Day 8
Jun 20, 2012

So today we headed to the great city of Nashville, Tennessee, home of famous people such as Dave and Kelli Haywood, Hillary Scott, and yes, Thomas Barrett!! The morning was an early one but we all made it out of Effingham County without bat bites and we made a long bus ride to the Nashville Rescue Mission. When we got there it was as if we were in another world entirely different from the one we had been living in the past seven days. We could all see the pain in the faces and eyes of the people we met tonight. Every weathered face told a different story of either dark valleys, God's saving hand, or both. We could undoubtedly feel the Holy Spirit building in the room as we got closer to beginning the concert.

The crowd was UNBELIEVABLY supportive and receptive to God's spirit working through us. To have been so ready to minister to those people, God ended up pulling a fast one and ministering to us through our audience. Those guys have been to Hell and back and when they said "AMEN!", we knew they meant it.

To sum it all up, God did what he always does: be himself. He did what none could do without Him yet all could feel so powerfully. God showed up… BIG, and once again furthered His kingdom. Praise be to our God forever! Amen

Luke Reeve


Day 8
Jun 20, 2012

Hey Augusta!

After tonight I think it's impossible for any member of LU to deny that the Holy Spirit has been with us. Tonight we went to the Nashville Rescue Mission. The Rescue Mission houses people that have many problems, addictions, or don't even have a home to sleep in. The room we sang in was so acoustically perfect that the choir didn't have microphones and we just let our glad echoes rise in praise of our Lord and Savior. But the room and the Mission weren't what were so moving. The audience was something that really spoke to me personally.

Before the concert began, I'm not sure why, but I kept asking myself if all the concerts and all the work we were doing for the Lord were in vain or not. I couldn't push Satan's nagging little voice out of my mind saying "why bother?"

It was then that we walked into the sanctuary. The room was nothing spectacular. It looked like an auditorium that had a beautiful glowing cross at it's center. I could still hear Satan's dark nag, but the image of that cross stirred me. When we started praying for all of the people giving testimonies, the band, the choir, and our wonderful counselors, my eyes slowly began to open. I saw how the concerts even affected the members of LU. But then the audience filed in and what I saw wasn't what I expected at all.

At Trinity, the audience we normally encounter is pretty well-kempt, but this audience was filled with people in rehabilitation for harsh addictions or even just people who needed a home for the night and didn't even know they were walking into a concert that the Holy Spirit was attending too.

About then I lost it. The concert was starting and all my friends were worried about me because I was crying before it even began. LU sang the same songs that we had all tour, but believe me when I say that I saw them differently.

One passage in particular that got to me was in the song By and By. By and By is about overcoming troubles and doubts. It's a song about knowing that the joy of the Lord holds more than we could ever hope for in the future. Earlier in the day, I had been wondering about whether or not our work for God was in vain and why exactly we do what we do. Well, God answered my question both through the song and an audience that exemplified the song perfectly.

"Tempted and tried we're oft made to wonder why it should be thus…Farther along we'll know all about it… and we'll understand it better by and by."

Hannah Wilson


Day 7
Jun 19, 2012

Hey guys!

Today, we woke up and visited the Willis (Sears)Tower. It was so cool to see Chicago from that point of view! Everything looked absolutely beautiful. There was even a part where the floor was completely glass, so you could walk out and it would feel like you were floating. It was super scary! 

Later, we took a bus ride to Effingham, Ilinois! When we arrived at the church, we were informed that there were bats in the sanctuary! There were about nine of them, in the corners and along the walls. Thank goodness they didn't start attacking us while we were singing, although they did make some noise, but it did not keep us from having a wonderful concert! 

Although this was the smallest crowd we have had so far, they were by far the best audience we have had. It was so evident that the Lord was there working in us and in those watching. I can not believe that Choir Tour 2012 is almost over, but I am so excited to see what God will do at our last concert tomorrow night in Nashville! He has already done so many amazing things over this tour, and I know tomorrow night will be no different!

In Christ,

Kayla Wilkinson


Day 6
Jun 18, 2012

Hey y'all!

Today was a great second day in Chicago, Illinois! 

This morning we woke up in a hostel and separated into 3 different groups. I don't really know what others did, but I went to the Salvation Army and cleaned. People cleaned the kitchen, the pantry, classrooms, the gymnasium, and some did the yard surrounding it.

The people of the Salvation Army fed us sausage dogs and hotdogs which were very good. We played basketball with other kids that were there. These kids put on a performance and they stomped a cool beat. That was funny!

We got done at the Salvation Army and went back to the hostel and got ready for the Chicago Cubs, Chicago White Sox baseball game. We had the most chill 3 hours of the entire trip in-between getting back from the Salvation Army and leaving for the game. Some friends and I hung out in the big meeting room and played ping-pong while we waited to leave for the game.

We left the hostel at 6. We got stuck in traffic for what seemed like a century. But I took a nap on the way there so I wouldn't be tired for the big game! We got to the stadium and went straight to our seats. We had seats in the nosebleed section but it was all good cause we could see the entire field and then some..  

For dinner I had a $5.00 slice of pizza with a $3.00 bottle of water. I could have gotten all of that for $1.00 at McDonald's.. but oh well. It was still good.

I'm not really a big baseball fan but this game was fun! The Cubs had 6 homeruns! When the White Sox shot their 2 homeruns, fireworks shot off. Then we celebrated a Cubs victory with them winning 12-3. We left the stadium at 10 and got home close to 11.

Today was a great day but I can't wait till tomorrow!

--Rainey Bailey


Day 5
Jun 17, 2012

In Genesis we notice how Abraham's life was often going from altar to altar, where he put down markers of being in the presence of God.

In Genesis 13:3 Abraham even returned to an alter he had previously built in his life.

Today was such a day in returning to a place where many altars had been built along the journey of my faith walk. One-third of LU went to Dahinda UMC to be part of their worship service early this morning. Memories flooded my mind as I remembered God's faithfulness in providing youth leaders who mentored me, Sunday School teachers who taught me the scriptures in the classroom where LU changed clothes after the service. Memories of my own youth choir as LU sang on the same steps I once stood. As I sat next to my father on Father's Day and looked upon the altar in that small country church with the old wooden cross still hanging above the altar, I was overwhelmed with God's goodness, grace, and love.

Love Unlimited is now a part of another one of my altars or markers on my faith journey as they witnessed the glory of the Lord being revealed. The Love of Christ was alive and vibrant as His passion was shared, as we prayed, sang, worshipped, fellowshipped & ate together.

Surely the Presence of the Lord was in this place and it was SWEET! 

 

Kris Key

Rev. Honey


Day 5
Jun 17, 2012

Hey Everyone! 

Hope everyone reading this has had a fantastic Sunday and Happy Father's Day! Today has been a day of great variety for all of us. 

This morning, we separated into three groups to sing at three separate services. My group went back to sing again at the First Untied Methodist Church in Galesburg, IL, Hannah Wilson's old church. We were blessed to have her parents and grandparents join us. 

Our other two groups went to Knoxville and Dahinda, Mrs. Key's hometown. I'm sure that was a special experience for both of their groups. I heard those two other churches described as having "like 20 pews" and being the "cutest churches ever". Even divided three ways, we still had groups the size of normal choirs. 

We then traded small country churches for the bustling pier and big city rush of Chicago. A night and day difference for sure. We all enjoyed a nice sit-down dinner after many food court meals. After dinner, we set sail on a sunset pirate cruise. I personally enjoyed the Great Lakes pirate lore told by our lively dressed-up crew on the main deck.

Right now I'm experiencing the biggest adventure of the day, The Hosteling International Chicago. The first thing i noticed in our room was the sign on the door saying our private shower to be shared between six girls in our room had a sign indicating that it was out of order, and we needed to use one of the two community showers on the floor… I'm trying to look at this as an adventure and an early preparation for college. At least the beds are comfy. 

Thank y'all for all of your prayers back home. Please keep praying for continued optimism, fellowship and safety. I can't wait to see what else God has in store for us the rest of this week. This is always such a great trip for all of us to share. 

Also, Happy Father's Day Daddy! I miss you and love you very much! Thanks for being the best dad in the world.            

In Christ, 

Ann Louisa Brewton 

Romans 5:1-8

   


Day 4
Jun 16, 2012

Hey Augusta,

This morning we woke up and prepared to depart from Our Lady of the Snows hotel in Belleville, Illinois. Everybody had a good, if short, night of sleep after a long night of tears and emotion during our share time. Thanks to some great leaders, all of the seniors chose to wake up early to pray together before leaving, thanking God for the night before, and asking Him to bless the choir in the days to come. Soon we were on the road, passing cows, wind turbines, and more than a few corn fields. After an early lunch, we drove through Peoria, Illinois onto our way to Galesburg and the First United Methodist Church.

4:30 equals suppertime in Illinois (#yankees), but the smell of fresh cooked barbecue soon gave everyone an appetite. Our concert was at 6, and you could feel the spirit of the Lord; Will Kittle and Sydney Umstead both gave honest and moving testimonies that complimented the atmosphere of worship. Unfortunately, it began to rain as it came time to load the sound equipment, but a lot of willing hands made the task quick and easy. A trip to Walmart capped the night nicely, where many essentials, including candy, fresh fruit, bouncy balls, and one colorful piñata, were purchased. We are currently at the Country Inn and Suites, resting up before a Sunday morning full of singing. 

Thank you for all of the prayers and support, we can definitely feel them. Please continue to keep Danny, the other counselors, and especially our bus drivers, Tim, Arnold, and Robert, in your prayers, as well. We can't wait to get to Chicago and continue to praise God. The Holy Spirit is definitely at work, and continues to move in and through us.

In Christ,

David Meagher


Day 3
Jun 15, 2012

Today was a day jam-packed with surprises for all of us here on tour. From the 5:45 wake up calls to the amazing views from atop the Gateway Arch to the passionate and honest sharing done during the choir's sharing time; and it's only the third day. Love Unlimited has been so blessed these first few days to have not only this opportunity to travel and preach God's word but to have such truthful and Spirit-filled worship during our first two concerts.

We travelled from Owensboro, Kentucky to St. Louis, Missouri on a roughly four hour trip that departed at seven in the morning. The one word that I have to describe the first half of this day is "tired". Tired from the long bus rides and the overall lack of sleep. When we rolled up toThe Old Spaghetti Factory I was pretty surprised to find that my fellow Love Unlimited members as well as myself were still awake. But as the day progressed and we gathered at St. Matthews United Methodist Church for sharing time it was evident that God had something other than "tired" to describe the day. God had something very different that he had yet to reveal to all of us. He used the great worship and the honest and open confessions and testimonies of so many great members to show us his love, mercy, kindness, forgiveness, and his promise that he dwells in each and every one of us who accept Him as Lord and Savior. Everyone felt his powerful presence filling up the room and I am confident that all present were touched by his caring and healing hand.

Day 3 cannot be summed up in a simple word or phrase or even a complex and first-hand blog. Despite the efforts and desires to explain it, the events and emotions of Day 3 can only be understood by those who were there to experience it. The Love of God is truly Unlimited and the love that He has shown to this choir is evident now more than ever after this wonderful and majestic.

Matthew Reeve


Day 2
Jun 14, 2012

What a day! God has given us another great day on tour and another amazing concert. Day 2 began with plenty of time to sleep in comparison to the coming days, we set out for Bowling Green, Kentucky. We cut directly through Tennessee stopping at the largest mall I've ever seen. The directory that met us at the entrance did not do it justice. After a 5 minute walk toward the food court my group of friends and I had only travelled an inch on the directory and had another 4 scale inches to travel before finally reaching the food court. After departing from the mall we arrived at Christ United Methodist and immediately set up leaving plenty of time for practice, food, and a devotional. The concert was a great success. Surely God was there and we were there for him. Our concert has transformed from a performance to a time of worship in just two short days. All the practice has paid off allowing the entire choir to focus less on remembering the words and more on praising God. Pray for us all as we continue to grow closer to God and pray for our leaders as they herd us all the way to Chicago!

In Christ,

Seth Reeves 


Day 1
Jun 13, 2012

Today, we visited our first church in Dalton, Georgia. Every year the first night is usually the toughest because the tour is young and we still have many problems to work out, but that was not the case at all the entire day. The Lord granted us safe travels to Dalton, and the set up went smoothly. By far the greatest part of the day was our worship service. The Lord was felt in the church tonight. The concert was, for the most part, mistake free, and the worship was unbelievable. 117 kids were selling out completely in their worship for the Lord, and many of them were taken out of their comfort zone by the call of the Holy Spirit. It's amazing how God can pull together everything when the purpose is true and right. We are here because of His will, and everyone showed their thanks to the Lord through praise tonight. I'm so excited to see what else God has in store, I still can't believe it was only the first night. Praise God from whom all blessings flow.

In Christ,

Will Kittle


One Week Away!
Jun 7, 2012

The countdown to Choir Tour 2012 has begun- I can't believe we'll be on the road in less than a week! We've invested hundreds of hours of preparation, dedication, and prayers to these next few days, and we're looking forward to see what God has in store for us this year in Chicago! The pre-tour frenzy has definitely set in: learning words, pulling together our praise and worship songs, and of course figuring out our small group names! However, in all of this, we continue to fully rely on God's faithfulness and guidance in making this a successful tour. 

I've already started seeing Facebook statuses, tweets, and Instagram photos expressing an excitement and anticipation for tour, which in turn makes me that much more thrilled. Words can't describe how awesome it is to love this choir and its purpose and watch as 120 of your peers fall in love with it as well. I pray that we all continue to open our hearts to what God waits to show us on tour, and continue to have an attitude of selflessness and submission to His perfect plan for us. 

I want to personally thank everyone who has worked tirelessly to make this tour happen: every member of Love Unlimited for their continual dedication to go above and beyond what is required; members of praise band and ensemble for their added commitment; adult leaders who come to every rehearsal and work behind the scenes; Mr. Danny for well, everything; and of course all of our parents and families who continually provide support, financial and otherwise, to our mission. I truly thank all of you for your servant's hearts and teaching me what it means to humbly serve the Lord. 

Please continue praying for us as we seek His kingdom and His righteousness and rely on Him to do the rest! We love you all dearly and can't wait to keep you updated on how tour is going!

 

In Christ,

Bradleigh Carpenter

L.U. President 2012


Pre-Tour Preparations
May 25, 2012

Let the touring commence! All of LU is so excited to hit the road and share the love of Christ as we travel this 35th Anniversary tour! We have been rehearsing hard and are pumped to share all the songs we have learned and worship together! We are blessed to have such a wonderful church family back home. Keep us in your prayers and check back daily to the website for updates!


LU Tour 2012