UCOG Blog Logo
News and views from the German-language region of Europe

January 31, 2009

Trip to Suriname, Day 5

Filed under UCG-Holland

We had a Sabbath service in Paramaribo with 17 adults and about 25 children in attendance.

Suriname trip
 The children singing hymns during the service.
Suriname trip
 Marcia Dalfour conducts a Bible study for the
 25 children who were present.
Suriname trip
 Marcos Rosales gave the main sermon as a
 PowerPoint presentation.
Suriname trip
 After the sermon Marcos gave Claid Dalfour a
 donation to finish the floor in the building.

The group in Paramaribo has been meeting for several months on the Sabbath, so we asked them to conduct their services the way they normally do so we could see how they do things. In the local culture music plays an important role so their song service was longer than what we were used to. Since our hosts were not very familiar with the UCG hymnal, they sang their own hymns including songs written by Marcia Dalfour. One song emphasized that the Sabbath is made for man and not man for the Sabbath, and it was quite touching to see all the children singing this particular song with enthusiasm!

After the singing I gave a sermonette on the meaning of the two trees in the garden of Eden. Once again Stan Braumuller translated for me into Dutch. I was surprised that the children were able to answer a couple of the questions I asked about the two trees. After the sermonette, Marcia took the children to the back of the building where she conducted a children’s Bible study with them during the main sermon. Some of the children are quite young and it is a interesting challenge for her to keep everyone’s attention. Marcia’s husband Claid has downloaded some of UCG’s material for children from the internet and received pdf copies of other material (like UCG’s festival brochure for children), and Marcia used this some of this material for her instruction. The texts were in English, but she told me that she always explains in Dutch what the words mean so the children can understand. As part of their "Sabbath outreach" program for these children from low income families, Marcia also teaches them basic social skills. Some of the children do not have their own shoes. When the children’s Bible study was over, Marcia had a small gift for each of the children from a donation she had received from some friends in the Netherlands, including some used clothing. The children were quite excited to receive their gift.

For the main message Marcos Rosales gave a PowerPoint presentation on the organization of the United Church of God, including what we are doing in the Netherlands. His sermon was about God’s desire to bring many children to glory, and those in attendance listened attentively and liked Marcos’ lively and personable way of giving a sermon. At the end of the service Marcos presented Claid Dalfour a donation of 300 € to provide the funds to finish laying the floor tiles for the back of the building and for providing a concrete patio behind the building where the children have their Sabbath outreach program.

After the service the entire group enjoyed a meal together. The meal was a gift from Stan Braumuller. Stan’s brother has his own restaurant in Paramaribo, and Stan had arranged with his brother to provide a catered lunch. Afterwards we visited the Dalfour family at their home (I wanted to see how they live), and in the evening Marcos, Stan and I had a baptism counseling with Lloyd Dalfour, Claid’s brother. Lloyd then took us to a local fast food restaurant where we picked up some rice and chicken dishes and brought them back to our guest apartment. After the four of us had eaten, it was 11:00 p.m. and time to call it a day.

Paul Kieffer's blog with personal insights and news from the German-language region in Europe.


internal links:


search blog: