Sunday, August 7, 2011

A place for everyone

I had quite a day today.  First I went to a Baptist Church with Suzy and the girls.  Suzy's son, Noe, translated the LONG sermon (actually more like a Bible study than a sermon) and I was able to sing the hymns because they were projected on a screen.  They even had communion!  Of course, I did communion wrong.  I did it like an Episcopalian instead of a Baptist!  They passed a plate (do they call them patens?) with pieces of saltine crackers on them and trays with little bitty cups of grape juice (no church seems to use wine here in HN.)  Soon as I got my bit of saltine, I ate it.  Then I noticed no one else had.  Oops.  Suzy explained that we were supposed to consume the elements together. She handed me some crumbs from her bit (literally crumbs) but the man with the plate was walking by so I snagged another piece of cracker.  When the Pastor gave the blessing we all consumed the cuerpo y sangre de Cristo.  I really enjoyed the service very much and, although it was very different, appreciated the communion.  That is one thing I really miss here -- the beautiful liturgy and weekly mass at St. David's.  Everyone around me was very friendly and welcoming and I plan to go again in the future.

After church we went to "Abuelo's" for lunch. Abuelo means grandfather.  The girls call KFC "Abuelo's" because there is a life sized Col. Sanders on a bench outside the restaurant!  There was a little bit of cognitive dissonance as this Gringa Episcopalian went from a Honduran Baptist church to a KFC with the menu in English!  However, a good time and ice cream were had by all.

Next stop for Suzy and me was a visit to see Jasmin.  I really do love that girl.  She was so happy to see us!  We had dropped Suzy's girls at the movie theater to see Pitufos (Smurfs in espanol!) so we didn't have too much time.  I brought Jasmin some candy and Suzy brought her cheese, apples, bread and milk.  We brought plenty because Jasmin always shares whatever we bring her.  One thing I love about Jasmin is that she just blurts stuff out.  Last visit she told us more of her story - things Suzy hadn't even heard.  This time she suddenly asked for Suzy's forgiveness for running away from her.  I wish everyone would be so baldly open.  Of course, Suzy had already forgiven her and said so.  So, we were chatting when suddenly Suzy's eyes got real wide.  The visiting room was full of people - clients like Jasmin (some in pretty rough shape) visiting family members, babies (4 babies live there with their moms) and a couple of men (family or cooks, not sure which.)  One of the clients is a tall, slender young woman.  Unlike the other clients, she was well-dressed, hair done, and full makeup on. She seemed very sweet and popular with the other clients.  As she walked by Suzy, very gracefully I might add, Suzy heard her speaking to someone else.  That is when Suzy's eyes got real wide.  She leaned over to me and whispered, "She's a man!"  I took a closer look and, sure enough, she's a he!   We couldn't help giggling because it was such a surprise.  Jasmin got such a kick out of our discovery and reaction! 

Across the street from Jasmin's safe house is one for men.  Suzy asked Jasmin where Edwin/Edwina was staying.  Jasmin wryly answered, "Well, he can't go over there!"  Honduras is a very homophobic country so Edwin would not be welcome or safe at the men's safe house.  So, s/he lives in the women's safe house.  How wonderful is that?  The ministry leaders recognize that Edwin/a is a beloved child of God just like everyone else.  Edwin/a needs ministering to and so they do.  Isn't that what Christianity is supposed to be about?  Loving our neighbors as ourselves, making sure there is a place for everyone in the kingdom.  Amen to that.