2024 Europe Tour Blog

May 15 to 17 – The first three days

After more than 10 hours of flying, we finally arrived in Europe! None of us were able to get much sleep on the flights, but that didn’t stop us from exploring Amsterdam on Wednesday. We landed in the morning, then got to the hotel in several groups between 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. Once most of us had arrived at the hotel, we took some time to unpack and get settled in. Then we ventured out to a market and food shops called FoodHallen and all got lunch. We split off into groups and explored around our hotel and downtown, and several of us rented bikes to join the locals! After dinner that evening, most of us were in bed around 8 p.m. just because we were so exhausted from travels. Many of us had been up for over 28 hours, so we slept long and deeply.

Thursday morning, we visited the Anne Frank house in downtown Amsterdam, which was an unforgettable experience. The story touched us all, and we will all continue to think about this throughout the trip. After the house, we visited one of the largest Anabaptist churches in Amsterdam, and got to do some singing there. Next, we split off for lunch, then rejoined together at the hotel to leave for the afternoon and evening. Thursday afternoon, we went to a large open air museum called Zaanse Schans that featured windmills, clog and cheese museums and stores, and of course, small canals. We then went to the church where we would be performing that night. After a rehearsal and a wonderful dinner provided by the church, we had our first concert, which went wonderfully. The space was very acoustically pleasing, which we all enjoyed. After the concert we conversed with the congregation a bit, then headed to the hotel for the night.

Friday morning, we went to the Rijksmuseum, which has a massive collection of art, sculptures and other items. Many famous paintings are in the museum, and was phenomenal to see in person. We were able to explore the exhibits for several hours, then found lunch in the area before leaving for Haarlem. In Haarlem, we first went to the church where we would perform that night for a short rehearsal, then went to the Great Church of St. Bavo. Then, we had a few hours to explore the town, which is one of the best shopping areas in Holland. For dinner, two of the church members made Indonesian food, which was phenomenal. Then, we had our concert in a sanctuary with again, amazing acoustics. The reverb in the hall after some of our songs would continue for 5 or 6 seconds, which created an otherworldly feel to our music. After the concert we once again took some time to converse with the congregation, then headed back to the hotel to turn in for the night. That concludes our first three days here in The Netherlands!

– Devin Miller