BC: If one spark can start a fire, then together we can change the world.
1: Just a group of girls who like to sing. This photo was taken in December of 2009. This group of ladies had already been singing together during the Wonderful Wednesday Worship services for about a year. The name Spark had been agreed on and this photo captures the moment the Facebook fan page came to be. Little did we know what was in store for us, or the life changing moments we would share together. | Natalie Erdman, Emily McMahn, Rachel Erdman, Maureen McGauren, Emma Abel & Brooke Mayer
2: First time singing in the Sanctuary Sunday Service... (and so it began) | As the group started singing more often we recruited some band members and a tech crew. Andrew McMahn (guitar) Jackson Stringer (drums) and Nick Erdman(tech) join the original six Spark ladies. Colleen Zurker-McGauren, Tami & Chris Mayer, Russ Abel and Martha Foster round out the team. | As much as this group enjoyed playing & singing together, I think all will agree that it was that Saturday morning meeting when Pastor Russ introduced us to the Simba Scholarship Program that set SPARK in motion. That was the day we heard the stories from some the kids of Kenya. Kids who had been through horrific things and were around the ages of the Spark Youth. Those stories broke our hearts and propelled the group to ask what we could do to help. The Simba Scholarship program matches sponsors with kids in need of education in Kenya. For $200 a year a child can go to school, have food to eat, a place to live, school books and uniforms. | The Simba program became the group's mission and the Simba Scholarship Tour was planned to help raise scholarship funds. Our goal was to raise 31 scholarships while giving 4 services, in 3 cites, in 2 days. Over the course of the 2010 & 2011 summer tours, SPARK would help to raise 82 Scholarships as well as several thousand dollars that would be put toward administrative costs of the program.
3: Prep for the tour begins! | One of the things I heard over and over was the surprise in how well everyone got along even after so many hours spent together. I think that is one of the reasons why this group inspires people. Friends first doing something together to spread God's word and make a difference in the world. Having fun along the way. You just want to be a part of that! Tami | Andrew & Nick working on our song list. The group put in over 40 hours of practice during the summer to prepare for the tour. | It wasn't all work and no play. We worked hard, but we had fun too. Working on learning to put emotion into the words we're singing. This may have been a bit over the top. : )
4: Did anyone pack a map? | Um.....guys. I think we'll get there faster if we get in the cars. | I don't get it. | ....take a right and drive for an hour... | ...and then the pumpkin said, "oh no I squashed the squash" Bah, ha ha ha, oh my gosh that is so funny. | I should have gone with the set up crew. | Saturday, August 7, 2010 First stop on the Simba Scholarship Tour is Mohawk United Methodist Church. | They were such a welcoming congregation, and for such a small church there was a very large amount of delicious food!!
5: O | Circle up! Remembering why we were there and turning it over to the Lord to use us as his instruments to spread His word. We shared in this before every service. | Bethany & Sam - handouts and commitment cards - Check! | I'm not sure what Jackson said.....but look at Colleen's face. How funny is that? | Final touches! Thanks go to Natalie and Rachel's Grandma for sewing the girl's tops for the tour. | Russ, Martha and Andrew during the final run thru.
6: Tour Schedule Saturday - Aug 7th 6:00pm Service at Mohawk UMC Sunday - Aug 8th 8:45 & 11:00am Services at St. Paul UMC in Bloomington, IN 7:00pm Service at Turning Pointe UMC in Evansville, IN Monday - Aug 9th Fun day at Holiday World & Splashing Safari | 2010 Service Power Point Presentation Send it On Welcome & why we're here. The Great Adventure Scripture & Testimony How Great is Our God - How Great Thou Art | Message - Russ Abel Amazing Grace (My Chains are Gone) Commitment/Collection Time Jesus Saves Prayer Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing Thank You & Benediction Reprise - Send it On. | That early morning service was a true test to the ladies' voices. Cough drops, warm tea and many rounds of warm ups.
7: Andrew is ready to go | Russ' circle time with the group. A time to center our thoughts on our purpose for being there. | Couldn't do it without out sibling helpers. Clay, Sam & Bethany. | At this point in the trip I think we still had all our shoes, drumsticks and glasses.
8: Wireless Mics - The ladies were lovin' it. Decorated cars make the trip to Holiday World | The last service on the tour was at The Turning Pointe UM Church in the Evansville, IN area. One of the best services this group has ever given and a congregation who joined us in praise. | Brad Foster tracking wires and helping Chris get everything ready to go. | One last circle time | Oh to Grace, how great a debtor, Jesus saves, Jesus saves All the saints who shout together Jesus saves, Jesus saves. Rising up so vast and strong lifting up salvation's song, the redeemed will sing forever, Jesus Saves!
9: Entire Crew -Summer Tour 2010 | Jackson was loving that drum set.
10: In the Summer of 2011 we had to say goodbye to Emily and Andrew McMahan when they moved to the Chicago area. They are very missed! | A Time of Change
11: SPARK also gained two new members in the summer of 2011. Chloe Taner & Rachel Haines. Even through these changes the mission continued and planning for Spark's Eye's of Hope Summer Tour takes shape.
12: Eric Erdman and Chris Mayer keep things running smoothly in the tech booth with Nick. | Bill Erdman joins the group playing bass, along with Martha Foster & Russ Abel on guitar. (Jackson is hiding back there on drums) | Chloe on keyboards. The tech guys loved to tease her about breaking it everytime we practiced. That Synth was very tempremental.
13: Wednesday Night Send Off Service At Saint Joseph | Heidi Erdman making sure everyone is dressed and ready to go.
14: On the Road Again! | 2011 Eyes of Hope Tour Begins | Dirt roads and tractors... We're not in Fort Wayne anymore. | Youngest crew member, Jason Mayer, taking a video game break | First Wave Crew packed up and ready to roll. Those Erdman boy's are having a great time helping Jay get into mischief. | Spark Mom's handle wardrobe adjustments and other very important things like snacks and keeping the team on time.
15: First Stop Winamac UMC | Dave and Jackson piecing all the parts back together. | "Any idea how all this is supposed to work?" Chris and Nick deep into sound and techie issues. | B | Russ: Brooke didn't you pack the mic's? Brooke: I did...that's "my" mic...isn't the rule everyone is responsible for their own equipment? | How did we get talked into this? Eric & Chris take a break between set up and theService. | While Martha plugs in and gets set up Bill and Brad await the next instructions.
16: Brushing teeth for bright shiny smiles. | Having dinner with the congregation of Winamac. | Preparing to cross the threshold into worship. (Tami: One of my favorite moments of this trip.) | Opening Video Song - Give Me Your Eyes Welcome - Rachel E. Scripture - Nick Song - Word of God Speak Song - Amazing Grace (My Chains) | Prayer - Jackson Witness - Brooke & Rachel H. Song - This Little Light of Mine Natalie - signing the Chorus Witness - Maureen Song - The Lost Get Found | Time of Commitment - Russ Song - Jesus Saves Prayer - Rachel H. Song - Open My Eyes That I May See Benediction - Natalie Give Me Your Eyes (reprise) | August 6 - 8, 2011 - SPARK's Eye's Of Hope Tour
17: Sam Abel hanging out between crew duties at Christ UMC | Sour Patch Kids - what every great singer eats before performing.....right? | Jack, we warned you what would happen if you didn't stop playing those drums so loud while Tami was trying to talk. | Could it be the fact that the girls out number the boys 7 to 2 that has that smile on Nick's face? | Say Cheese !
19: Sunday Morning at Christ United Methodist Church
20: After the final service we packed up and headed to the Lake....or should I say "flew" to the lake. Arms out the windows flapping...at one point the whole caravan was "flying" down the road. When we slowed down to turn a corner, there was a truck that went around us and as they went by we noticed they had their arms out, "flying" like we had been doing. Even just driving down the road you have the chance to touch people's lives and bring a smile to their face. | Construction and "open the flood gate" downpour. It was an interesting drive.
21: That's a Wrap! Thanks to Colleen and her family for letting us crash at their family lake house for a great after tour celebration. | Spark dads head off in search of pizza while the rest of the overnighters chill out in whatever comfy spot they can find. Sharing favorite memories of the trip.
22: Nice hair, Jay. Bethany Erdman also spent the day with us. Much deserved after all the help during the tour. A future Spark member for sure. | After a rainy Sunday evening trip we could not have asked for a nicer Monday to spend on the lake. What a great day to spend relaxing and having fun. Thanks again Colleen and family, especially Caption Larry.!! | Up early and ready to hit the water.
23: Captain Larry and his crew ! | I'm pretty sure it works better with the other side up.
24: This Book belongs to :