The Torch is Passed

In ancient Greece, the Olympics began with a lampadedromia, meaning “torch race”. The tradition was re-instituted and adapted in 1936 during the Berlin Olympics, with the institution of the Torch Relay. The relay is a long distance run, spanning multiple countries, and even continents, that signals the beginning of the games. Many runners work together, one runner at a time, passing a torch on to the next, until it reaches its destination. The tradition has continued at every Olympic games since then.

Here at CTI, we have a similar tradition. At the end of every CTI team’s tour together, they hold a final concert that the subsequent team attends. However, instead of passing a torch onto the next team, they pass on the mission of CTI.

Last night, that happened. CTI Colombia and Honduras, surely tired from a long day of flying the day before, spent the day debriefing their tour together. They shared stories about times they failed, and times they succeeded, and how they had to rely on God daily.  This was all in preparation for transition from their CTI experience, back into every day life.

After debriefing, they sat down for a Q/A with Team Hong Kong and others, and then came back on stage later that night for an awesome concert! They were a great example for Team Hong Kong, showing how much they might grow in their short time overseas. They shared the Gospel through their own experiences in ministry together, and encouraged the new team on their upcoming mission.

And just like that, with CTI Colombia and Honduras’ final concerts complete, they cease to be the face of CTI. From this point forward, Team Hong Kong will bear that name, and with it, the mission of CTI. Though the round one teams have finished their individual mission, the overarching mission of CTI continues on. Each team is just a small part of a much greater mission. We at CTI all have a much larger goal (Furthering the kingdom of God), and each team furthers that mission a little more. Just as the torch is passed in the Olympics, so the mission of CTI is passed onto team Hong Kong.

Congratulations to the Honduras and Colombia teams! And a thank you to them for being willing to use their time and their gifts to serve the Lord. Thank you for responding to God’s call to serve him, saying “Here I am Lord, send me!”

Soon enough, Team Hong Kong will be doing what these guys are doing, passing the torch to the fulltime teams of 2017. but for now, they have an opportunity to come together in ministry, using their gifts for the shared goal of spreading the Gospel to people across the world! Keep following Team Hong Kong’s Blog for updates on their ministry as a team!

Quick Travel Update on Round 1 Teams

Here’s a quick update from the teams!

After speaking with the Colombia team, we’ve received word that all is going smoothly and the team is at their gate waiting to board their final flight to Minneapolis, MN! A team of staff has already left Willmar with van and trailer in tow to pick up the team and their gear.

After having a quick conversation with Lena from the Honduras team, they have been delayed in their last flight from Miami to Minneapolis. The team is safely on the ground in the U.S. All is well and the team is doing great considering their slight delay. They have been rebooked and are scheduled to be landing later this evening in Minneapolis. Paul will be happy to greet them upon their return! We will keep you updated once both teams have landed on the ground at MSP! Stay tuned for team arrival pics!

As we get closer! Get pumped! Tomorrow is going to be an awesome day to reflect on all that God has done and is continuing to do!


Dare You To Move To A New Culture

Today, teams participated in a cultural simulation, as well as drama training! In this post, we’ll try to to explain what those two things are, and what purpose they serve in training.

The Four Cultures Game is an exercise where the team is split into four groups (cultures) with distinct characteristics. After each group develops a few key values, they have to interact with the other groups. Throughout this process, we tell them to hold to their own values, but also to be respectful of the other group’s. That is until the last round, when the visiting teams are told to copy the characteristics of the other group. Afterwards, groups debrief their experience of the others.

Through this exercise, teams learn that, often times, our initial observations of a new culture are negative. We notice the things that are different from our culture, and that don’t align with our culture’s values. When we are asked to describe another culture, we are quick to use negative terms and phrases, or even portray something that could be positive as though it were a negative. It’s then our job to realize that different cultures just have differing answers to the same human problems. One culture’s answer is not necessarily more or less correct than another’s. We need to put aside our own opinions for effective sharing of the Gospel.

Dramas are a really unique tool that we have. Each summer, in addition to training our teams to use music as a tool to spread the Gospel, we also train them to utilize dramas for the same purpose. Like music, dramas have a unique way of telling a story. Actions and emotions are a universal language that anybody can understand. It doesn’t need translation, so it breaks through that obvious language barrier, and help tell the Gospel to an audience that otherwise might not hear it.

Needless to say, it’s been an eventful day at training, and it also marks a turning point. Up until this point, there’s been a higher focus on the musical aspect of tour. Now we’re turning our focus a little more culture; specifically, how to share the Gospel effectively in such a foreign culture. Sure, the music is still important, but as we like to say around here: We aren’t just musicians who have a message, we are messengers who use music to share that message.


CTI Hong Kong did an incredible job last night! They made it through their first concert as a team last night and there was a ton of energy on stage! Such a blessing for the training staff to see all of this take place! All of the verbal transitions were Gospel heavy and everyone was there to support and cheer the team on! The team is completely finished in their learning of new music and now it’s all just in the fine tuning stages of music! As music learning is now more or less done we are swinging full force into the second half of training: cultural simulations, dramas and mock concerts! You’ll want to be on the watch for some more stories and pictures from those parts of training! Here are a few pics from last night!




Who even knew?!

Ever find yourself wondering who trains these summer teams as they prepare to go overseas and serve their ministry partners? I know I do! Every summer there is a CTI Summer Training Staff made up of full-time staff, members of the Fulltime Teams and usually a few outsourced alumni that hop on board for the summer! As Round 1 teams are overseas in Honduras and Colombia, the Training Staff is smack dab in the middle of Round 2 teams! Meet the Training Staff of CTI Summer 2017!

Paul Vasilko (left) and Chris Reed (right)! These guys represent a very gifted teaching team who do everything in their power to steward their time with these team members very wisely and in all humility. Summer Team Members begin and end each day with them. They are blessed.


The Logix Team! They do everything that you can’t see! They resource our teams with all the gear, assistance and rocking to sleep you would need. Basically, they do it all. Wesley Lin (left), David Albers (center) & Isaiah Hutchison (right) & Maggie Reinhardt (Resident Snuggler & Smiler)


They call themselves the KP Crowd. They bake, measure, grocery shop, slice, dice and cook ALL of the Summer Community’s food; and they do it with grace and love! This team rocks it in the Kitchen!
Mid-Round & Mid-Day coffee break to reenergize for the food that’s about to hit some mouths and stomachs! Kitchen Crowd likes to think of themselves as the group that feeds both Souls & Stomachs


Evening Seminars with Chris


Morning Worship with Paul


This team represents the Worship Team & Music Training Team. Each of them play so many roles in the Training Community, we wouldn’t have enough time to explain it all! But, I’ll try! From left to right, top to bottom! David Albers (Sound Tech Trainer), Nick Black (Bass Trainer), Brendan Lane (Keys Trainer & Full Band Trainer), Brooke Vasilko (Vocal Trainer) Jenn Reinhardt (Music Training Director), Kirsten (Worship Leader), Kim Zeinstra (Guitar Trainer), Kasey Manning (Drum Trainer & Full Band Trainer)
These guys play such a huge part in preparing the teams for overseas ministry! Not only do they help develop musical excellence, but stage energy, communication, and (in Brooke’s case) even singing in a foreign language!


We are the Media Team! We are the ones that blog, take all the photos, edit all the videos and live stream all the concerts! Without us, you’d have no idea what CTI Summer Training looked like on the outside:) We are glad to serve you and give you a glimpse into the CTI Summer Community! (BTW, this was the third attempt on a picture….you’d think we were quicker)
2nd Attempt…we really tried!
First failed attempt. At least some would say that.

Ladies and gentlemen, the Summer training community! This crazy bunch of people are committed to prepping the summer teams for overseas ministry all Summer long!