It was a beautiful day. Especially warm for late February.
THE SET UP
The “stage” area and backdrop were lined with white Christmas lights. A grey sheet hung in the back on the left to serve as a projection screen for a video prepared by the Schraders. The Korg Triton keyboard was set to the right of the stage. Guitars and an SM58 were set up at center stage. An instrument mic and cajon were set to the left. This was our first chance to use the new Behringer XR12 digital mixer with our Bose L1S in a real live performance and they worked really well together. The XR12 is super versatile as it runs the same X Air software developed for the more popular Behringer X32. Some trouble was created by mic’ing the violin with a large condenser mic in such close quarters. It probably would have been ok if there was more separation between the condenser mic and the cajon, but it’s a house concert…in a house…so, we were squeezed together, which was awesome, however, as a result, we got some less than awesome sounds…like space aliens…landing…on our heads. Our good friend John Mills stepped up to be the sound guy for the evening, and he did a great job!
Levi and Emily kicked off the event with their original song, Charity. This song explores the emptiness of worldy love and included some sharp guitar and violin. They followed and closed with a soothing rendition of This Is My Father’s World, and it was incredible. “Why should my heart be sad? The Lord is King, let the heavens ring! God reigns, let the earth be glad!” They did a really nice job, and set the tone for the rest of the evening.
Next up was one of my absolute favorite songwriters, Isaiah Cornelius. He and his wife Olivia performed all of my favorites with equal parts love, passion, and conviction. The set began with a celebration of the eucharist in Table Song. This was followed by the beautiful duet, A Daughter A Son. I’ve heard this one a handful of times over the past couple of years. Most meaningfully at Isaiah and Olivia’s wedding a while back. At this point, Olivia stepped aside as Isaiah tackled Darwin’s Theory of Evolution in The Monkey Song. This has a been a favorite of his young brothers-in-law who joined in for some real-life sounding chimp noises. Fun stuff! Olivia returned for a humble new song Put To Death. Their performance concluded with the heartfelt anthem, Christmas Song, which Isaiah described as being born out of a desire for Christmas music to tell the whole story of the life of Christ. He also claims that the song is still a work in progress, however, it felt full and complete. At times I could hear the voice of Keith Green in this song. I wanted to hear it again.
At this point in the evening there was a break in the music as Becky Schrader shared a video and testimony about the “unpolished” but “faithful” FAFED orphanage in Chad, Africa. This included a beautiful description of a pastor’s simple obedience to Scripture in beginning this great ministry. Becky also shared a wonderful story of a girl named Hawa, who had been transformed by the gospel.
Finally, after a quick break, we had the privilege of sharing some of our Flat Earth Band music, along with a few of our favorite hymns, to close out the evening. For us, this was highlighted by the fact that many of our kids performed with us.
THE BEST PART OF THE NIGHT
The amazing collection of folks that attended this event far exceeded any expectations and raised $1101 for the FAFED orphanage in Chad, Africa. What an honor for us all to share in the gospel ministry of the Foundation Of Love For The Building Up Of Children In Distress (my translation).
THE WORST PART OF THE NIGHT
We reached a new all time high for house concert attendance with 84 folks (and I think there may have been room for more). We can’t wait to do it again.
Guests travelled from Florida, Wisconsin, Kentucky, and Missouri, as well as a special surprise guest who learned of the event from her brother, who is a missionary currently residing in Chad, Africa. One, two, three…”It’s a small world after all…”
Isaiah stumbled into our house in the afternoon for a sound check after being up all night making a gallon of maple syrup out of 50 gallons of sap he collected into five gallon buckets. He crashed on our couch to rest up for the show.
Our niece Jessica made the trip from Louisville. She pitched in by recording the event for our live Periscope video stream. Thanks Jess!
The inaugural performance using our newly made cajon box drum. Thanks to all who helped build it.
The afterparty. It was tough to call it a night.