Since our first day in Bolivia, we’ve been welcomed with open arms and kind words even though we couldn’t understand them. We embraced the awkwardness and allowed ourselves to laugh about it. Over the past few days, we have developed genuine friendships, complete with inside jokes and deep conversations.
Around the church, we have seen a lot of similarities. The most prominent is the music that is played, and the hand motions as well. Right off the bat, we felt at home when worship began Sunday morning; the songs were filled with happiness and were completed with a good 'ole “Buddy guitar solo,” just as they are at Montrose Church. Later on in the service, the children joined us to share a song. We soon realized that the song they were singing and dancing to was, “Every Move I Make,” which prompted us to sing along in English from our pew. After some strange looks, they became aware that we knew the song and were simply singing it the way we learned it. In a lot of ways it has Bridged the Gaps. Once VBS began on Monday, we jumped in to worship with them singing in our own version of Spanish, which, despite our Spanish lesson earlier in the day, included lots of mumbling, smiling, and nodding!
When we went to go pick up neighboring kids for VBS we got a glimpse of the not-so-happy parts of Bolivia. It was incredibly eye opening to see stray dogs, broken-beer-bottle lined cement walls, and the two-foot high flooded dirt roads. We noticed that when we got closer to each home, Esther (25 years old) became protective and asked for Adriana (11 years old) to come stand next to her. It was then that we realized where they are really living. It is so easy to feel safe and at home within the walls of Luz Divina Church, but once you set foot out of the gate you are forced into a troubling reality.
On Tuesday, we were invited to their annual youth friendship night. It was filled with music, dancing, and a lot of laughter due to our dancing! We joined hand-in-hand playing games, praying, and simply having a good time. By the time the night was over, our legs were hurting and our ears were ringing, but we left genuinely happy.
From Sunday mornings to VBS to youth friendship nights, you can hear and feel the joy spilling out of the church doors for blocks. Luz Divina means divine light and it is exactly that. We have felt extremely convicted and we want to bring that same light back to Montrose with us.
Maddy and Sunni
Thu, July 25, 2013
by Madison Gabor and Sunni Roberts filed under