The next part of our exciting journey was to the Majesty Music MusiCollege, held this year in Collegeville, PA. We arrived there just in time for church Sunday night, and then afterwards had the opportunity to work with “Uncle” Gary and “Aunt” Christiane Emory, setting up for the conference. With hymnbooks, book bags, registration material, music, and many people all flying around in a thousand different directions, 🙂 we all enjoyed the wonderful service opportunity immensely. Monday started bright and early, and over the next 2 days, we were challenged, encouraged, and inspired to continue serving and glorifying the Lord with the musical abilities He has given. During chapel sessions we were reminded of meaningful truths like the lasting consequences of bitterness, the sovereignty of our God, the importance of giving everything over to the Lord’s control, and how we, in our own strength, cannot possibly fulfill our “role” in the ministry that He has called us to. During the different workshops throughout the conference, we learned many different skills and ideas on a variety of topics, from conducting to singing to teaching violin to piano techniques, etc. etc. The Lord especially used the conference to remind me that I must turn every talent, idea, desire, or ministry that I have over to Him and then allow Him to work out His will through me. We were blessed for those two days to have Joshua and Jenny Wilkes and Lisa and Rachel Butler attending MusiCollege with us. The like-minded fellowship that took place was an encouragement, and we greatly enjoyed our time together. 🙂
The grand finale of MusiCollege was the “Graduation Concert” on Tuesday evening. It started with a special orchestra performance, and then continued with many songs of praise sung by the choir of over four hundred people! What an opportunity to declare the glory of our wonderful Creator and Lord!
“I will sing unto the Lord, because He hath dealt bountifully with me.” (Ps. 13:6)
“The Lord is my strength and my shield; my heart trusted in Him, and I am helped: therefore my heart greatly rejoiceth; and with my song will I praise Him.” (Ps. 28:7)
It all started on Friday night, July 31, 2009, when we finally got the last suitcase in the trailer and headed out the driveway. Actually, it started several days, and even weeks before that, as we planned, prepared, and finally packed for this long-awaited and much-anticipated road trip. So, with much excitement and many smiles, we left home around 7:15 pm.
We stopped at a hotel along the way that night, and early the next morning, we got on our way again, with a very exciting destination in view: the home of the Wilkes Team!! After a rather uneventful trip, we arrived in high spirits in northern Virginia. The Wilkes had arranged for our two Teams to minister at an assisted living complex near their land in Culpepper, VA, so that was our first stop. We were well-received, and God blessed us with a fabulous time of singing, testimony, and talking with the people there.
The next thing on the agenda was a new experience with old friends: in the ten years that we have been blessed to know the Wilkes, we had never been to their land in Culpepper! So we loaded up our vans and headed down the road to the property. The evening there was wonderful, and it included supper and a tour by pick-up truck all around the land! That was very interesting! Imagine a pick-up truck with a good-sized-but-not-huge bed. Then, imagine that the two dads climb into the cab, to be the chauffeurs on the tour. Okay, now that you have that down, picture two lawn chairs in the bed of the truck (for Mom and Mrs. Wilkes), and then pile nineteen other people (ranging from age 24 years to 5 months old) in the remaining space. Put beaming smiles on every face, and lots of talk and laughter on every tongue, and your image is complete. 🙂
The tour was wonderful, and lots of fun! We did have a slight adventure, right at the end of it, when the left, rear wheel started making a strange noise. We stopped the truck and unloaded, only to discover that we had run over something sharp and now had a flat tire! Okay! So that put an interesting twist on things, but God is merciful, and the spare tire worked fine… once it was out from UNDER the truck and put ON the axle. 🙂 Dad, Mr. Wilkes, Josh, Matthew, and Daniel worked hard and had it in good running order in a short time, although some people thought it was interesting that the flat had occurred on the GIRLS’ side of the truck… Hmmmm…
Sunday was very spiritually refreshing, and we thoroughly enjoyed the wonderful fellowship of the people who attend the church services at the Wilkes’ house. Sadly, we had to leave right after lunch, but happily,we would see them later in the week… 🙂
So… here we were… 10:00 at night… sitting around in our dear friends the Wilkes’ house… working, thinking, laughing, thinking, talking, thinking, and FINALLY… DESIGNING!!! (And did we mention that we were, um thinking?) Snapping photos, choosing fonts, laughing, thinking, and talking some more. 🙂
Anyway, with the expert ability of Robert and James Staddon, and the gracious hospitality of the Wilkes, we stayed up past 2:00 in the morning and got it under way. We praise the Lord for allowing this vision to finally become a reality, and look forward to recording how God is working. Praise the Lord for all He has done.