Imagine you’re in the basement of a high school, trying to stay cool. You close your eyes and absorb the flurries of notes pouring from every direction, a piano behind, a birdlike flute off to your right, a deep cello from the left. They’re all practicing different works, seemingly unrelated chaos which will meld together into beautiful concerts and recitals over a two week period. We are currently in Tokaj Hungary for the Crescendo Summer Institute, part of Cru’s ministry to musicians. This year there are participants from 43 different countries, two of which are Silas and Efrem. Crescendo is an amazing blessing to musicians, an outreach to non-Christians, with top quality music professors teaching individuals and leading orchestras. Every morning different speakers touch on a different aspect of this year’s theme, creativity. How important is creativity to a musician? What—or Who—is the source of creativity? How does fear affect creativity? In the evenings Dan is leading a small group discussion on these lessons, as a volunteer. The small group is an important place to make friends and reflect, and we’re praying that God will work powerfully in each one’s life. He has also been given responsibility for the dozen youth under 16 who are staying in the dorms. He has to make sure everyone is in by 11pm, knocking on doors and counting them, then making sure they don’t sneak out (which has happened in the past). Most of them are Hungarian which makes communication a challenge too! This two week event is a meeting point of the arts and faith. The creative, highly musical worship invites both the participants and local community to consider the author of our creativity. It’s only half way through, so we haven’t even seen the crescendo yet! One thing is certain, outstanding music and powerful times are in store.
May just returned from the two week Programmers Summit in Orlando. Their project was to re-create an online tool that staff members across the world can use to calculate the amount of financial support they need. Imagine the complexity of this task! Every country has unique laws and financial constraints. This tool needs to be flexible enough for any country to set their own parameters, yet simple and intuitive. To be honest, the international team wrestled with how to approach it, but they did make progress and perhaps most importantly - they worked together! It was also good to reconnect with colleagues from her internship a year ago, and even meet new specialists like Brenton, a digital marketing expert with a heart for France. So there were even unexpected benefits from the programmer’s summit!
- for the Crescendo Summer Institute, the chance to volunteer and Silas and Efrem to participate.
- that we will be able to take another camping-biking vacation this August.
- that the small group discussions encourage each participant in just the right way.
- for good concerts for the boys and safe travels.