Students often join one of Maranatha’s choirs thinking they will simply learn collegiate literature under the professional direction of one of Maranatha’s music professors. However, choir members quickly learn that being in a Maranatha choir is so much more than enriching others through the performances of great choral works. Madrigal choir members experienced the thrill of ministry this past choir tour as they were able to touch lives not only through their music, but also through their personal interactions.
Jonathan Knoedler: “Tour is so much more than simply ministering through song in local churches. Choir tour is truly a time for spiritual growth both together as a choir and individually. This year we were able to work through daily devotional packets on the bus that encouraged us to think about the words of the songs we were singing. We also worked through a Bible study of II Timothy either with our seat partner or individually.
Along with our singing ministry in local churches, we had several other ministry opportunities. In various churches, we were able to help out with cleaning, vacuuming, and wiping down church nursery toys, etc. We also were able to witness to a few people in restaurants and malls. We were even able to spontaneously sing for people in Target and Chick-fil-A!! This tour definitely had a tremendous impact on each of us in so many different ways, and we rejoiced in our opportunity to be a shining light for our Lord.”
Jaimie Montgomery: “On choir tour, I learned that tour is so much more than just singing in services. We have the opportunity to meet people and be a blessing to them. One instance of this was when I was able to go out to eat with a family who brought along two girls planning to attend Maranatha. I enjoyed being able to connect with them, answer their questions about Maranatha, and give them my email address for any other questions they may think of later. I remember how much some Chamber choir girls helped me when they stayed at my house when I was in high school, and I loved being able to be able to do the same.
Another neat experience was in eating lunch with some girls at a school. One of the girls seemed to have a sad home situation. Her dad was unsaved and not very loving. One of my choir friends was able to share her personal testimony of praying for her dad when she was this young girl’s age. After ten years of praying, her dad became a Christian. The young girl was so encouraged, and this reminded me of what Paul say about in Corinthians regarding comforting others with the comfort God has given to us. I am thankful that we are able to not only minister in music, but also in our personal interactions with others.”
Audrey Smiley: “I really appreciated Madrigal tour because God kept reminding me of how He led me to Maranatha. When I was in high school, my plan was to go to Ohio State University so that I could be in the marching band there. This was always my dream, and from about 6th grade until my junior year of high school, that’s what I planned to do. As I finished high school, God began to work in my heart, leading me to a Christian college, more specifically—Maranatha. As we sang in churches and schools, I just kept thanking God for bringing me here. One of the lines in one of our songs “Christ the Appletree” reads: “For happiness I long have sought and pleasure dearly I have bought. I missed of all, but now I see, ’tis found in Christ the Appletree.” Each time we sang that line, I remembered that God had led me to such a better place than where I thought I would be happy. I can’t imagine what my life would be like had I pursued my former dream and actually gone to OSU. I’m sure it would have been good and satisfying in some respects, but I can’t imagine having to miss out on growing spiritually and getting to spend time with such godly people who shared this tour with me. I’m so thankful that God has directed my path to Maranatha and that He has allowed me to be involved in a music program far above what I ever imagined only just a couple years ago.”
Luke Tanis: “Hosting fifty choir members in a church is no small feat, and yet each church gladly hosted us. The churches went out of their way to make us feel at home. One that stands out was our second stop on tour. The church, which had a couple of
Madrigal Alumni, not only prepared snack bags for the whole choir as part of a school project on serving others, but they also took a special offering for us. We were blessed to meet many Maranatha alumni and see them serving in local churches. We were also blessed by the overwhelming kindness and generosity of our fellow brothers and sisters in Christ.”