Tuesday, August 2
This morning we had the delightful privilege of sleeping a little later since breakfast was at 8:30. We were again treated with a lovely spread of food.
Soon after 9 we headed to Malbork Castle. Built by Teutonic Knights, the castle was almost completely destroyed in WWII and has been reconstructed since then. It is also a huge tourist attraction and it seemed everyone wanted to tour at the same time we did. 🙂 We had a guided tour for something like an hour and a half, then had free time to explore however we wished. Some people climbed the tower while others meandered and chilled or bought souvenirs.
Next we headed to a Mennonite Cemetery close by. We gathered and sang the song “Abendlied” (stay with us) in reflection of those who have lived before us. We spent some time walking around quietly reflecting their lives.
By this time it was early afternoon and we were all quite hungry. Soon we arrived at the church where we were to give the evening program. We practiced a bit then sat down for another delightful meal of tomato soup, cabbage salad, meat and potatoes, and of course, cake, coffee and tea. The concert went really well considering that we were touring most of the day and hadn’t spent a lot of time practicing, but of course we need to continue to work on things. The people were again very receptive and it was wonderful to feel a connection with them. I’m personally am enjoying the programs more each time and love connecting with people even if I can’t speak their language.
We ended a great day by eating grilled kielbasa and playing games.
Seriously? Where do you want me to start? Like, you wanted to hear about my day right? OK. I’ll see what I can do to keep this from becoming a chronicle of great length….
So first I woke up… Well tried to… It worked eventually…
Then breakfast happened. Quite enjoyable.
Then it was off to the bus and off to Gdansk on a walking tour of the old parts of the city. We split into two groups with a tour guide for each and walked for a couple of hours. We concluded this part of the day by singing a few songs at St. Mary’s cathedral, which just happens to be the largest Gothic brick cathedral in the world. Twas wonderful. Definitely a personal highlight….
The afternoon was spent in various places by various people. We split into three groups this time and hit a few other tourist attractions. The Baltic Sea and a World War 2 memorial, to name a couple… Some shopping was done, some food was consumed, many pictures were taken…. And we all had a legit day on the town…I think. I did.
Anyway, as I’m writing this we’re driving back to the place we’re staying for this portion of tour… We’re going to rehearse for an hour and a half and then hang out around a fire this evening and eat things. This too is commendable behavior.
It has been a memorable day on Hope 16. Praise God for this opportunity and for His protection and guidance…. All glory is His.
-Drew for Hope 16
Sunday July 31
The day began on an early note; not a concept too unfamiliar to a group of touring choral singers. After an early breakfast, we “jumped” into our big Blue buss and in half half an hour reached a Pentecostal congregation. We were very honored to find out that the church building we sang in was in its first use. The second building was a very old Mennonite Church in Gdansk. It was first built in the 1850s, and although it was damaged during WWII, it was rebuilt and remodeled into a building lovely in appearance and acoustics.
In both the morning and evening services, were shown a positively splendid array of polish hospitality.
May God bless these people who are so receptive of our message. We may not speak their mother language but we certainly connect their hearts with our music.
In retrospect we thank God for touching the hearts of those who heard our illustrious (ahem) voices. We also thank God that in both occasions, those who heard us either overlooked our minor mistakes or did not notice them completely. Incidentally, Lloyd our ever patient conductor would have both noted our minor mistakes, and would have taken (he still is:) measures to further our stability in areas where we may not be quite as competent as we should be.
No, really…we did do a good job… mostly….I think so any way…… Well, I mean, most of us did…. we may have been just a bit patchy here and there but….over all, it was great!… I think…
Pastor at our Sunday morning concert writes about the Hope Singers visit…