Hello everyone. Well Cecilia is taking a little afternoon nap so I snuck onto the blog page to give you all a bit of an update from us. Don’t worry. She’ll be back next time with some new adventures from her 7 ½ month perspective.
Let me introduce you to my friend Tito (no not Jackson). I first met Tito on a Sunday morning at Iglesia Dios Es Amor (God is Love Church) shortly after we arrived here a couple years ago. He was leading the singing and playing bass. Right from the start I could tell he had a special gift for leadership. Since that first meeting we have had the pleasure of seeing him lead music, serve as district secretary, help plant new home churches in the city, and thrive in children’s ministry. When we first started the New Hope tutoring center last year Tito was one of our most faithful volunteers. We were overjoyed on the days when he could minister with us. When Molly and I and other volunteers attempt to lead the devotional time the kids seem distracted, chatty, and a bit disrespectful. When Tito stands at the front of the room he commands the attention of all the children. He isn’t forceful, stern, or barking orders. He simply engages them in a way that I have never seen. The only way I can explain it is that he truly has a God-given gift of leadership. I admire him greatly.
A couple months ago Tito called me up asking to meet with me and Molly. He had something he wanted to talk to us about. He came out to the lot one afternoon before we opened the tutoring center and shared some very exciting news with us. He told us he was going to be getting married!!! Of course we were excited for him, but we were so surprised because we had no idea he was even dating anyone. He met a lovely girl named Jenny who, along with all her family members, is very active in her church. Tito and Jenny asked us to be part of the ceremony acting as the “Padrinos de Religion”. I’m sure you’re asking, “What is that?” We were asking the same thing and it didn’t really all become clear until we were in the wedding.
Weddings here have “Padrinos” for many different things. These are people that support the couple by paying for a certain item or part of a certain item (i.e. padrinos of the cake, padrinos of the flowers, and even padrinos of the rings). So we were asking, “How do you purchase religion?”
As it turns out, being the Padrinos of Religion is quite a high honor. We got to stand up with the bride and groom. There were others standing in the aisles, but Molly and I were the only ones standing directly to their sides. It was kind of interesting because they had us stand opposite to what you might think. Molly was on Tito’s side and I was on Jenny’s. That’s right. Probably the first and only time I will get to be the “Maid of Honor”. I held her bouquet while she placed Tito’s ring on his finger. I helped fix the train of her dress as she turned to walk back down the aisle. We even served as chauffeurs as they went across town to get post wedding photos taken at a fancy hotel.
|Feeding each other cake AND Coca-Cola...in all white....|
The next day we were invited out to the couple’s house for lunch and unwrapping gifts. The whole experience was extremely encouraging for both of us. Sometimes you wonder if you’re really making connections in your second language. This showed us how we are valued not just as missionaries, but as friends. We look forward to watching this couple grow and continuing as their “mentors” (their words) though we’re really about the same age.
- A question asked by one of our pastors participating in the soccer tournament.- There is a lesson on the relationship between ethics and economics somewhere in that statement...ha.
The other big event we were involved with recently was the 2nd annual “Campeonato de Futbol” (Soccer Championship). This was held on Tuesday, September 24 (Santa Cruz Day). We had a great turnout with 10 teams representing 4 out of our 7 churches in the Santa Cruz district. There were two main purposes for this event. The first being to bring the whole district together and the second being to raise funds for Nueva Esperanza (New Hope) Tutoring Center. We set up concessions, charged a small entrance fee for each team, and awarded prizes for first, second, and third place teams in both a men’s and women’s division. The day was a lot of fun and we raised a good amount of money for the center. Thank you for your prayers for this event and future events like it.
|I heard a commotion before the tournament and looked out|
to see someone with an axe chopping part of the large
|I guess it was hanging down in front of one of the goals.|
|Who could resist buying concessions from these faces?|
|Molly baked up lots of goodies and we were completely|
sold out by the end of the day.
|Bags of popcorn|
|3 Bs. (approx. 39 cents) for a hot dog. |
Not a bad deal
Stay tuned next week when Cecilia returns...
Bryan Eduardo Canny