Sunday, April 10, 2005

Dominican Republic Trip: Day 11

In the morning we went to the Iglesia Evangelica Menonita Príncipe de Paz. Mennonite churches in the Dominican Republic are completely different from those in the United States. They have drum sets, a worship team, women in teaching positions for adult Sunday School & Bible Studies, no head coverings, and fashionable, contemporary dress. The sermons have exceptional depth and meat, and the congregations are  alive. I sang here, too, and did better than I had done the last time.

After church we changed clothes so we could eat mangoes, and then changed back so we could go out to a restaurant for dinner. The food was great and then we walked home.

I was taking a lot of pictures on the way home, when suddenly I saw Tati up ahead of me gesturing me to hurry up. As I did, I happened to glance over to my left. There, in his yard, was a tall man walking the other direction—without a stitch of clothes on. “Oooh, let’s not look that way again,” I thought, correctly assuming that this was Tati’s reason for motioning me to get past that place as fast as possible. We were sort of laughing about the situation when somebody said they were afraid I would take a picture of him, and then “WHAT would your parents think? They would think we were crazy!” They needn’t have worried, but it was a pretty funny situation.

At about 5:00, there was a church service at Eulalia’s church, and right before lunch, she had asked me if I could sing FOUR things! Um…okay. So we picked three hymns in addition to my Jeremiah 29 song and Rosie and I practiced them like once before we left.

This church was a small church with a lot of older people, and they were meeting outside under a shelter because their sanctuary was under construction. They enjoyed our music, though by the last song it was so dark I had a hard time reading the words.

The sermon was about sowing, and the main point was that we often get confused between what is seed (to be sown) and what is bread (to be eaten). All of our time, money, possessions, talents, etc. are not for us to consume on ourselves. We need to consider part of it seed, to invest. It was a very good point that I wanted to think about further and apply to my life. He was full of pithy, proverb-like quotations, like “Hay dos cosas: lo que tenemos, y lo que somos.” (There are two things: What we have, and who we are.)

From there, we went straight to another church, getting there late. Pastor José asked me if I would sing two things. Um… okay. Sure, whatever! So I sang my Jeremiah song and “When I Survey the Wondrous Cross,” one we prepared for Eulalia’s church.

I am so grateful for Rosie’s violin! It added so much to the music, as a violin played at Rosie’s level is rarely heard there. The songs I sang wouldn’t have been nearly as interesting to people if Rosie hadn’t been playing.

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