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i can't think of a decent title for this


Alright, friends.

Here’s the scoop.  If you have been following me on Facebook, you have probably been wondering what on earth is happening to me, and where on earth I am.

Let me tell you: I wake up at what I think should be morning [2am, 4:30am…] and ask those very same questions!

Well here we go, friends, hang on to your seats because it’s been a wild ride! (Actually, you will be fine. I’m the one that needs to buckle.)

It all started when I went on my first mission’s trip to Philadelphia in 2000.  (I can hear the narrator from Jungle Jam & Friends the Radio Show telling me that we could be here all night if I went back that far, right Gruffy Bear? Three Wise Men & a Baby? Anyone? Buhler? Buhler?) 

Alright, seriously.  I returned from a fantastic tour with the African Children’s Choir in June.  It was the ACC’s first time ever to send out a full tour for the Young Africans, a group of Secondary School graduates ready for University, come to America to show their supporters what happens to those adorable little kids ten years down the road.  It was incredible. 

And when I watched them go through security at the airport on their way home, I knew: I have to go to Africa and visit them and my Choir 35 babies. I have to.  But how?

Insert my two best friends a month later saying something to the effect of, “Amy, we know it’s been on your heart to go to Africa, so here’s the money for a ticket to do it. Have a good trip.” This is the kind of thing that leaves you speechless and weepy.

Choir 35 Kenyans & I at Green Gardens Primary School
October 3rd I climbed on a plane bound for Nairobi, Kenya.  For a week and a half I went around Nairobi with Tony, a chaperone from my first tour, visiting my Choir 35 children at the primary school, catching up with Jayne & Nicolas from the Young Africans, and taking part in some of the ministries that Tony does on a weekly basis. The joy in our reunion can be read here

I had an absolutely wonderful time.  
Jayne, me, Nicolas in Kenya
From there, Tony and I boarded a bus and spent an entire Saturday (7am-10pm) on route to Kampala, Uganda. Once we arrived, our hostie, Auntie Barbara Kayaga, picked us up with a friend and took us home. 

The next morning we piled in the car again and went down to Entebbe, Uganda, where the African Children’s Choir has it’s primary boarding school.  We pulled into the gate and a flood of beautiful children came running to the car shouting “Auntie Amy! Auntie Amy!” Another beautiful reunion. I am so blessed.  There I also saw two of the Young Africans, Sam & Sania. It was a day of endless hugs. 
Ruth, me and Grace at ACCPS, Entebbe

ACC Choir Academy, Makerere
I spent the days at the Music For Life Choir Academy, a fairly central location where I was able to meet many of the Young Africans and get to know the ACC staff there.  Being able to put names to faces and laugh and talk and share and become friends with people I've heard so much about - it was so good.  Once again, I had an incredible time.  

Fiona, me and Alice at the YA's Get-Together

The following Sunday, Uncle Abraham hosted a get-together for all the Young Africans at his house. We all loved being together again.  The bonds that are formed over tour cannot be compared to anything else; and even after you've been apart for a while, you can gather in a room and it's like no time has passed.  Catching up with friends and laughing over memories and reading notes from a certain Kenyan and laughing because of old jokes. 

In this week, I had the opportunity to share with my hostie, Auntie Barbara, my heart for working with the least of these. Especially children, and especially in a choir setting.  I shared how ACC has done more than changed my life and given me opportunity to exercise the gifts that God has given me in the absolute perfect setting. I am without a doubt who I am today because of the Choir and the people that make it what it is.  

Days passed and on my last Friday in country, I sat in the market with Auntie Barbara, counting baskets for the product table for the organization she currently works for called Asante.  Asante is quite similar to the African Children's Choir in purpose.  They are also focused on working with disadvantaged and vulnerable children, sponsoring them and providing them with education and teaching the Gospel.  They too bring a choir to North America to raise awareness and find sponsors for hundreds of children.  

While sitting in the market, Barbara looked up at me and said, "Amy, once we are done here we are going to go for coffee and my boss from Rwanda is going to come because I want him to meet you. I want you to do music for the upcoming Ugandan choir for Asante." 

That's how you loose count of how many baskets. 

An hour later we were sitting around a table with William sharing stories from tour and enjoying being together as people whose God-given purposes in life are the same.  In the conversation, I felt like I should mention that I know how to run sound. It honestly felt random.  As if we were talking about pasta then you mention that you know an alien on Pluto named Harold. But Harold has feelings. Harold is important. 

Suddenly William was very excited and made it very clear that I should email him. 

So the next day I did. 

And he wrote back. 

So I wrote back. 

Then I got an email from a lady named Erica in Portland.  She said these words: 

"We have a 2 month choir tour traveling in Minnesota from Nov 11-Jan 14 and to be honest we are in urgent need of a sound technician. We keep praying and believing that God knows who that person is and that we need them in about two weeks!! When I saw Williams email I was quite excited even about a possibility. I have no idea what you actually discussed with him but would you be interested in traveling with this choir as a sound tech? It would be an incredible blessing to us at just the right moment!"

And after much prayer and council from my very best friends, I said yes.

And so now I am in Portland, Oregon getting ready to load the bus this morning and head east to Minnesota where I will be Auntie to 18 Rwandan children.  

You see, God is teaching me that it's not about the name on my t-shirt.  Someone in Africa prayed over me that my "God given gifts and talents and passions would not be wasted." So I will go where He wants me and I will be used where He needs me.  This is a beautiful opportunity to continue in the kind of ministry that God has put on my heart.  

I am honored, humbled, excited, terrified, still jet-lagged and wondering where I am when I wake up - but I know that this is good.  

Please join me on this journey.  

Sam, me & Ruthie at ACCPS

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