Easter in Guatemala coughed up some unique experiences. Though it wasn't our first holiday abroad, it certainly gave us a new cultural sampling and challenged our preconceived ideas. First, we learned – by unplanned experience -- that the entire city pretty much shuts down from Wednesday on. The area was hectic and hyper-busy all week even though shops were closed. So, imagine our surprise when we awoke Sunday morning to a strangely quiet neighborhood. The focus of the week for the country's predominantly catholic population is Good Friday Mass, the culmination of Holy Week, preceded by the unbelievable busyness of creating these amazing artistic expressions known as the sawdust carpets. The lack of both religious and secular celebration by protestant believers came as another big surprise. No passion plays. No cantatas. No kid-centered-events. Even the normally boisterous worship services in neighborhood churches seemed uncharacteristically low-key.
For us, the entire experience was a reminder that the presence of Jesus Christ is with us wherever we are, and that where two or three are gathered in His name, resurrection power resides. So thankful Our God is always the same no matter what. No matter where. Thank you for serving alongside us as we serve Him together in northern Guatemala.
Rod & De Ishmael
To get a feel for the cultural experience of Easter in Guatemala, enjoy the photos below. They represent a lot of tedious work. A lot of talent. The Christian Story in Art form. Family. Neighbors. Culture. Community.
Sawdust Carpets made by hand dyeing finely ground sawdust in all the colors and shades planned for use in the design… like this:
Next, add natural materials, flowers, fruits and assorted dried plants.
Short on time? Cheat … (did I say that?) … with fresh flowers and a beautiful woven tapestry for the central part of the street carpet. Or… just mix it up with colored sawdust, fresh flowers, and a loaf of fresh-baked-alligator-shaped bread … just because.
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Crescent Lake Christian Center / 1250 Saint Louis Avenue / Excelsior Springs, MO 64024