Tonight we had our final concert of this European tour, here in beautiful Riga. For some, it was their last A Capella concert ever. There were mixed moments of sadness and joy as we sang each song one last time and as we tearfully embraced each other afterwards.
It is hard to really grasp everything this experience has been. As Dr. von Kampen put it the other night, usually in life we can go a long time without anything happening that really sticks in our memory. But when you have this kind of opportunity, every day leaves a unique and lasting impression! We have travelled through 8 different countries, and each one has presented us with new and exciting sights, cultures, foods, languages, histories, and the like. More importantly, each stop on our tour has opened our eyes to the rich variety of people that God has called to be his children in this world. To be a part of sharing the Gospel to these people by singing is almost too wonderful to put in words.
We have been trying though! On any given day that we were traveling, it was easy to notice how many of us were filling pages and pages of our journals with every detail we could to encapsulate the days' experiences. As we think about leaving and our focus shifts to "reality," we want to bring as much of of this impactful tour back with us, whether it is by our written words, pictures, or souvenirs.
The truth is, though, that as life goes on, the 2013 A Capella European Tour will slowly fade from our all of our minds. Sure, we will always carry memories, but new days with new joys and struggles will take precedence in our thoughts.
It's hard to face moving on from something that we've been looking forward to for over a year and that has been so wonderful!
In the last verse of the final song in our concert, we sing these words:
"Some days seem long though life is brief, and death is waiting like a thief.
When vision fades and dreams go dry, we will on unseen things rely.
Our stories take up but a page, but YOURS goes on from age to age."
There is one thing that will never fade from this tour, and that is God's story - the story of his deep love for each and every one of us that he revealed by sending Christ to receive the punishment that we deserve; the story of our salvation through Christ's sacrifice; the story of hope, comfort, joy, and peace in this life and into eternity. Nothing we've written in our journals can compare to this story! The biggest blessing of this tour was getting to share this message with each other and with those in our audiences through our joined voices, knowing that the Holy Spirit was working in us to accomplish his eternal purposes.
Soli Deo Gloria!
And as my friend Katie Keily said after our concert, I can't wait to be in heaven and sing in choir again!
-Kate Sievert (Senior, Alto I)