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Team from Hope Church Columbia that includes many Lexington County members performs in Italy

Trieste, Italy (Ireland Kost) - A local team from Hope Church, Columbia, that included many people who call Lexington County home, traveled to Trieste, Italy, performing Christmas carols in partnership with Chiesa Cristiana EvangelicaL'Ancora della Speranza. The Hope Caroling team included JoAnn Whalen, Rachel Whalen, Alisha Prabhakaran, Tammy Prabhakaran, Ireland Kost, Dale Boisture, N. K. Prabhakaran, Micah Prabhakaran, Bill Krecker, Ralph Whalen, and Wesley Whalen. They were working along with missionaries Dan and Becky Rogerson. Caroling performances began December 16th, with the group moving around Trieste decked in Dickens-era costumes and finished with a concert on December 21st in a historical, Lutheran church.

The Hope Carolers began practicing in June of this year preparing for their trip across the Atlantic. Hope Church member JoAnn Whalen led the team and designed the costumes. Money was raised from supporters in the area to sponsor this trip of a lifetime to Trieste.

Saturated in history, Trieste is a located in north-eastern Italy about two hours from the more well-known city of Venice. From the main square of Piazza Unita, one can spy the slopes of the Alps in the distance and the countries of Slovenia and Croatia across the water. The town is famous for Miramare Castle, San Giusto Castle, the Bora winds, its relationship with writer James Joyce, and more.

The carolers were thrilled to spread the true Christmas spirit to the Triestini at popular locations in the city including Piazza Unita, the Grand Canal, and the Dante Alighieri High School. Catching the attention of the city with their top hats, hoop skirts, and Christmas songs, onlookers stopped to listen to the group while taking pictures, videoing the performances, and leaving with an invitation to the upcoming concert. Local news organizations, Trieste all News and Il Piccolo heard of the Hope Carolers and published several articles promoting the group. Also, people in Trieste expressed high hopes of the group returning next Christmas and to future events!

“It was such an honor to be able to proclaim Christ’s birth through music to the people of Trieste,” said team member Alisha Prabhakaran, “And seeing their faces light up with joy when they saw our costumes and heard us sing truly made it worthwhile.”

The Friday night concert began at 8:30 in Chiesa Evangelica Luterana. Hundreds of people flocked to the ornate building, resulting in a full house and standing room only. The concert, hosted by Erika Tedeschi, included group numbers, duets, solos, and Christian testimonies. In addition, guests received an early Christmas gift and the chance to win a CD, donated by HIS Radio.

“There were an estimated 450 who attended the week’s end concert,” commented team member, Bill Krecker. “There they heard the Gospel message clearly presented through the life-changing, personal testimonies of two of our team members and our Italian MC, interspersed with the beautiful music of the season. It was a thrilling experience!”

​The Hope Caroling team has been thrilled with the results of their Christmas mission in Trieste and would like to thank all those who contributed to the success of their trip.

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Call Paul Kirby

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