I AM INSPIRED (even though I may not be musically gifted)
I am what we at ICS call a “lifer.” I went to ICS from PreK until 12th grade. There is probably not an inch of that building that I haven’t seen, nor a classroom that doesn’t hold at least a few of my fondest memories. But as I look back on my time, specifically my time in high school, there is one experience that always stands out, and that is Music Tour.
I am not musically gifted. I try to sing on key, but it just doesn’t happen as I want it to. I really struggle to read music, all the notes seem to blur together. Because of this, I had not planned to try out for vocal ensemble or handbells, thinking that I would most likely not get in. However, I babysat Mr. Hope’s kids right before starting my freshmen year and he encouraged me to give bells a try. Him, being the music teacher, I thought I should probably take his advice and, after trying out, I got into the bell choir! I worked hard to play the best that I could, but I don’t think anyone would say that I stood out by any means. As winter turned to a surprisingly sunny spring, we finished preparing our music set and packed up our bus to go on Music Tour.
On tour, our handbell choir and vocal ensemble load up a chartered bus for a week, head to the four-corners area of New Mexico and Arizona, and play music at schools and churches on the Native American Reservations. While we weren’t on the bus or preforming, we would play with the children, tell stories with the adults, and aid with small service projects. It was tiring, dusty, and a bit cramped a lot of the time, but I can honestly say that my times on tour are some of my most formational memories. Tour taught me just how much I had been given in life as I experienced poverty first hand. Tour taught me that service can take many shapes— listening, washing dishes, playing tag, praying. What matters is that your actions point others to Christ. Tour taught me that God can use anything, even my weak music skills, to reveal His heart to me and to others.
My experiences on music tour were the guiding factor in choosing to now be a double major in International Studies and Christian Ministries. I want to work in cross-cultural ministry because I have seen it in action and love watching God bring his kids together as they pursue Him. I would not be where I am, much less who I am, without my time on the Reservations on Music tour, or, for that matter, without that one August day when Mr. Hope spoke encouragement and prophecy into my life.
Cana Buckley, ICS ALUM C/O 2017