Surprises can be so good. An unexpected piece of mail or phone call from someone you love, the timing of the birth of a baby, Jesus’ disciples finding His tomb empty on Easter morning, or 50 teenagers showing up in your backyard to sing a concert. That last one really happened.  To be completely truthful, it wasn’t completely unexpected, but it did bring quite the surprise to our house!

About a week before one of our Tuesday community nights, a time where everyone from the house gathers to share a meal and conversation together, discuss what’s going on, celebrate achievements from the past week, and participate in an activity or benefit from a presentation, I was given a unique message. A group of 50 teenagers, who were traveling through Arizona on their spring break serving at various organizations, were interested in coming to Maggie’s Place!  Just that same week, another spring break group had come to paint bedrooms in our house, so we didn’t have any additional tasks for 50 more students to complete. However, service work wasn’t exactly what this group was offering; they happened to be a choir interested in putting on a concert for our moms, right in our backyard! It certainly wasn’t a standard inquiry for a community night presentation, but it sparked just enough of my intrigue that I agreed. Seeing as I only had about a week’s notice, a speaker was already scheduled to come to our house that evening, so plans were made for the concert to begin later as an additional part of community night. It’s rare for the moms to know who the speaker will be or what the presentation will be about each Tuesday night until the speaker arrives. But I admit, I like there being a little bit of suspense! All they knew for this particular night, was that there would be two parts to our “presentation”.

After we stalled with a game of Apples to Apples with the moms, while the choir set up their equipment, it was time for the moms to see what and who had been gathering in our backyard. I was blown away as I walked out the doors! I knew there were going to be 50 people there, but I had never seen such a large group in our backyard before, so I really didn’t even know how to fathom it. But there they were, and they began singing songs of praise to God and of outpouring love to the moms. The wide smile couldn’t be wiped off my face as I clapped along with the great music—they were an extremely talented group of young people—and saw the impressed and heart-warmed faces of the moms. I can safely say we all enjoyed having this private concert in honor of them!

The concert ended and all 50 teens, as well as their chaperones, made their way to introduce themselves and spread an encouraging word to the moms and Corps members. Just as quickly as they had assembled, they filed out of the backyard, not leaving a hint of the special blessing and surprise they provided for our house. The moms were in awe that a group came to put on such a wonderful concert for them. I was equally shocked from all that unfolded from a simple phone conversation the week before. It’s often the unexpected things at Maggie’s Place, and in life, which jump-start our faith in the people who surround us or the events that take place. It is such a privilege to witness the surprises that unfold during my time at Maggie’s Place, and I can’t help but continue to smile and wait for the next unexpected blessing!

By Rebecca Kirch, MissionCorps member at The Michael House