A New Thing

Throughout Choir Tour 3 God has been showing us over and over how He is using these amazing kids to minister to people in America. Our first three weeks of the tour were filled with fun reunions, encouragement, and continued ministry. Some of our longest running members of the PCM family have stepped up to help us sponsor children and fulfill the vision of PCM.

 

Leaving Texas was hard to do because there is so much love there. But as our ministry moves forward that means new relationships, new families, and new opportunities to share the love of Jesus. Stepping into a new area is much like stepping back in time about 5 years with PCM. We are the new kid on the block again having the opportunity to tell stories of how we got to know our Ugandan family but also putting ourselves out there and hoping that someone will see what we have seen and be able to feel how the Holy Spirit is working.

 

Our first stop on this journey north was in Chicago. We were welcomed by a few friends from last choir tour but mostly meeting new people. Our first stop in the Chicago area was in Barrington, where the girls let their hair down for a walk in the woods!

girls with hair down

Do you still recognize them?

We had lots of fun at the Shedd Aquarium and going up the Willis Tower,

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Willis Tower

thanks to Chris Ordway and his neighbors in Barrington. Later the choir did a concert in Citizens Park and 4 new children were sponsored. It was a great way to start our time in Illinois!

We cannot tell too much about our relationships up north without sharing one of our favorite places in the world. Gull Lake Ministries is a family camp near Grand Rapids, MI directed by Daniel Wallace who is also a PCM board member. Every other year they have welcomed PCM to be the missions emphasis for a week of camp. Throughout the week Epa and Kiconco have had opportunities to share stories of their own pilgrimage to Uganda and how God stirred their hearts to action. It is through these weeks that we have met some amazing families that have joined hands with us. Our story resonated with two women in Chicago that hosted two of our nights.

Amy and Lisa in Wheaton

The choir loved performing for the English as a Second Language classes at College Church right next door to Wheaton College. There were adults from Burma, Ukraine, Vietnam, Sudan, Congo, Mexico, and many other countries. After they all stood up to say where they were from, Teacher Emmy stood up with the choir and said, “And we are from Uganda!”

ESL concert

After a couple more concerts and lots of new friendships, the choir was on the road again to their next destination.

Probably the largest outpouring of support has come from our new PCM Ohio family. Back at Family Camp this summer several families wanted to learn more about how they could get involved. So, we set up what we thought was a small meeting that evening and were surprised by 15 couples coming together!

Ohio Team

What was birthed out of that meeting was a team that has blessed us in so many ways.

Over the past several days these families have welcomed us,

Ohio Welcome

embraced our ministry,

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forged the way into new territory,

 

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and stepped out to help bring a voice to PCM.

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There are many stories that we could share, but one moment really touched our hearts. We were welcomed by Grace Church in Powell, OH to do a Sunday evening concert and several other churches were also invited to attend. We had no idea what to expect, but we knew God was up to something when the whole sanctuary was filled and they started having to add seats! Mark Otto, whom I’m sure you’ll see more of in the future, opened up the evening sharing about how the Barret family and PCM has impacted him.

Mark Otto

He challenged the congregation to get out of their seats and step out in faith wherever God leads them. Then he was followed by testimonies of hope and pure worship that brought people before God’s throne.

Barrets at Grace

Praising at Grace

We stepped away from that concert just blown away and unable to explain how it happened except by a movement of God’s Spirit. Thank you God for moments like that!

 

That concert was followed up by a concert in Worthingway (public) middle school that has already invited us to come back and spend the whole day with them next time

Worthingway School

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and a time of worship in the office of the governor of Ohio.

  1. Let Our Children Dance


Governor's desk

God is good and continues to show that He has bigger plans than we could ask for or imagine. Our time in Ohio ended with a sweet time of fellowship with our new PCM Ohio family. It was obvious that we had spent time doing exactly what makes God smile, and that this was just the beginning.

Girls posing

kids praising

Ohio send off prayer

God, thank you for lifting us up and reminding us that we are not alone. You will go before us and handpick the people that will continue Your work.

Good-bye for now

As we set our eyes on ministry in Michigan we are ready to be poured out and be filled up. Can’t wait to see you!

 

Texas and Louisiana Highlights

How do you even come close to describing the wonderful blessings we’ve experienced on Choir Tour 3? Even though it is the longest stretch of choir tour, our time in Texas (and a jump across the Louisiana border thrown in there) still seemed short. Maybe it’s because we were enjoying spending time with so many old and new friends!

We thought we would give you just a glimpse of some of the amazing people we have been able to minister with!

FBC Whitehouse

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cowboy church

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pizzas

praying at the table

longhorn

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worship at chattams

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Duncan sponsors

 

4 sisters

 

back yard praising

preach it

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dancing in the park

biggest catch

eat the fish

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nelly and friends

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Houston favorites

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dancing at crosswalk

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experience uganda

Uganda classroom

worship at crosswalk

Open My Eyes, Lord!

On January 30th of this year, Christie Hayes sent me (Melanie Pigg) a text saying she’d been praying about a woman to accompany her on a PCM trip that was leaving on March 29th – would I possibly be interested? My immediate response was basically, “Thanks, but no thanks – that’s not nearly enough time for me to prepare for something so important and so involved! But of course, since you asked me about it, I will pray!” As I hit send, there was already a stirring in my heart and the Lord was telling me that I would be going to Uganda in March.

 

Melanie and Christie at Equator

 

My husband and I prayed fervently about it over the weekend knowing Christie needed an answer quickly. A particular song kept coming to mind over that weekend which soon became my prayer for this trip and, in a way, was a confirmation to me that God wanted me on this team. I’m sure most of you are familiar with the song, “Open the Eyes of My Heart” by Paul Baloche, but just in case you’re not you can listen to it here: https://youtu.be/d8ful0cmPNQ. Every time I thought about the trip, this song would run through my head. During the weeks approaching the trip, I heard it on the radio, sang it in church, and just before we left I remembered that PCM Choir #2 even sang it on tour last year!

 

In Ephesians Chapter 1, Paul writes, “For this reason, ever since I heard about your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love for all God’s people, I have not stopped giving thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers. I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know him better. I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in his holy people, and his incomparably great power for us who believe.”

 

My family has been involved with PCM for many years and we are SO THANKFUL for our Ugandan family and we pray that they will know the Lord better and better each day. I have prayed that not only the eyes of their hearts would be opened, but mine as well. I wanted to see God among the children of PCM and the people of Uganda with my own eyes, and I wanted to be His hands and feet to these precious ones! I knew I would be embarking on a life changing journey.

 

During my time in Uganda, I have SEEN The hope that He gives these children. They KNOW they have a glorious inheritance in His kingdom, and they KNOW the POWER He gives to us as believers.

 

I HAVE SEEN the hope God gives in the eyes of Godson and Amos as they continue healing from a terrible boda boda (motorcycle) accident back in December. They know they were and are in the palm of God’s hand. We are grateful that Amos was alive to celebrate his birthday while we were here!

 

Amos with Tim

 

 

Godson

 

I HAVE SEEN God’s hands in the opening of Omwana House. These beautiful babies now have hope for a better life because of the services this refuge will offer.

baby house with Gerald

 

 

baby house with Harriet
I HAVE SEEN with my own eyes the pride that these students have in the few things they use or own – pride in the eyes of our precious daughter, Gloria, as she shows me the desk where she sits at school. The joy on her face as she shows me where she sleeps each night and points out the treasures she has tucked away in her trunk – our family name (Pigg) being one of the things taped on the inside. Do we have this same response at having so little? “But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal.” Matthew 6:20

 

Mel with Gloria

 

Gloria with bed

 

Gloria with desk

 

Gloria's trunk

 

I HAVE SEEN and participated in the incredible spectacle that is the welcome you receive at the schools. No one can fully prepare you for this experience – there’s NOTHING like it on earth. Singing and praising God at the top of their lungs as if their very life depended on it. The love and joy that is in the hearts of these children in need can ONLY come from knowing the love and joy of our Lord and Savior.

 

Mbarara welcome sign

 

Rwemikoma welcome

 

Sanga welcome

 

I HAVE SEEN and heard the wise teaching that is being imparted to these students. Their teachers and caregivers LOVE them and give them the best that they can. They are doing an INCREDIBLE job of teaching these children to hide God’s Word in their hearts.

 

baby classroom at Mbarara

 

 

boy at Rwem reading bible

 

“Start children off on the way they should go, and even when they are old they will not turn from it.” Proverbs 22:6

 

I HAVE SEEN a student’s eyes light up when you tell them you know their sponsor! Just that small connection to the family that loves them in America means the world to them. Oh, how they love you, dear sponsors!

 

Melanie with friend's sponsored child

 

 

Bubba with his sponsored child

 

 

I HAVE SEEN how much happiness the gift of a simple frisbee can bring to these little ones. How many toys do our children have that they never use?

 

frisbee pic

 

frisbee pic #2

 

I HAVE SEEN the contentment that God can bring to one who trusts in Him for ALL of their provisions. These students at several of the schools eat the same lunch and dinner each and every day. Beans and posho. How would you respond if you had to do the same? They did have a special treat of soda to celebrate Easter though!

 

lunch line at Rwem

 

eating lunch at Rwem

 

 

I HAVE SEEN the Church worship together as one – Ugandans welcoming their American brothers and sisters in Christ to their Sunday morning Easter service. What an experience! Sweet Pastor Emmy even invited a member of our team to present the message that day.

 

Shawn preaching

 

Easter Sunday service

 

As a side note, Team 49 decided to share an American Easter tradition with our Ugandan friends and handed out marshmallow Peeps after the service and again later at the Mbarara school! They were thankful for the gesture, but many said they were too sweet!

 

peep pic

 

peep pic #2

 

As I finish writing this blog entry on the plane back to America, I pray for the 21 members of PCM Choir #3. I continue praying that the eyes of their hearts would be enlightened to the needs of the people they will encounter while in America. Yes, Americans are the needy ones – not these precious Ugandans. I pray that these students will RADIATE the joy of the Lord to all they encounter and that they will have an opportunity to tell them about the One who died so that we might live.

 

choir in front of waterfall

 

Will you ask God to open the eyes of your heart so that you are available to be used for His glory?

 

Melanie Pigg