May 27

Day 11

What a day. We arrived in Vienna five minutes after we were supposed to be on stage at the Vienna Christian School. With minimal warm up on the bus and no rehearsal, we literally ran on stage. On the trip from Budapest, the air conditioning started leaking overhead. It began at the front of the bus and worked its way backward, literally pouring liquid onto people as we went around corners.

Everyone was laughing as a half a dozen people held wads of paper towels to the ceiling and Jared rigged up a cardboard water bottle and masking tape system to contain the leakage. Here was the result.

In the meantime, we had turned the air off on the hottest day yet this year! After we sang, we were told we had 30 minutes to unload the bus, dress, and reload. Then it got worse–we now had to take everything out that we would need for the night and put it in our backpack–we wouldn’t be coming back to the school until tomorrow. Dinner was in five minutes, so please hurry.

We finally made it to dinner about fifteen minutes and a lot of stress later and barely had time to shovel down the spaghetti before Mr. Ed said we needed to be on the bus and heading downtown for our evening concert. Traffic was so bad that we arrived at the cathedral with twenty minutes until the concert! We were singing at St. Peterplatz, a huge, green domed cathedral in the center of Vienna–magnificent!

But it was also heart wrenching as I walked in a saw a woman put money in a box, then grab a piece of statue and just stand there holding it. Others were paying euros to light candles. I wanted to cry out about the deception they were living under–that their money, penance, confessions, venerations, were doing nothing for their souls! We go in cathedral after cathedral and see Christ still hanging on that cross and people paying money to sit and stare at it. These people are still paying for the sings that Christ went to the cross to die for–and rose again to break the power of those very sins! Yet their he hangs, still on that cross, as their religion calls them to continue working for their own salvation. It breaks my heart.

So, without even getting on the risers to see where we would stand, and with no warm up again, we sang our concert, then divided up to find our host homes for the evening. Stephen and I were staying with Katie and Sarah, two teachers at the school. An older couple lived across the hall and were housing Michael and Leeanne, and the gentleman wanted to take us all out for ice cream and a tour of Vienna at night. We were still in our dresses and shoes and had all our stuff in our backpacks on our backs…I can’t say we were thrilled at the idea of walking around a city we had just toured two days prior. But we didn’t want to disappoint a man so eager for us to see his city, so we accompanied without complaint.

I thought I continued this journal entry later, but I apparently didn’t.  We had the best ice cream in the world and saw the city at night, which was amazingly beautiful.  And then we went to bed:-)

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