D A N C E by Courtney Copeland

Written by: Dyanna Groves

Psalm 150
Praise the Lord!
Praise God in His sanctuary; praise Him in His mighty heaven!
Praise Him for His mighty works; praise His unequaled greatness!
Praise Him with a blast of the ram’s horn; praise Him with instruments!
Praise Him with the tambourine and dancing; praise Him with strings and flutes!
Praise Him with a clash of cymbals; praise Him with loud clanging cymbals.
Let everything that breathes sing praises to the Lord!
Praise the Lord!

Let’s be honest, stepping into this dance elective for Reaction Tour, I felt a little out of place, maybe even a little underqualified, but so very filled with anticipation!

When we began that first morning, we knew these students had the skill to dance, we knew they had the heart, but we still felt the Lord’s direction to lay the foundation for the true purpose of dance.  We talked about King David, giving the example of what it would be like if they had seen their own leaders worship God so enthusiastically that they danced right out of their clothes – which, of course, we didn’t advocate!

II Samuel 6
David danced with great abandon before God…he said “In God’s presence I’ll dance all I want!  Oh yes, I’ll dance to God’s glory – more recklessly than this...as far as I’m concerned…I’ll gladly look like a fool.”

We’ve all seen the way people use their bodies to dance in ways that are anything but glorifying to God.  All of us, including these students have Beyoncé, Lady Gaga, Usher, and all the other “greats” as examples of talent and skill.  And although all of these performers are indeed talented, they are not the example of one who’s heart is set to worship our One True God.

So, our heart was to, not only teach, but demonstrate that dance is – at its core – the abandonment of self in worship to God: using every part of your body to tell God just how amazing He is, and how much you adore Him.  Dance is a beautiful expression of a passionate heart.

The song Glorie chose and choreographed was “Sideways” by KB and Lacrae.  It is basically saying that it doesn’t matter if people look at you “sideways” for living for God.  That thought is what we reminded them of, over and over.  Live for God – live big for God – and don’t care what people think about you!

One we got to the actual dancing, it came as NO surprise that they learned the moves crazy fast.  I’m talking that after the first day of practice, they had the first section covered and were rockin’ it!  The energy and comradery among the group was seriously contagious.  I don’t think I have ever seen a group of people more ready to work hard, and encourage each other.  Their favorite part – which became our favorite to watch – was the “dance battle.”  We would divide the group in two and they would perform facing each other.  They were electrified – hollering and cheering for each other every single time!  What an example!

The other favorite of mine was the “after party,” meaning when class would be over and they would then teach us some of their traditional dances, or even dances they were making up as we went along!  And then we’d have long conversations about the differences and similarities from our cultures.  Those moments made every day valuable to me.

Well, 5 days with anybody causes you to build relationships, and the conversations that I was blessed to have with these students marked me for life.  There were heart-to-heart, real-life moments of open venerability, not just conversation about culture.  It’s in these moments that you pray to God that you’ve said the right thing, listened to their heart, and somehow helped them – even if it’s just in some little way. 

And although this elective was supposed to be all about worshipping God in the dance, I believe so much more was accomplished.  I pray hearts were opened, eyes were given a vision, and new steps were learned – but not just as part of the choreography!

And as to the final dance performance, yeah, they put their whole heart and being into it and truly did worship the Lord… and gave a great performance as well!

UGANDA WAS A SUCCESS by Courtney Copeland

At the beginning of January we returned from Uganda - BEST YEAR YET!

I want to start out by first apologizing about the delay in getting this report to you all! We hit the ground running into 2017!

I have no words to describe our trip to Uganda. Now that I have had time to reflect and think about work there, I am even more pleased with our team and the accomplishments that were made.

THE HOLY SPIRIT WAS PRESENT - There was a Holy Ghost Party in Uganda this year! We saw miracles, redemption, deliverance, and salvations take place all week long!  

Sports, classes, services, and worship were all on another level this year! Because of how amazing every area of camp was, I am going to have the leads each write their own blog post from their own perspective to help to the story of Reaction Tour Uganda 2017. 

Check back here for good reads and testimonies from the trip! 

Watch some of our favorite moments here!

Courtney.

Can you believe it's been 5 Years? by Courtney Copeland

Reaction Tour is going back to Uganda!!!

And this January will be our FIFTH Camp to be in Uganda. The Lord has put a special place in our hearts for Uganda and we are so excited to see what he has in store for this trip. We are praying and believing for hearts changed and youth set free. We believe the Lord is going to provide more than we can ask for or imagine!


Check out this video to see a recap of what Reaction Tour has been up to these past 5 years! 

In addition, we are planning our First Annual Reaction Tour 5k Color Run in honor of 5 years of Reaction Tour! More details on this great event to come, but if you are ready to register...

HOME from I N D I A by Courtney Copeland

I N D I A was amazing to see the Lord move.

 Earlier this month, we took a team of 13 to Hyderabad, India, to host two, 3-day camps for about 400 kids!

The trip started off with a few trials. The whole team arrived at the airport ready to rock-and-roll. About 10 minutes before we were supposed to take off, they announced that the entire flight had been cancelled! Now, if you’ve travelled before, then you know how extremely frustrating this is. Imagine having 10+ people in your group and having to figure that out. In addition, a couple of our team members actually lost their passports at the airport the night our flight was cancelled, so there were a few tears and emotions involved in the process of getting that situation resolved. BUT the Lord was there with us in those moments and we were able to ALL be on the same flight out, the following day! Because of the delay, we had to re-arrange our camp schedule a bit, but the culture in India is very relaxed and we had no issues adjusting our plans for the two weeks. We knew that the Lord must have big plans for the week, since the enemy was trying to attack us in so many ways. When it was time for camp, the children were beyond excited! In the mornings we would walk in and say, “GOOD MORNING!” and all the kids would respond with a huge smile and scream, “GOOD MORNING!” ...It was truly a beautiful sight to see. We played games, taught the children worship songs, did fun crafts, shared the different characteristics of Jesus with them, and loved on them during our time with there. Each child received their very own pair of shoes and a Reaction Tour t-shirt! We learned that these items were likely the first brand new shirt and shoes that these children have ever received, and you could tell they were so thankful and grateful by the enormous smiles on their faces! We taught them how to play soccer, basketball, kickball, and volleyball- and they gave us a cricket lesson or two! By the end of the week, we had created strong relationships with the children of Inida, despite the language barriers.

 Jesus was moving in India and He was accepted into the heart of 206 children!

 We want to thank you for your continued prayers and support. The Lord is using Reaction Tour to impact the world and we are grateful for the role you are playing through prayers, sponsorship, and financial support. Without the Grace of God, and your obedience to sow into Reaction Tour, NONE of this could have happened.

 To see what took place on our trip, watch our recap video!

Time for India by Courtney Copeland

In 2013, Reaction Tour stepped foot onto Indian soil for the first time. We knew The Lord had called us to minister to children in India, and the time had come.

NOW, we are excited to go back to India and hold two more camps! Please be in agreement with us that the exact will of The Lord be done and lives will be forever changed.

The Reaction Tour Team will be gone for two weeks hosting two separate camps with 300 kids in attendance- please be praying for the following things for the duration of this trip and during this time of preparation:

  1.  Safety- We plead Psalms 91 over us and the children attending our camps. We command our angels to take charge over all of us and our feet our guided by the Holy Spirit every step of the way.
  2. Hearts of Children- May the soil of these children’s hearts be prepared to receive The Word we are about to sow into their lives. That The Lord is already setting up divine appointments for when we leave to water seeds sown during camps.
  3. Provision- We believe that all of the finances are falling into place for this camp to be completed and BLESSED.

Your prayers mean so much to us. It is empowering when we know we have you praying for us while we are over seas. We are so thankful for YOU and everything you have done to make Reaction Tour happen.

Be Blessed,
Courtney Copeland

P.S.
It is not to late to sponsor a child or support Reaction Tour! – If The Lord leads you to sow financially into Reaction Tour, click HERE.

Shown here is one of my favorite photos from our last trip to India.. Language barriers cannot keep the Love of God from getting through to a young man's heart. We love seeing children accept Jesus as their Savior.

Shown here is one of my favorite photos from our last trip to India.. Language barriers cannot keep the Love of God from getting through to a young man's heart. We love seeing children accept Jesus as their Savior.

Chick-fil-a + Reaction Tour by Courtney Copeland

We have the opportunity to partner with Chick-fil-a to support Reaction Tour!

 

When: April 14th 5:00 - 9:00 pm

Where: Chick-fil-a Alliance Town Center [2870 Heritage Trace Parkway]

How: 1. Go To Chick-fil-a at Alliance Town Center between 5 & 9 on April 14th

         2. Mention Reaction Tour when you order

         3. Eat chicken

        4. Be happy!

Why: When you do this, 20% of the sales from that night will be donated to Reaction Tour!

What is Reaction Tour:

Reaction Tour exists to empower kids around the world, through the display of God's love, using the avenues of sports, discipleship, dance, and music. We do this by putting on camps in underprivileged areas around the world! We are going to India this May to do two 3-day camps for a total of 400 kids. We will be doing our first camp on American Soil in Haltom City, Texas this summer, and we will return to Uganda for a 5-day camp for 500 kids at the end of the year! These camps are free for the kids who attend. Each camper receives a t-shirt, all meals for the week, shoes, training in their activity, Love of the father, and the word of god during their time with reaction tour!

To understand Reaction Tour a little bit better, watch this video from our camp in Uganda earlier this year. 

 

Help support Reaction Tour to empower kids around the world by eating Chick-fil-a for dinner on April 14th! 

 

Can't make it to this event? You can still support Reaction Tour. 

Jeff McQuitty by Courtney Copeland

Jeff was our videographer for RTUganda16. He was a great team member and created beautiful videos displaying the various aspects of camp! Read about his experience with Reaction Tour. 


If you had spoken to me back in November, I wouldn't have believed you if you told me that in a month's time I would be in Africa filming a sports camp for 500+ kids. But lo and behold, there I was; New Year's Eve, on a plane traveling halfway across the world to a place I'd never been with 25 people I'd never met. I'd be lying if I said that the thought 'what on earth am I doing here?' didn't run through my head once or twice. Or every few minutes. But by then I was already at the point of no return, so I sat back and watched The Martian, trying not to think about it.

Hi, my name is Jeff, and I currently live in Austin, Texas as a freelance videographer, and honestly it's surprising that I was on this trip at all. One day my roommate came to me and said that this non-profit in Fort Worth needed a last minute videographer and asked if I'd be interested in going to Uganda in three weeks. Always a sucker for adventure, I said yes, and that's how I was introduced to Reaction Tour. Long story short? Nope. Short story... still short. 

When we finally arrived in Uganda, I was immediately overwhelmed with the beauty of the country. Going from a gloomy Texas winter to this tropical paradise was a welcomed change. One of the first kids I met, a boy named Ian, said it best; "Isn't Uganda amazing? The warm climate, the lush vegetation. Uganda is amazing", he said with a proud smile. Yes, Ian, yes it is. 

When camp started, my job was the bounce around and film all the different activities going on, as well as edit the daily videos that we would upload and share with everyone back home. And to be honest, I was a little nervous. Not so much with the work itself, but with my role. You see, it's very easy for videographers to hide behind the camera and feel detached and isolated from what they are shooting; in some ways it's just the nature of the job. But I wanted this to be more than just another gig. I wanted to walk away having experienced the Lord in a way I never had before. I hoped to connect with the people on the team and with the kids, and just to feel part of something bigger than myself.

And thankfully, that's exactly what happened. The Reaction Tour team was so gracious and welcoming, and I always felt a part of the group. Everyone continually poured themselves out for one another, even in those moments when they had every excuse to be selfish. And of course one of the greatest parts of my job was getting to hear all the different stories of how the Lord was moving among these people. Yes, there were stories of tragedy and earth-shattering heartbreak, but they were always followed up with abounding redemption and joy. It was unbelievably humbling. The Lord reminded me this week of the peace and joy that comes from walking with Him, and that He is the true well spring of all things good. Even as I spent hours alone in a hot, sweaty classroom editing, I still felt an inexplicable excitement. His presence was tangible. 

I truly hope that the videos of camp gave you a glimpse into the experience we had that week, because it was truly a remarkable example of the body of Christ moving, even amidst incredible odds. Thank you everyone so much for your prayers and supporting the Reaction Tour team. Lives were changed this week with eternal significance, and I'm just glad to have been a part of it.

- Jeff

You can check out more of Jeff's work here: jeffmcquitty.com

Thank you by Courtney Copeland

Because of your obedience in sowing into this ministry, so many seeds were planted into the lives of many youth in Uganda. Support for Reaction Tour comes in many different ways. There are those of you who have bought sponsorship t-shirts that cover the cost for one child to attend our camp, others have spent time praying for our team and the hearts of our campers, many have donated cleats or other equipment for camp, and lots have committed to supporting Reaction Tour financially. Each of these avenues of support are important and highly valued. We thank you so deeply for the impact that you have made in the lives of 500+ youth in Uganda this past month.

We wanted to share with you what Reaction Tour was able to bless these kids with while they were at camp with us. Each camper got to choose what their main activity was going to be while at camp, and the leaders of each activity got to give their kids an activity related gift. 

Soccer players got cleats. 
Basketball players got basketball shoes.
Dancers and volleyball players got athletic shoes.
Leadership class students got notebooks.
Beauty class students got nail polish, a bracelet, Abba, and a Proverbs 31 study sheet.
Worship workshop students got a Worship Devotional and Dara Petty and Michael Howell's CDs.

All campers attended 10 worship and teaching sessions, received 3 meals a day, and participated in extensive training for their desired activity.  


Reaction Tour was able to bless these children so abundantly because of our support from people like you! We want to thank you for that. We appreciate you and the part that you are playing in God's plan.