Aug 29, 2017

Peace be within thy walls

Raising the wall.
Peace be within thy walls, and prosperity within thy palaces. For my brethren and companions' sakes, I will now say, Peace be within thee. Because of the house of the Lord our God I will seek thy good. Psalm 122:7-9

We often begin our Sunday service with a song that essentially is a Spanish translation of Psalm 22 set to music:
Fortification continues.

Qué alegría cuando me dijeron,
¡vamos a la casa del Señor!
Ya están pisando nuestros pies,
tus umbrales, Jerusalén.
Jerusalén está fundada como ciudad bien compacta,
a ti marchan los hombres, el pueblo del Señor.
Pidamos paz para la ciudad;
vivan tranquilos los que te aman.
Haya paz dentro de tus muros,
 y en tus hogares felicidad.
Por mis hermanos y compañeros, voy a decir, La paz contigo.
Por el pueblo del Señor, nuestro Dios, te deseo todo bien.

Lately I have been reminded of one of my favorite hymns by John Newton:

Glorious things of thee are spoken, Zion, city of our God!
He whose Word cannot be broken, formed thee for His own abode.
On the Rock of Ages founded, what can shake thy sure repose?
By salvation's walls surrounded, thou may'st smile at all thy foes.

Indeed we are surrounded by the promise of salvation and God's providence, yet we are fortifying the concrete-and-stone wall that encloses the mission's property. Most sections of the wall have stood for years as the customary means of marking property lines in Venezuela. However, in recognition of the increasing level of violence and lawlessness here, we are taking the precaution of raising the height of the wall by a meter and a half. Except, that is, on the side facing the street where building onto the wall would not be practical. There, above the gates to the church and preschool, we will set up an electrical fence.

Inside and outside the building we will place security cameras. The exterior cameras will overlook the street as well, to provide security not only for our benefit, but for the surrounding community, too.

Only a few years ago, we would not have imagined taking these steps. Now, however, it is necessary to do so to reassure everyone that our mission is a refuge and a place of peace. Like all of our work, we have been able to reinforce the security of our property thanks to donations from individuals, congregations and other organizations. We thank God and all of you for your support.