Today we attended church with friends at the church we’ve been repainting this week. It was a lovely service full of fellowship and song. The guest pastor we had brought along from New York was asked to lead a prayer, visiting members of another church sang and led some local music and our teens performed a worship song. During and after the service we reconnected with friends we knew from the previous trip, and new travelers were informed that today they were welcomed as visitors, but when next they attended there they would be welcomed home.
After church we were reminded of how grateful they were for our friendship during hurricane Matthew, and our continued friendship. We had a wonderful lunch provided by the ladies of the church, and a chance to socialize and build relationships.
Eventually, we said our goodbyes and headed down to the beach for some clean-up work. While some of the trash and debris is undoubtedly local, much refuse washes up on their shores from other countries, making unsafe conditions for children, impacting their fishing and crabbing industry, and impacting their tourism. Some of the locals who had come to swim or watch their children swim joined in the cleanup effort.
With the beach now much cleaner than when we arrived, we joined some local children in the water. Everyone was very excited about VBS and we got to know kids and a few adults.
As the sun began to move downward in the sky we started noticing that we were getting hungry, but as usual, Max had us covered. A local business opened their back patio for us and Max grilled hot dogs and brats. There were more opportunities to trade stories with locals and get to know about local customs. We built lasting friendships today.
While today was a day of worship, it doesn’t seem like it was just today. Acts of kindness always strike me as acts of worship. And. that’s why we’re here.