Posted by: charlesdamschen | November 9, 2004

After four full days of singing, laughing, visiting, eating, staying up too late and getting up too early, the 21 people who were part of the Special Delivery MWQA Bus Tour arrived home safe, sound, and very blessed.

Our journey began at 4:00 am Thursday morning (it was dark and cold!) when we all met on the bus in Cando, ND. We loaded up the bus with suitcases, sound equipment, blankets, coolers full of juice, water, pop, and sack lunches, thermoses of coffee, muffins (thanks, Deb!), donuts (thanks, Kristi!), cookies, and more. We were well prepared for the 12-hour drive ahead.

We made stops in Grand Forks, Fargo, and Fergus Falls to pick up those of our crew who met us along the way. By the time we got to Fargo the sun was up and everyone seemed to be awake so we “officially” began our trip with prayer and breakfast on the bus. (My 10-year old sister loves meal times on the bus because she is the designated waitress/”flight” attendant. :)) One of the things we did to pass the time on the bus and get to know each other was have a trivia game of fun facts about each person—we discovered that we had two accordion players, a pastor, a medical doctor, and a private investigator all on our bus!

Did I mention yet that our bus driver, John, did a great job?! We had fun getting to know him and were so glad he was with us! He made the trip extra fun for everyone.

John delivered us safely to the Heartland Inn in Des Moines that afternoon at 3:00pm and we were warmly welcomed by the manager who was beautifully organized and even had warm cookies and milk waiting for us! Can you believe that?! I think everyone was glad to have some time to rest and freshen up before the evening’s events which began at 6:30pm. We made our way to Grace Church and had a catered dinner and then a Gaither-style sing along. Our bus group was tired, but it was a great start to the weekend.

Friday morning our group met for devotions—we sang together and Pastor Tim shared from Psalm 40:1-3 about how God has given each of us something to sing about. It was a precious time to look to the Lord together and to be reminded that our purpose both for singing and listening is to worship the Lord. It was the perfect preface to the 10:00am showcase concert featuring new groups to the Midwest Quartet Association.

The music began again Friday afternoon after a lunch break and some free time. Faithful Men started things off at 3:00pm and were followed by 10 other groups that afternoon and evening—Gospel Truth, The Gates Family, Ambassadors, The Allens, and others each shared 30 minutes of music. Higher Power topped off the evening’s music and it was well past 10:00pm by the time we got back to our hotel!

Thankfully we were able to get some extra rest on Friday night. The music didn’t start up again until Saturday at 1:00pm so we were all well rested and ready to go. We enjoyed hearing His Light, Master’s Plan, Tribute, Three Redeemed, Gospelmen, Living Sacrifice, The Chancellors, and MORE on Saturday. Saturday was also our spot to sing. At 4:30pm Mom, Charlie, and Erika all sat smiling at us from the front row and the bus crew, of course, made their support known as well. 🙂 I think it’s safe to say that a highlight for us was having our dear friends Kristi Hruby and Ivan Gunn join us on stage to share a song that Kristi wrote. (Those of you who were at the Gospel Extravaganza this past August in Cando heard it there, too.) Kristi sang the lead, Ivan picked away on his guitar, and we joined them on the chorus. We could sing that song a thousand times and never get sick of it! It was just amazing to have Ivan and Kristi up there sharing their talents with us. Thanks for making that extra special for us, you guys!

Saturday night’s finale featured each group performing two more songs as well as a final number performed by all of the groups singing together What a Day That Will Be. There was definitely a sweet unity in that place. Later that night and the next day I heard many people comment on how this year’s convention felt so close-knit . . . like family. I guess I’m not even sure how to describe it except to say that it was absolutely beautiful.

That sense of family and unity carried through to the bus group, too. It was so special to see new friendships develop, to laugh and share with each other, and to pray and sing together. We knew without a doubt that the bus trip this year was a result of the Lord’s leading. We are so thankful for this amazing group of friends!

. . . And thankful for you, too. Please keep in touch. We hope to see each of you soon!

Check out www.mwqa.org for info on next year’s convention November 3-5, 2005!!

njd


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