Plácido Domingo

I know many of you thought this post might be about a famous tenor (who my parents liked to listen to very much).  But this actually means “placid Sunday” in Spanish, and so I am using it to tell you about what has now become my regular Sunday routine.

Some of you will remember in one of my earliest posts, the mention of Duver (see “Pulling Weeds“), who is the pastor of a very small church here.  I learned about his church soon after my arrival in Puerto Cayo, but for various reasons, did not feel I should begin attending just yet.  One reason was, I was told they were sporadic in their meeting location and times.  Another reason was that my landlady, Maria, was the only one available for translation and she had returned to the states for three months to visit family.  And a third reason was simply that I felt the Lord wanting me to “rest and refresh” in Him and part of that included not being quick to commit to anything, but to wait and see where He would want me to worship – and in the meantime I just enjoyed my “Him and me” time on Sundays.

But a while after Maria returned and I had moved, I ran into Duver one day in town and he invited me (again) to come worship on Sunday.  So that week I went – and I have been going ever since.  The church is small – and I do mean small!  At the most, it has consisted of Duver, Maria, another sweet lady named Lourdes and me – as well as two or three of Duver’s children (and sometimes his wife).  The past several weeks, however, Maria has been occupied with visiting family, so it has mostly been just Duver, the kids and me.  Without Maria’s translating, it is a challenge to listen (and you think YOU have trouble paying attention to your pastor’s message when you can understand every word!)  But I am picking up more and more words and am always able to read along the passages in my English Bible (and sometimes they ask me to read in English and they follow along in Spanish and sometimes they even ask me to pray!)

The service is very much as you would expect – we sing (and those of you who know my spiritual roots will appreciate that I am now back to acapella – because we have no other choice!), pray, read scriptures, listen to a message and give.

One thing I can say is that despite the language barrier, there is never any doubt about the love, faith, hope, joy, peace and one Spirit that we all share.  And at some point nearly every Sunday, I hear Duver say something in his sermon that I have no trouble understanding – “Nada es imposible!”

They sang a song my first morning there that I immediately loved.  I could understand the simple words pretty well, and Maria’s translation just confirmed the message.  I asked her to send me the words so I could learn it, and now when Duver sings it, he call’s it “Mary’s song” – the words are:

Renueva me Señor Jesus – ya no quiero ser igual
Renueva me Señor Jesus, pon en mi Tu corazon
Porque todo lo que hay dentro de mi, necesito ser cambiado Señor
Porque todo lo que hay dentro de mi corazon necesito mas de Ti

And the basic translation is:

Renew me Lord Jesus  I do not want to be the same
Renew me Lord Jesus, put your heart in me
Because everything within me, Lord needs to be changed
Because everything within my heart needs more of you

Below are a few pictures I took this morning:

After that wonderful start to my day, I come back to Sam’s place and pick up dogs Tag, Bruna and Vera and we go to the beach for a few hours of swim and play (I go to church with my backpack full of necessities for this purpose).  Afterwards, I often enjoy my weekly dose of Corvina (my favorite fish) at my favorite restaurant in town.  Then it is home for a nap, reading, relaxing in a hammock, blogging, talking with friends/family, or whatever else I feel like doing to round out my “plácido Domingo.”

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