Hope Singers Tour 2016 – August 7th

Sunday, August 7

It was a dark and stormy night on the north coasts of Scotland, but this is not relevant to the story because we were in southern Poland, where the morning sun shone warm and bright. Unfortunately, sleep last night for many was interrupted because of loud noises outside or smoke smells. That didn’t seem to bother our fine chef, as he had the ironing boards set up and a breakfast spread out beside the bus by 7:30. (That’s what ironing boards are for, right?)

We got to the church well ahead of schedule. This happened several times today, so Hope Singers must be turning over a new leaf.

The service in Czestochowa was attended by several different congregations. The enthusiastic audience gave us the energy for a great program. After we finished, we were all given an apple with a thank you note fastened on it.

We were told that we couldn’t leave the church until the lunch table was cleaned up. We did our best, and enjoyed some of the best salads and cakes in the world. They also served borsch and another soup that was more difficult for some to stomach. (Ever tasted tripe?)

Our evening concert was in Bielsk-Biala, a city not too far from the Czech Republic. It was a wonderful experience to sing in the beautiful auditorium of a music school.

Just for the record- this morning ‘Blind Bartimaeus’ was almost left by the side of the road, thanks to the sopranos (yikes!), but tonight, he was rewarded with some alms given to him by the soprano on his far left. This might be a money making business!

Our hosts tonight were ever so kind to serve us cakes and other delicious dainties before the program, and then a full meal of bigos, salads, and all other glorious things that go with it after the concert.

We had over an hour to drive to get to our beds tonight, but we were highly entertained by Dave and Jewel reciting ‘The Big Brag’ and Karl reading ‘Gertrude, the Governess’.

~ Carolyn Good

Hope Singers Tour 2016 – August 6

August 6, 2016
This morning started out with something a little special at the breakfast table. We were served cream filled Crepes and Hot Chocolate, along with the usual bread, cheese, tea, and coffee.
We packed up, leaving the friendly, hospitable home of Gustaw and Maria behind. Today we headed south to Turek.
We had a short two hour ride and found ourselves in a small town, walking- again. This time to a restaurant, where the hosting church paid for our lunch. They served us the most tender chicken, along with potatoes and two kinds of cabbage salads; delicious- again!
We returned to the church with pastor Jozef and emerged in our sophisticated garb of black. Jumped on the bus and found ourselves in a different situation, again. This afternoon we would be singing in a tent in the middle of the town park. We were scheduled to help the church as part of their Christian Culture Week. We gave our concert at 4:00pm and then took seats among the audience. The pastor climaxed the message we were trying to portray with an evangelical meditation, “Ye must be born again”.
We returned to the stage to close the service with, “Come Ye Sinners”.
Again, we tried our best to communicate with the few Polish words we know and the bit of English that these people know. I was blessed by a nice conversation with Beata, who apologized that she didn’t know much English. Despite her hesitations, we had quite a lengthy conversation. I was encouraged by her comment that she felt the presence of God while we sang and that it made her think of heaven.
After our visiting we drove another 2 hours to the Hostel where we will rest for the night. Hostel Haga is in the city of Czestochowa, in south east Poland.
Through another day- Again, The Lord was faithful.
Great is Thy faithfulness!
Blessed to be part of the ministry of Hope Singers in Poland,
Krista M. Histand

Hope Singers Tour 2016 – August 5th

The start of our day was very relaxing. We had breakfast at 9:00 before heading to the nearby train station and departing for Minsk. I think we’re learning a bit about European public transit etiquette. As soon as our very lively group entered the train we all transitioned to an alternate state of being where silence was the norm, and conversation was kept to a minimum. Upon leaving the train we resumed our sociable ways.

 

We first went to the Gateway To English school for a presentation about the work in Poland. From there, we divided into groups to tour the town. Minsk is not really a touristy city, so we experienced a slightly different view of Poland than we did the other days touring in Gdansk and Warsaw. We visited the open air market, a lovely little coffee and tea shop, ate pizza for lunch, and stopped for ice cream on our way back to the school where we prepared for our program.

 

Since Minsk is the hometown of a few of the choir members on tour, this program was especially special for them. Among those in attendance was the town’s mayor…quite exciting! The venue was hot and noisy (we especially appreciated the sirens and train whistles), and we felt tired from our day of sightseeing. However, with all that, we still were able to get through our program with relative smoothness. Praise God!

 

After the program we departed for The Palace for a wonderful meal prepared for us by Chef Pawel Bes, a student at Gateway To English. We had a very relaxing evening there, eating, and even singing a few songs for the staff.

 

All in all, a very good day.

 

Solo Deo Gloria

 

-Darren Nisly-

 

Hope Singers 2016 Tour – August 4

Behold, on the 4th day of the 8th month of the year of our Lord 2016, Hope Singers had the day off! Since our first appointment was brunch at 10:30, we thoroughly enjoyed sleeping in. The rest of the forenoon and most of the afternoon was spent in critiquing a recording of a previous program, music practice, games of KanJam, Spikeball, and soccer interspersed with rain shower.

According to our schedule the day was mainly set aside for doing laundry but we are VERY spoiled singers! Marlin and Jagoda kindly took all our laundry to the Laundromat while we spent the day relaxing. J We truly are spoiled! We did some rehearsing from 4-5:30, then were treated to another delicious Polish meal. Directly afterward we rehearsed a little more, had devotions with Lloyd, played games, ect. We even celebrated Dave Gingerich’s 65th birthday (which is next week) with German chocolate cake, strawberries and shortcake, and giant sparklers.

The evening was made complete with bedtime stories by Dave and even his song about “Ticklish Reuben”. There were many gales of laughter…

-Dawnita (aka Caesar)

 

Random facts for you to enjoy:

  1. The average age of the choir is….25!
  2. When we sing our song “Alleluia”, all 29 of us have sung over 2,600 “Alleluias” by the time we have reached the end. (Thanks to Jonathan Miller and Dave Gingerich for doing all the counting)

Hope Singers Tour 2016 – August 3

Our day began last morning. A bit later than some mornings, which was good, but a bit sad in that we left the wonderful place at which we had been staying for the last few days. We started with a typical Polish breakfast – bread, cheese, tomatoes, radishes, tea, and instant coffee if necessary. All packing needed to be done before breakfast in order to leave promptly at 9 AM.

Once on the road, we faced a very long (4 hours) bus drive from (close to) Gdansk to Warsaw. Once on the bus, we settled into various Rook games, conversations, a good book, or a good set of earphones. Lunch stop was about half way there where we were met with very pleasant but chilly weather. Several people dropped their sandwiches as they passed through the food line; many bought coffee; all were satisfied with great food.

There was no program – our day consisted chiefly of, apart from travel, touring the city of Warsaw. We split into two groups – one to Old Town Warsaw, and another to visit a nice pottery shop; yes, in Warsaw.

I was in the group that went for pottery. Besides spending many Zloty, we tried to find locker space to store our stuff while we went to E. Wedel’s. To our chagrin, the lockers were all closed due to increased bomb security because World Youth Day will be held in Kraków within the next few days. So we carried our stuff to E. Wedel’s, where we experienced the wonderful melted chocolate beverages that they have there.

After E. Wedel’s Chocolate, we agreed to walk towards the train station rather than away from it in our search for food, willing instead to wait for the train to arrive than to arrive at the same time as the train. We found a nice fast food restaurant that served wonderful Kebabs. We spent about thirty minutes there before finding our way to the train station, where we waited for the train to come.

After disembarkment, we walked approximately one kilometer to our place of residence. Upon arrival at our destination, we reclaimed our luggage that had been sent ahead with the bus, set our stuff in order, and enjoyed the rest of the evening.

-Joel Weaver