Feliz Navidad

Who’d a thot? 5 years ago we NEVER would have thought we’d hear the kids begging for tamales for Christmas, but here we are headed from a North American style Christmas party last night to a Honduran celebration today at our house. So … you may ask, “What’s the difference?” I could compare them for you or I could just write about them individually and let you draw conclusions. Either way, it will be tainted by my own perspective. So I’ll tell you about three celebrations – one in the city of San Pedro Sula, one with a group of North Americans at a friend’s house, and the one at our house.

On Wednesday we went to the city for a Christmas party with the “missionary pastors” of our Honduran church. The 1:15 trip turned into over 2 hours when we hit a traffic jam where we sat for 45 minutes. You should have seen it BEFORE they put in the traffic light! Then we were stopped at 2 or 3 police check points. They just pull over random cars and check for legal papers, knock on the sides of the car to be sure we’re not hiding anything in there, etc. Of course when one police man found out that we were on our way to a party, he asked for a little financial help for a Christmas party he’d like to throw! We said, “Not today,” and drove on. We arrived at the party a little late, but no worries! The hosts weren’t there yet either! We were given a tour of the property, which is where our church is building, and we helped move all the tables and chairs from a sunny area to a shady spot 150 yards away. Maybe half an hour later we found ourselves carrying them halfway back because someone else arrived who didn’t like the placement of the tables. I asked why we were moving the tables again – from one shady spot to another – and was told, “Because the pastor said.” I asked if anyone asked him why.
They said, “NO! If the pastor says, you do!” It seems like whoever has seniority at the moment has the “say”.

The ladies making lunch hadn’t arrived yet, so we had the “program” portion first. Each pastoral family (8) and the three families from camp were called up front individually, where the father was asked to share a few words and the kids were each given a Christmas gift. Each pastor shared the same basic greetings, but we did learn that some had left home as early as 3:30 am to get to the party! That put our 2 hour ride in perspective! In addition, those from the satellite ministries of the church were introduced. Then the church board members stood and were acknowledged. By that time the food had arrived.

We had an amazing meal of grilled beef (not exactly steak, but delicious!), and so many carbs I can’t list them all! Tortillas, rice, and potato salad for starters. The ladies who often cook out at camp were the cooks for the day. The food was delicious and the company was good. We don’t often get to visit with those ministering in other locations. Here and there people were playing soccer on the field between where the food was served and the third location of the tables and chairs. We’d have loved to stay longer, but we had to go on to the appointment we’d missed because of arriving 45 minutes late!

Tune in next time to hear about our trip to Santa Rosa de Copan!


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