Last time we reported to you from Hungary in the middle of the Crescendo Summer Institute, Cru's ministry to musicians. At the end of the our time, kids from the youth section I was responsible for were asking people to sign their white Crescendo t-shirts. Along with my signature I wrote "Don't stay out too late," or "Be sure to get enough sleep!" That was my least favorite job. The small group discussions were my favorite, naturally. Our group had a great atmosphere, and we explored not just being musicians, but our relationship with God. The biggest bonus was that Silas and Efrem participated. The additional musical instruction was certainly great, but seeing such outstanding Christian musician role models was priceless. Brilliant artists from all over the world traveled to Tokaj to invest in the young aspiring participants. On one hand, these are celebrated award winning musicians. On the other hand, they are approachable. You could have a friendly talk with them over a tray of food from the cafeteria, then they might offer to share with you all the digital albums they brought, if you have a usb drive handy. It was refreshing to see such humility and down-to-earthiness in someone who you recently saw perform a jaw-dropping arrangement of Amazing Grace. They were there to serve. During one of the morning devotionals we were told that art is a means of expression that can give others a glimpse of God. An inspired artist can turn the gaze of others toward the Almighty. Ultimately, Jesus represented the highest level of art and communication - "He that has seen me has seen the Father." How can we better reflect the divine in our communication with others?
What started six years ago has become a family tradition. Our fourth biking-camping adventure had us pedaling 155 miles, with each of us carrying 35-60 lbs. in our saddlebags. Descending the western coast from Royan to Biscarrosse, we traveled in stages up to 47 miles. The water was cold along the coast, but warm in the Bay of Arcachon. We camped at the base of the surreal Dune of Pilat, the tallest sand dune in Europe. Trudging up, then practically skiing down its 60 million metric cubes of sand, which tower 360 feet above the coast. Even on vacation opportunities to talk about Jesus came up. While talking with a camping neighbor who is a surfing instructor, he was intrigued when I told him I was a "protestant chaplain" (which is more understandable than missionary). Silas and Efrem stood by as we talked about his obstacles to believing in God and why science has actually affirmed my belief. It was quite a ride. Now the question is - where to next?!
- for a relaxing yet challenging riding vacation.
- that we were all so blessed at the Crescendo Summer Institute.
- that we find the right rhythm and priorities for this school year.
- for good progress on the new version of our web site and the video to introduce us to others.