Tuesday, April 10, 2012

semana santa 2012

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We had a wonderfully quiet Easter weekend.  Actually, Easter isn't really celebrated in Peru, although with the development of the city, Easter traditions seem to be creeping in.  Peruvians observe Semana Santa or Holy Week.  The Thursday and Friday before Resurrection Sunday are official holidays.  As I've mentioned before, the city shuts down for this holiday.  It is a little bit eerie how quiet it gets.  Without thinking we ventured out on Friday to get lunch only to find that everything was closed.  Yep, we're still new here.

I have to admit that I love the simplicity of Semana Santa.  I know that Easter isn't bad or wrong by any means, but I can't help but be drawn into the purity of celebrating Christ's death and resurrection alone.  We had a sweet weekend of being a family together and focusing on the gift we were given on the cross so many years ago.

Church on Sunday was also really sweet.  I remember last year not feeling at all connected to the service.  We had only been in Peru for a few months and nothing about here felt like "home."  This year I actually got teary eyed singing worship songs in Spanish.  I spend a lot of my time here being frustrated with Spanish and also a lot of my brain space trying to learn and understand it.  On Sunday, for the first time, Spanish felt dear to me.  I couldn't help but think that one day I will be living in the States longing to hear a worship song in Spanish.  For maybe the first time, I felt grateful to be able to able to go to church in a different language than my own.

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We also experienced another special moment at church on Sunday.  As we were singing I looked over towards the center of the room and saw one of our ladies, Lucy, from Krochet Kids.  I have totally been remiss in mentioning that we hired a Peruvian lady, Patty, to work fulltime with our ladies.  She has been a huge blessing to our program and has thrown herself into entering these ladies lives and walking alongside them.  So, Patty had invited Lucy to come to church with her and Lucy said yes.  

As I was watching Lucy, a thought suddenly ran through my head: Lucy would not be here if we had not moved to Peru.  And I just about lost it.  This woman, a single mom who has been struggling to do life by herself for many years, seemingly forgotten and unimportant to the world, is at church hearing about a God who loves her with a relentless, life-changing, freely given, unconditional, all-encompassing love.  Now, please don't get me wrong, I don't share this out of pride or a sense of accomplishment.  I have been way too humbled this past year to have much pride left.  I share because all we did was say "yes."  And we still say "yes."  Everyday.  It is so hard, with the downright brokenness we have experienced this year, to not question why we are here.  And then Lucy shows up at church and God lets us see that.  So Resurrection Sunday for me was a reminder of why we continue to say "yes" and that that is all God needs to work.  We are so very blessed to be here.

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