Since February Luz Maria has been appearing regularly on a local radio talk-show. It is called "Hablando de Educación" (Speaking of Education). Every Tuesday morning the children gather around the CD player/radio we bought for the preschool (thanks, Rhoda!) to hear their "maestra" (teacher) on the air.
Last Tuesday, April 17, several of our preschool kids were featured on the show with Luz Maria. Together they sang about "Señor Cochino" (Mr. Pig) and Luz Maria's granddaughter, Oriana, sang a solo about a little chicken. Oriana has a friend who also attends the preschool and whom she has nicknamed "Pollita", which means little chicken. Pollita looks and sounds nothing like a chicken, so I do not understand how Oriana came up with the nickname.
The time of year being what it is, the radio show has provided Luz Maria the opportunity to talk about the meaning of Lent, Holy Week and Easter. At the end of the April 10 show, her fellow guest, a Cuban doctor, said, "May God bless you, Maria."
Saturday, April 14, Neida Gonzalez de Mireles visited our preschool. Neida teaches mathematics at Concordia Academy in Caracas. Last year she organized the Venezuela's first Congress of Lutheran Educators and she is coordinating the second such event this year.
Neida was impressed with our preschool. She particularly liked a display of artwork by the children. Each collage depicted the separation of the waters under the firmament from the waters below and/or the separation of the sea and dry land as described in the book of Genesis.
On Sunday, April 15, Adrian Ventura, pastor of Cristo Rey Lutheran Church in Maturin and president of the Lutheran Church of Venezuela, visited La Caramuca for the first time. He enjoyed meeting the Sunday school children and sitting in on the day's lesson (the story of the walk to Emmaus).
We have an electric lamp set high in a tree to illumine our yard after sundown. Pastor Adrian said it reminded him of the lamppost in the movie, "The Lion, The Witch And The Wardrobe." God grant that we may show children the way to Narnia.
Earlier that day Pastor Adrian preached at Corpus Christi Lutheran Church in Barinas. I assisted Pastor Edgar Brito with the Sacrament of Holy Communion for the second time. The first time was on Easter Sunday, April 2. Pastor Edgar distributes the bread and I distribute the wine.
Following the service there was a discussion with Pastor Adrian about what should be done after Pastor Edgar resigns his ministry July 31. The big problem is what is to be done from August through December. By the end of December, I will have completed my studies in Caracas and be qualified to preach and administer the sacraments as a vicar in Barinas and La Caramuca for the following year.
The tentative plan is this: Pastor Ted Krey will continue to visit Barinas once a month to teach Juan de Frias courses and lead a communion service at Corpus Christi. Once Sunday a month I will lead the Sunday morning service and deliver a sermon prepared by Pastor Krey. For two Sundays in August, Pastor Armando Ramos will be on vacation from his ministry to the rural churches in Monagas and may be available to lead services at Corpus Christi. For the remaining Sundays, the other seminaristas in Caracas may have the opportunity to lead services of the Word in Barinas.
Meanwhile, back in Caracas, we have completed our studies of the liturgy, C.F.W. Walther's "Law and Gospel" and Second Corinthians. By the end of next week we will be done with Church and Ministry, the first course on the Lutheran Confessions and Introduction to the Old Testament.
Please pray for me and my fellow students as we respond to the Lutheran Church of Venezuela's desperate need for pastors, teachers and missionaries.