Eighty-six students onstage, eighteen wireless mics, and eight days until it will all be over.  Candlelight Dinner season has gone into high gear, and today’s 7-hour dress rehearsal marked the beginning of the final sprint.  Aside from the scores of students onstage, there will be dozens more involved behind the scenes and in service to our guests, so this is most certainly an all-school evangelistic event.


Hours—–HOURS of work go into transforming the auditorium into a parallel universe.  This year, it’s the Victorian home of a professor whose Time Machine has stranded him in other centuries.  During his travels through time (and space), he comes upon several places, each represented by a performance typical of that part of the world.

In all, today’s rehearsal was encouraging!  Here’s a SMALL sampling of the 14 acts this year’s program contains…

I’ve wanted to have our Korean students participate in Candlelight for years…and if has finally happened.  Their fan dance (done by 16 graceful ladies) brought tears to my eyes.  I questioned my emotional stability until I looked over and saw that my coworkers were experience similar excessive moisture in the ocular area! 

Choi is actually playing a song in this photo. His thumb is strumming the only note the song requires of him!

I said, “Hey, Jackson, I need someone to wail in Arabic for the beginning of this song.  Can you do it?”

“Sure,” he said.   Then he took off his shirt.  ….go figure.

One of my favorite songs is a Gregorian chant performed by 6 of my choir guys and accompanied by six dancers dressed in matching brown robes.  (Note:  The song they’re doing is actually a medieval arrangement of an old BeeGees song!)  Another favorite?  “Walk Like an Egyptian”…no one does attitude like Drea!  And her backup dancers/singers are stunning.

I couldn’t write a program about time-travel without dropping in on Paris at the time of the revolution.  These astounding students do a wonderful job of bringing the passion and fervor of the era to life.  I’m SO proud of them!

Michelle and Hannah are touching as Fantine and Cosette.  I love, love, love this piece…

And then there’s the waltz.  Ever seen a couple smiling into each other’s eyes as they dance?  It’s worth taking a moment to observe Jim and Sara…and not just for their fancy footwork.

Warriors?  Yes–warriors.  The Candlelight Dinner is an outreach event for our German friends and neighbors, and nothing would please the Enemy more than derailing it.  We desperately need prayer warriors supporting us!  During our rehearsal today, our lead actor and MC received a phone call telling him that his grandmother is dying.  He left early to be with his family.  Pray for him and for his loved ones.  [Edit: Sadly, she passed away last night.]  We hope he’ll be back in time for our three performances on Wednesday, Friday and Saturday.  When she returned home this evening, Diane, one of the two women in charge of the countless decorations such an event requires, found out that her father is in Intensive Care in the States.  She too could use your prayers for peace and sustenance.

None of us is immune to illness and injury (as my own bronchitis proves), and it seems that an evangelistic outreach such as this makes both all the more likely.  Please pray that God’s armor will keep us all safe and that nothing will impede His love from reaching the approximately 1,000 guests who will be attending our three performances.

(One of today’s victims [Jackson] gets his gaping wound examined by nurse Jan! That’s what I get for planning a performance in which HBR boys are given wooden swords and told to act like Persians fighting Spartans in our own version of the movie “300”!)



  1. Wow. That looks absolutely phenomenal. Put some video on youtube, wouldja? 🙂

  2. Thanks for posting preview pics!! Looks fabulous. Saying a prayer for you today.

  3. Looks like the Lord’s “magic” a la Michele!  You never cease to amaze me, my friend! I love the music from Les Mis and hanging out and practicing with little Hannah as Cosette was like a gift…I missed so much of Tabitha’s 5th grade year since I was in language school and transtioning.  We are definitely praying for Christian K and Diane!  How ya holding up?  Is there any way I can bless you in the next days…massage, cardboard cookies, Fame, libation?  love you

  4. wish i could see it live! i’m sure the candlelight dinner will be amazing.

    fyi, the reason for all that pestering i did to your online accounts (xanga, facebook, email) is resolved. in the end, my duet partner thought it best to sing “All the Way” by dead Frank Sinatra and vibrant Celine Dion. you would have been proud, Michele! although we received no applause, i’m guessing that was due to our singing was in the middle of a wedding ceremony? 🙂

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