April 16, 2012
Who Else Speaks English?
Today we visited a new church. Let me change that. We visited a very old church, for the first time. Our friend was preaching this morning at St. Andrews Anglican Church in Asuncion, so we ventured out and spent the day in the capital. St. Andrew's chapel has been around 100 years now, and, according to its facebook page, the congregation began 50 years before the chapel was built. It's an absolutely beautiful little place of worship, and we found the people to be really special.
|photo from Saint Andrew's AC facebook page|
So what makes this church so special, other than its history? Well, this is one of the few places English-speakers gather weekly to worship together in our own language. Don't go crazy on me, but the United States is not the only place where one speaks English. We walked into a congregation of folks from New Zealand, England, Ireland, Canada, and various other places I didn't get the chance to figure out. And the service was a lovely blend (see, I've been around those Brits!) of formal readings and congregational responses, with informal speaking and prayer and the like. We really, really enjoyed being able to understand every word--practically every word... that guy with the heavy French accent left me hanging on a few phrases. And we enjoyed knowing that people of all denominations were gathering together and blending their styles to bring glory to the One who watches over us in a foreign land. We were refreshed in the service and further blessed to have lunch with a few other missionary families.
Did I mention that Asuncion is basically a ghost town on Sunday morning, so we arrived an hour earlier than we planned to? We were expecting much more traffic, and the weather reports were calling for rain, so we gave ourselves plenty of time. The sun stayed out all day, by the way. Yeah, and McDonald's was one block away from the church. I can't tell you how many times we've said, "What I wouldn't give for a fast-food drive-thru breakfast right now!" so we took advantage of our extra hour and hurried over to McD's. What were they serving? CHIPA!!!