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Merrymakers Festival – July 15-16, Plymouth, MA
July 14-15 – Our weddings begin the night before, on Friday evening, as the community gathers for a special celebration and meal, followed by last-minute preparations! This night in Plymouth was no exception. As we finished our meal of bluefish, salad, and rice, we turned our attention to the most special last-minute preparations – the dances (which takes hours to prepare and just a brief time to consume) that some of us stayed up to see one last time before the real thing.
The wedding began at noon. We gathered around a colorful buffet table of hors d’oeuvres – strawberries dipped in carob sauce, pineapple tidbits, cream cheese-stuffed dates, and other dainty morsels. Cheerful Irish music played in the background as we greeted old and new friends alike. The groom arrived and we joined him in his anticipation of greeting his bride. Just a short time later, they met in the clouds with much jubilation!
Next, they escorted us to Jerusalem, the City of Peace, the place we all long for deep inside – a place of healing and refreshment. There we danced and sang and spoke to one another for hours until they said their vows around 6 p.m.
The love of the bride and groom was so touching, as were their lifelong vows to one another. Both sang love songs to each other as well. We married them and sent them off under a huge archway. Together we gathered around and sang a love song to them while they sat in their car. Then they drove off to their honeymoon cottage, just minutes away. The celebration continued late into the night and on into the next day, Sunday.
July 16 – We woke up bright and early to shift our focus from ‘wedding’ to ‘festival.’ Even before everything was set in place and our friends began arriving, many joined in with a helping hand.
In the past, many people had considered coming to see us, driven up our driveway, looked around, and then quickly turned around and left as if on a dare. Now this time, people got to take a deeper look. In our communities in Brazil, when people come to visit us, they board a bus in the city in the daylight, and end up after dark at the Community. It heightens their sense of leaving one world and entering another. Even though people came to us from Plymouth in the daylight, they had a similar experience.
One man came up to our driveway on his bicycle. He said, “I’ve got to do it, I’ve got to find out what you people are all about.” When he left, he told someone, “You are the most wonderful people. I have watched you for years walking by my house with your children. You even pick up trash. You are the best neighbors anyone could have.”
Many sets of local parents drove up and dropped off carloads of young people to spend the day with us. The festival showed us how much the people of town are interested in our life. They overcame what they had to in order to come and see us. They were unreserved.
It’s obvious that it was our Father who brought people to us. One car drove by and called out, “Hey, you having a party?”
“NO,” we answered loudly, “we are having a FESTIVAL! Come and join us.” They turned in and stayed for hours.
We were so thankful for all our many friends who
came and participated and made this weekend the
very special time it was for us… Next stop:
More coming soon!!!