May 23, 2008
Well I'm back! Ten days on a whirl-wind performance tour in Spain! Some days were really fun while others were a bit trying, mainly because of exhaustion. The group was one of the very best behaved I have ever had the joy of participating in. Everyone was respectful, even when dog tired, and funny! And the Spaniards were very impressed that our group, comprised mainly of college students, were knowledgeable of the Spanish culture. A few could even speak Spanish well!
We performed four concerts; one in Galithia, one in Leon, one in Ponferrada, and the final one in Salamanca. They fell on May 15, 16, 17, and 18. We had to endure 3-hour long rehearsals plus very long bus rides. Some days were very cold, windy, and rainy. Some of the Cathedrals where we performed were so infused with contrasting aromas, incense and fresh flowers, that it made some of us nauseous. Other times, because of the change in time, we would be hungry when we shouldn't be and experienced sudden drops in our blood sugar. So what we went to do in Spain wasn't all fun and games it was hard work. We would try to rest on the buses when traveling from city to city but that wasn't always possible.
The amazing thing is that no one got really sick and no one even had a bad cold during the days we had to perform! There were some pretty amazing things that happened while we there performing our hearts out for God and I'll be sharing these things in the next few posts. But one of the greatest miracles God did while we were there was open the door to the Cathedrals. Two of them didn't want us inside at all. Why did we perform in cathedrals? In Spain cathedrals are considered public places for performances and community events. We had experienced resistance at first because we were Evangelicals and not Catholics. But at the end we were allowed inside. Then the next miracle was getting people to actually stay after mass and listen to us. And that happened too! In fact, there were so many people present at our performances that some had to be turned away! They were standing in the isles and even just beyond the front doors! We had standing ovations and calls for encores at every performance!! In Spain! Where they are strict and critical about any musical performance, especially classical.
But the happiest thing for all of us was to see the joy on the faces of fellow brothers and sisters in Christ over there. The Evangelical churches in Spain are babies right now and the Christians need all the encouragement they can get. Some of them were shouting as loud as they could, " God bless the Americans! God bless the Americans!" It was really moving. And when we had to say goodbye to the Spaniard musicians who joined us in Spain for performances, they ran after our buses for several blocks waving and shouting and crying for joy! I tell you all of us had tears in our eyes. I have pictures and will post those up at a later time.
God was so good to keep us safe and healthy. He put our group together so that everyone got along and when someone was down there was always somebody who could lift them up again. We had prayer meetings and read the Bible to each other and took time to get better acquainted. All of us made new friends and memories that will be with us all our lives.
The country of Spain is very beautiful and there is so much I have to share with all of you. So... the next several posts are dedicated to everything I saw and experienced. I hope it brings a smile to your face. :)
Praise the Lord for every mistake for they bring Him glory! Praise the Lord for every success! For they bring Him praise!
"He put a new song in my mouth, a hymn of praise to our God. Many will see and fear and put their trust in the Lord." Psalm 40:3