Sunday, May 3, 2015

Ruby Mayana's Dedication

Last night we got a phone call from our pastor, wanting to discuss a few details about this morning, Michael sharing in Sunday School about MCC work in Haiti, and Ruby's dedication in church.

Me: Ruby's getting dedicated tomorrow? How did I not know that?

Michael: We sat here and had a whole conversation about it the other day. (When the pastor, his wife, and another member of the church were visiting). 

Me: Wow, I totally missed that part of the conversation.

I can't imagine how I missed it, and am frustrated with my Spanish for having missed it, but maybe after conversing in Spanish for 2 hours it slipped through, or maybe (hopefully), I was having a side conversation and didn't catch it.

All to say, Ruby was dedicated this morning at our church.

Chapman Trivia: Ruby is the only one of our daughters who has been dedicated in a church. This is not because we didn't want to with the other girls, but somehow, in our time in Fresno, it never came up and time passed and neither were ever dedicated.

Before the dedication, during a time of open sharing, an elderly gentleman of 93 years shared that this would be his last Sunday attending church. Due to his age and the difficulty of traveling around and getting out of the house, attending church would no longer happen for him. I found it somewhat ironic (circle of life?) that the same day our church community was dedicating a new young life into the fold, another member was gracefully bowing out from regular attendance.
Ruby and Mario, age 93
Our family went up front, the pastor shared some words, and Michael and I made a vow/commitment to the church, and they returned the promise. The pastor blessed her, and prayed.

The closest we got to a family photo.
Alert and bright-eyed. 
My favorite part was after the prayer for Ruby, when our friend Elena walked around with Ruby, letting the church kiss and love on Ruby.
The presentation of Ruby to the church, and a request that the church come alongside us as parents.
Ruby did great throughout the whole presentation. She didn't cry or fuss, and was happy looking out at everyone. 
We're blessed to have been invited into this community. Moving is hard, as we've done countless times. Finding a community, especially a faith community is hard, and we've been blessed to have been welcomed here, despite language and cultural barriers.
Ruth Keidel Clemens, International Program Director for MCC US, is in Guatemala this month, and was able to attend Ruby's dedication. 
My other favorite moment was when a friend leaned over to me after the dedication, when Michael was holding Ruby, and told me how grateful she is that the other men in the church have the opportunity to watch Michael with Ruby. It's significant in a machismo culture that a husband and father is so involved and so comfortable with his children, especially three girls. It's something I can easily take for granted, how wonderful my husband is with our girls, because in the States our experience has been that most of our peers are much more involved than perhaps fathers were a generation ago. Here in Central America, however, it tends to be the exception more than the rule.

Our girls will be a part of several different communities in their lifetimes. I'm thankful this church has committed to helping us, as parents, with the role of teaching and guiding our daughters.