Sunday, March 31, 2013
EASTER IN THE AUTUMN!
Holy Week, the week leading up to and including Easter Sunday, was a blend of many different experiences, but in a totally unique way for us this year! Especially since we're from North America, it feels unusual to us to be celebrating Easter in the autumn!
It was also a special privilege for us to be invited to participate in the music of the Easter service. There were several rehearsals over the last couple of months and 5 more this week, including Easter morning, before the service started. The piece we were doing was one called "Let This Mind Be In You" - in Spanish, "Tengan Este Sentir" (Have This Feeling). Nico, our excellent leader, had studied music and participated in a large choir that sang this piece at Mount Vernon Nazarene University. He translated the lyrics to Spanish and drafted his church friends to join him. It's interesting that choirs are rare in Argentina. Sure, there's a worship team in most churches, but choirs singing vocal arrangements are truly unique! There were 14 of us (from Peru, Brazil, United States, and Argentina) singing 4 parts. Initially we were to perform this song a cappela (without accompaniment) but, on Wednesday, we were introduced to the fellow who would play a simpler version of the written music, and it made all the difference in this challenging piece.
The congregation had been treated to a choir number at Christmas and, in anticipation, they were SO quiet, waiting for us to start; you could have heard the proverbial pin drop! Needless to say, they were the best audience every, erupting into cheers and applause when the song was finished! We were also asked to encore the song at the end of the service! The message of this song is perfect as part of the Easter message. It was a blessing to us to just be a part of it. Here's the link to the video of it... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q2ih8bWDRg8&feature=youtu.be
Pastor Hernan had asked everyone to bring something yummy to share and, after the service, we enjoyed cookies, pastries, and banana bread (that was my contribution), along with hot chocolate and coffee. All of us in our black and white clothing were complimented and congratulated. What a fun experience, in addition to an enriching one for us! It was our best way so far for us to become closer to this group of international brothers and sisters!
Our Easter dinner was unique too, as we joined with Cindy, our missionary friend, in the newest building at the Seminary. Invitations had also been made to "Lilita" (Liliana Reza, our newest missionary from the U.S.), and to several Peruvian friends - Seyda, Dany, Anna Melva and her brother Joel, and his friend Alejandro. Since the newest seminary students were away from their homes, they were invited too - Alejandro (from Rosario, Argentina) and Tomas and Caroline (from Brazil). Everyone contributed to one of the most unique "family" meals we've been privileged to enjoy! We enjoyed salad and chicken with vegetables, quiche, a Peruvian casserole (with about 20 delicious ingredients) and 2 desserts. We all helped clean up too, in the industrial kitchen of the campus dining room.
I think it's so beneficial to attend (or be part of) a special service that's totally unlike the traditions we've grown accustomed to... it provides a rich experience and we're touched more deeply. We're drawn closer to the God who made us, and loves us, and wants us to be ever closer to Him.