60. The Singing Christmas Tree

60.  The Singing Christmas Tree

It was 1984, and one of the exciting things of the year, was the growth of Christian Vision.  Randy resigned from the church staff to go full time with Christian Vision…a step of faith I can hardly believe…and suddenly we were employers, and Betty was up to her eyeballs in paperwork, and on the phone scheduling Randy and Gay’s singing engagements, handling bookstore orders for recordings, etc.  and everything else that we had no idea was involved.

Randy and Gay were featured at “The Singing Christmas Tree” put on by the First Assembly of God Church in the Blaisdell Arena….Honolulu’s sports arena that seats 8000.  What an extravaganza!  The ‘singing tree” itself must have been 40 feet tall, with scaffolding holding 120 choir members tiered up in a green tree shape with white “snow” and red poinsettias at the base and sides.  They were backed by an 80 piece orchestra made up of the Honolulu Symphony and First Assembly musicians.

Randy and Gay were treated like royalty….a special introduction and the last kudos at the end.  Gay sang a song Randy wrote for Her, “Rejoice,” to show off her voice.  Betty gulped at the bill for orchestrating “Rejoice” for the 80 piece orchestra!  What a program!  There was a pageant of Hawaiian history, and then, the Christmas story set to music.  Powerful voices, with the powerful story of Christ’s birth… what a night to remember!

For us, the grand climax came after the program when Randy shared this incident:  A man who was in the choir came up to Randy and said, “I never dreamed I would have the honor of meeting you in person.  Someone sent me your tape “Lord of the Islands” when I was in prison in California.  You’ll never know much your music helped me during that time.  ” Wow!   That’s what makes our work worthwhile!  Praise God for the way He works through music!