We just hit cruising altitude on our first of three flights in the next 24 hours. Tennessee looks green and pretty, and the warm sun feels good on my shoulders and face as it pours in through my airplane window…
Three countries. Three weeks. And a Trio abroad.
Azerbaijan, Georgia, and Jordan… An all new region for everyone in the band. We’re practicing how to say “hello, please, thank you” and other useful phrases in Azerbaijani, and resting up for this first stop on our mission ahead.
From our briefing calls, and from previous tours I’ve done, I’m so excited and know some of what to expect… yet at the same time, there’s nothing routine about it. I know we’ll be sharing music, visiting hospitals, schools, and working with many people with different backgrounds, differences, and abilities/diff-abilities. I also know we’ll experience new thrills, new highs, and probably some new challenges as we go.
There’s also a new, personal element for me on this tour in that it is my first international expedition where I’ll be apart from my wife, Lesleigh, and baby boy, Theo. I’ve appreciated ALL of the messages, prayers, and encouragement and want to say this as I depart today:
I am so blessed to have a friend and teammate in Lesleigh who believes in the same mission and has faith and perspective that even though this time apart isn’t EASY, it is IMPORTANT.
I’m also so grateful for my son and the encouragement that he gives in his own way, when I tour. It gives me such joy when I FaceTime with them and he laughs and pulls the camera close to his face to be closer to me.
With all of that gratitude in mind, I proceed. Clear-headed and confident. I focus on the path that lies ahead, prepare to be the best ambassador for the U.S. that I can possibly be, and to serve with a very full heart.
Here we go!