My Easter Sunday this year was very different from those in the past. Typically I celebrate the holiday in Columbus, Indiana with food, family, egg decorating and your average Sunday church service. This year I celebrated with food, friends, surfing, a sunrise beach service AND a Liberian church service!
The sunrise service was a few houses down from mine at 7 AM, and was BYOC (bring your own coffee)! About twenty other ex-pats and I sat in lawn chairs and in the sand for some acoustic worship, a few scripture readings, and a short message. Afterward we all enjoyed more coffee, hot cross buns, and a few other delicious desserts!
About an hour later, James picked me up to take me to Locasha Baptist Fellowship, a Liberian church in Pipeline, a district about twenty minutes away.
On the way, we drove through Red Light, an area of Monrovia that is named for the one stoplight in the entire city (even tho it doesn't even work). The area is CRAZY congested, and requires a lot of laying on the horn! Check out the video below to get an idea of what Red Light is like on a GOOD day.
The Liberian service was awesome. Luckily it had been raining all morning, so the church wasn't crazy hot like they usually are. I was the only white person there, had no idea what words we were singing, but I had a blast clapping and dancing along anyways! Reverend Kumara, a man that I work alongside at Samaritan's Purse, gave a sermon, and then we sang some more. I got really excited when I recognized a hymn that we sing at my little UCC church at home. The hymn was Gloria Patri, which I'm guessing is sung at a lot of American churches (Glory be to the Father, and to the Son and to the Holy Ghost. As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen. Amen.).
|This adorable little girl slept through the entire two hour service!|
|James, Reverend Kumara, me and Mrs. Kumara after church!|
After church, I asked a Liberian woman where I could go to the bathroom. I've peed in a lot of different places since I've been here, but yesterday I was faced with a type of toilet I'd never seen before. After staring at the thing for about thirty seconds wondering logistically how it worked, I made a first attempt and failed when realized i was backwards. No worries- I got it right the second time!
When I got home from church, I changed into my board shorts and headed out with my friend Taya to surf. With no car, we had a one and a half mile walk to Kendeja, the beach where we usually drive to to surf. Even though it was still raining, the walk was actually really nice. The surf, however, was horrible; super choppy and too big of waves. After about two hours of not catching anything, I decided to give up, and slowly began paddling toward the beach. All of a sudden, I felt a sharp pinch on my leg, and realized I had gotten stung by a jelly fish! This not only confirmed my decision that I was done for the day, but also freaked me out to the point that I began paddling like crazy toward the shore! Surfing fail. Exercise win.
After the long walk back I had worked up quite an appetite. When I got home, I was pleasantly surprised to find a few friends busy preparing an Easter feast at the house! We had an AMAZING dinner of garlic chicken, cheesy potatoes, mixed vegetables, watermelon, papaya, and sweet tea. I can't explain in words how delicious the food was! I hadn't eaten that well since the Chapman's left three weeks ago.
After dinner I went over to the house next door to watch "The Blind Side." Besides the lizard that kept crawling through the picture that was being projected up on the wall, it was a very nice movie night!
All in all an awesome day. Definitely an Easter Sunday I will never forget!