Several days ago, Cameron's teacher recommended a cafe to us that she said was owned by Christians. She also told us that she thought they had a bilingual service on Wednesday nights. So, last night at 6:30 Cameron and I went to check it out. The place was a little hard to find because the cafe had already closed it's main doors so we had to find a little side door and search for it. We ended up wandering around a little alley until we were about to leave when two people standing at the end of the alley where we had entered asked us what we were looking for. Thankfully they knew where it was and pointed us in the right direction.
When we got to the building there were people running around getting things ready in rooms (for what we found out later was for small group time after the worship service). There were just as many Americans as there were Guatemalans and it didn't take long before a wonderful Guatemalan man named Antonio approached us. He spoke English very very well and introduced himself and asked us where we were from, etc. (He made us nervous though, because when we told him we were studying at CSA he immediately said, "No mas ingles! (No more English!)" He laughed at us because I'm sure our faces went pale and after having just been at school for 4 hours we were pretty drained!) He really made us feel very welcome though, and told us that he and his wife (who is American) were ministers there and they led the small group for married couples. Antonio also told us that that particular night they had a mission team that was staying in Antigua coming to visit as well.
Antonio directed us to another building where the worship service was going to take place and there were about 50 people (about half American/half Guatemalan) sitting. The building was very nice and they had awesome sound equipment and even a little tech room were the powerpoint and sound was being controlled. When we walked in the guitarist and singer were sort of playing around and practicing a little bit. I have to admit, when I first heard the guitarist strumming a worship song (I'm here to meet with you.. come and meet with me..) I immediately teared up. I didn't realize how much I missed hearing that beautiful sound and it also made me long for camp. I have been very happy here in Guatemala, but not finding a church for 2 weeks and missing out on camp- my favorite place in the world- has been a little hard.
We proceeded to worship through music (sung in English and in Spanish!) for the next 25 or so minutes. It truly was heavenly. I got the opportunity to listen to the words I know and can sing to without looking, and also hear the beautiful sound of the same words in another language. The experience reminded me of maybe what it will be like in heaven... everyone worshipping in their own language, but we're all singing the same thing.
There was no message after worship because then they split into their small groups (there were 3 to choose from. 1. How to study the bible 2. Discipleship 3. Married Couples doing the "Fireproof" material). However we didn't stay for the groups because Antonio told us that the missionaries were just going to sit in and didn't get the actual material so we knew it may be hard to follow along for us too. We went for a truly American dinner at McDonalds (haha) and talked about how wonderful it was to praise our Lord through music again. We are planning to go back next Wednesday and are very excited about getting to worship (through music) at Agua Viva every Sunday!
Our God is so awesome. He knew just what our hearts needed and at just the right time He directed us to a place that could meet that need. Praise Him always, for He is Good!
I echo everything that Jessie said. I had really missed worshipping with a group and it was great to do so last night.
We are spending this weekend at Agua Viva and we're excited to meet everyone there. We will head there on Saturday morning and be back early Monday morning before class. I don't think we will have any internet access while at Agua Viva so we probably won't write until Monday.
This is a picture of a "Tuk-Tuk" like the one I wrote about yesterday. They are zipping around all over the city all the time and in fact our neighbor is a "Tuk-Tuk" mechanic.