Yesterday, Pastor David from CCG in Guatemala City came to pick us up at 7:30 AM to attend a service at his church. Our church at home was blessed enough to visit CCG and to be involved in a mission with this wonderful church family. When I knew that I would be coming to Guatemala for an extended time, David offered to be a contact for us while here. He also offered to have us as guests at his church, and that is just what we did. It was a truly amazing experience.
On the drive to the church, David excitedly told me all the ways that God is working through his church family not only in their community in GC, but in many villages in Guatemala. He said that their focus has been on the children because they are the future leaders, and the response and growth of their message has been slow but blessed. When we arrived to the church, I was given a tour by one of the youth who was interested in practicing his English. This church is so hard to explain. It is set at the top of a valley with very dramatic views, and even more dramatic drop-offs. It was a hazy day, but when clear, the church members sit facing views of volcanoes and the city. Most of the church is "open" and you sit their during the service with the feeling that you are just a little closer to heaven. Here's one view:
The service was very powerful and lasted about 3 HOURS! More than half of the service was singing, and it was so joyful! Sam and I were given headphones to listen to translation. How cool. Sam and I also went upstairs to visit the children's Sunday school. They were so excited to see Lucy, and they sang half a dozen English songs for Sam! Hokey Pokey almost had Sam participating, but the he was understandably overwhelmed. Even still, he was SO good. I had a hard enough time spending 5 hours in a place where I only understood every 27th word! He never complained (even when he was car sick from the winding roads to get there), and I think he understood that it was a unique and special experience.
Okay, so I have some pics. They are really not great. AND, I took video, but the singing was so loud with a lot of clapping and my little camcorder just couldn't take it all in w/o sounding awful! I have a tiny video of the kids that Sam took (and permission to share it...will upload later... maybe).
That is Pastor David playing acoustic!
So, given that we were asleep on our feet when we got home, you may be surprised to know that we headed right out in hunt of a Sunday procession! AND, we found one. Antigua holds processions every Sunday during Lent. The Lenten processions are not as huge as the Good Friday ones, but the one we saw was very moving and impressive. Again, not in love with the pics I snapped. I tried to get video, but it was getting dark... and the pics had the same problem (I turned on sepia-ish so you can see it better), along with keeping track of my kids in the crowds! An interesting thing that doesn't show well is that every part of this procession is being carried by a group of people! So, I will just say that it was a very special sight to see and hope that you can take something away from a couple of snapshots.
Today, we really laid low with one outing to La Bodegona... of course!