Final GKB German-Swiss Tour Report

The following is a final update from the last week of tour. At that point we only had good internet connections at the very end… I was in need of sleep- so I am posting this from Chicago. Jet-lag time but is it SO WONDERFUL to be home with my sweet wife, family and JPUSA!!!Again, thanks to Carsten, Judith, each show promoter, pastor and person who made this tour so special for us.I wrote this bit-by-bit as we traveled, and as I preview it, there are a LOT of smile faces in it due to a great deal of joy for a lot of people and events God brought us.The first of these updates was about everyday scenes we see on this tour, and then I begin the show/service posts with the Swiss portion of the tour:It is clear that like the Engish and many other Europeans, Germans love to get out in the open air countryside to play football (soccer), bike or just walk.We’ve seen a lot of people walking their dogs or just taking a stroll on the many walking paths and forest trails near the roadways.I’ve been on tour here countless times but the other thing I’ve noticed this trip is the huge increase in both solar and wind power throughout the country.In fact right near the autobahn we passed by a rather large fenced-off field that unlike most fields (lots of them too…) where we see harvested corn and grain, etc., this one was fully stocked with solar panels. There was a little house there where I assume the charging batteries and distribution link is stored.From barns, sheds and homes in farmland to little villages and larger cities there are solar panels everywhere.Wind turbines large and small dot the countryside all over.America has a lot to learn, God help us.SWITZERLANDThe Art & Ministry School has a sweet history. It sits on top of a beautiful Swiss hillside in Walzenhausen, just outside that little village actually.Today I was able to share with the students there. What I spoke about was the need for all Christ-followers to walk close and closer to Jesus, to be in prayer, in the Word of God daily, to produce excellent art BUT to realize that God’s desire and focus for ALL of His children is first our relationship to Him, second to other people. My core point was that relationships are the only thing we take past the grave, and that relationships to Him and His people are THE ONLY things that will last for eternity for Christians. Therefore create great art, but face the fact that relationships are more difficult to attain than great art work (be they music or other art forms) and these are the greatest need in each of our lives.They seemed to really hear me- and good translation helped too, ha!Bodensee (in English, The Boden Sea) is a very large lake surrounded by cities and small vilages in both Switzerland and Germany as it’s right at the border. There are mountains rising up from it on both sides. It’s a much-visited tourist area. The Art Music School sits high above the Bondensee on the Swiss side. BEAUtiful.ZURICHA very good bro. and small staff do a monthly Blues Service in a famous, mostly modern/restored church in downtown Zurich named the Water Church -as it sits on a beautiful river.You will see pics from there and the rest of this blog via the link at the end.As the acoustics are amazingly projected in the sanctuary they asked for GKB to do an acoustic set which we did.It was a rather hip, modern service with far more attending than I expected on a Thursday night!A Swiss Project 12 grad (Suzanne), a longtime friend (Rez show promoter in Zurich), church members, other Rez and GKB fans and some curious blues lovers as well as Daniel and most of the AMS students all showed up!What was cool was as the bro. led through the service, he interviewed me on the connection between blues, struggle, what we do in serving the poor and Jesus bit by bit along with an excellent interpreter so everyone understood the points. I shared about our Cornerstone Community Outreach work in Chicago among other biblical and related issues. This was very well-received and quite innovative in terms of how he led the service. Cool stuff!After a late snack we drove back to Walzenhausen. The stars are bright above us… so beautiful.KEMPTENNext day we said goodbye to Danu & kind staff and students at AMS and rolled back into Germany to Kempten where we met the opening band and kind local promoter- who came to follow Jesus about 5 days short of 16 years to the day of this show as the result of a Rez Band concert he had attended in Germany! Amazing grace :)What a night in Kempten!We had excellent sound, great crew and sound tech, nice people in the opening band and as per every stop on this tour a really sweet & responsive audience. The (in English) State Theatre is a great modern place and the atmosphere was quite nice- very hip venue.We had close to a full house, one of the largest crowds but also some of the nicest people this tour. Just great talking with so many after the show.Our dear friends David & Regina Harmon came and visited too, icing on the cake 🙂 Well, they did bring some special frosted cookie-cakes that I must not eat- but the boys will love ’em! Sweet- truly.There were a number of non/pre believers in the place, one of whom was clearly drinking too much but who said he loved the show and that his “heart was deeply touched” by what I said and what we played. Grace. I only hope he didn’t drive home!If we have wifi tomorrow I will try to post this, though I totally forgot to take photos tonight… arrggghh!Next morning Carsten asked Roy and I if Daniel had given us some cheese to bring along as when he’d opened the van in the morning an overpowering scent of cheese hit him! I happen to love cheese (Wisconsin German boy) but neither Roy nor I smelled it nor knew anything about a gift of it.Turned out the garbage can needed emptying… for a while I thought perhaps 4 guys in a van for 2 weeks… cheese… hmmm?!The inn in Kempten was comfortable, an old Bavarian place with nice beds and warm comforters… but very squeeky floors!Roy & I shared a room and I was sound asleep during an afternoon nap when he got up. He apologized later for squeeking around the room but I hadn’t heard a thing… being tired and hard-of-hearing is sometimes a gift :)Lots of shooting and rock ‘n roll without ear protection for too many years. But I’m grateful for all of it!Just as we were loading the van (which even I could smell the cheese in this a.m. until we took the garbage out…) to leave I met a wonderful fat brown cat who hung out in the parking place at the inn. He was beautiful and clearly king of the place but very nice 🙂 Come to think of it, perhaps the cat was hanging around looking for mice that may have come to find the cheese.Then the innkeeper came out and kindly gave us a present of landejager (hunter’s sausage) which happens to be Wendi and my favorite sausage! Yahoo and yum.ON TO FULDA AREA SHOWWe started the day with a bit of sun and a wind that picked up as we went. On the autobahn one could see darker skies in some places. Eventually we passed through a medium-heavy rain.All through this tour we’ve seen beautiful autumn colors mixed with pine or part-pine forests.I’ve lost count of the hawks we’ve seen, both flying and perched watching fields for food.We have also occasionally seen deer, two this morning feeding in a crop field not 30 yards from the roadway.Some of the woods are now opening up as we are into November. The leaves have fallen or are falling with rich color everywhere.As I mentioned before there are many, many shooting stands throughout the country where deer hunters will take many deer for the table and to protect crops.I’m so glad I will be able to continue that tradition and also with regard to conservation in a couple weeks.God gives us many gifts and also responsibilities. Stewardship of land, water, air, fish, fowl and all wildlife is part of His call for people to rightly steward His creation.Much to be done… And we must remember that there is always much grace in each harvest.Two other cool bits of eye candy this tour: sometimes we pass a handful or larger stands of the German version of birch trees, white splotched with black -so pretty.The other are the many bright yellow trees among the evergreens. They are as tall and pretty as the pines only they change color in autumn unlike the evergreens which do not. God does such wonders with His creation!We’ve also enjoyed seeing small groups of swans both in Germany and Switzerland. What amazingly elegant birds.FULDAThe fulda show went quite well, good crowd, wonderful staff, local promoter and reaaly good discussions after.Quite a few people told us how much they enjoyed the show though a good number were clearly not Christians and several of them were hitting the bottle rather hard.Roy & Ed did rocking solos, the Rez and deeper blues got very strong responses.KARLSRUHESo we were on the road right after the show, at 11 p.m. and in about 2 hours reached Karlsruhe where Ed & Roy got to sleep in, Carsten & I off to the a.m. church service where I did a couple songs and brought the message.Many nice comments after the service, then we had a nice brunch and celebration of Judith’s birthday. Roy and I took naps, then back for the evening show, last one of the tour.Fabrik 88 is the name of this very cool Ev. Free church in Karlsruhe. Excellent pastor, worship team & staff and fine congregation with a good number of visitors for the a.m. service, again old friends who had served at JPUSA came too, nice to be together!The evening Fabrk 88 show was a great finish to a sweet GKB tour. Again, very kind and enthusiastic people came. The good pastor & staff were truly wunderbar :)This was a fabulous tour on all levels. Carsten did an excellent job and with German precision and Christian love took wonderful care of us. He and his wife Judith are gifts to us as they are to so many others!We boarded the plane for Zurich, transfered to another there and home to Chicago. A bit of turbulance off and on in the last couples hours of flight- but this is very much like life is it not? Safe in Chicago at last :)Many thanks to EACH local promoter, musical gear provider, accomodation and all who came out to our shows and the services. SUPER thanks to our dear families and spiritual family at JPUSA & Grrr Records as well as friends throughout the world who have been praying and sending kind words our way :)So- here are a load of pics I took the final week of tour. And thanks for stopping by! God’s love & a grateful heart, -Glenn, for GKB

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