Feb 12, 2013

Living on God's time


There are two words in New Testament Greek that can be translated into English as “time.” One is χρόνος (chronos), as in chronology, chronic or chronicle.. Chronos expresses the concept of time quantitatively, as a measurable succession of seconds, minutes, hours, days and years.

Καιρός (kairos) is the other word. It expresses the concept of time qualitatively, in terms of “the right time” or “a favorable moment.”

The difference between chronos and kairos might be illustrated with this analogy (which is used more than once in the Bible itself (Matthew 24:8; John 16:21; Romans 8:22) to explain the unfolding of God's will). When a woman goes into labor, it does not matter if it is precisely nine months since conception (chronos), the time has come for the child to be born (kairos).

In Matthew 2:7, a form of the world chronos is used when King Herod asks the wise men precisely “what time” the star of Bethlehem had appeared to them in the east (because Herod wanted to calculate the age of the child born to be a king).

Kairos, on the other hand, is the word used in Mark 1.15, where Jesus says, “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand: repent, and believe the gospel.”

For us, it is kairos, the right time to resurface the wall which faces the street with stone and tile. For some time (chronos), our building plans have been stalled because of lack of cement. We now are able to buy cement, although at a much higher price than in the past. However, thanks be to God,, we received generous donations at year's end that have allowed us to purchase all the materials and labor necessary for renovating the wall.

We hope to accomplish three objectives by resurfacing the wall:

  1. To improve the appearance of the entrance of our mission and increase its visibility in the community. This will include, once the resurfacing is complete, the installation of a permanent sign with our new name (Epiphany Lutheran Mission of La Caramuca), the hour of Sunday service and weekday hours of our preschool and afterschool tutoring.
  2. To fix and seal cracks in the wall.
  3. To reduce the need for future maintenance.

We also have been able to repair most of the damage that occurred from a terrific voltage spike a couple of weeks ago. Our electrical power supply is extremely variable. Once or twice a week every week we experience a complete loss of power, lasting from less than half an hour to several hours. Every evening brings a “brown-out” with the voltage level being much lower than in the morning. We have voltage regulators, surge protectors and uninterruptible power supplies, as well as an emergency gasoline-powered backup generator.

However, one night not long ago, we experienced a surge in voltage that overcame all our protective devices and burned out five lightbulbs, a lightswitch, an electric fan, the power supply and speakers on our desktop computer, and the electronic control panel on our washing machine.

We have had the washing machine for nine years and have never had to have it repaired until now. It's not a Maytag, but rather was built by LG, a South Korean company said to be the world's second-largest manufacturer of televisions and fifth-largest manufacturer of cell phones.

We still need to have some rewiring done in the prechool. Despite the difficulties that we face in maintaining electronic equipment, we realize that it has become indispensable for education here as in the United States. For the preschool we rely on songs and lessons recorded on CD or DVD. Internet access is an important part of Luz Maria's afterschool tutoring. Our desktop computer is equipped with Canaima Linux, a version of the operating system used in Venezuela's public school system.

Plans are in place to build a chapel and additional classrooms. We are grateful to everyone who has supported us with prayer and financial contributions. If you would like to help us continue moving forward, please send donations to:

Venezuela Lutheran Mission Partnership
3089 Leyland Trail
Woodbury, Minnesota 55125-3430


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