Greetings from Budapest, Hungary:
After three and a half years of planning our Music With a Mission, we have finally arrived at our first destination. People started coming in on Thursday, more on Friday, and finally, the main group of Choir people today. It was not without problems (cancelled flights, delayed flights, missed connections, connections made but not the luggage), but except for one situation, all of are here.The last two arrived at 6:30pm at the airport after their missed flight in Helsinki. The only exception(s) are two members of the choir. They were flying with the main group out of San Diego with a connecting flight in New York. Unfortunately, they had some health concerns on the first leg of the flight and they and left the group in New York. At this time, we do not know exactly what the problem is. It will be decided whether they will continue the trip, or whether they will need to return home. I know so many of you are praying for them which is a great comfort.
All of the equipment also made it here with one exception because it was taken off the plane when Bill left the flight. The airlines said it would be on the next day's flight which should have it here in Budapest late tomorrow morning (Sunday).
We were treated tonight to a fantastic Welcome Banquet at our hotel. The tables were set to perfection, and each coarse was a culinary treat. It was good for everyone to have that time together, to share their different experiences on getting here and to look forward to our ministry. At the end of dinner, our Tour Provider (Peter Barbarics) was introduced to everyone and he helped set the tone for our next two weeks. Actually, everyone had met either :Peter or his wife, Gabrella, who met each and every person, persons, or main group when they arrived at the airport and brought them to the hotel.
Ildiko (Barbarics) Dobos then shared the heart of the Hungarian people in looking forward to our ministery among them these next five days. Dan then shared his heart with us on our ministry, and finally, Pastor Tom Theriault shared a short thought with us. Last Wednesday he ran into one of SBPC's missionaries to Baja who asked about the choir mission trip. She then payed with Tom for our choir, and for the Spiritual Unity of our entire MWAM group throughout our time in Hungary, Ukraine, and Russia. Tom said that her prayer was probably for the one thing we needed most to preserve - - our Spiritual Unity. Satan loves to divide people in their ministry. When we get stressed and tired, it is easy to say or do things that bring dissent and not unity. So, Tom prayed for our Spiritual Unity as he dismissed us. Tom preaches at the Budafok Baptist Church tomorrow morning as the choir also sings in their Worship Service. Please pray for Tom and the choir - - that they get a good nights rest, renewed in body and spirit and ready for a busy day. We have the Worship Service in the morning, then will be hosted by families of their congregation for their Sunday dinner, and then back to the church for our first concert of this trip in the evening. I might add that it will also be the first time we will have sung the entire ;program without any music. It will be a long and arduous day, so we will need plenty of prayer.
With a thankful heart,