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By Doug Vancil

Before we left on this Choir Mission Trip, I had made my list. My list consisted of dates, times, addresses, instruments, supplies, roommate assignments, and equipment responsibilities. My list included all the essentials for the makings of a successful choir tour like good performance venues, local culture and history immersion, interaction with children, older adults, and others living in challenging situations, and some fun activities along the way.

Just halfway through the week and I’ve checked everything off my list. Done.

But God has a list too: the miraculous events that happen in the midst of and between the lines of my own. God’s wonderful surprises like observing our students completely lead the music camp for 50 rambunctious kids. Watching years of parental and congregational nurture manifest itself in the strong, gentle, and compassionate character of these youth. Listening to them sing with more clarity and conviction than ever before. And sensing an opening in relationships within the group, watching them recognize the living Spirit of Christ in each other.

Dear God, thank you for allowing me to experience what you have on your list. And thank you for these fellow travelers. What a deep joy this has been.