Hope Singers 2016 Tour – August 15th

The Ballad of


(to the tune: “Battle Hymn of the Republic”)


On July the twenty sixth, in two thousand and sixteen.

We embarked upon a singing tour to Poland as a team

We were nine and twenty singers, with our great director Lloyd

And Mary, our sweet mom.



Glory, glory hallelujah!

Singing really seems to woo ya’

We spent three days rehearsing, with two weekends in the states.

To get our notes on tune!


Jenna, Sarah, Abby, Sharon, Carolyn, Lani were the girls,

Krista, Katherine, Hadassah, (some had straight hair, some had curly)

Vic, LaShonda, and Dawnita, Jewel, ‘lissa, and Janelle

Who wore the black and blue.



Glory, glory hallelujah!

Learning Polish really moves ya’

Tried to grasp articulation such as wy-śpie-wu-ją

And sły-szysz w chwi-li trwóg!


Titus, Benji, Darren, Jaden, Andrew, Jolynn were the boys,

Joel, Eddie, Karl, Jonnie, (Ivan, Kenny were Godoys)

Schedules were “meticulated” by Dervin and Marlin

Who made things run so smooth!



Glory, glory hallelujah!

We will give the Kudos to ‘ya

Our trip was masterminded by Laverns and Jonathans

Jagoda did our wash…and wash…and wash…


As we traveled we enjoyed the scen’ry, slept, and played some Rook,

And were edified by quiet time while Lloyd read from his book;

Practiced on sub-vocal sounds, ran the scales in oohs and aahs,

And gen’rly were a-mused!



Glory, glory hallelujah!

Foreign food is such a joy-a!

Ate tomatoes, soup, cucumbers, lunch meat, cereal, cheese and bread,

With coffee, tea, and cake…and cake…and cake…


Slept at farms, hotels, hostels, seminary, B and B’s

Traveled nine and twenty hundred K’s in buses, tan and blue

Twenty songs in twelve programs, concert hall to high school gym,

And even were in-tent(s)…



We have sung Allelujah!

Thirty thousand times to clue ‘ya

God has kept us safe in travel with good health along the way

Praise God whence blessings flow!


Toured in Warsaw, Mińsk, and Kraków, Torun, Turek, and Gdańsk,

Malbork and Chęciny Castle, Auschwitz, Schindler (we gave thanks)

Sang in several cathedrals, rode on ferries, followed guides

Saw Mennonite grave-yard.



Glory, glory hallelujah!

Now we all sing “Cuda, Cuda!”

Let us ever faithful be, and remember fond-i-ly



-By Dave Gingerich

Hope Singers Tour 2016 – August 14th

It’s time to pack up the music folders. Really, it’s hard to believe that the last concert is over. Our day began with a great breakfast at the hotel. We pulled out just before 8:00 heading to the little village of Janikowo with a brief stop along the way at a recreated 18th century Mennonite settlement. The little church at Janikowo was a great place to sing, and we promptly worked on standing arrangements etc. The starting time arrived quickly and our last concert was under way. Once again, our small audience enjoyed every moment.
English, German, Russian, Latin, Polish-the power of music proved to be connective, and we marveled again the way God’s Spirit can communicate on many different levels across many barriers. In proper fashion, the service was followed with a spread of tea, coffee, and Polish cakes. They were wonderful, and served as an appetizer for the lunch we were directed to at a nearby restaurant. There’s something satisfying in the “dessert first” approach. Then
we were back on the bus for a longer than expected ride back to Gustav’s. We had a chance to unpack and stretch out a bit before gathering around a fire and roasting kielbasa. Thanks to the AIM team and the church here for making it a very enjoyable finish to the day. It feels good to be back here at “home” and be able to unwind a bit from the past week. Till tomorrow…
Titus Barnhart

Hope Singers Tour 2016 – August 13th

After a night of rest, we finished packing our loot and enjoyed a typical Polish breakfast. Around 9:00 we left the seminary, where we had recorded, and embarked on an approximately three hour journey to Toruń. We dropped Jonathan’s, some of Lavern’s family, and Lloyd’s off at the motel and proceeded on to the museum where we were to give our program. After a lunch prepared by the Poland staff, we started a quick walking tour of Toruń which included climbing up a clock tower to get a view of the city and touring the home of Nicolaus Copernicus.
Then we went back to the museum to get ready for the program (and a group photo). The program and our lodging was sponsored by the Ministry of Culture and the Embassy of Holland. We sang in an amphitheater outside the museum. It was a good one. Sure there were some annoying things like the PA system ringing and
the mosquitos, but I believe we connected well and were a blessing. We returned to the restaurant at the motel and finished the evening with a wonderful meal.
Benjamin Barnhart

Hope Singers Tour 2016 – August 12th

Today was another day of recording. We began our day in the dining room at the seminary for breakfast around 8:00. After breakfast we met in the chapel for a vocal warm-up and devotional.

Since we had accomplished so much yesterday everyone seemed relaxed but somewhat lacking in energy. Tuning was not as secure, and we had to restart multiple times. By lunch at 1:30, we had three songs recorded of the eight we needed to do.

With an hour off, we returned to finish. After much hard work we finished what Mr. Lloyd had hoped to do in 2 – 2 1/2 hours we did in just under four.

The relief of being done!! I can’t really explain it. We had a clapping session for Mr. Lloyd (he was so patient with us even though we took so long today) and his dear wife Mary (who attended every program and sat in on a lot of the rehearsals and recording) and Jonathan (the recorder).

After a long day of singing we were both tired and hungry. We ate supper and afterwards a few faithful people worked on packing up things for our traveling tomorrow while the rest goofed off – talking, can jam, spikeball, etc. Lavern went over the weekend schedule around 8:00, and soon after that was finished, we had ice cream! Thanks to the great staff who have been beyond good to us!

A small sprinkling of people sang several new and old songs while the rest did more destressing activities and for some that included conversations on a vast variety of subjects(drugs, schoolteaching, etc.) At 10:30 dorm time called us to close our evening activities, and we retired to our rooms.

 -Victoria Troyer

Hope Singers 2016 Tour – August 11th

dawn through white birches
then blue sky.
breakfast, classic & traditional.
tea to drink with jam and bread.
assembly. warmups. story.
Recording. chapel with windows.
reverb. garfield socks.
determination and focus. stickers.
hard work punctuated
by chocolate brownies & trail mix.
movement, beauty, and enjoyment.
stress level, low-ish
success level, moderately high
dinner & conversation.
and at dusk, stars reflected in puddle.
-Sharon Spicher
August 11, 2016
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