Sunday, December 1, 2019

OZG: Year Seven

This afternoon I arrived for a concert in Ostrava at what looks like a very unlikely place.

In what used to be the Vítkovice steel factory, there is now a beautiful multipurpose auditorium with 1500 seats for concerts and other events.

When you look outside you can hardly believe that there is such a beautiful space in what was once a fully functioning factory!

I came back from Prague on the train today so I could meet up with two dear people here for a concert in what is now called "The Gong"!

Claire and our friend, El, met me here for the afternoon concert of Ostrava Zpiva Gospel!

This is a concert put together by some of our JV staff, as an outreach to the community...both to those in the choir, and to those who come to the concerts!

In their seventh year, this choir is a "first come, first served" group, made up of 170 people from the community who register online each year for the group - it usually fills up within 15 minutes after the registration opens as it's very popular!

They rehearse only six times before they put on the concert, but by the sound of it, you'd think this was a professional choir who rehearses year round.

For the past four years they've also included a children's choir from a local elementary school, and they too are incredible, along with all the musicians who come in for this event too.

My dear friend, Amy, was a soloist again this year and did a beautiful duet with one of the other women in the choir.

And she also sang with her husband, Mel, in a gorgeous choral arrangement of "What a Beautiful Name".

Terry English leads this event, with help from Shelby Flowers who helps arrange the music and lead the band, and Bara Filipová who takes care of all the logistics and many other things.

All of them, along with Mel, Amy and a few others in the choir, serve in JV and use this as a means for outreach to teens and adults.

Terry has a magical way of getting people to participate during the concert - this was SO fun!

As always, Terry shared the Gospel during the concert, and mentioned that there was a gift for anyone who wanted one after the concert: the Gospel of John, which he encouraged people to take on their way out. I watched many take one as they left, and prayed that seeds were planted tonight in the hearts of the sold out auditorium!

I'm so proud of our friends who are part of this amazing endeavor each year, sharing their lives and the Gospel!

And Claire, El and I had all agreed that it was an amazing concert that we loved being at tonight!

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