Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Sunday, December 20, 2009

I knew this hotel was very “Spartan” but I didn’t know we would get so little sleep overnight. We didn’t get to bed until 11:30pm. Then, just as we were sound asleep the room next to us started their party as midnight. It was loud talking and laughter and everyone sounded very young and having a good time. Finally I had to dress and ask the manager to have them stop. They did but it started up at 6:00am again. Oh well, I guess we don’t really need sleep.

Today’s meetings in both Neyba and Duvergé were great. We had the same special musical “Cantata” in both branches. But as it turns out the word “Cantata” is not a Spanish word, it’s Italian, no one understood the title on the program! But that didn’t matter, everyone got to participate, we sang every Christmas hymn in the Spanish hymn book; all eleven of them. Each of the hymns were preceded by a reading of the scripture passages that pertained to the particular hymn. It was great; everyone really enjoyed singing for Christmas.

Ever since we arrived in Neyba and Duvergé all of the singing in church meetings has been acapella. There is an electronic keyboard but no one can play it. Many of the members in both branches have been members for many years but they’ve never heard a hymn sung with musical accompaniment. That is until today. We set up the CD player in both chapels and played the Spanish version of the accompaniment so the members could hear the real music. Wow, what a difference. For the first time we sang hymns that really sounded like hymns. After the meetings everyone commented on how much they enjoyed singing with the CD player. We’ve got to figure out a way to have a CD player available in both chapels all of the time.

The rest of my time was spent in tithing settlement and other interviews including a new young member of the church in Duvergé that will be ordained a teacher next week. He’s a bright and sharp looking 15 year old. His name is Dairon Bello Rocha.

As bad as the “Spartan” hotel is in Neyba, we are really glad to be spending the night here. In the past we would have driven the 3 plus hours back to Azua to spend the night. But tonight’s commute back from Duvergé was only 30 minutes and we only passed one other car on the whole road. We were in our hotel room eating dinner by 7:30 instead of after 10:00. It is really nice to not be driving for 3 plus hours at night. Especially during the Christmas season on weekends in the Dominican Republic, weekend drinking parties are notorious here.

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