For the 2012 ‘Light in the Darkness Tour,’ Goshen Men’s Chorus looks to the west this coming spring break week, in concern for those neighbors scattered on the wrong side of the Mississippi.  Passing through Kansas, Nebraska and Iowa, the men’s choir is undoubtedly interested in how it can help out the poor, needy people of these backwards and primitive states – between Feb. 26 and March 1.

“We made T-shirts that say ‘Mission West 2012’ and ‘for God so loved the world…’ and on the back it says ‘He sent me,’” said Jonathan Hershberger, a sophomore.  “Oh, and did I mention that the shirts were camouflage?!” added the Lancaster, Penn. native.

“There is a lot of excitement during choir practices,” continued senior Peter “Pita” Garry. “We even tried some buffalo burgers and listened to some country music.”

In addition to singing, the choir hopes to build an orphanage, hand out clothes to needy prairie children and take lots of cute pictures with farm animals. When questioned as to the lasting impact that this week trip would have, junior Darin Bontrager responded that, “We have just a few days with the Great Plains people, but I know these will result in positive, continuing effects that will last a lifetime. And I mean – we’re building a freaking orphanage! It’s a pretty big deal.”

The ‘Light in the Darkness’ tour will undoubtedly be a time for reflection for the choir, to think about how grateful they are that they “don’t have it so crappy,” as noted by an eloquent and unnamed first-year.

(Author’s note: it’s OK because I’m from Kansas.)

(Author’s other note: Do you want to hear more – did this topic interest you?  Check out more information by reading “Short term work for long term change” by Matt Harms, available at your local Mennonite Historical Library.  It’s quite good.)