Church and Chicken

20839495I can see my English students are drifting. They look confused, intimidated, or just plain bored. So, I throw out English words that most Hondurans know already, even if out of context. I challenge them to give the Spanish equivalent for English words.

“Church,” I say.

“Ah, pollo!”

The class nods in appreciation. Everyone in Honduras knows church means chicken. In Honduras, Church’s Chicken is a popular franchise.

“Wrong!” I shout exuberantly.  

The gringa is confused,” they murmur.

Even if they don’t truly believe me, I have their attention. We can all agree that taco means taco, and pizza is pizza, no matter where you are. But church? What’s up with that?

I grew up attending church every Sunday morning in Louisiana. My mama often served fried chicken after church. Grandpa said grace, and we passed the chicken, white gravy and farm-raised vegetables.

Church and chicken. Made sense to me. Today, fried chicken is not a Sunday rite. Neither is going to church for most of us.

I rarely eat fried chicken today. I like it, but I had my fill before I reached puberty. Not long ago, I had my fill of church, too. 

Living in a foreign country, I found the meetings didn’t always seem relevant to my needs. I was often the only white person in the crowd, and one of the few to drive a car. I tired of flatterers who favored la gringa for reasons more related to funds than friendship.

I quit the church, just like I dropped fried chicken years ago.

Now, I am living in the US again. I attend services most every week. I realize now that the power of gathering in Christ’s name has power. I feel it when I join my voice in prayer or praise with the congregation. I sense the Spirit in the words spoken in wisdom and comfort.

I am linking this post to Velvet Ashes, where the site’s moderators are posting about the topic, community. Is community only achieved in church?

No. Of course not.

Yet, it’s one of the best places to experience community. Jesus said, where two or three are gathered, there I am.  It’s powerful. It’s real.

8 thoughts on “Church and Chicken

  1. I love stories of how people disillusioned with the church end up falling in love again. Because for all her warts and faults, there is nothing like the church, and she is beautiful! So glad you linked up with us at Velvet Ashes!

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  2. Yes! It’s a difficult thing to “do church” in a foreign culture- but we have to figure out a way to make it happen. Maybe it’s not on Sunday mornings. Grateful for your challenge to stay connected to His Body. I need to find my place in it here in Uganda.

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    1. I recall that many in the capital of Honduras liked a women’s group that usually met on Wednesday morning. My issue was that the meetings were often distended into near all-day long social events, and I had other tasks. I think you must find your own way, and that may include a women’s group. I should have stuck with that group, and I could have just made a slight apology and left earlier than the rest of the group who were mainly stay at home moms.

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  3. “Jesus said, where two or three are gathered, there I am..” Ah yes, the power of that. I love it especially in prayer. For each one praying squares the energy, and the power of that is unbeatable. I believe prayer is incredibly strong medicine.

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