Setting up the Road
As was the custom on
the choir trips, a musical presentation is prepared by our choirs for
host churches across the country.
According to the schedule, we arrive in the afternoon; the boys
make the equipment set-up; and the host church prepares an evening
meal. Folks start arriving in
the early evening for the presentation.
Afterwards, with a
pre-arranged assignment list, the kids are divided among the host
church members to spend the night; have breakfast; and be back at the
church the next morning.
Departure time is based on miles to be traveled to the next
When we reach our
tour destination point, things changed.
Back-yard Bible studies assist a mission church or a church
struggling to get started. Local
churches do not have enough folks to accommodate the kids each evening
so housing arrangements are made apart from the host church. Motels, camp grounds, and near-by
cabins usually fill the bill.
Prior to leaving on
the tour, the senior high choir conducted a back-yard Bible study in
Euless that prepares them for the destination host church. Little is left unplanned and the kids
carry out their assigned task eagerly, with expertise, and a true love
for the children. They canvas
the area for young people, and conduct the Bible study according to the
This same energy
goes beyond the home church to the host church. There the kids are assigned specific
areas to canvas and recruit others for the host church back-yard Bible study
groups. The senior choir members
become dedicated to their assigned neighborhoods. Frequently friendships are made that
last well beyond the tour.
Robert and chaperons accompany different groups
each day to monitor their activities.
With the assignments they are given, it is not necessary to
supervise them. The chaperons
choose to visit and share the Gospel with the adults in the area.
The church coach
drivers and I familiarize ourselves with the area. The mechanical beasts always need
something. We locate fuel and
places for service. Plus we
investigate our assigned routes for the best route to get the kids to
their respective areas each morning.
It is a joy to see
the kids’ board the coach each morning.
They are ready for the day and talking about what they are going
to be doing. The excitement can
be overwhelming as they recognize they are being used by God to reach
others for His kingdom.
And when you pick
them up after the morning sessions, they are keyed up with joy over a
young child who accepted Christ.
There is also a new enthusiasm for a new group of kids that
attended for the first time.
There is nothing greater than seeing young people who love the Lord
and love serving Him.
The afternoons are
free to do as they wish. Most of
them sleep; lay in the sun; read books or plan
for the next day. No, you know
that is not true with kids on a trip away from home. They entertain themselves to their
hearts delight when they have free time.
The chaperons plan full use of the host church
kitchen. They plan ahead for the
meals for each day at the destination point for back-yard Bible
studies. There is always that
one person who knows how to take charge.
The meals are
planned and the tasks for the other chaperons are assigned. Everything needed is prepared or
purchased for the meals. They
are great cooks – they know their business.
You could easily
tell choir trips are not Robert’s first ministry projects. It is a great time of fellowship. It is made more pleasant by the
planning that goes into making it a success.
The senior high
choir trip destination for this summer is Hagerstown, MD. The First Euless senior high will
conduct a back-yard Bible study for the kids in the neighborhood.
intermediate out of the way via points such as Jonesboro, AR, Glasgow,
KY, and Washington, DC – the trip is easily over 2,000 miles one
way. Leaving on June 30,
places us in Washington DC on Friday, July 4th. Plus we were going to be spending 4
days in Hagerstown with the back-yard Bible study groups
The first stop was
Jonesboro, AR. There they would
give a choir presentation and spend the night. Glasgow, KY was the second via point
scheduled for the next day and we were to spend the night there. We would then go to Alexandria, VA
for a choir presentation and spend the night.
The next day was
scheduled to arrive in the Washington, DC area. The youth are excited to visit our
nation’s capitol. Robert had
arranged for the choir to make a music presentation on July 3rd
at the Pentagon.
In the afternoon, he arranged a presentation in
the Russell Senate Building. We
also scheduled a driving tour of DC pointing out the monuments.
The next day
included a free day on the Washington National Mall for July 4th. The kids and chaperons would be
turned loose to pursue their interest from monuments to the
Whitehouse. It would be both
interesting and educational.
The group would meet
in the afternoon near the center of the National Mall for a musical presentation
by the military band. Since the
military bands rotated, the Air Force Band was scheduled for the day we
would be there.
The National Mall
fireworks show shortly after dark is a highlight of the day. The choir remained on the Mall for
the fireworks show.
Afterwards, the choir moves to Hagerstown for
settling in for week of back-yard Bible studies. It makes for a full day and the kids
would be tired, but they would be given the next day to recuperate.
On Sunday, they
would be divided with assigned areas of responsibility to develop their
groups for back-yard Bible study for the next week. The coaches deliver them to their
assigned areas where they canvas for the next day back-yard Bible study
The return trip schedule
back to Euless had intermediate stops at churches along the way as we
did getting to Hagerstown. One
of the highlights going home included the Chick-fil-A
headquarters just south of Atlanta, GA.
We planned the BackStage tour including visiting with Truett Cathy, CEO and Christian leader of Chick-fil-A. Mr.
Cathy passed away in 2014, but at this time, he was vigorous and ruling
like a monarch over his domain.
Also the return trip
included Six Flags over Georgia for a day at the amusement park. The balance of the trip covers
churches along the I-20 corridor for the return trip to Euless.