How in the world did a week go by so quickly? It seems like we had just arrived, and then it was suddenly the last day of the feast. The last worship session was marked as Poland, but involved each country’s worship group. Throughout the week, our musical men (Giuseppe, Roberto, and Daniele) were asked to support other groups: Czech Republic, Germany, Russia, and England. And they did. Of all the people at the Feast of Tabernacles, the only ones who worked harder than our three guys were our hosts, who cooked, cleaned, set up the sound, and helped in a thousand different ways throughout the week, and at all hours.
During the last session, they were asked to help Czech Republic and Germany, and then Poland took the platform again. I went to speak to the musical organizer because Italy hadn’t gotten an opportunity to do a last song. He said, “Yes, but they got the chance to play.” I said, “But only supporting, not as Italy.” He told me it was too late. I went back to where our group was sitting, I was too sad to even give them the bad news, only Felicity, who gave me a hug. About a minute later, the musical organizer came up behind me and said, “OK, you have the chance to play one song.” So we went onto the platform, to the astonishment of the Polish performers, who thought it was theirs for the rest of the hour. They graciously stepped down and we did one last song. After that we all took Communion together as the Polish team performed a quiet worship song. Then we all sang together in joyful worship.
We had one last dinner together, and said our goodbyes. It was so hard to say goodbye to everyone, hard to believe that the week was done. We had a harrowing two-hour ride to the airport the next morning, at high speed on narrow two-lane roads most of the way, with big trucks, rain, and passing two or three cars at a time. Each of us had a unique reaction to the drive: Felicity was in the front seat, enjoying the speed. I was in the back seat, thankful to know where I’m going if this is my time. Bethany was next to me, hanging on for dear life, unwilling to glance toward the windshield, and praying in tongues.
The thing that has remained with me has been the very tangible presence of God. This morning, having returned to Italy, I woke up at about 4 AM, and prayed for about three hours. Yes, there is something so addictive (in a good way!) about the presence of God. I love being in His presence so much that I just don’t want to leave. So with God’s help I want to continue a practice of praying even more each day—three, four, or more hours. God is good!