Lulu and I arrived yesterday at the Red Hill Christian Conference Center, the site of the Sozo festival.  We’ve had a great time already.  It’s been so much fun to travel with her and watch her experience new things – like flying through a cloud and watching 4th of July fireworks flying over Philadelphia.

After flying all night and changing planes in Dublin, we arrived in Birmingham yesterday afternoon only to catch a train to Stratford-Upon-Avon.  The most stressful episode of our entire trip was our inability to acquire a map of the train stations.  I’ll spare you the details.  Fortunately, we figured it out with my laptop and the help of kind fellow passengers who, unlike us, didn’t have “I’m an American and have never ridden a train before in my life” stamped across their foreheads.  We changed trains in Leamington Spa, arrived in Stratford-U-Avon, walked a mile (thankful that we only brought one carry-on bag apiece!), and found our B&B, feeling quite proud that we had finally arrived.  After a forgettable fish & chips dinner, we called it a night by 9:00 pm.

I awoke before sunrise.  I thought about how well-rested I felt and was ready for the new day.  I thought I’d stay in bed and lightly snooze a bit while the sun came up.  I rolled over and, much to my surprise, it was only 10:30pm!  I had only been asleep for an hour and a half!  I tossed and turned the rest of the night, forcing myself to stay in bed and keep my eyes closed.  My daughter, on the other hand, slept like a rock until after 11 hours, I had to wake her up to go eat breakfast.

We toured Shakespeare’s home before being picked up and taken the four miles to Red Hill.  Red Hill is a beautiful facility and Lulu and I settled in right away.  It was wonderful to connect with other staff from Wales, England, Romania, Holland, Georgia (USA), and of course the familiar faces from Nashville.  The family from Romania has a 14-yr. old daughter and she and Lulu took to each other right away (the family speaks English very well).  It was wonderful to see them playing cards with her two younger brothers in the courtyard.

I joined Rob and some of the other musicians for our first worship planning meeting.  I look forward to what God has in store.  Today is a staff welcoming day.  This morning we’ll be visiting Warwick Castle and be joined with more folks from the UK.  Thank you for making this possible.  Here are today’s prayer points.

  1. Safety of travel for remaining staff
  2. Connection and unity of the staff
  3. Logistical details of worship planning (e.g. who are the musicians here?, what are their skill levels?, stage / audio prep, what songs do we know?)

Read more about the Sozo mission trip.


About Jonathan Riggs

Singer, actor, songwriter, and entrepreneur. And I like vanilla bean.
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3 Responses to Travels

  1. ShawnMarie Frazier says:

    I am loving seeing the blog updates. Can’t wait to see video. Praying for God’s grace and mercy in your travels and that you and Lulu would be blessed as you bless others by leading them to Worship!

  2. Rick says:

    Glad to hear you are there safely. Praying for you and Emily to have a wonderful time. May the God of hope bless you with joy and peace in your travels.

  3. The Duke Family says:

    We’re following your blog and mapping your travels. We enjoy hearing from you and Emily and are praying for you all.

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