Tuesday, August 7, 2018

Apologies for the lateness!

Today we ate breakfast at the pleasant hour of nine, and then started off on a two hour bus ride to Kartuzy.  It’s home to Kashubians, a tribe of people that have lived in the area longer than the Polish people.  They still speak their own language.  I read a poster that said traditional Kashubian cuisine includes zupa z wreka (goose broth) and roasted eels.

We stopped at the culture center and ate a lunch prepared by our non-Kashubian food committee.  They have provided a lot of delicious variations on the theme of sandwiches throughout the tour.

In the afternoon were given time for solitude and meditation.  Otherwise known as time to work on diction for our song “Abendlied.”

Just before the evening program we were introduced to Gregory, a man who recently moved with his family into Kartuzy.  They moved to become a part of what the Lord is doing in the area.

During the evening program I kept thinking of the ever present human component of choir ministry.  We can try our best to spread the gospel or encourage people through our singing, but it’s really difficult unless we make connections by showing that we are regular people.  It’s so much fun watching those connections happen throughout the program.  We can’t always speak the same language, but we can still worship together.

Tonight was the first time I saw someone in the crowd singing along with the Taize songs.

One thing that seems to warm up the crowd is when Mr. Lloyd “introduces” us after the intermission.  People really light up when they see that some of the choir members live in Poland.  Or that Heidi is from Australia, and Yuriy and Alla speak Russian and Ukrainian.

I’m also reminded of the human components of choir tour when less than positive things happen.  Tonight we had to restart a song for the first time during the program because of a weak opening.

Being human, many of us have been struggling with sickness.  It brings all kinds of complications.  Sometimes I croak when I try to sing, and tonight during the program I dropped a tissue.  Before I could think, I had already bent to pick it up.  Of course I froze when I thought through what I had done, only to realize I hadn’t stood back up yet!

It’s also been wonderful making connections with the other choir members.  It isn’t quite as awkward now when we are supposed to make eye contact with each other while singing “Do Lord.”  It’s going to be hard to say goodbye when we have to leave next Tuesday.

After the program we were treated to some incredible perogies.  It was the perfect ending of a good day.


Written by Martha Strickler


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