We have now been here 4 days. Staying in a missionary guesthouse has afforded us interesting people to talk with during our meals. There are missionaries , short term mission groups and even a group from a medical school.
The drive to and from the church takes us about 30 minutes in heavy traffic. It gives us opportunity to see people, their places of dwelling and businesses. Everything is dirt so can't imagine what it is like during the rainy season.
Our conference began last night. They probably had around 250 last night with a well known singer and his band. He was enjoyable to listen to, we just don't know what they are saying.
Today (Tuesday) was quite full as well. Alan spoke first, Mark next and just a short time for me. I did say what I needed to say this time but hope to have more time tomorrow. It threw me some when the pastor asked that I speak to the whole group and the men began to protest that they would have to leave. It was a ruckus for a few minutes. Alan was very conflicted not knowing what we should do and I was also feeling unnerved. Then it occurred to me to have the women sit in front and the men could sit in the back and listen in if they wanted. There was cheering and I was then unsure when I was to go up on the platform, with partial translation it is challenging...oh just one of those situations. But my confidence in Christ my Lord was with me, though I was feeling weird as I spoke . I just pray it meant something to some of the women. It was about our call to a close walk with God helping us to face our very busy responsibilities. Alan said I was very serious and not my usual countenance. He said at the end I began to smile a little. Having the message translated twice was something I didn't do well but feel it was partly because of the total experience being different and up on this stage with this big wooden podium. :-)
Mark our partner also struggled last night in a different way. He felt he had to change what he was going to do to fit the audience. Today was much better for him. They had planned interactive stuff but with the large group it won't work so this afternoon they are changing some things around and revamping. Alan's training is pretty much the same only it is more of a preaching format than teaching. This is what it is all about...being flexible and responding in grace and with the confidence that God is in control.
Relying on His strength,