Friday, January 30, 2009
A Uniquely Bangla Church Experience
Yesterday morning I attended the Assemblies of God Church down in Moghbazar, which is open to nationals and expats alike, but conducted in English.
The worship was fulfilling as the band lead songs that spoke right into my open heart. My eyes were moist after "As the Deer" and "God of Wonders," either because I was exhausted from an intense swimming competition earlier that morning or because the people surrounding me and the band were so sincere in their heart-felt singing. I'll let you decide which it was.
After the worship, I headed towards the bathrooms, which are located near the main room that functions as a sanctuary, and passed the kiddos headed to their Sunday school in another room. The hallway had an open area where 5 or six goats were being slaughtered then hacked into chunks. Each little child was walking across the blood covered floor and staring wide eyed at the butchering.
Hmm. An animal slaughtering is definitely not something I've seen in any western church.
After the service, I walked over to the water fountain to get a cup of water. As I sipped my water two Bengali men approached me. Here's our bizarre conversation:
Man 1: Excuse me, may we speak to you?
Elaine: About what?
Man 1: Where are you from?
Elaine: America. Where are you from?
Man 1: [Laughs uncertainly] Bangladesh, of course. Er, are you studying?
Man 2: I am his brother. Do you have any hobbies, like collecting bottles or stamps?
Man 1: What about reading?
Man 1: Do you have any friends?
Elaine: [Pretends to stop and think] I think I have one friend. Do you have any friends?
Man 1: [Stares at Elaine] Yes, of course.
Again, conversations like this have never happened to me in America, this was a uniquely Bangla church experience!
*Yeah, I do realize I was harsh on those two men, but it was all in good fun.