We awoke this morning and discovered the landscape that had been hidden when we arrived by the cover of night: the horizon sculpted by shrub-dotted mountains, ascending olive groves growing out of fields of yellow wildflowers. The air is warm, crisp, and smells like peppered olive oil. After the stale air and cramped seats during our flights and bus rides, this morning felt like heaven.
We received a warm welcome at First Presbyterian church of Pefki—Diana Romeos’s home church—this morning, where Sounds and Playback offered samples of our full performance.
As soon as we finished at Diana’s church, we climbed on the bus for the two-hour trip to Patras. The bus led us through mountain tunnels, beside olive groves and herds of sheep, and past countless red-tile roofs. In the background were distant mountains brushed with snow and seas bluer than the sky.
It was worth the effort to keep our eyes open.
Tonight, we put on our first full, combined concert at the Evangelical Church of Patras. The sanctuary was packed with over 300 people; some who came last year to hear the Taylor Chorale, as well as many first-time guests who quickly became dear friends.
When we finished our program, a few young women from the church delivered roses to each member of Sounds and Playback and offered a bouquet to Dr. Rediger. Their kindness was deeply encouraging to us, so we sang the Greek national anthem as an encore.
We greeted these new friends for as long as we could; there were still people chatting as we left an hour after the performance. One man in attendance sings professionally in Patras and joined us in an impromptu Hallelujah Chorus. Those who struggled with speaking English simply clasped our hands in gratitude and said, “Congratulations.” It didn’t take any more words to express what was in their eyes.
Our tour organizer Mihalis later told us over 70% of the people who came were non-churched.
Please pray for our future performances as we identify ways to improve our program and repertoire, as well as for those who will receive our gifts. We know the Holy Spirit speaks every language, and believe he will make God’s mercy known to those who need it.