Traveling to Schwandorf today! We’ll be spending lots of time on the bus during our last week and this is the start. Our drive today is almost four hours. After we arrived in Schwandorf we had about an hour of free time and most of the choir went and walked the main street of the town to stretch their legs and see the city. Schwandorf is absolutely beautiful, even though it was raining pretty steadily! It’s a bit bigger than Newton in population and has what I would call a small town feel. After our free hour we headed to the Mennonite church in town where some of our host families had provided snacks and supper. We had some amazing soup and salad along with coffee and tea; it was incredible how generous all of the people were!

Our concert actually took place in the Catholic church in town due to size restrictions. When we arrived at the church I was taken aback by the amount of people who were already there. We arrived at the church about an hour before the concert was supposed to start and many of the pews were already full. By seven o’clock, thirty minutes before the concert, there was standing room only! The balcony was full and every pew in the main area was full, we even opened up the pews that had been reserved for us and there were still people standing for the entirety of our concert. I have never felt as blessed as I did in that moment.

After our concert we went to meet our host families, tonight was our first homestay of the trip! Some of us were in groups and others by themselves; it was amazing to see how many people were willing to open up their homes for us to stay. I stayed with a family of three along with Kyle Riesen and Tim Regier. They were so incredibly gracious and kept offering us food and drinks. Even though they didn’t speak much English we still managed to have conversations about their work and where we go to school and many other things. It was nice to be directly immersed in the culture and I’m looking forward to many more homestays in the next week! Tomorrow we tour Horsch and then move on to Weimar! More to come soon!