by Brian Harris
WENATCHEE, Wash., June 7, 2011 -
On Sunday, April 10, the Cascade Christian Academy bus pulled out from the school parking lot embarking on a nine-day, nine-concert journey that would cover more than 2,500 miles while visiting nine cities. The trip was a collaborative effort between Cristina Grys, CCA chaplain, and Eric Anderson, CCA music director. The trip included not only music and mission, but educational opportunities as well. Alcatraz Island, the San Francisco Symphony and a visit to the northern California coast were among some of those opportunities. But this was a music trip with a mission twist. On that Sunday, the bus contained 40 students, freshman through seniors, who were excited for the trip but not sure what to expect.
The first stop was at Livingstone Adventist Academy in Salem, Ore., where they spent their first night and performed a morning concert for the students. From there a long day of driving brought the group to Auburn, Calif., and Pine Hills Adventist Academy. Tuesday morning began with a concert at Pine Hills, an afternoon concert at Napa Christian and ended with an evening performance at Rio Lindo Adventist Academy in Healdsburg, Calif. The next day included a performance at Redwood Adventist Academy in Windsor, Calif., and the beginning of the twist to the trip.
Wednesday night the group kicked off the mission portion of the trip with the Youth With A Mission organization in San Francisco, Calif. For the next two days, they worked with YWAM, ministering to the needs of the homeless in the Tenderloin District in San Francisco, which has one of the nations highest homeless rates per capita. This included street cleanup, worship, and concluded with a Love Feast, which gave students a chance to prepare a banquet for the homeless.
It was remarkable to see students willing to not just step up, but to jump out of their comfort zones showing God's love to all the people they came in contact with. Whether they were performing in the Wind Ensemble or talking to a homeless individual on the streets of San Francisco, they demonstrated the love of God. As Grys likes to say, "God became visible!" CCA's mission is: Educating kids to LIVE for Christ. Through trips and activities like these, CCA students are stepping forward and giving breath and life to this mission. God is truly raising up a generation of young people to spread the word about His grace and love.