|Reiber Santiago Pirela Parra.|
In my last communication, I expressed hope that the quarantine would be lifted by Pentecost and we would be able to resume offering the Lord’s Supper every Sunday. Of course, immediately after I wrote those words, the quarantine was extended to June 12. But the rules have since been “relaxed”. What does that mean? Well, the 2019/2020 school year’s a wash. Schools, including our preschool, will not reopen until the new school year begins in September. Students are supposed to complete their studies on-line (something of a challenge, as I will explain) and we have opened the preschool every morning to distribute food and homework assignments to families in our community. Although the availablity of public transportation has been greatly reduced, we have been able to obtain the food through use of the car that your donations enabled to purchase.
|The Lord's Supper.|
|Facemasks are in fashion.|
Reiber Santiago’s parents, Ronelbys and Maria José, told me nearly seven months ago that they wanted their baby baptized in our chapel. But they wanted her sister in Caracas to be godmother. After waiting for her to able to travel from Caracas, they finally decided that this was not going to happen any time soon. They wanted Reiber Santiago baptized, so that if he did get sick and die, he would have the promise of heaven. So it was done on perhaps the best of days for a baptism, Pentecost.
To everything there is a season
As the writer of Ecclesiastes says, “To everything there is a season, a time for every purpose under heaven”, and sometimes the time for everything is all at once. We have entered Venezuela’s rainy season, the period from May to November in which total rainfall may add up to 78 inches. Just in time, too, because the water level in our well was getting very low. However, now we have the problem of heavy cloud cover reducing the efficiency of our solar-powered electrical backup system, combined with longer and longer power outages almost every day. There have been a few times the system has not been able to keep the lights on all night, because of lack of time for the batteries to recharge. We have had to become more conservative in our consumption of electricity in order to compensate. However, a somewhat more pressing concern is that our cellphone/Internet service used to last six hours after the public power went down, but now it only lasts two to three hours. This means that after a particularly long blackout, we will be without electricity, telephone, television and Internet service. This stymies the children trying to complete their studies on-line, but of course the situation is potentially more troublesome than that as we are completely cut off from the outside world.
|Lit by solar lamps.|
Prayers for the Twin Cities!
There has been a wave of violence across the United States, evidently sparked by the tragic case of George Floyd. But the Twin Cities have been the epicenter and I was particularly struck by this Facebook plea from St. Michael’sLutheran Church of Bloomington, Minnesota, on May 29. St. Michael’s sent me to Venezuela as a lay volunteer in 2003 and has continued to support our mission in La Caramuca to the present day. So on Sunday we prayed for St. Michael’s and all the churches and communities affected by the rioting and looting, and also asked for better understanding and harmony between people of all races, especially through the peace found in Christ which passes all understanding.
|Thank you, St. Michael's.|
Lord Jesus Christ we come to you our shelter in the present storm and we ask that you bring peace.
- For those who affected by the violence both physically and emotionally, especially for those who knew and loved George Floyd, bring your peace.
- For the protesters in the streets allow them to be people of peace.
- For the police who are called on to protect people and property allow them to respond in peace.
- For those who are afraid to leave their homes because of nearby violence reign your peace upon them.
Lord Jesus Christ you are the Prince of Peace and the Lord of lords. We trust you and seek your peace today, tomorrow and eternally. Amen.