Saturday, March 22, 2008

Easter Sunday

Happy Easter! I don't believe I have ever experienced a holiday that has felt less like a holiday. There are no signs of Easter here. Anyone familiar with the religions in this part of the world won't be surprised to read that, so why is it so strange to see the absence of all things connected with Easter? In fact, when I asked the receptionist at our hotel about finding a church, she didn't know what Easter was. Since we could not communicate "Protestant," let alone get directions to a service celebrating Resurrection Sunday, we finally just took a taxi to the largest Catholic church here in Hanoi. It is listed in all of the guidebooks as being similar to Notre Dame, and it is architectually lovely, though in need of TLC. What was even lovelier was hearing church bells before we even saw it, then turning a cobbled corner and seeing droves of people streaming toward it. Incredible! We stayed for about 30 minutes before MyLinh started to fuss, but the music and liturgy, all in Vietnamese, were gorgeous. The church was literally overflowing, people crammed onto little plastic stools in the aisles, corriders, and standing in the back, crowding out the doors and filling the rest of the block. Alex guessed there were "thousands" there, and we felt so glad to be celebrating with so man, so far from home, that "He is risen!" We kept thinking about Valley Bible and our boys in their matching shirts and how rich we are to be loved by such a community, such a family.

It is almost one in the afternoon here, and we have already a full day of adventures. MyLinh refused breakfast, screaming at both of us for the first hour of the day, but after trekking around Hoan Kiem Lake in the Ergo (indispensable, Zimmermans, thank you!) she settled into be being held by Alex. We stopped for Vietnamese coffee and tea and an ice cream (with which Alex bribed a smile out of MyLinh)! We have her settled in for a nap now, and as we still have not been able to find another adaptor, we are unable to use our computer. So, I am in the lobby again, while Alex is vegging out with music on the iPod, close to a (hopefully blissfully) sleeping MyLinh. We spent over an hour trying to get her to sleep...a rough hour for all three of us!

We are unable to post photos until the computer situation gets figured out, but the camera took (thank you, Lord) proper photos this morning. I am going to try to post some photos from yesterday (usually Alex's dept.), and if/when we get this adaptor situation figured out, we will get more photos on here! We have yet to really capture MyLinh's beautiful smile, but it is dazzling.

Sunshine, gorgeous sunshine today, so we will head out again with a rested little girl later this afternoon -- uh oh, here come Alex and MyLinh...with only 20 minutes of sleep!!! Yikes!!


Jordan and Amber said...

Hey sis, glad to hear you made it to easterservice! Great memories to be sure. I am sure that the pics don't truly allow us to appreciate it, but am still looking forward to seeing them.

Alex thanks so much for taking such good care of my sis. It is much appreciated. you are agreat dad and husband. your kids are fortunate to have you-even if your youngest doesn't realize it yet-she will.

I'll give you boys a hug for you when we see em Love J

Anonymous said...

Happy Easter (again) Schell family!! I was just about to go to bed when I thought, "maybe they blogged something"...and you did!! Yeah!

What wonderful experiences you are having in this foreign land!! Can't wait to hear more details when you get home. You're going to have to give a lecture, or something, soon after you get home!

Thank you again for openly sharing this experience with everyone! It sure is fun and exciting reading about your journey!


Anonymous said...

Ri and Alex,
It is the perfect day to realize how much God has truly blessed us. Seeing the pictures of you with MaLinh Brings tears to my eyes. God has been so good to your family. I look forward to hearing more about your trip as the days go by. You are in our prayers. Love, Jammie and Sean

Anonymous said...

What an amazing experience to worship in MyLinh's home country on Easter Sunday! I really wanted to visit a church while there, but we were only there the Sunday we arrived at 12:00 am and were sleeping and resting up that day...

Hope she continues adjusting and working through the emotion of these sudden changes.

-Anne (Holt)