Ardell and I do not have a home church yet in Santo Domingo. So this last Sunday we decided to attend a Dominican Evangelical Church (IED for short) in a not too distant neighborhood known as Ensanche Luperón. We know the pastor, Rev. Luisa, a wonderful spirited woman very dedicated to her church and community.
At 10:30am we arrived. Ardell visited the Sunday School classes for children meeting outdoors and I went into the sanctuary for the last half of Adult Sunday School. Even at mid-morning the temperature is near 90 degrees with 85% humidity. That is why the kids meet outdoors under a big shade tree.
Surprisingly, the small sanctuary is air-conditioned, it has to be, we found out. There is enough seating for about 80 people max but somehow 160 persons would cram in. At 11 am there was a steady stream of brethren looking for seats and a flock of laughing, jumping children from the Sunday School.
The ‘tias’ (aunties) are enlisted to ride herd on the kids who need to sit down but just cannot seem to land as they bounce around and squirm, so filled with energy and excitement. The ‘tias’ are patient but it is something like trying to persuade pigeons to stand in order on park benches, “Hey, get back here!”
Adoration is the first pillar of worship in the IED church. Once it starts, momentum builds as the musicians with ascending gusto take to African and traditional drums, electric guitar and bass, a trumpet, tamborines, and something that looks like a large vegetable grater. A few young ladies lead the singing with microphones that lift their voices above the instruments. It is all amplified enough to clear sinuses and vibrate internal organs and so it goes for an hour and a half.
It is now 12:45pm and the sermon has not yet been given. The sermon is the second pillar of worship and can easily go for a full hour. Only 45 minutes this time. And then the Lord’s Supper, the offering, a special song, and greetings. Ardell and I are asked to say a few words being we are visitors. I commented to the brethren that their sanctuary is too small and they need a bigger one. A shout went up and then applause.
After the benediction, many handshakes and hugs, we flowed out into the street in the full heat of the day, now 2:15pm. Our heads were still buzzing. Three and one half hours of religion at high volume left us a little stunned but with a good feeling inside that along with our Dominican brothers and sisters we had indeed worshiped God.