OneVoice has certainly started to pick up! With events such as Disney Gospelfest, Cedarville’s Gospelfest, and Parents’ Week Concert, it is very hard to imagine that only three months ago I could hardly wait for OneVoice to start. Though all this seems overwhelming to me, I can only imagine how Justin must be feeling throughout our busy schedule. After reflecting on the past months, he told me that he was going to surprise his wife, and take her on a trip to New York (what a stud). Not long after this conversation did we get a call requesting a small group from the choir to come and sing for a banquette for a Cedarville graduate. Unfortunately, it fell on the same dates that Justin would be gone. I automatically wrote the event off in my mind and was looking forward to other events that we had planned… as normal Justin’s mind was stirring with one of his “Genius” (haha) ideas!
A couple weeks later, as Darris and I were chillin in Justin’s office, he brought up the banquet. After reminding him that he would be out of town (like an awesome assistant does), he explained that he had been thinking and felt that we were responsible and capable to do this event by ourselves. Woo! This was an unexpected, pleasant surprise. After thinking it over for … two seconds we decide to do it! Darris headed up the team, while Brianna Dupree and I took care the logistical needs.
The Sunday finally came and we headed off to the event. We were very excited, while at the same time apprehensive; because this was our first time traveling without Justin, and we did not know much about the Luke Commission. As we arrived to Wright State and entered the banquet hall, I was overwhelmed at the huge audience that was there. We signed in, Darris went to find our contact, and we all sat at our respective tables. Looking through the literature at the table, I got to understand what the event was specifically for and why we were here. I was certainly amazed!
The event was called, “An Evening in Swaziland.” This was a banquet to raise money for The Luke Commission, which is an organization that provided medical care and education to HIV/AIDS & TB patients in Swaziland, a country in Southern Africa. This mission was started by Cedarville Alumni Harry and Echo Vanderwal, in 2004. Reading through the pamphlets, it was encouraging to see the success stories that had been taking place because of the Vanderwal family. In addition to the good food, there was a silent and live auction of items which were donated to help the cause, such as Cedarville’s famous Stoney Creek Roasters!
After finishing up the delicious food, the program started. After the four Vanderwal sons finished singing, we were called to the stage. Though we sing in front of people often, praising the name of God and declaring His goodness in our lives never gets old! As we sang our two selections, we noticed that a few people joined in by singing or clapping. For me, the true joy that night was seeing the blissful smile of Echo, as we sang. Missionaries are always helping others experience the joy of God’s love, and it was nice to give her that amazing reminder. As we finished our song and went to sit down, the MC conveniently leans into the microphone and asks us if we would stick around to do another song. We happily accepted and closed the banquet with the song, “Take Rest in Me.” We then took a picture with the Vanderwal family and mutually exchanged our gratitude for the evening, before we took off for school.
Driving back to campus, we all exchanged stories about our entertaining conversations at our tables, as well as the many people who loved the songs and were blessed by them. Having arrived at school, we dropped off the ladies and called up Justin to share to good news. I think it is amazing to see where God has taken OneVoice over my last three years. It is a blessing to see, first hand, how this ministry touches the lives of many people every day, including my own!
Shaun Frazier – Junior, Psychology Major & OneVoice Student Assistant