We’re off on our first Canada Trip!
Rather than call our trip a “tour” which is what a choir trip is generally called, we have chosen to call ours a “Learning and Serving Trip”. This is because we will be spending (and have already spent) a large amount of time during the trip engaging in intentional learning opportunities.
Before we begin to share stories about the awesome experiences we are having, I thought it would be helpful to share the…
HtH PHILOSOPHY ON TRAVEL EXPERIENCES
Traveling in a Learning and Serving Team is an important part of the HtH experience as it accomplishes our mission statement:
1) It builds community (internally and externally);
2) It expands worldviews (culturally, religiously, politically, economically etc.);
3) It develops the leadership of our participants;
4) It provides opportunities to promote justice (pre-trip, during and post-trip).
No two people experience the same travel experience- we see the world through our passions and strengths. Through the lenses of our upbringing, past experiences, and gifts, new experiences teach us about ourselves, how we can glorify God and our role in his Kingdom here on earth. In this way, travel is an opportunity to discover our uniqueness and why God has us alive at this time. A Learning and Serving Team creates this opportunity in the safety and transforming power of community.
Although we are performers, our performance is merely a reflection of the learning journey we are on. We seek to have attitudes of humility. We are not experts and we are inviting others to dare to learn and be stretched as we have. We hope our performances inspire others to take their “next step” of courage.
HtH seeks to travel to developing nations and locations within developed nations where your “traditional choir” wouldn’t go. Wherever we go, we want to create a win-win experience where we bless others by adding value by our being there and where we grow as individuals and as an organization. It is imperative to have experienced travelers on these trips for pre-trip orientation and on the trip. These experienced travelers help participants by anticipating issues that may arise, help process the world the participants are seeing, dialogue around the questions that are arising, and who empathize, comfort and encourage.
We invite God to increase our openness to the world around us in hopes that we will become more aware of the world that Jesus sees. Through prayer, guided reflection, and discussion, we discover how and when we are meant to respond. We have also developed trip objectives to help guide this process, which will be briefly described below.
CANADA TRIP OBJECTIVES:
1) DEVELOP RELATIONSHIPS
External Relational Objectives:
- Relationships developed with churches, NGOs and schools in other parts of Canada.
- Relationships developed with IJM, Streetlevel, Youth for Christ and other local organizations.
- Relationships developed with our First Nations community / leaders.
- Seeds sown for future HtH ensembles – leadership and participants.
Internal Relational Objectives:
- HtH participants will discover and develop a new level of being in community with each other.
- HtH participants will increase in self-awareness.
- HtH participants will deepen in their understanding of God, values, beliefs, faith.
Music Learning Objectives:
- What choirs / musicians across Canada can we connect / collaborate with?
- What music can we perform together?
- What First Nations music can we be exposed to?
Justice Learning Objectives:
- How is life on the First Nations reserves affecting youth, especially young women?
- What does life on the streets look like in different areas of Canada?
- What Christian organizations are addressing:
- Throw Away Kids
- Addiction in Youth
- Sexual exploitation of minors / sexual abuse
- Foster Care crisis
- Are they being effective? Why or why not? How are churches volunteering with them?
- How are youth in the school system being educated about sex trafficking and abuse, pornography etc.?
- HtH participants will be involved in the development of the trip’s details.
- HtH participants will be the contact for hosts.
- HtH participants will grow in their ability to be ambassadors of Christ and of HtH.
- HtH participants will be involved in leading activities where appropriate. (e.g. youth group)
- HtH participants will advocate for the organizations we collaborate with.
- We are bearers of HOPE. We must let our light shine.
- Inspire Canadians to be courageous and fight injustice.
- Increase audience awareness on injustice and complexities of poverty locally, nationally and internationally.
- Remind the Canadian Church that injustice must end and its end requires our engagement in the fight.
- Engage the Canadian Church to create more Christian rescue and recovery solutions locally / nationally / internationally and to partner with those that do exist.
- Bring Christians and non-Christians together to find solutions to end sex trafficking and exploitation globally.
- Our performance will be based on variations of our spring concert
- “Meant to be Unbroken”
- Who: Canadians: people who need to take the next step
- What: Reaching out to the broken and seeing the image of God in others
- Know: God is redeeming this world through community
- Feel: Courage
- Do: Reach out to the broken in your area of influence
- “Meant to be Unbroken”
4) DEEPEN FAITH / EXPLORE VALUES
- What are Canadian values? Are these the same across the nation? Are they biblical values?
- How does the Canadian Church worship (in music and with their lives)?
- How is God at work in Canada?
- How can the Church bring focus to our WORTH (made in the image of God) relative to justice and aid in prevention?
- What value does music have in Canada? The arts?
- How can the arts be better leveraged as a communication tool for God’s glory?
Organizations we are collaborating with
StreetLevel seeks to change and strengthen the national Christian mindset on issues of justice. One of the strongest tools to accomplish this is through “collaboration”. HtH is excited to partner with this national organization and its focus on unity, encouragement and education. We too want to be a ligament in the body of Christ, connecting organizations and churches to one another.
International Justice Mission:
HtH passionately endorses the work of IJM internationally, especially in its work to end sexual trafficking around the world. We want the Canadian church to be more aware of this organization and mobilize more funds for it to accomplish its mission. We especially love that it models prayer first.
In addition, where possible we will connect with…
Local organizations and churches:
There are many organizations across Canada that are currently meet the needs of vulnerable youth and children- we would love to meet up with them and learn from their experiences. We would also love to discover any existing Christian resources that address or discuss the issues that Canada is currently facing, including homelessness, prostitution, addiction and “throw away kids”.
It is going to be challenging and exciting to see injustice “in our own backyard”. Ready to join the journey?