June 18, 2014: Second Concert: Bayeaux

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It turns out uploading a few hundred megs of pictures on a hotel wi-fi is a, well, lengthy process; as in they’ll be done by August.  We’ll adapt somehow, but in the meantime we’ve uploaded to our much quicker Facebook page here.  Note you do not have to be a Facebook member to access!

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Words won’t do it; pictures won’t do it.  We didn’t think we could ever top Paris…but we did.

To a person, a night we’ll never forget.

Like Paris, a beautiful cathedral, great acoustics but a much bigger sanctuary, one we never expected to fill. But we did.

Mary Ann again was spectacular, a miracle in its self considering – we can now tell – twenty-four hours ago her throat was so swollen she could barely talk.  Prayer really, really, really works.

Pammy knocked them dead. A standing ovation after Total Praise.  Another after Mighty Good God, and a plea for another encore, so she preached up the center aisle with Amazing Grace.  We met not only French, but English, Australians, and one from Utah; all grabbing our hands in thanks.

God. Is. Good.

June 17, 2014: Post Paris Concert

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Post Paris concert pics of Notre Dame and a tour of the Seine here.

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What a dull world if all went exactly as planned!  Left Paris yesterday morning on high from the night before, had a tour of the gorgeous Chartres Cathedral – pictures coming – then had a flat tire on the way to Bayeaux.  (The good news, we got to see Les Mans, albeit in the French version of Les Schwab.)  That, and three of us – ahem – discovered we left our passports in safes in Paris.

Digress to Ian, our guide, and Johann, our driver.  Ian – brilliant in history and art history – arranged to have the passports delivered to us in Amsterdam.  Johann, after being up late the night before with transmission issues, took all in stride and had us back on the road in time to leave us only thirty minutes behind schedule.  Lesser people would have at least grumbled.

Because of them all remain focused and on the same traveling high.  We have a couple people sick – please pray! – but we do have a doctor in the house, about whom more later.

We’re in Bayeaux, a world away from Paris, with our second concert tonight.

Keep up the prayers!  Can’t tell you how much they’re felt and appreciated.

June 16, 2014: First Concert; Prayers Answered

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Beautiful church, acoustics in which you could hear a whisper at a hundred yards.  A motivated choir, and a Sanctuary full of the stoic French, who on a good day make Presbyterians look like Holy Rollers.

Then?  Tears, applause, clapping and waving (“Wave your hand everybody!”), a standing ovation (from the stoic French!) and this from one in the audience:

Many groups come here to sing.  You came here to worship.  Thank you.

We have pics thanks to our guide Ian.  Many more to come, but we have a bus to catch for Chartres and Bayeaux.

Keep praying! 

June 15, 2014: Early Morning Reflection

Paris HDR Sunrise

Sunday morning:

We walked early this morning, quiet streets making it not only easier to see the real Paris, but to reflect on the glory that God surrounds us with.  We are all blessed.

Back at the hotel was a very gracious email from one who identified himself as the “baby bro” of one of our group.  He said:  “And the very coolest part is that everyone looks like they are just having the best time!

And we are!  It turns out having a good time and proclaiming the Gospel through the gift of music aren’t mutually exclusive. We all absolutely love it when we sing, but even when we’re on a cruise of the Seine we have this as our anchor:

“A new command I give you: Love one another…By this everyone will know that your are my disciples, if you love one another.”

Concert in four hours.  Please pray!

Pics here.

June 14, 2014; Day Two: Paris

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The eight hour trip to Paris included conversations with other travelers wondering why in the world a choir would fly all the way to Europe to give free concerts?  We told them.  Maybe lives are changing already?

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Day Two:  Paris, reuniting with Wendy and Pam and all the other early travelers, meeting our driver and guides for the trip, a little sightseeing, lunch together and gently acclimating to a slightly different time zone.

Pics here.

Tomorrow, what we’re here to do:  Out first concert. 

June 13, 2014; First leg; are we there yet?

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VERY early morning, five hour layover in Minneapolis.  Then:  Eight hours to Paris.  Traveling would be really fun if it weren’t for the, well, travel.

But you know what?

Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.  And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.

Pics here.

‘Til tomorrow!

June 13, 2014; Last Rehearsal

LGPC Sanctuary Choir Music Mission 2014

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Whew.  Tonight was our last home rehearsal. Two days.

Pam Baker:

Our MM 2014 focus will continue to be on how God will use us for His purposes.

Call this trip what you will, but if we are steadfast in our witness (both word and deed) wherever we find ourselves, God will set the stage for changed lives, encouragement and ministry.

We’re family.  We’re all family.

Pictures here.

Thank you for your prayers; next stop Paris!

June 9, 2014: Choir Commissioned

LGPC Sanctuary Choir Music Mission 2014

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Yesterday in worship the choir was commissioned for our trip to France, Belgium and The Netherlands.  Each was given a hand made wooden cross – thank you, Doug! – which we’ll wear proudly as ambassadors of Lake Grove Presbyterian Church and of Jesus Christ.

In the commissioning Bob read this from our own Linda Brugh:

Why are we going?

Because we are called and because music transcends all barriers of language and culture.

Music, sung with integrity, passion, and love can reach souls and crack the shells of hardheartedness, indifference and cynicism.

Here we are, Lord.  Send us.

Lake Oswego, Oregon