We Made the Baptist Standard

Seems our little blog and our canceled trip made the Baptist Standard this week. Thought we’d share it with you. Link to the article is: http://www.baptiststandard.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=11020&Itemid=53

Ash cloud postpones musical mission trip to Ukraine six months

By Ken Camp, Managing Editor
Published: April 19, 2010
A volcanic ash cloud that caused a $1 billion disruption to international airline travel forced a Texas Baptist choir to postpone by six months its concert tour in Ukraine.

The North Central Texas chapter of the Singing Men of Texas had been scheduled to leave the United States April 18 for a series of concerts in six Ukrainian cities.

singing men

A cloud of volcanic ash that disrupted international airline travel forced the Singing Men of North Central Texas mission trip to Ukraine to be rescheduled. Organizers of the mission trip include (left to right) international evangelist Michael Gott; Buntsev Ivan, pastor of Komsomol’sk Christian Baptist Church; John Bell, president of The Singing Men of North Central Texas and associate pastor of music at First Baptist Church in Bridgeport; Zygalenko Alexander, director of Kremenchuk Regional Bible College; and Don Blackley, director of the Singing Men of North Central Texas and music minister in the “classic service” at Lake Pointe Church in Rockwall. (PHOTO/Courtesy of John Bell)

That concert series had to be rescheduled for late October when an eruption in southern Iceland created a cloud of volcanic ash that grounded airplanes throughout much of Europe.

Rather than making a slow journey by chartered bus over questionable roads, the Singing Men of Texas had planned to take a cruise ship up the Dnieper River—which bisects Ukraine—beginning April 20 in the Black Sea port city of Odessa and concluding April 30 in Kiev.

Working in cooperation with the Ukrainian Baptist Union and international evangelist Michael Gott, the Singing Men of Texas were slated to perform in churches and concert halls in six cities along the way. Following a one-hour concert at each venue, Gott was scheduled to preach an evangelistic message and offer an invitation for people in attendance to profess faith in Christ publicly.

volcanic ash

NASA satellite view of volcanic ash cloud path.

When leaders of the Singing Men of Texas recognized the volcanic ash cloud was jeopardizing the group’s original schedule, they began to put together contingency plans, according to a blog posted by Derrel Thompson, minister of music and education at Valley Grove Baptist Church in Stephenville and treasurer for the singing group’s North Central Texas chapter.

“Plans were being drafted to get a soloist or two, or an ensemble of eight, to Ukraine as quickly as we could so that some type of concert would be able to take place this week,” Thompson wrote.

However, pastors in Ukraine contacted the group to let them know they would rather reschedule the concerts. Viking River Cruise contacted Gott to let him know an after-season cruise ship would be made available for the group.

“So, we are rescheduling our trip to Ukraine to late October,” Thompson wrote.

“Keep praying for us as we redo plans. The Gotts are meeting with the pastors this week to set up things for October. Also, pray for the thousands of people who have been stranded as a result of all this.”