Today we poured out of the hostel nearer 8:30 with the company of the newly arrived Alaska team and Aaron and Brenda.
We have became more familiar with the trams and their jolting ways...so much so that Tanaya decided to attempt a run away. Thankfully she was apprehended. Since then we've all been screaming "bad train" or "good train" which adds to our image as crazy tourists.
We took a direct route to the Christian school for practice and our unshaven, barefoot choir director tried to grind us into shape between breaks for water and general weariness. The tiny chairs, bright colors, and semi-disturbing dolls and other toys helped return us to a youthful mood and I believe we genuinely sounded good. It was encouraging to hear us all together.
We mobbed a few more trams and arrived at one of the large malls to have lunch at a Polish McDonalds. The menu looked better than ours, but the hamburgers smelled like an old goat. They tasted good....so they tell me. We had a few minutes to break up and explore the shops and we got some better first-hand experience on how many Polish people actually know English. Apparently for one shop keeper 79 zl makes $350. We found something a bit cheaper...
Right as we returned to a more central section of downtown we were greeted by thunder and gigantic rain drops. We were finally ready to do what we came for, but we didn't want the songbooks to get drenched.
We ended up going out in groups handing out fliers and checking back in 15 minute increments to hear the next plan as the weather changed. Handing out fliers on the street was an interesting experience and sometimes a blow to your self-esteem. Anna outshine most of us with her charm and precise technique. Sam wins something for handing one to a man climbing into his Ferrari.
The rain faded long enough for us to jump around to three different places to perform together while Pastor Bubu, David, Sarah, and Pastor Phelps talked to people and handed out concert fliers.
Despite the occasional wetness, several people stopped and looked interested. One man tried to cross a language barrier by kissing Rebekah's hand in gratitude. That was a bit creepy... Most of the people are always very kind and polite, even if they are not interested. Others started to ask questions most of us can't understand as soon as they found out we weren't trying to sell them something.
By the time we were walking to dinner again it was pouring. We had quite the experience at the Czech restaurant. We'd made a reservation and they'd very graciously set one long gorgeous table outside under cover, but that must have been before all the rain and wind....
What most of us are probably going to remember is being cold, some of the warm drinks, and being cold. Eventually half us were able to move inside, but despite all the coldness, delays, and Joe's cheerful attitude, we had a good time. The waitress and waiter did a fabulous job, even with our poor communication, shuffling about, and general blue and shaking aspect.
Some of the other Polish CREC members met us for dinner. It is truly wonderful to have fellowship with other believers from another section of the world. We desire Christ as our identity, and it shows blazingly when we see our brothers like this!
We all walked back to the hostel in a long, tired string...but all thoroughly drenched.
It is exciting to have started on the work we came here to do. Even though it's startling to go from scorching hot to freezing cold, we're still very happy to be here. :-)
Please pray with us-
-That we would have weather condusive for singing on the street tomorrow.
-That we would be able to hand out hundreds of fliers to people willing to read them.
-That those with health struggles or jetlag would wake up refreshed and well!
-That Benjamin would arrive safely from Seattle tomorrow.
-In praise and thanksgiving to God that we are here! And that we can attempt to serve Him in this way! We are so blessed.
See Evangelos for awesome pictures and videos!