Where We Serve
Upcoming Music Mission Trip to the Czech Republic and Germany
A Gift Beyond Music
They went back home on March 15, 2022. Twenty gifted teenagers from the Czech Republic led by a great director with a vision. "There is a reason the group is called the Smiling String Orchestra," said one of the partnering producers after a performance that brought the audience out of their seats several times during one of their outstanding concerts.
If you know us, you also know that this is one of our signature ministries at Vertical Fellowship: bringing Czech student groups to the USA and taking them on tour. But that’s barely half of the story. Music comes and goes, but its greater purpose as a vehicle for the gospel, overture to God’s Word, testimonies of salvation and friendships that last is the part that remains.
Since 1995, many students who traveled here become teachers and mentors who now bring their own groups to continue this legacy. They love giving the students the same opportunity they received – not only to sing or play abroad, but to live with Christian folks who house them, participate in the church life, hear the Word preached and realize there is more to life than the elusive center-stage spotlight.
Here is a classic example: Four years ago, a fifteen-year-old violist named Jakub visited the first time and became a Christian. He returned as one of the oldest in the orchestra and a true mentor to the younger students. It was amazing to watch him share his testimony from the stage or witness to other students in the van during the many hours we drove around South Florida. He even composed a piece of music for the orchestra called Almighty God. "I just wanted to glorify the Lord," he said… He will graduate in May and go on to study at the Czech national conservatory. He will take his faith and God’s power with him to his new environment. Perhaps one day, he will return leading his own group to help us continue the good work.
They went back home, exhausted from the tour. Nine concerts heard by close to three thousand people in seven cities! We know that some of them recognized that there is a different source to the joy they experienced - a joy that cannot be denied by a sceptic or taken away by a government shutdown. They could not get enough of it. This picture from their layover at the Paris international airport speaks for itself... God willing, some of them will come back the next time as mentors to help the younger ones to receive the fullness of this gift beyond music.
Many thanks to all who support us financially and in prayer to keep this ministry going!
The Smiling String Orchestra - Performance Itinerary - March 2-15, 2022
We were blessed to impact over 3000 people in in following cities:
Please help us cover the expenses associated with hosting the Smiling String Orchestra (food, lodging, van rentals, gas) by making a tax-deductible contribution. You can make a donation online - just scroll to the top of the page and click on GIVE. - Many thanks!