Here is a post from John Bell and Don Blackley with more information on our changes to the trip. We’ll post more detailed plans as we know them in the coming weeks. Keep praying for these plans. (And pray for that volcano to settle down!!)
We are delighted to tell you the direction we are headed with plans for the Ukraine mission trip. We have as of Sunday, cancelled all concerts in every church and hall and all flights are cancelled. On Sunday we talked with Michael and Jan Gott. Michael had met with the leadership of the Ukrainian Baptist Union. The pastors were unanimous that we should reschedule the entire concert tour. They wanted to be sure that their churches would know that our full force of choir and ministry partners would be with them. They were not going to be happy with any “token” group we “might” get into the country under the terrible flight conditions.
As you know, we had been very concerned over Viking River Cruise Ships reaction to our not being able to get there. We were concerned with the financial liabilities if we didn’t get to the ship. We were relieved to hear the officials of Viking actually contacted Jan and Michael first and said that they knew we were going to have trouble getting there. They told the Gotts they wanted to work with us in any way they could to reschedule at another time and be able to honor our commitment to each other. This is a huge answer to prayer.
Just as we are had to plan our charter before the summer schedule, we are having to reschedule our charter at the end of Viking’s regular cruise schedule. Their final day of fall cruising is October 17. Because we don’t want to lose the momentum we have for the trip, by waiting a year, we are suggesting a late October cruise beginning October 18 would be the best answer. The average temperatures in October are equivalent to April temperatures. Michael and Jan will let us know the result of their negotiations with Viking and we will relay the results to you quickly.
The pastors of Ukraine are excited that we are willing to return. They are anxiously awaiting our decisions. They will make preparations as soon as we give them concrete dates.
We don’t have any idea of how the insurance company will want to do the trip cancellation insurance arrangements. We do know that Travelink will work with us concerning the airline refunds. That will all have to be decided and explained later.
Thanks to all of our ministry partners, wives, and choir members for your incredible support in prayer and attitude. We appreciate your patience, counsel and most of all your prayers. We will speak to you soon of the next NEW plan for Ukraine Mission 2010.
Don Blackley and John Bell
Director & President of The Singing Men of North Central Texas, respectively