Having arrived in Grand Rapids, Michigan last Thursday, via Chicago on United Airlines, for the first night of the latest Third Day tour, I was sitting at the lunch table with a bunch of Third Day's crew whilst waiting for the band to arrive on their tour bus. Suddenly a crew radio burst into life asking where I was situated. 'Your friend from Grand Rapids is here to see you' said one of the crew. Now I've got friends in many cities all over the USA after touring here for so many years- but Grand Rapids isn't one of those cities, or so I thought. Making my way tentatively to the door of catering, I was pleasantly surprised to see none other than Ed Lumley there. The Third Day crew apparently didn't understand a word of our very British greeting to each other! Ed is originally from Cardiff, studying medicine in Bristol, England, but currently in Grand Rapids for a year at Bible college. Ed has been involved with Ignite for ages-was on our very first Leadership Academy and on our Flames of Fire teams for years and years in a duo with Craig Wakeling hosting the breakfast show. Ed was a local volunteer at the concert-selling Third Day merchandise and even clearing up leaves from outside the church where the concert was held. I was sharing a little bit from stage, encouraging people to sponsor World Vision children in India and by that supporting our Gateway School project-so Ed was able to pray for me just before I went on.
He'd never managed to see Third Day when they've played in Cardiff, so he was thrilled to be able to see them last night, and I was thrilled at the surprise of being able to spend some time with Ed in an unexpected setting.