2am Sunday morning, on June 30, 2013, I was rudely awaken by the bone chilling buzz of my alarm clock! Today was the day that had been months in the planning. Today was the day 60 of us from Fountainview Academy embarked upon an exciting mission trip to Europe. This was not your regular fly N build mission trip. This mission trip was based on the very popular book – The Great Controversy. More to the point, it was a mission trip that visited a number of the reformation sites in Europe to film a music production that would share the gospel through music and song.
60 bleary eyed, yet excited individuals climbed aboard the bus bound for the Seattle airport to begin this amazing adventure. The airline check in people at the airport didn’t know what hit them when we arrived ready to check in violins, cellos, French horns, filming equipment, sleeping mats and bags, filming outfits and let us not forget the piano and harp!
It was a miracle that every piece of luggage arrived safe and sound – even the double base.
The following 3 weeks were filled with many new and exciting experiences. Over the course of our trip we visit 7 countries and filmed in 5 of them – Portugal, Italy, Switzerland, France, Austria, Germany and Czech Republic. Along the way we encountered 6 different languages – none of which I spoke (except English!). Fortunately we had different students with us that spoke all but one of the languages.
I was amazed to see all the churches in Europe. The architecture and grandeur of them was amazing. But you know what, these amazing structures didn’t compare to the feeling I felt being at the sites where Christians were martyred for their faith. To stand at the top of the cliffs in the Waldensian Valley and look over the edge down to where many a Christian were thrown to their death, due to their love for the Lord was almost overwhelming. I found myself wondering if I was willing to take that stand for the Lord as they did. Was I willing to plunge to my death right then and there if my faith was challenged?
To visit the places that these great reformers lived and died in order to stand for the Lord was amazing. To think I actually stood in the very castle where Martin Luther was hidden so that he didn’t get killed, was a very special thought. We visited many meaningful sites – the John Huss monument, the Luther House, the Coliseum and the Marmatine prison to name a few.
While filming we also had opportunities to talk and share with people that came by to watch us sing and play. They were open to receiving the samples DVD’s we took to hand out of past productions. It is our prayer that these DVD’s will spark an interest in them for spiritual things. It was a blessing for both them and us, to share with them something that they have never heard before, that could change their lives.
This trip was truly a trip of a life time for me and many of my classmates. There are so many people who worked hard to make this trip happen and I am very grateful to all of them. I feel blessed that I had the opportunity to be part of this mission trip and I hope to one day return to Europe as there are so many more amazing places there to see.