June 30, 2016
Our tour is over. The final concert is at DUMC. The youth are looking out over a sea of joyous, expectant faces which include family and friends. Amongst the crowd are the alumni who went with us on tour in years past. They smile with the good memories of their own days traveling on tour. Paul, our faithful bus driver is in the crowd. We were hoping he would be there. It gives us a warm feeling to see him once more. As the concert progresses there is exultant clapping and cheering. There is nothing like singing for the home crowd! We know that they will love us no matter what happens. The entire week has been building up to this moment. All of the rehearsals and long hours have been worth it for these final moments of song in our home church.
Watching these youth singing their hearts out is a bittersweet feeling. Those who have not traveled on tour would have difficulty understanding. We are so proud of what these youth have accomplished and yet a little sad for it to be over. We have watched them grow this week, bond with each other and support one another. We have grown closer to them and appreciated each one of them for their own unique gifts. A tour alumni once told me that the most important friendships of his life were made during his years on tour. That’s why the alumni always come back every year to sing those last few songs. It was a special time in their lives and they want to hold onto that feeling for a little while longer. My wish is that your children will feel the same way. After they have graduated and moved on, we want to see them come back again with sweet memories of these special times together. We will smile together and lift our voices in praise. I’m sure God will be smiling too.