The first few weekdays in Colorado were spent rehearsing, which was mostly very delightful and enjoyable! Our dear director did a wonderful job of planning interesting rehearsal time. Pueblo Youth Center was our first prison program, and our audience was a long row of rough looking teens. As the evening progressed, we could see them warming up to us and seeming to enjoy the presentation, which had a few extras such as a skit and impromptu hymns. Afterwards we enjoyed some interaction with them. Denver Women’s prison was our second prison, and also a very rewarding experience! The women were very responsive, and especially loved the hymn “Amazing Grace.” Afterwards we had a short time to interact, and we were delighted to convince a few of the African-American ladies to sing for us.
This morning’s program was at Calvary Chapel in Sturgis Michigan. We were blessed to be able to share our complete program this morning after Sunday School. Only 1 more concert left: Sandy Ridge Mennonite Church in Nappanee Indiana. It’s a bit of a bittersweet moment. Tour is fulfilling, enjoyable, and uplifting, but it is also good to go home. We’re almost there. Coming back to Sandy Ridge to give our final program was very enjoyable. We rehearsed here before tour started, and we feel some affinity and connection with the church. We enjoyed a good tour without any major problems. God blessed us with safe travelling, speedy border crossings, receptive audiences, and a deeper understanding of who He is through these songs.
Another day to relax and see some sights! St. Jacobs is a quaint little town with cute little shops – quilts, antiques, local crafts, and boutiques. We hiked some scenic trails and enjoyed some local beauty. We were also able to sing “Goin’ Home” on a real front porch. We sang this song in concert as if we were actually on a front porch, and this was an enjoyable moment with an appreciative audience of those passing by. Our last program in Ontario was at Zion Mennonite Church – a small historic building bedecked with ornate woodwork, panel ceilings, and stained glass. The concert was simply exhilarating! It seemed that the building could scarcely contain the sound! Both the congregational and choral singing were wonderful experiences.
Leaving Guys Mills, PA, we traveled to Ontario, via Niagara Falls. The falls are breathtaking! As I was looking at the falls, and taking in their splendour, I couldn’t help but praise God for His beauty and majesty. While at the falls, we were given the opportunity to talk with many different people about who we are and what we were doing.It is always interesting to interact with strangers and share the goodness of God. We traveled to Faith Mennonite Church, which was to act as our “home” for our time in Ontario. Their facilities were quite accommodating for our rehearsal and recreational needs.
Today we rehearsed and relaxed. It’s good to get in some laid back rehearsal time, and to relax for a day without traveling. We enjoyed volleyball, naps, and general refreshment, before heading to Countryside for an evening program.
Northwest PA is beautiful! While en route to Guys Mills, we spent some time relaxing at a scenic overlook. It was nice to get out and stretch, take a walk, throw Frisbee, or enjoy quiet reflection. A warm and receptive crowd at Faith Builders Education Programs welcomed us, and fed us a nice meal after the program. A common theme among the audiences so far is that Lux strikes a chord. God’s creation of beauty in music is completely awe-inspiring! The harmonies in Lux are breath taking, and listening to them really is like being bathed in a warm light. We do serve a wonderful God!
We travelled to Lewisburg, PA today, and were served a wonderful supper by Duane Troyer’s family. The chicken enchilada casserole and fresh squeezed lemonade were delightful! Our evening program was special in that we had some lighting effects with “Goin’ Home”. The dimmed lights fit our final two songs perfectly. The audience also seemed to especially enjoy “O Come All Ye Faithful”.
This morning we gave our program at United Bethel in Plain City, Ohio. Also in the morning service, we heard from a Gideon’s representative who shared fascinating stories about the work they are doing around the world. The evening program was sponsored by the Hartville Conservative congregation and hosted by Bethany Mennonite Church. They have a lovely building that was filled with around 500 people.
We met at the convention and gave a short program in the morning session, and conducted our workshop on congregational worship. This was a learning experience, both for us, and the workshop attendees. In the evening we departed from Sandy Ridge, and headed for Ohio.
Practice today wasn’t just for the tour programs, but also for a workshop in which we were asked to participate at the BMA Convention. In the evening we went to the convention and presented a few songs. We enjoyed sharing God’s message with such a large audience.
We rehearsed again in the morning, and gave our first program at Christina Mission Fellowship in Berne, IN. We were welcomed by a warm group of people in a small building. Practice is good, but singing with an audience helps to stabilize our music, and gives meaning to the work. It’s a wonderful thing to revel in the beauty of music, and, through that, the Person of Jesus Christ.
We met at Sandy Ridge Mennonite Church in Nappanee to rehearse for a 12 day bus tour of the eastern US & southern Ontario. By this time, we had our songs memorized and the texts studied. Our 2 1/2 days here were spent on interpretation and internalizing the texts. Today we took specific texts and performed them as skits, giving us both light moments, and a chance to reflect on some core thoughts in the text.