What's Happening?

Life on the road is never boring! Whether it's a birthday party or a fall outing, read these articles to hear about the recent fun the team has been having.


rebsaddictionsThe team members are all human, as you know (although sometimes when I hear Reba blaring Orange Blossom Special on her accordion, I'm sure she's sent down from accordion heaven for us mortals' enjoyment), and since we are human, we all have our soft spots. Some call them addictions, but soft spots sounds better.

As I observe the different team members, I get to learn all about the things which make them tick during the day. Let's take for example my beloved sister-in-law and fellow mother, Christy. Christy probably does more and has more energy that any other mom of five I have ever observed. BUT, I have noticed that when she starts to lag, Diet Coke can usually cure her ailments. In fact, just today I was able to watch her chase down a peddler pushing a cart outside the church gates, just so she could buy a diet coke from him. Most of the team will go to great lengths for a good cup of coffee. Every morning I brew some very strong, dark, good stuff, and my most faithful customers are always the girls on the team, mainly Reba. Reba loves coffee. She is actually the one who forced me to start enjoying coffee, during all those days she would drag me to Starbucks during our first year traveling together.

Jonathan is a running addict, or at least, that's what he leads us to believe. I, personally, cannot understand how ANYONE would be addicted to running--running is usually what I need to do BECAUSE of my addictions. Matt is probably the most obvious in his addictions--he's addicted to his fiancee, Annie (and all the females say "awwww"). If Matt has a free moment, he can usually be found texting or talking to his fiancee, planning his honeymoon, or looking for jobs in their future home, Salt Lake City. Even the children have addictions. Those usually come in the form of electronic games, like Temple Run (which Eliana is scarily good at) or something to do with Star Wars legos.

I was recently reminded by a friend to not treat my time with the Lord as I do breakfast--I know it's good for me, and I do it when I can, but if I skip, it's no big deal. Rather, I can treat it like something I LOVE--like an addiction. Isn't it wonderful we can enjoy our "addictions", but in the end, we as Christians can enjoy God more! It makes this life worth living! (supplemented by lots of lots of caffeine, of course ;)

-Caroline Roland


It's a. . .


With our second baby due in June, I was looking forward to finding out the gender and starting to think of names, clothes, etc. However, due to scheduling and Josh's three week trip to Israel, I found myself sitting all alone at the ultrasound appointment where they would tell me the gender of our baby. I had debated how to tell Josh...it would have been fun to FaceTime him at the appointment and let us find out together...but thanks to Israel's time zone, that was not an option. I thought about finding out, and waiting to tell him in person--over the phone just seemed so boring. But, I knew that I would NEVER be able to keep it a secret. So I had the brilliant idea of letting them write the gender on a piece of paper and sealing it an envelope until Josh got home! Little did I know how hard it would be to not look into that envelope! After all those weeks of waiting, I thought it would be fun to make it even a little more dramatic. So, since Josh was getting home on Saturday night, and our first team party would be the following evening, I decided to have a cake made at WalMart that would surprise us ALL with the gender of the baby.

After explaining the whole process to the cake decoraters and making sure they knew NOT to tell me when I came to pick it up, I handed over the special envelope. The were going to make a baby cake, but the inside layer of frosting would be the color of the baby's gender. Now, both Josh and I were SURE it was a boy. This pregnancy has been easier than Evi's, and with so many boys in the Roland side of the family, it seemed very unlikely we would be having a girl. However, when I asked my facebook friends what they thought, lots said girl! So I had no clue what to think. The night of the party arrived, and we had pink and blue ribbon, and everyone got a bracelet with their "vote". Thirteen people voted boy...3 voted girl (Reba, William, and I). I had boxes of candy for the winners of the vote--I made sure we had lots of them since it seemed the boys would come out victorious. Josh cut into the cake and...well, you'll just have to watch our latest video called "The Revealing" on Facebook to find out what we saw. :) Let's just say Evi was not impressed...

-Caroline Roland


Josh and Will in Jerusalem

jucFor most of the month of January, Will and Josh have had the exciting opportunity to take a course at Jerusalem University College in Israel! They have been planning this trip for a very long time (as long as I have traveled at least!) so I know they were excited to finally make it to the university for a course on Historical and Cultural Settings. They had a lot of prep work to do before they left, which is how I learned about the course. Josh was constantly marking routes of different stories in the Bible on maps, using different colors and symbols. Before he even left, he said that it had changed his view of the events in the Old Testament. Just in the first week, they were able to tour the Old City, visit Hezekiah's Tunnel, Bethlehem, and Jericho. Christy and I are praying daily for their safe return, and although we miss them lots, we are so excited for this chance for them to be "students" again and spend all day studying--and excited that it's not us having to take the exams! :)

-Caroline Roland


"By Faith" Recording

byfaiththumbThe week after Thanksgiving, our team was able to complete another recording session at Aireborn Studios in Zionsville, IN. This is the fourth recording that the "Galkin team" has been able to do together. There were several highlights of the week that we'd love to share with you.

1. The Stomach Flu: Affectionately called the "Galkin Flu" by the employees at Aireborn, our team was struck with a highly contagious virus that started with some of the Galkin kids our last week on the road, hit some of us over Thanksgiving, and the rest during the week of recording. There were several things to be thankful for--it only lasted 24 hours, and (in answer to many prayers), Reba was the ONLY one of our team that did not get it--God knew we needed her there each day! We even managed to infect a few members of the church planting team (http://plant4thegospel.com) that had come to visit and help during the recording. It appears that this flu is not just native to our team though, as we have heard of family and friends all over the country being infected. I tried to explain that to my mom and dad when they both got it a few days after our arrival at home, but I still think they blamed us. :)

2. A New Kid's Song: That's right, the Galkin kids got to enter the studio for a second time to record a song called "Sovereign One". Unlike the last song, this one is completely a kid solo. They trained very hard with their new vocal coach, Jonathan, although from what I heard, his endeavors to get them to do sirens and hooting sounds made them giggle more than sing. :)

3. Buffalo Wilds Wings Night: Tuesday night, we got together with our team (which included our dear friend and former team member Stephanie Coffey and 5-month old Liam) and some of the families of the church planting team for a night of Buffalo Wild Wings, chips and dip, singing, testimonies, and prayer time. I think everyone agreed it was just a little taste of heaven.

4. Answers to Prayer: We got to see God answer prayers all before, during, and after the recording--from Reba's health, to Sarah's ability to record her last few penny whistle parts in the midst of the stomach flu, to safe journeying to and from Indy, to grace to record many parts of songs in a small amount of time--we were blessed. We don't do these recordings so we can listen to ourselves each morning when we wake up--I think we'd all die if we had to do that. :P We do these to bring glory to God, to build up His church, and specifically with "By Faith" (the name of our new CD), we hope to spark a burden for the church planting that is about to take place in Salt Lake City, UT. So, whenever you hear one of our new songs, please take a moment to pray for the work that is going on out West.

-Caroline Roland


Thanksgiving Plans

turkeyLess than a week, and our team will officially be on Thanksgiving break! Normally this would signal the end of our traveling semester, but we are meeting up in Indianapolis, IN for a recording the week after Thanksgiving. Because of this, some people are foregoing the normal Thanksgiving meal around their family's table for a "Trailer Thanksgiving". Laura, Sarah, John, and Matt are all spending the holiday with the Galkin family in Indianapolis--this helps save a little money on plane tickets, as we would just have to be back in Indy that Saturday. Will, the true chef of the team, is already planning his gourmet meal, but each team member is expected to contribute a dish. Laura has already made plans for fried okra--a true Southern girl. The Rolands are pulling out Monday night from Minnesota to drive through the night to Mom Roland's house in Denver. We are looking forward to seeing Mom, Grandma, and brothers Ben and Jonathan--Ben, who is at BJU, has still never met Evi! Jonathan is flying down to Greenville, along with our good friend Baldoni (the accordian) to give it to the Pettit team who needs to take it on their trip to Spain. Reba is stopping in at her house in South Bend, IN to spend Thanksgiving with her crazy, large family. We are glad that we all have friends or family to spend this important holiday with--stay tuned, as we may have a special Galkin digital short afterwards. :)


What is a Cola War?

whatiscolawarthumbI've been having more and more people asking me lately, "So, what exactly is a Cola War?" If you're reading this article, it's probably because you are somewhat connected to our ministry, whether through a week of meetings we had at your church, Northland Camp, or a relationship with one of the team members. But unless you have actually been a teen in a Cola War, maybe you find yourself wondering, "What exactly goes on during one?" :)

Well, I doubt you'd find the phrase "Cola War" in the dictionary if you looked it up. But, the phrase was coined by my very own brother-in-law (Will Galkin) in the early nineties while he traveled on the Steve Pettit Evangelistic Team. He worked with teens each week, and through his experiences, came up with a great way to reach youth during a week of meetings. The name just refers to the simple fact that the teams are Coke and Pepsi. They are made up of both guys and girls, senior high and junior high, so that the teams can be as even as possible. On Sunday night, each youth group member/teen is placed onto one of these teams. We have a "pre-service" that meets 45 minutes before the regular service, and during this time, we play a quick indoor game and hear a challenge from the person in charge of the teens (who happens to be my handsome husband for our team).

The POINT of a Cola War is evangelism. I doubt any youth pastor really wants to spend all the money that goes into a Cola War so that his teens can hang out together and eat pizza. :) Starting on Sunday, we are teaching teens about the Gospel, about how it should affect our life, and how that should play out with our unsaved friends. Many of the teens we meet don't know anyone their own age who hasn't heard the Gospel--that's a problem. We NEED to be a part of our communities so we can share the good news of Jesus with others! And, if the Gospel is really at work in someone's life, this will be happening! So, all week long we are teaching the teens truths from the Bible, and encouraging them to invite their unsaved friends to the BIG Cola War night, which usually takes place on a Thursday.

Fast forward to THE day. Our team prepares all day for the teen event. Sometimes we expect less than 20 teens to show up. I think the biggest Cola War I've ever been a part of was in Concord, NH. Hundreds of teens came out--it was a blast, but a nightmare to keep score in sometimes. :P Around 5 o'clock, our team goes outside, where the guys engage the teens present in some fun, casual games like throwing around a football, and the girls work at the registration table. Registration serves two purposes--it allows us to meet any visitors that come and have them fill out an information card so we can keep in contact with them, and it allows us to make sure the teams are very even. Sometimes this requires us switching church teens to a different team, but they are usually so tied in to the evangelistic purpose by the point that it's not a problem. After registration, Josh starts leading some big, rough, outdoor games. These include Tube Tug and Tackle, Don't Crack the Six-Pack, Soda Challenge, and everyone's all-time favorite, Spoke Tackle. I have no idea where these games came from, but teens love them.

After the outdoor games, we head inside for free, all-you-can-eat pizza. This is one of the things we make sure the teens know is going to be there when we invite them (the other two are rough competition and a Gospel message), and the pizza probably draws in the biggest crowd. We make sure to have the lines all set up, pizza on plates, cans of soda out, so that teens can get their food and get right into the room where we will eat. We have them divided up onto chairs on two sides of the room, and continue the competition with trivia questions and small competitions. Our team can be seen roaming the room, offering more pizza or drinks. This keeps the teens seated, which helps with the chaos. We do this right up until the service is supposed to start, then usher the teens into the main service. We usually all sit together so the teens feel more comfortable. This is the most important part of the night--where the teens hear the Gospel. This is why we spend the money on the pizza, games, drinks, and invitations. After the service, we try and connect with as many visitors as possible. Many times teens may not be ready to make a decision in the service, but they have questions--and we love to answer them. We have found that more teens express a desire to accept Christ as their Savior in a one-on-one conversation after the service than during the invitation. Our team is always overjoyed to be able to show someone from the Bible how to be saved!

So, this is a Cola War. Cola Wars actually have a very special place in my heart. When I was in high school, the Pettit team came to my church and held a Cola War with my youth group. Will happened to be the guy in charge of the teens. All week I remember having lots of fun, but Friday night, I dedicated my life to full-time Christian service. It was a very defining moment in my walk with the Lord as a high schooler, where I chose to actively start pursuing Him, which manifested itself in actually spending time in God's Word every day. I know God could have led me to this decision without the Cola War and week of evangelistic meetings, but I think it's awesome that I now get to be a part of the same ministry that God used so much in my life.

-Caroline Roland


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