Sunday, March 23, 2008

Easter 2008

Well, Easter 2008 in Venezuela was a joy! And, it was different from the other Easters we´ve experienced here. Each year at Easter, we go worship with one of the congregations in our area that work closely with...and this year we worshiped with the wonderful folks of Lugar Altisimo....

How was this year different?? This year the Methodist Church actually celebrated Easter!! Historical note: When the first Protestant missionaries arrived some 70+ years ago--whether intentionally or incidentally--they led the "evangelicals" here to reject out of hand everything that the Catholics practiced or held dear. Well, they "threw the baby out with the bath water"...arriving at the point where they didn´t even recognize Christmas and Easter in the Church...or at least refused to celebrate them at the "traditional" times. This past Christmas and this Easter, the Methodists in Barquisimeto celebrated BOTH!! And, today´s Easter program at Lugar Altisimo was WONDERFUL!!!

We began the service with prayers and some wonderfully slow, worshipful choruses. Then, the children performed a choreographed dance on the theme of Easter. After their presentation, we sang choruses again...and a new one was introduced--"Lord I Lift Your Name on High"! First time we´ve sung it in Spanish...and it was beautiful. After the singing, the youth presented the Resurrection in drama...and it was beautiful! Pastora Yolanda ended the service with a brief sermon based on Matthew 28...proclaiming that the Tomb is empty...He is Risen...and He wants to live in you and me. After the service, we enjoyed a pot-luck together...arroz con pollo (rice and chicken), ensalada de pollo (chicken salad)...sandwiches...and some cake. It was a joyful time...and we truly experienced the joy of the Resurrection with our brothers and sisters at Lugar Altisimo.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Market Day...

Every Wednesday morning, we go to market! Oh, not like your supermarket in North America...rather, it´s a street market, and it´s where we purchase all of our fresh fruit and veggies. We´ve been going so long now that we have our "route" that we follow through the streets, the same vendors we buy from each week.

We start at the top of the road with the "chicken lady"...who has the freshest and best cuts of chicken breast--"Dos milanesa, por favor!" Next, we stop at the young lady who has "calabacin" (zucchini), "auyama" (pumpkin), "pimintón" (green peppers)...and "lechuga" (lettuce.) One week we got home and decided she forgot to put the lettuce in our bag...and we told her the next week. She insisted we take one free. When we got to the car to put our stuff in the truck, we found a bag...of squishy-had-been-lettuce! Ooops. So, we went back and paid her...since the mistake was all ours.

Then, we move on down to the fellow and his little boy who sell the best tomatoes, potatoes and onions. We drop a 500 coin in the little boy´s hand as leave. Just a few more stops. The cheese man is a round, jolly fellow...and he always gives us a sample of his fare--delicious, salty white cheese. "Medio kilo, por favor!" We stop at the couple who has the sweet breads and buy a package of "pan de guayava" (guava bread) for the children for their morning snack. We go around the corner where the quiet older lady is patiently pealing and slicing pineapples--two bags, please. Finally, we stop at the "egg-man"...for a flat of eggs.

We load it all in the car, and head home. For some reason, even though I often dread going each week(must be a "guy thing" that has to do with shopping!), it is always a joy to see and greet people at market. The smells, sounds and sights seem to energize and lift me up. It is as if being in that mass of human energy some how sparks my own life. And, a trip to the market always means a guava bread with my next cup of hot tea! Que chevere!! Jon

Monday, March 10, 2008

Here We Go!!

Well, we've finally joined the 21st Century...with our very own blogspot, for all of you who have time and energy enough to read up on our lives. We are so glad that you've taken time visit...and we hope you'll stay with us on this journey. Our hope is that each time you visit you'll find something interesting, challenging, or at the very least, amusing. Thank you for joining us in the joy of the Journey. May the One who guides us be your Guide. May you know the Peace and Joy we have found...and now share with others.