2019 TOUR ITINERARY
Thursday, March 21 - New Hope Christian Camp - Platte, SD
Friday March 22 - Christ Lutheran Church - Arvada, CO
Saturday, March 23 - Word of Life - Fort Collins, CO
Monday, March 25 - Living Word Community Church - Phoenix, AZ
Wednesday, March 27 - Calvary Community Church - Fullerton, CA
Thursday, March 28 - Arizonian RV Park - Gold Canyon, AZ
Sunday, March 31 - Good Shepherd LBC - Fergus Falls, MN
Chaperones found purpose in the two day and two hour delay of the Choir tour. "Though the fig tree does not bud and there are no grapes on the vines," the bus read in their tour devotional series on the shortest books of the Bible rarely read. Habakkuk continues, "though there no sheep in the pen and no cattle in the stalls, yet I will rejoice in the LORD, I will be joyful in God my Savior."
The group ends their prayer time by huddling around Pastor Erick. Hands lay on top of hands as heads bow. The humidity from having concentric circles of teenagers surrounding Erick warms more than skin and bone. The spirit is with these students. God is listening to the cries of a music group bringing encouragement to a missionary on the front lines in New York.
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.
The tour darted across Wisconsin to visit Bethel Lutheran Brethren Church in Ottawa, Illinois. During the trip students rested, some coming back from a Dominican Mission trip with the senior class and others from a dormitory field trip to Branson, Missouri. Others were working to sleep off the Easter sugar. They did devotions together, spending time reading 1 John 1 and giving testimonies before they arrived at the church. Their 7pm concert was well received after the church hosted a dinner to visit with the students. Check out this photo album that tells the story of Day 1.
Mr. Isaac prays for unity. A handful of students are returning from the Dominican mission trip. They have no words to explain the change they sense happening in their hearts. Another group of students is returning from a dorm trip to Branson, Missouri. They saw a passion play and a number of shows. They're excited to miss a week of school to see the world. Trips like these expand horizons. Hillcrest trips forge deep transformation. Time in the Bible, shoulder to shoulder with friends, seeing unique parts of the United States, tends to build a host of memories. Some students shuffle in their seats through the prayer. They move their Bible from their pillow to under their seat. Their journal falls to the ground. The journal should help house some of the memories for a rainy day.