Monday, February 05, 2007

Phil and I went to service at the Mission de Tuis today (Sunday) at 4pm. As we drove along the winding road, a man with a wheel barrel was push it loaded with jugs of water. Phil said there goes the water supply for the houses in Barrio Rojas. They have no piped in water so they must carry it in with jugs. I want to explore Barrio Rojas and I would like to photograph what I see. It is a very poor neighborhood. What I can easily see of it, is probably the best of it.

The Voz Que Clama Mission’s service in Tuis de Turrialba was held in a roofed open air structure they rent at the school across the street from the home of the Mission. Hector and Daniel are very talented musicians, Hector plays keyboard and sings beautifully, Daniel plays drums. They have even built a screen onto which they project the words to the hymns. I did not expect this level of technical sophistication in Tuis de Turrialba.

Many of the patients attended, several in wheelchairs, one with a colostomy bag. Everyone was enjoying the music, singing and camaraderie. We felt lucky to be in this special place with such special people. I thought about my Cuban born American friend Carmen and how this little church was her kind of place. So much need, with whispered prayers and songs of esperanza (hope). I know that if Carman came here, she would never leave because her life would be changed from that moment forward.

Costa Rica is a country of extremes and today was just another example of those extremes. The parishioners were a mix of many people. Americans attending the Christian Immersion Spanish Academy language school , many Indigenous, and assorted Costa Rican neighbors from Tuis. A visiting pastor with a Southern accent was preaching about church and family in English while a Spanish pastor translated. I wandered and left the sermon while my body remained in my chair. Horses and cows were the backdrop for the service and I am sure they enjoyed the music as they continued to come closer. One cow almost fell off of his vertical pasture. A Costa Rican woman with a child in tow and another on the way cried through the evening. Phil and I could feel her pain and her loneliness, her husband was not with her. The indigenous man to my right was joyous to be in attendance but the tearful Senora was clearly on his mind; she made him uncomfortable. A new born was baptized and that brand new Indigenous baby held its arms up to the Lord. We wondered if others were seeing what we saw. The baby’s mother was very beautiful and as the child was being baptized, I said my prayers for the family and the child.

Today was Daniel’s birthday and at the end of the service they projected photos of Daniel at various events and in funny costumes from this past year. Humor is good for the soul.

There was a large crowd celebrating and towards the end of the evening Phil and I thought that we would just drop off our donations of school supplies and quietly slip on out. So we gave our bags of goodies to several of the students studying at CISA, Christian Immersion Spanish Academy, and Phil started to back out the Isuzu Rodeo in the dark. It was difficult because of the narrow opening through the gates, other vehicles to avoid and the very deep ditches that can be more like a ravine that line most of the roads in Costa Rica. He avoided the concrete columns but our angle was off and down the ravine we went, nearly rolling over. The front tires or at lease one of them was still clinging to dirt. I had my seat belt on so when we hit bottom I would be securely stuck in my seat with Phil on top of me. He had not belted up but I was not about to point that out to him as he was exclaiming, Oh shit! Yes the Rodeo is 4 x 4, but you must get out to lock the rims in and we were teetering on the abyss, getting out was not possible for the slightest wobble would be the last. I am not sure if the 4 wheel component works when you are in a ravine lying on the passenger door. I could not picture how we would resolve our predicament when a small number of men, picked up our car with us in it and put us back on the road. How did they do that I asked, they had the Power of God, Phil replied. We did not speak another word of what happened all of the way home. So much for exiting quietly unnoticed.

I did comment on how the drive looks totally different in the dark. The depth of darkness was dense and the biggest difference was the swollen number of people on the road all wearing dark colored clothing with no reflectors or lights. Human obstacles on the course without a care in the world; a bit farther down the road a free range cow had found fodder more tasty than his own. The grace of Senior Jesus was with everyone this evening.

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