Friday, March 4, 2011


Bismark, my reliable, wonderful, punctual (hard to come by here!) taxi driver picked me up from school on Wednesday. That day, the car was full. His entire family, mother, 3 kids, wife, church member and all were all in the car. Nope his car isn’t really big enough to fit all 8 of us, but we fit just the same. Being intimidated by large groups of people who only speak Spanish, I squeezed in, thanked them and kept my mouth shut.
Halfway home to the hotel, I gained the confidence to ask where they were going. All I understood was “we’re going to listen to my friend from church play the guitar. Do you have time? Do you want to come?” Time is something that I have a lot of, so of course I said yes.
I found myself in the middle of a 2 ½ hour long church service on Wednesday night. I think there were about 15 people in the congregation. Not a huge crowd, but an enthusiastic group worshipping none the less.
I can’t begin to pretend that I followed everything that happened, but at one point Bismark went up to read a passage, and then introduced his “friend from Pennsylvania” and invited me up to the front to speak. I looked around the room to see if he might be referring to his other friend from Pennsylvania. Nope. He was definitely talking about me.
Mind you, there wasn’t a single English speaker in the room. So I tentatively walked to the front of the church to address the congregation and make a little speech in Spanish about my work in La Chureca with the School of Hope. Ah!
Yet the sermon hit home. The pastor (in Spanish anyway so this was my interpretation) said that the color of your skin, the language you speak or the amount of money is not important. What is really important is the size of your heart and what you do for others. That I can relate to.
After 2 ½ hours of bopping to Spanish hymns that I didn’t know the words to, and listening to a sermon about the “sister in Pennsylvania” I headed home. Everything I hear in Spanish gets translated to English in my head. Its exhausting!
Now I know the word for church- iglesia. Good to know.

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