It was a real blessing to be able to attend a regular Saturday night church service while here in La Ceiba. Everything about the church felt so much like Chestnut Ridge that we immediately felt comfortable and at home.
The church is open air, so during the spring and summer they have evening service because it’s much cooler then. The evenings here are quite comfortable, and it’s really something to be sitting in church and be able to see the lights on the beach and the shadow of the ocean beyond that. It gets dark here much earlier than at home (around 7) so it’s also easier to see the screen for lyrics and announcements during the evenings.
Generally they have someone translating into English into little earbuds, but since we are a large team, and there is a large construction team here from Ohio, there were not enough. The translation was aloud just like the message. It’s surprising how quick you get used to hearing the back and forth of translation and it becomes just as easy to follow as plain English would be.
Most surprising for me during the service was one of the worship leaders. A young man named Bryan led almost all of the songs, with the talent of a professional singer. Amazing talent. It was surprising because this is the same kid that spent the previous day on a long, hot bus ride to San Pedro Sula and back. One of the kids that loaded all our luggage there at the sweltering airport. The one that dozed in the stairwell of the bus so he would be near the front in case he needed to jump off and do anything (like tie down luggage again, or help park the bus. And the same young man that had just spent most of that morning walking all over the facility (church, CNI, clinic, and parking lots) looking for several of our lost bags. Once we found them (under seats in the back of the bus) he simply hefted one 50 lb bag on the top of his head and joyfully headed on down the hill with it. His friend took another 50 lb duffel onto his shoulder, then carried another 30 lb bag down for me. The refused to let me carry anything. It felt so awkward to be walking empty handed along side them, but they didn’t seem the least bit bothered by the weight or the heat (though they were sweating just as much as I was). They laughed and talked as they carried these bags all the way to the CNI for me.
That’s a long way around me saying that it surprised me to see that Bryan was the equivalent of a Honduran rock star because he totally lacked ANY of the ego that we see in many American artists…..even Christian artists. It’s a constant struggle among artists to not let your ego get the best of you, to realize your talent comes from God and not from you, and it’s hard to not let your head get big. Most people I know with that degree of talent have at least a little of the artist ego. They struggle to find humility amidst their talent….but there was not even a touch of that ego apparent in Bryan. True authentic worship.
A few photos from the service:
Dago during his message (a very good and relevant one at that!)
The worship team during their performance: