Celebrating Easter in Ecuador
We celebrated in our new country in new and different ways.
First, we were privileged to spend Good Friday with 4 ladies who had been working in an orphanage in Riobamba Ecuador and were getting ready to leave for the USA. It was a great blessing to spend time with them as they had been praying for us before they came and they even brought us candy from the USA...definately a special treat.
Second, we attended the processions in Quito. Good Friday is anything but "good" in Quito. There is a great procession, or parade, called, "Jesus the great power." During this time, 120 are chosen to be apostles, 200 chosen to be the weeping Veronica, and more than 2000 chosen to be "cucuruchus." The cucuruchus cover their faces with a big purple hood and walk barefooted, carrying heavy crosses, chains, wrapped in barbed wire. Both years I have seen the processions, one of the heavy crosses falls on people in the crowd injuring them. Noone is quite sure as to the origine of the purple hoods, but the idea is to walk this great distance in this procession to earn favor with God. The blacktop was so hot they had to stand in puddles people would pour for them or stand on papers their helpers would tear up and put down. One cucuruchu in the photos is talking on a cell phone. I was profoundly struck by the name of the parade, Jesus the great power, and those in the parade trying to earn something from God. The music is earry. The procession is sad. I am reminded that the scriptures tell us, it is finished! The debt has been paid! Jesus in reality is the gread power, He paid a debt I could not pay! it is time for celebration, not penance. Praise be to God who has given us his unspeakable gift.
Thirdly, we celebrated the Resurrection by observing a Seder supper in our living room with 16 Ecuadorians. The Spanish was bad, but the message is great!What a blessing to rehearse the freedom from bondage the Israelites recevied form God and the freedom from sin past, present and future experienced by the blood of Jesus Christ that liberates us death and hell for eternity. To God be the glory!