Christian singer-songwriter Sara Groves concluded her five-week Art*Music*Justice (AMJ) Tour with new hope for more than 550 children in the African village of Gisanga in Rwanda.
In addition to the 555 child sponsorships garnered for Food for the Hungry, the 19-city AMJ Tour also raised nearly $50,000 for the work of International Justice Mission before concluding late last month.
"I can't say what a joy it has been to collaborate with these incredible artists to take a small step towards a night like we had on the Art Music Justice Tour," remarked Groves, who teamed up with fellow-acclaimed artists and friends Brandon Heath, Derek Webb, Sandra McCracken and author/artist Charlie Peacock for the AMJ Tour.
"To be surrounded with like-minded artists with a common goal and message, to ask the larger questions about what Jesus is doing in our world, and how we can be the art of God was very life-giving," she added last Thursday in public announcement. "The responses from audiences confirmed what we had hoped, as they responded generously to the work of Food for the Hungry and International Justice Mission."
In addition to the music, each concert presented "stories of God's people in action and their heroic experiences across the globe," as Groves explained in her newsletter. The goal each evening was to further educate the church on God's heart for justice, gain advocates for the oppressed, and show evidence of a God at work in this world.
"The sound and feel of the night couldn't have been more like a family joining other families to end slavery," commented Christian singer/songwriter Brandon Heath.
"We have all been knit together on this tour like a traveling music community, and at the end of the day, we've been able to be part of this larger story of redemption through IJM and FFH," added Derek Webb and Sandra McCracken.
With the Sept. 19-Oct. 26 tour having concluded with such success, plans are already underway to put together a follow-up tour in the fall of 2009.
Until then, the Groves family will be further cementing their commitment to the oppressed with plans to travel to Rwanda in March with Food for the Hungry.
There, the Groves will work on clean water projects, hear from the IJM office there about the legal challenges for Rwandans 14 years after the tragic genocide, and spend time with the children of Gisanga.
Groves' site will have updates, pictures, and video footage from the Rwandan village to keep the FH sponsors plugged in to what is happening there.
In December, Groves will be joining Jars of Clay, Sixpence None the Richer, and Leeland for the "Love Came Down Tour: A Christmas Pageant." She has a handful of smaller events until then.
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