Cold and snowy conditions in the midst of spring did not hinder the light and warmth of God from being brought to Anchorage, Alaska by the Taylor University Chorale.
Through performing music that shared themes of God’s glory and greatness, Chorale spent their spring break sharing the gospel to the people of Alaska. On their week-long tour, the group sang at several locations as a way to bless people.
The majority of the Chorale’s time included performances at many local churches. In their free time, they were able to explore the area and see a new community. Their views included many mountains and even more moose.
Freshman Kirsten Stinson described the unique nature of these views as a way to see the fullness of creation.
“I wanted to go to Alaska to have a new experience where God would show up and do amazing things,” said Stinson. “I was also very excited to see the mountains that he created since I do not get to see views like that often.”
Other fun activities that the group was able to participate in included eating meals with local community members, spending time bonding with each other through games and visiting area landmarks such as the Alaska Native Heritage Center. Through watching native Alaskan dancing and playing some of the Olympic games, the relationships within Chorale deepened as a by-product.
Outside of the beautiful landscape, Chorale was able to spread the gospel to a variety of people. The group set performances to be scattered through many church settings; opportunities to be a light arose in the midst of their performances.
“On the last night before we flew home, we stopped at a man's house who was sick and close to death,” said Stinson. “Chorale filled his house and sang the hymn ‘Praise to the Lord Almighty.’ Getting back on the bus, I felt God telling me that it was for that reason that we sang in Chorale. We got to bring a piece of heaven down to Earth for that man in his last few days.”
The work of God in the trip did not stop there. Freshman Calen Campbell highlighted the ways that the Lord changed him through this trip.
“Without expectation, God met me on this trip in the relationships I was able to grow,” said Campbell. “Those I grew close to during this trip encouraged me to spend more time seeking God during as well as after the trip. I can't even describe how good God was on this trip, how he provided above and beyond every need and showed me his love in a new and real way through others.”
Within the goodness of God and His work, the group still faced hardship. Ranging from sickness to anxiety and travel struggles, many fought to maintain a posture of joy.
“Halfway through the tour, the entire group was mentally and emotionally drained,” said Campbell. “I personally felt like I could no longer give my best. It was in these moments that we had to rely on God for strength and remind ourselves of the purpose that he had for us on the trip. Our ministry was reaching people whose stories we could have never guessed.”
The low moments on the trip were met with God’s strength and faithfulness, touching each member of the Chorale to help them persevere for the remainder of the tour. These highs and lows drew the group together and shaped their view on how music serves as a way to worship the Lord and spread his message.
“I now know the value of worshiping through song, and I will forever value every chance I get to sing with Chorale before we all get to sing in Heaven someday before the Lord Almighty,” said Stinson. “In the words of the hymn, ‘Let the Amen sound from his people again. Gladly forever adore him. Praise to the Lord!’”