From Chile to Canada

From Chile to Canada

To this day I get chills every time I have the opportunity to sing “Shine Jesus Shine” in church. The music starts, and I immediately hear steel pan music. No matter what church I am in, I am transported back to Antigua standing and swaying to the music. I can literally hear the Caribbean accents sing-shouting “Set our hearts on fire!

There is something very special about the fact that Christians can worship hundreds of miles apart and yet be singing the same songs, speaking the same creed, and praising the same God.

This past Sunday I experienced the same chills.

A while ago, my dad had the idea to connect his congregation in Toronto, Canada to ours here in Chile for their Mission Sunday. Thanks to the very hard work of some of his members and Jon, the technology piece was figured out, and we were good to go on Sunday morning.

Our church members were very excited when they heard that we would be skyping in with another Lutheran congregation after our Sunday service. They immediately got nervous when I told them that they were going to be on a big screen, and when I told them that we would be singing a hymn together they responded with a laugh and “are you sure about that?” (we sing with passion, but with little musical ability – Good thing praise doesn’t depend on pitch!) After several singing practice sessions, everyone organized themselves so that they could see Jon’s computer set up in front of the church.

For a while we were able to see and hear my dad preaching, but the congregation in Toronto couldn’t see or hear us. It was fun to “snoop” in on another congregation and to watch our members analyze the church especially since many of them have never seen a Lutheran church that is not in a house or small worship space.

Once we connected, the internet did as it pleased going in and out. However, there were many highlights from our quick minutes together:

  • Waving hands and smiling faces on both sides of the Americas.
  • Dad speaking in Spanish to our congregation and them clapping and cheering for him at the end.
  • Jon speaking in English to the Canadian members describing our church.
  • Dad awkwardly asking the camera to zoom in on me. (=

But the best moment, and a tear-jerker, was when we were able to sing the hymn Amazing Grace together in Spanish and in English.

Amazing grace how sweet the sound (Sublime gracia del Señor), 

That saved a wretch like me (Que a un pecador salvó);

I once was lost, but now I am found (Perdido anadaba, él me halló,

Was blind but now I see (Su luz me rescató).

 

It was a powerful moment to listen to God’s people sing about His grace together:

  • not knowing personally who they were singing with, but knowing that they were singing together with God’s children.
  • not knowing much about Chile or Canada, but knowing that heaven is their home.
  • not knowing exactly how to pronounce the lyrics in a different language, but knowing that even though the words sounded different they were still singing about the amazing grace that has saved each and every one of them.

Chills! 

 

Check out this video from Hope Lutheran Church to see their Mission Sunday!

*A special thank you and much much much love goes out to the congregation at Hope. Following their skype time with our church they gave a freewill offering to support their brothers and sisters in Linares. As a Chilean member said, “The love of God is so huge, and it moves us so much. Send them our love and thanks!” 

 

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