Ivan said in honor of my last post, “Showing Up and Remaining,” I should name this post “Doing and Doing.”
He’s not wrong. The last two weeks have been a blur in all of the best ways.
When the day came for the Omaha team to arrive, I kept saying, “We’re going to pick up the Americans!”
We’ve officially been here a while, folks. 😉
We showed them around the Novi Sad, introduced them to the Serbian team, and visited Belgrade.
In Belgrade we met with some refugees and heard a piece of their incredible stories, and the team led worship for service. I wish we could have spent more time talking with everyone. God’s doing awesome things at the Belgrade refugee camp.
Monday, we kicked off Lifegate’s Summer School of Rock and Roll! We drew from the foundation we laid last year and improved it in some really great ways.
The kids were divided into color teams for games and group competition (in traditional Lifegate style, of course).
The kids also chose an instrument, and for the first two days we went through basic instruction in voice, guitar, bass, keys, or percussion. Then, days three and four we broke them into 5 complete bands, and they learned and performed a song at Thursday night’s concert! I can’t tell you how crazy proud I am of these students. Some of them picked up a guitar for the first time on Monday and by Thursday they were playing a song in a band!
Since being a musician is about a whole lot more than just playing an instrument, we also did workshops on songwriting, band team work, how to handle disappointments, stage presence, creativity in music, and more. Darijo even brought in a presenter for drug prevention since Rock and Roll and drugs have a history of going hand in hand.
One of my most favorite parts was that my big kids got to be involved in the camp! This was a turning point for them, I think. They all had a blast and made lots of friends. All in all, I think everyone had a wonderful time. I know we did.
Another highlight of the week was Lifegate Open Days. We offered a quality, free concert to the community on Cafe Zeppelin, a docked boat on the Danube. It’s hard to conceptualize in America, but offerings like these go a long way. We rocked out to Taylor Swift for Jesus. Email with questions. Haha
By Thursday night we were physically exhausted and emotionally overflowing. We said a quick goodbye to the team before packing up our family for Croatia (more about that in the next post!). As far as I know they made it home safely and soundly!
I’m so proud of this team and so humbled to be part of what God is doing here. I have so many stories I want to share, but I’ll leave you with a giant Thank You for now.
Thanks for praying – for us, for the team, for these kids. Mountains were moved.
Thanks for contributing and supporting us – I wish I could sit with each of you and show you in pictures how your finances have changed lives. Your sacrifice hasn’t gone unnoticed and we are so humbled and grateful.
And thanks for journeying with us – in texts or messages, in reading this blog or our many Facebook pages, and in a million other ways.
We love you and can’t imagine doing life without you all! 2 more sleeps until we head home!