Maybe you’re not quite sure what the LWW is. Maybe you already know that LWW stands for The Liberated Wailing Wall, our Jews for Jesus mobile evangelistic team, but you have other questions about them—like what keeps eight people busy on a 40-foot bus between evangelistic presentations? Our days are long, and we work hard, but we like what we do, and we thought you might enjoy a personal glimpse into a typical day of life in the Wall.”
7:00 a.m.—Alarm clocks begin to go off. Little by little, there are signs of life on the bus as we get ready to face a new day. Ah, the joys of a morning shower! The shower on the bus is an experience in itself. We even have a song that will give you a more vivid picture.
The Shower On The Bus
(Sung to the tune of The Shadow of Your Smile)
The shower on the bus—
is so much fun.
The shower on the bus—
there’s only one.
You have to wait in line—
Ten minutes at a time—
It really is sublime—
The shower on the bus.
7:59:23 am—Seemingly out of nowhere, from behind the curtain on her bunk, Goldie appears, ready to go.
8:00 a.m—Our day officially begins, and our home on wheels becomes the mobile branch of Jews for Jesus. We each have assigned administrative work. Jason is in charge of all of our bay (below-deck) storage and sales inventory. He is also our computer whiz, putting all of our statistics into our Apple Macintosh computer. Gina is our itinerary coordinator who makes sure all our presentation dates are confirmed and our housing arrangements are finalized. Glenn is currently assisting Gina, learning the ins and outs of itinerary planning. Goldie is our financial assistant and office accountant who keeps the books straight. Doug, our driver, gets us where we are going, “safe and sound.” He also fixes things when they break down, which is all the time! Besides that, if anyone needs a chiropractor, Doug keeps “office hours” on the back of the bus almost every evening. Murray prepares the reports on our presentations every night. He also is Doug’s right hand man, as Doug teaches him how to drive and maintain our rolling home. Alana is the mail lady who makes sure all of our correspondence is sent out. Alana is also the office manager. She makes sure the office area is stocked with supplies and the files are in order and keeps the team journal, recording our every minute, and inputting it into the computer. Then there’s Joshua (Moss, the Boss), our fearless team leader. He leads and instructs the team, making us efficient and professional.
The morning office hours continue until noon. Then we stop for lunch.
1:00-3:15 p.m.—Afternoon hours are different all the time, depending on our scheduled destination. Sometimes we are mobile, en route to our destination, and other times we will have arrived late the previous night, or some time that morning. Depending on our travel time, afternoons are spent in rehearsal and/or evangelism. If we are traveling, we continue our normal office hours on board. If we are not traveling, we either head downtown or to the local college campus or some other highly populated area to hand out gospel broadsides or engage in parabolic preaching (evangelistic street drama).
3:15-4:45 p.m.—This is time off, when we rest up for the evening presentation, catch up on personal correspondence, go for a walk, or just “play.” Murray and Glenn usually look for a basketball hoop and squeeze in a game or two. On a nice day, it’s the perfect time for “Mad Dog,” “Hot Dog” and “Puppy Dog” to go outside and throw a frisbee. (You have to guess which team members those three frisbee players are.)
4:45-5:30 p.m.—Time to set up. We unload the bus bays and bring our equipment into the church. Everyone has an assigned task, just like in the office. Jason sets up the keyboards. (We have three—a Yamaha DX-7, a Yamaha DX-7S and a digital sampler made by Ensoniq called Mirage.) The Mirage has samples of every sound imaginable, from the roar of Mt. St. Helens erupting to the sound of the human voice. It’s an orchestra all by itself. Doug is our sound engineer, and he sets up the sound board in the back of the church sanctuary. Goldie is the wire lady, running 20 wires every concert for the microphones, instruments and its keyboards. Murray sets up our Bose speakers and speaker stands. Gina sets up the microphone stands and instrument stands and gets the props in place. Glenn sets up the sales table, and Alana is the costume mistress who makes us all look as beautiful as possible. The guys handle all the heavy trunks, and the girls carry in the lighter items. We have so much equipment that when the bus is fully loaded it weighs close to 20 tons. Of course, this weight includes the eight of us and our small regulation-size luggage, but that’s still a lot of microphones! Since we have no “roadies” to help schlep, it takes us approximately 45 minutes to set up our equipment, tune the instruments and sound test. (No, schlep is not a person; it’s the Jewish word for dragging heavy stuff.)
5:30 p.m.—Dinner. We have some diverse eating habits among us. Some of us are hardcore dieters who are truly committed to losing weight. Others are health conscious, like Doug “Health” Lowe. Others, like Goldyne the Munch Queen, pretend to be on diets, and still others, like Joshua-Feed-Me-Steak-Moss, eat and eat. Then there are Murray and Alana, who can munch to their hearts’ content and stay slim and trim, like toothpicks with eyelashes and hair. Before a presentation, though, we all prefer a light meal. Sometimes the church has graciously prepared a meal for us. We find that church meals are the same all over America—lots of chicken, lots of potato salad, and LOTS of iced tea! It’s definitely a cultural experience in the South.
6:30 p.m.—We begin dressing for the presentation. The girls run around trying to find a mirror big enough to put on makeup, and they still manage to be ready before the guys. Who says women take forever? We meet for prayer, program order and last-minute instruction from the music director and team leader.
7:00 p.m.—We’re on!
8:30 p.m.—The presentation is over, and we talk to the people. Glenn mans the sales table with Goldie as his assistant, and then we begin the process known as “tear down.” This takes almost as long as setting up, but not quite. Doug fills the bus’s water tank, he and Gina study the map and discuss directions to our next destination, and off we go into the night.
Jason heads for the shower, Glenn and Josh wrestle (Glenn lets Josh win). Goldie watches the road with Doug, Murray begins working on the report of the evening’s presentation, the rest of us hang out or get ready for bed. Doug will usually stop at a truck stop for fuel. Josh will eat another meal. Glenn will join him.
11:00 p.m.—Lights out. It’s the end of another day in the life of the Liberated Wailing Wall.