laughing with the girls, listening to them, sitting with them, drinking coffee and tea with them, standing arm and arm with them as we sang or prayed, and sitting and eating with the girls.
Some brought their children and the American girls took such good care of them. Some of the Russian girls served together with the American team and we all bonded in a special way.
There were moments of "sitting in the river" (that's another story I would have to write about). There were moments with the staff who worked at the retreat center.
I couldn't remember the last time I had cried and laughed with this many women in this short amount of time. It was such a time of healing. I loved every moment.
Sherri Youngward, a worship leader and singer/songwriter I respect and love very much, gave me the opportunity to minister to the girls through music in a little optional concert the 2nd day. It was such a sweet time sharing what God has been teaching me put to lyric and music.
I also had the opportunity to speak during a workshop session: Responding to Your Call. So many girls came that we had to add seats. We prayed Jesus would send who we wanted to hear that message. So many of the ladies requested prayer and a listening ear after the workshop, that those moments went on throughout the retreat!
There were so many moments that would probably keep this "short" blog going on and on and on. It was an IMMENSELY sweet time at the retreat which I shall ALWAYS cherish and hope to be able to partake in again EVERY year… but that's up to Jesus.
We then made our way to an orphanage where we shared the hope and message of Jesus through song, plays, and gifts. As I shared my testimony, I asked the children if they thought God was mad at me that I had walked away from Him. So many raised their hands believing that He was. We were able to share with them that He is NOT angry with them, but that He loves them, died for sin, and wants to save us from death that sin causes in every person. Everyone who spoke or shared had such a deep impact on the children and a few even committed their lives to Jesus!
I was the last to leave the theatre/auditorium when the director of the orphanage spouted a bunch of Russian words with a huge smile, squeezed my cheeks, and gave me a hug. I can only imagine that her heart was also touched by The Savior, as it was a beautiful moment. I know God knows what she said.
We also shared Gospels of John with random people at coffee shops, trains, train stations, metros, metro trains, airplanes, and wherever and whoever came our way as a group. The CCCPM folks on the ground made our "tourist-y" day an opportunity for shining light in darkness while buying souvenirs. :) It was a joy.
The answers to the unknowns were answered in 10 short days: What will it be like? Who will I meet? What will I do? How cold will it feel in the dead of winter? How will God use me there? What will it be like serving with so many women I don't know? What friendships and relationships will result from this time?
Had I not gone to Russia, I would not have met Sandy and the girls from Nashville. Had Sandy from Millersville not invited me to stay at her home in Millersville, my band and I would have never stumbled into the Millersville Waffle House.
Had we not stumbled into the Millersville Waffle House one sweet girl would not have known she could give her life to Jesus after an impromptu concert at that Waffle House and the other gals and patrons there would not have heard that night how much Jesus cares, loves, and chases them!
Had we never met them, they would not have known about Calvary Chapel at Rivergate as their new home and community of believers who can come alongside and encourage them, love them, and walk with them in this life.
Russia was not just about Russia. Nashville was not just about Nashville. All of this is about Jesus and leaving the 99 to go find the ONE! Where does He want to send you? Where will He send me?
I leave for Russia AGAIN in June! Praying for more lost sheep to find their Shepherd to bring them into fold and find protection for their souls and hope for their lives in Him!