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A Joyful Fusion of Faith and Rhythm

January 17, 2024
The members of Gaita Venezolana provide soul-stirring music that deeply resonates with Venezuelan and Hispanic immigrants in the Miami area.
The members of Gaita Venezolana provide soul-stirring music that deeply resonates with Venezuelan and Hispanic immigrants in the Miami area.

In the heart of Miami two weeks before Christmas, a harmonious assembly of CRC Hispanic pastors, leaders, and church planters, accompanied by their families, gathered to create a spirited musical ensemble. Their mission: to spread the love of Christ and the festive spirit of Christmas through the universal language of music.

The catalyst for this unifying celebration was the rhythmic beat of Gaita Venezolana, a soul-stirring musical genre deeply resonating with Venezuelan and Hispanic immigrants in the area. Characterized by its infectious energy, Gaita uses drums, guitars, and wind instruments to convey the profound meaning of the Christmas season melodiously.

The newly formed musical band made five presentations and served as a conduit for individuals seeking connection and a sense of home.

Nelson, a recent immigrant from Venezuela residing in Florida, said, "Gaita and villancicos mean home. Driving from Kissimmee to Miami [in Florida] is something I'm willing to do to share time with brothers and sisters who speak the same language and make me feel at home."

The enchanting notes of Gaita transcended national borders, said the organizers, fostering hope and fellowship among diverse attendees.

Marcial, a CRC member from Chile, reflected, "This Christmas was different; we consolidated and shared a meal with brothers from different cultures. It was a time filled with love, joy, and gratitude."

The events helped to provide opportunities to reminisce about Christmas blessings of the past as a shared experience for Hispanic families who now live beyond their homeland. Amid the melodies, anecdotes were exchanged, and each Gaita concert became a heartfelt celebration of this cherished season, explained Everlyn and Richard Garcia, CRC members and Resonate Church planters.

Pastor Mac Sore, lead singer of the Gaita group and a Resonate local mission leader for the Central United States region, underscored the significance of both music and culinary traditions. He spoke of how dishes like hallacas (a Venezuelan specialty featuring cornmeal wrapped around a savory filling) and Gaita music bring families together, creating cherished moments before the unwrapping of presents. He also shed light on the roots of Gaita, which was born in Maracaibo, Venezuela, influenced by African rhythms, and evolved into Christmas music in various styles.

Amid the cultural tapestry of Miami, this gathering of CRC Hispanic pastors exemplified the power of music and shared traditions in fostering unity, bridging distances, and creating a collective celebration of faith and joy during the holiday season.