Site Visit

My site visit was to Homestead Torre Fuerte Church in Homestead, FL. It is a Pentecostal Church. My first time visiting was during one of their Sunday services. The first thing I noticed was that they have their services in a school auditorium. I learned this is because they are still a relatively small church and don’t have enough funding right now to get a place big enough for all of their members to attend. The next thing I noticed was how hospitable they were.  At least 4 different people greeted me on the way to the auditorium and someone even “escorted” me to my seat. I found it kind of weird but paid no attention to it. I thought they were just being friendly. The service started with the pastor greeting everyone and asking how we were doing. He talked for a few and then the worshipping began. This was the part that took me by surprise. I was not expecting it to be so full of energy and emotion. One thing I saw was that some people were talking in a weird way, it sounded like gibberish to me and it made me a bit uncomfortable to stand next to that. After the worshiping was done, we moved on to the sermon and it was straightforward from there. Afterwards, we were dismissed and everyone went on their way. I think the hardest thing for me was finding someone to interview. I felt so out of place there because, for one, I’m not religious at all, and two majorities of the people there spoke Spanish and I’m very insecure about my Spanish but I figured the best way to approach this was to find someone young like me and go from there. I would feel more comfortable talking to someone around my age first and it worked out. I met a guy named Zach who actually went to the same high school as me, small world. From there he guided me to someone who was very knowledgeable about the church. And I had never interviewed anyone so I was kind of awkward during it but eventually, I relaxed when I realized that I am there as someone who is genuinely interested, that I’m not interviewing for a job or anything. I talked to him like he was a friend. Another challenge for me was just going in. I felt so awkward and anxious because I had this idea that they were all going to instantly judge me. I also was anxious because I felt that there was some special ritual or practice that I had no idea about that I had to perform either before, during, or after the service. Although the first time was rough, I think the second time was harder for me. I felt like that since I had a certain standard to meet since I already knew what to do and what not so I forced myself to pray or sing or try to relate to the teachings the pastor was saying and it actually turned out pretty good. I felt good after and more connected with the church and it definitely made it easier for me from there on out.

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