One Voice Youth Choir Music/Mission Trip to New York City - My Family Travels

 During June of 2010, my church youth choir from Jackson, MS took off on an exciting music/mission trip to New York City. As with most adventures of this magnitude, we had to overcome quite a few obstacles including, but not limited to, fund raising, travel snafus, and the sudden, unexpected, resignation of our director just weeks before we left.

            To pay for our trip, the choir had to sponsor several fund raising activities. I participated in all of them, including a clothing consignment sale called “Angel Avenue”, a church wide lunch where I had to work as a server and a Christmas ornament sale.
            With funding secured, we were able to turn our attention to practicing for the concerts we were scheduled to give. We worked diligently all year long in preparation only to have our long time director resign just weeks before the tour! As always, God finds a way and he provided for us a very gifted parent who was willing to take on the director’s role for the tour.
            Finally, we were set to go…only Delta Airlines acted like they did not know it. Despite all travel arrangements being complete over six months in advance, Delta created obstacles at every turn. From moving us back and forth on several different flights to not showing ticket purchases for some of the group to forcing some of the group to miss flights altogether, Delta was very difficult to deal with! In fact, our tech producer came up with a new acronym for Delta – “Didn’t Ever Leave The Airport”.   
            In spite of airline shortcomings, we persevered! We finally all arrived safely in New York. Wow! What a great time! Our performances took us to a church across the street from the Twin Towers site, the country’s oldest Methodist church, and the largest cathedral in the world. In our spare time we were able to do quite a bit of sight seeing. I was able to go see the Statue of Liberty, Grand Central Station, Chinatown, the South Street Seaport, Times Square and an awesome view of the city from Rockefeller Center.
            One of the most exciting experiences we had was singing at the annual Mississippi Picnic in Central Park. It was a great feeling to be able to perform for so many transplanted Mississippians – we even ran in to people we knew! In addition to sightseeing, we were able to see several Broadway musicals including “Phantom of the Opera” and “Mary Poppins”. Both shows were terrific.
            The most meaningful part of the trip was my opportunity to serve with YSOP Missions. My group helped package and distribute bags of food to families who could not afford to pay for groceries. I did not expect a large crowd but we had over one hundred people come through that day. I truly felt God working through me during that experience.
            All in all, our 2010 Choir Tour was a great success. We were able to overcome some obstacles to not only have a great time but reach out in service and love to others. I can not wait until next year!

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