Today I’ll start with a word picture of some sights and sounds! Unfortunately we didn’t capture this on “film.”
We rose early on Saturday morning for group devotions. The sun shone brightly on the water as we walked to the meeting. Neighbors greeted us as we walked beside their homes, along the footpath. Men wore dress shirts and slacks or traditional Garifuna shirts. Youth were dressed in everything from jeans and t-shirts to “church-clothes.” Many girls wore dresses with their braided hair covered with beautifully pattern cloth. Others wore bright handkerchiefs in various styles in their hair. Several wore traditional, brightly colored Garifuna dresses. The diversity is beautiful!
Here you can see some of the fun things the girls do with their hair. Pink and tan braids!
Marcial, our language helper, traveled with us. When he led worship one morning, he invited Joel and Abigail (without warning) up front to sing one of the songs he had taught us. They did well! (Note the awesome shirt in the foreground! And more fun hair styles!)
Each teaching was given in two languages – usually Garifuna and Spanish. Many youth are bilingual, speaking either English or Spanish along with Garifuna, however some speak only English or Spanish. Presenting teachings in two languages doubles the time for each teaching, and of course requires twice the number of speakers. It was a little tiring for us as our brains caught more Garifuna than ever as well as listened in Spanish.
Because of the kids from the US and Belize, Wes got to speak in English and was translated into Spanish! He spoke about giving our whole selves to God NOW. There were two other speakers after him whose teachings complemented his, though they had not talked about that ahead of time. Isn’t it cool how God works?
Joel’s drama group helped lead the parade at the close of the convention. Marches and parades seem to be a big part of Garifuna celebrations. This week we are commemorating the arrival of the Garifunas in Honduras with another parade through town.
We went home tired but happy with what the Lord is doing in our kids and with their new friends. The kids stayed for the all-night service and came home on the bus, arriving Sunday morning around 8!
This bus has the amazing ability to go from 60 to 0 in 3 seconds flat (It’s not backwards, you read that right)… right in the middle of the highway! Our trip home was more eventful because of following this guy for many kilometers!
Since we had to go off our strictly natural diet to eat at the convention, we took advantage of the moment and got ice-cream at Baskin & Robbins before going home! Too bad the kids were still at the convention!
We asked a friend how Easter is celebrated here, since in many parts of Central America Good Friday is the big celebration and almost not emphasis is placed on the resurrection. He responded that if we think Garifunas are joyful in worship, we’d find them even MORE so on Easter Sunday in celebration of the resurrection. Like many in the US, they dress very nicely – some with new outfits – and worship was a celebration of victory over darkness!