We arrived in Boston on Thursday night (October 10) after spending three days in the beautiful Acadia National Park, where we had pretty nice weather to hike and camp! The colors were glorious, and it was difficult to keep Bekah out of the Atlantic.
Our first performance in Boston was at Hope Lodge, an evening concert that we were looking forward to a long time. For those of you who don't know, Hope Lodge is an extension of American Cancer Society that provides housing and community for those undergoing cancer treatments in Boston. Our father spent three months (January-March 2019) in this lodge, forming bonds with people in similar situations, which created a unique support system. We ate tacos with current residents before giving a concert. While there were not any residents that were there when our dad was, it was a meaningful evening.
Our next gig came on a cold and rainy Friday night at Luke and Stephanie's (our cousins) house. We were quite nervous for this house concert (hopefully the first of many) as we were playing for a musically gifted, intimate group. We were delighted to hear Alex Fam, a creative singer/songwriter who provided the first act of music for the evening. After a brief intermission/snack break, we got to perform a set of our own, including a couple original songs we'd never performed before. It was a special evening, containing many spiritual, connected moments. As Caleb put it, "It lived up to everything I dreamed a house concert to be." This performance was live streamed on Facebook Live, so if you'd like to view some/all of that, you can visit our Facebook page!
On Saturday, we had the opportunity to catch up over coffee with a dear friend from Goshen, Sadie Gustafson-Zook, before walking around the Boston Commons and Freedom Trail.
Sunday morning, we were welcomed by Hillside Community Church in Arlington, where Steph is the music director. The church had a beautiful acoustic and the feel of a mini-cathedral, livened up by a vibrant congregation. We were blessed by meeting Rick and Patty Blackburn, along with Patty's aunt, Donna. Rick was one of dad's good buddies at Hope Lodge, where they entered strangers, became friends, and left as family. They came all the way from Cape Cod to hear us sing, and I can certainly see why mom and dad connected with them so closely - they are so loving and sweet! After church, we had our first vegan dining experience with Steph and Luke, where we had tofu scrambles to die for. There was a brief window of time after lunch that we had to explore before we played at the Mennonite Church of Boston (MCOB), which is a couple blocks away from the Harvard Yard. There was a festival happening, and it was refreshing to take in the historic sites on a gorgeous sunny day. MCOB meets in a beautiful old space in one of the wings, and the congregation gathered around in a semi-circle facing the presenter. We shared our music for about 45 minutes, followed by a time for reflection and questions. After this service, we headed over to an art house in time to catch Sadie GZ deliver an impeccable set; her songwriting and performance vibe is so graceful.
On Monday, GNT is setting out to perform on the streets (after this tour update is complete :). A permit is not needed to street perform in Boston like it is in most other cities, so we decided to take advantage of it!
Our hearts continue to be opened up everywhere we go, as music continues to bring us in contact with wonderful people. A highlight of this tour so far has been rekindling previous relationships and forming new ones. A warm thanks to our hosts, Mike and Sarah, for inviting us into their home and making us feel comfortable. Sarah Storrer's family is from Archbold, and we have really enjoyed getting to know them. Also a thank you to our cousins, Stephanie Hollenberg and Luke Concannon, for welcoming us into their city. Alongside setting up a house concert and two church gigs for us, they have taken time out of their tumultuous schedules to eat with us, connect with us and discuss dreams and goals for this year and beyond. We love these bright loving spirits so dearly, and are excited to see where this crazy life takes them.
We will be leaving Boston tomorrow morning with hearts full of gratitude, feeling inspired, loved, and ready for more! Next up, Lancaster, PA!!!
Thanks again for all your thoughtful texts and comments and the stream of support; we appreciate all of you. We will have new photos up shortly, so go to our Photos page to check them out!