Spanish III students acted out the story of Jonah for the "rincón infantil" or children´s story, with Carmela as narrator. When the children were shy about participating in the story as the wind, rain and waves, the adults in the congregation played along and encouraged the kids. Then came the moment for the sailors (children) to push Jonah (Peter) out of the boat. A woman in the row behind them coaxed three little girls to stand up, but they did not want to push Peter. Finally, with insistence from the congregation, one girl gave him a tiny push. Peter later told us that she apologized for pushing him out of the boat. That was great, because the Bible says that the sailors felt the same remorse when they pushed Jonah out!
The congregation does not have a pianist and they sing with recorded music during song service, so the song Fernanda sang in Spanish, with Chelsea accompanying on violin and Brent on piano, was especially appreciated by the congregation.
Our big surprise was that, although I had given them tips for not understanding the service, Spanish II and III students felt they actually understood quite well. The pastor is from Colombia, a country know for clear Spanish, and his slides with illustrations also helped them understand. It was very reaffirming to them that they really have acquired a lot of Spanish. They will need to remember that happy feeling, because in the Dominican Republic, the Caribbean Spanish will be an even greater challenge!
After eating haystacks at the church, we returned to PAA and spent the afternoon talking about culture and sharing presentations about the Dominican Republic. We learned about weather, culture, history and more. Later students worked on their stories of their spiritual journeys. Just five more weeks until we leave!