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!
Do you still recognize them?
We had lots of fun at the Shedd Aquarium and going up the 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.
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!”
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!
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,
embraced our ministry,
forged the way into new territory,
and stepped out to help bring a voice to PCM.
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.
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.
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
and a time of worship in the office of the governor of Ohio.
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.
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.
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!