Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Jesús en la Playa [Jesus at the Beach]

The "Jesús en la Playa" Team with Bishop Michael Lenihan in front of St. Isidore Cathedral, La Ceiba.
This past Holy Week, Franciscan Mission Outreach - in collaboration with the  Diocese of La Ceiba and Missioners of Christ, carried out a unique and creative evangelization effort called "Jesús en la Playa (Jesus at the Beach)" to reach out to the many tourists who come to the coast at this time of year. The idea began with Fr. Rene Flores, chancellor of the diocese, and builds on earlier efforts to distribute the schedule of Holy Week celebrations to hotels and other tourist centers. Fr. Rene was able to obtain from the tourism office of the municipal government space for a booth along the promenade of one of the main beaches. That served as our base.

Our site on the boardwalk. Wilmer Hernandez is leading songs.

Our next door neighbors, diocesan Radio San Isidro.

Our "competition:" Tigo mobile phones (above) and Coca Cola (below - Pepsi was there, too). 

Children watching a Bible video with Bishop Michael Lenihan.
We engaged in a number of different activities designed to communicate the message of the Gospel and the presence of the Church to the many people who passed by. These included music and songs, skits, videos, activities for children, times of prayer (the Rosary and the Divine Mercy chaplet), distributing small flyers and personal interaction. Our desire was to be a positive and encouraging reminder of the meaning of Holy Week, and a bit of a "door" through which people could enter into that experience.

A large crowd gathers for a skit featuring Jamie (foreground) and Diego (as Jesus).

A dramatic presentation of the Last Supper and Passion.

Missioners of Christ Margarita and Eric.

Missioners of Christ leader Carol Restaine, listens attentively to a passerby. 

Roger speaking with a visitor.

There were many child street vendors who stopped at our booth, including the little boy selling cotton candy (above), and the boy selling gum (in the basket) who paused to color a Bible scene (below).

One of the many colorful sights at the beach.

Two "live art (arte en acción)" students from the capital city of Tegucigalpa
who used our booth to store their supplies. 

A little boy picked up my camera and used it to take this shot of me trying to work out some logistical details in the loud surroundings of the boardwalk.

Sunset over the ocean.
"Jesús en la Playa" was extremely well received, and we are hopeful of carrying out an even more developed outreach for Holy Week 2014.

The team and I after the "Santo Entierro (Holy Burial) on Good Friday evening.

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