Thank the Lord for Batteries!

We can’t quite say that the Semana Santa campout came off without a hitch, but it was a great retreat! The theme this year was “Learning to Hear the Voice of God”. The pastors from our church in San Pedro Sula prepared group sessions, small group discussions, and other activities. The youth participated with the adults and had their own small group sessions, and the children had a parallel program going on across camp under tarps. Wes’s main role was to keep everything running smoothly in support of the programs – drinking water, water in the bathrooms and kitchen, electricity, ladders, extension cords, etc. where and when they were needed. My main role was as a teacher in the children’s ministry. I had a group of about 12 12-year olds. We studied the life of Daniel. He listened to God and obeyed Him. It may not have been easy for Daniel to follow God’s Law, but he chose to do it anyway, and KINGS were changed because of it!

People began to arrive on Tuesday to set up camp. By Wednesday morning there were around 500 people here. Wednesday evening brought over 1,000 more and by the end we numbered around 2,000. Over 300 participated in the children’s ministry. Upon arrival, everyone was told to set their watches back an hour to “Hora Manantial” – camp time. This allowed those traveling to town to travel at a better hour. It helped us to take better advantage of daylight, also, since it’s light here at 5 am and people staying in tents would be waking up anyway!

On Thursday night, the power went out during the worship time before preaching. We just continued to sing with only a drum as accompaniment. It was beautiful! People used flashlights as strobe lights so we weren’t in complete darkness. When the power stayed out for a while, we raised our voices in prayer and worship. You should have heard the shouts when the power came back! Maybe you did!

Friday night’s meeting began with a presentation from the kids of what we had learned and was followed by an amazing time of worship and celebration, and the preaching began. The children, as usual, were across camp under a tarp with power through extension cords. The service was being filmed to be broadcast on the church’s TV channel. And the power went out. It was a bit different when we weren’t already singing! With over 1,000 people in the tabernacle, a huge pavilion, no one could hear the pastor’s voice. Slowly worship came from the front to the back, and we joined in. After 15 minutes or so the power came back. The cheer from the children’s tent was enthusiastic, but while the cheer was still in the air, the power blinked out again for the next 22 hours! This left Wes and the sound team scrambling!

We heard cars starting up all over, and people pulled them near the tabernacle to shed a little light on things. Since our gasoline generator is a Loud motor, it doesn’t work to connect the microphone system. They used the pastor’s car battery to power the monitor that is usually used by the worship team with the microphone plugged in. The sound wasn’t as clear, but it worked! Cars were immediately sent over to the children’s ministry to give them enough light to finish their program (which depended on a laptop and projector for a lot of the group sessions!). They finished a bit early with the kids, and we transported them to where their parents were sitting in the tabernacle family by family. It was QUITE a process, but all children were eventually united with their families!

In the meantime, Wes was connecting a generator to the freezers and refrigerators in the kitchen. This wasn’t a simple affair, since they had to rewire the whole box to hook it up and then stand by to keep filling the tank as the gas ran out. By morning they were trying to siphon gas out of cars to keep it running, but apparently there’s an anti-siphoning device in tanks these days. By about 1 am Wes was back home and READY for bed!

Saturday morning included a time of prayer for people who needed special prayer or wanted to make a commitment to follow God’s leading with their whole heart. Wes and I were invited to minister to people. It is SO nice to feel like we CAN do that in our second language! I remember days of FEARING that someone would ask me to pray for them or share deeply from their heart and I wouldn’t understand a word! You know how hard it is to understand a crying person sometimes? Put that in a second language, and it’s a bit scary! But God has always been faithful. I didn’t need to be afraid. This year was different, though. We were anxious to be able to serve in that way. We had hearts full of love AND minds full of words to say!

We were all exhausted when the majority of people left between 2 and 3 on Saturday. They go back to the city to prepare for the Easter Sunrise Service. We enjoyed the retreat. We had visited with friends we don’t see very often, participated in worship and ministry, and worked hard on top of that! It was truly a great experience!

Thanks for praying for us!

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3 responses to this post.

  1. Wow! What a weekend! Sounds like Noah should start to learn how to wire things!

  2. Posted by mdvida on April 27, 2009 at 3:44 pm

    Thank the Lord for electrical engineers, too! I didn’t touch the wiring business – I would probably electrocute myself or backfeed the whole thing and torch the poor guy working on the problem! -Wes

  3. Posted by Rich Landosky on April 28, 2009 at 3:31 pm

    2000 people! Unbelievable!! How awesome. Our God is so good and faithful. We can’t wait to get down there to do whatever it is you need from us for those two weeks.

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