Yesterday was Sunday. We visited a "House Church." The directions to the church included, "turn off the paved road."
We drove to another providence about 2 and 1/2 hours away to attend this church. Our group of 12 took up a great deal of space in the church. We left home with 11 and ended up with 12, when Amy, a member of a church in Washington knew we were here. She is visiting family here and has joined us everyday. She is such a joy and a blessing. She helps us with our money and communication. She ordered lunch for us yesterday since known of us could read the menu. She obviously, has become part of our team and our jokes.
Amy joined us at the house church as well. We unloaded our bus to look for a place to use the restroom-tissue and "han-a-tizer" (as Dolly calls it) in hand. We walked to the back and were lead to a little building. It has tile floor and was wet. There was no toilet-which I expected-but there was no hole either. We learned it was a shower instead. Another building was located at the back. We had to practice our squatting!! We dipped water out of a bucket to "flush." Just to think we actually have heated and padded toilet seats in the states.
The church was attached to a house. The house was open-as in few to no walls. I actually thought the kitchen was a barn-it was covered in tarps with an open fire. I assume the dog and chickens in the kitchen threw me off. We store a lawn mower in a better facility.
In the service, we were seated in a variety of plastic chairs and stools. My roommate, Fay and I were seated on backless stools. We were there for about 3 hours in worship. The temperature is 36-37 degrees Celsius...check the conversions on that one! We assume that is the 90s.
Let me paint the picture of this church: hard-backless chairs, heat, lizards, roosters, and chicks....this was their church. Many times I groan at having to get up out of my comfy bed to go to church. The cushy seats and climate control are not considered. I could not help but think of how self-centered we are. There are churches in our backyards with all the comforts and we don't drag ourselves out of bed! I do not want to forget the privilege of worshipping as a body in such a wonderful facility.
Despite the conditions, there is something amazing about being in a room of believers. Although we we were not able to communicate with them, we were able to worship. The love for one another was obvious.