Tuesday, July 27, 2010
After our herky jerky ride up to Isola, we left in fear and trembling for church Sunday morning. But Frederico the van was not up for it, and gave up the ghost on the A24 to L'Aquila.
While our menfolk bent over the engine, wiggled wires and cleaned the carburator, we womenfolk did what we do best: bonding! Walking along the roadside, collecting discarded objects for possible art projects, we took pictures of ourselves with the Gran Sasso as a backdrop, and waved to the women walking over the overpass above us.
A round of prayer and our hero Edi finally got it started. We limped to church, which was held in a field next to the restaurant where we would have lunch. Since the earthquake, which collapsed the church building, the church has been meeting wherever they could find a space, sometimes splitting up into homes and meeting throughout the city. About 50 were gathered.
We had the privilege of witnessing three baptisms--truly an event in any European country--and enjoying a festive meal afterwards: fresh trout, salmon, white beans and pasta, salad watermelon. The obligatory nap in the lounge chairs completed a very long meal...of several hours...and then we were off to L'Aquila to survey the damage...
Frederico is now at the mechanic's for an indefinite hospitalization. Three of our number are experiencing nightmares. And our pastor/leader has been called to Germany for the serious illness of his mother-in-law. Yes, prayers would be in order.