Music students are a special breed. Simple rhythms, like water dripping from a faucet, spark a retrieval of cached songs in the recesses of a lyrical database in their minds. When a music student downloads the music from their internal hard drive they must sing it.
So, as students stood looking over Niagara falls the steady stream of water forced a song, after a few moments of thought. The thoughts started as students stood, marveling at the expanse of water that rushed down stream in front of their eyes.
Some students stood in silence. The rushing falls was welcomed white noise after the monotonous noise after a nearly 10 hour bus ride. Others were energized by the constant commotion of the water rushing uncontrollably by them. These are the students who might be found at the bottom of a bus doggy pile as day 7 approaches. They are the ones who like to have fun. They are constantly shifting seats on the bus, stopping to the front to visit with bus driver, Matt McGuire, and sitting on the floor when friends are crowded in seats in the back.
A handful of other students sit on park benches as a soft drizzle falls on their hoods. The passing landscape was routine on the ride to the falls, as the bus crossed four state lines. Many failed to notice a change in topography. Now, standing before Niagara falls the students are captivated by the passing of rushing waters. It is serene for them. There is peace in this moment.
As the students gather for pictures there is a flurry of ideas for unique poses. Then, one student blurts out a flippant remark at how awesome the falls are. It sparks a path of conversation that gingerly walks from abstract awe to concrete appreciation for the wonders of God. It's moments like this that initiates the song bank in the music student. The group settles on singing their theme song for the trip, Testify to Love. It sparks a night of singing that carries with them to the Hard Rock Cafe, where they have dinner. Music created this group, but inspired singing is what is drawing them closer together. They're forming a wholly unique bond.
All the excitement forces a restless night for many. A host of young men sleep through their alarm at the hotel. They struggled to settle down from the excitement of the falls.
The boys are an hour late to breakfast, barely getting on the bus before departure time. A group of girls noticed the boys were missing from breakfast and prepared plates for the young men, knowing the group wouldn't be able to wait for the boys to fill their bellies before driving to New York City for their prayer walk. This is the beauty of a tour with Hillcrest students. Most issues are handled within the general character of the group. They take care of each other. The chaperons get to guide, walking alongside students as mentors. The students lead the trip. They sing. But more importantly, they lead, care, and look out for each other.
God is doing something unique with this group. Tonight will be a testimony of that. They're putting their choir folders down and leaving their tuxedos on the bus. Tonight, they are walking around Manhattan praying for people to meet Jesus in a powerful way. Students are testifying to love tonight, in more than one way.