The Church in the Basement

Evening was falling fast as we came up the hill and round the bend. We pulled up in front of an old, tall-steeple, white washed, church.

Evening was falling fast as we came up the hill and round the bend.  We pulled up in front of an old, tall-steeple, white washed, church.  From the car it looked very large and cold.  We pulled out the presentation equipment: boxes, suitcases, violin, and guitar.  Then we ran into the church trying to escape from the wintery wind swirling around the hill.  We pushed open the massive wooden door and our “Hello?” was answered by silence.  “Maybe we are early,” we said looking around the empty and lonely sanctuary.

Then a voice wafted up to us from somewhere down below and a friendly, smiling gentleman appeared inviting us down to the basement, down to where joy and life had gathered a feast for our spirits and our bodies. 

Many women, most of them elderly, faces ablaze with welcoming smiles were scurrying about preparing tables, setting out food, opening arms to hug us.  A young woman sang as the young people who had been our guests in Chile, smiled in recognition.  Soon the memories, accompanied by laughter and sighs of longing, filled the basement.

How distant now that first image when we stepped into the big white church.  The congregation, the true church, opened its heart to us, weeping, laughing, dancing, and singing with us.  We were woven together with threads of love.

The Lord has reminded us to go down deep, to look into the depths of the other´s eyes, to discover and then recognize we are sisters and brothers on the Way.

Carolina Fernández
Paraguay

Walk, Sister, Walk – young women peacebuilders share their stories in the Massachusetts Conference of the United Church of Christ

Translated by Elena Huegel

Elena Huegel is a missionary with the Pentecostal Church of Chile (IPC).  She serves as an environmental and Christian education specialist.