|The three sided "tingaldo" serves as the large meeting area.|
Sunday morning was a nice clear sunny day. Good weather for an inauguration. I received a phone call (not unexpected) asking if I would go to the airport and pick up the president of the national women´s organization that was coming for the junta. So, after preparing breakfast, I went to the airport only to discover that the flight had arrived early and I should have been there a half an hour sooner than I was. After reconfirming their tickets (it turned out to be two hermanas, not just one) to return home that evening we headed to the district headquarters.
I knew we would be late due to the hour of their flight. But I figured that would be OK because I had no responsibilities for the day except to be there and, towards the end. to hand out Bible institute grade cards.. We arrived as the music was getting into full swing so it seemed we had not missed much. I kept waiting for the dedication ceremony to be announced at any time but nothing was said.
After much music it was time for the Scripture reading. The young lady who was to read came and tapped me on the shoulder and asked what she should read. Wasn't I the speaker? No. I wasn´t the programed speaker. She had better go and ask the president. Soon she was back He told me you are the speaker this morning. Something was wrong here. I quickly went and asked him. I´m preaching?! Yes. Don´t you remember, I told you on Friday. Well he probably did tell me but I didn´t hear him. OK. What to do. Ten minutes until time to preach. Nothing prepared. Big event. Lord, HELP! I had in my Bible the sermon that I had used the last time I was in La Paz. For whatever reason I had not taken it out so I decided that would need to become the message of the morning.
So that is what I did. I thank the Lord for his help in preaching that morning.
|This pretty little girl being dedicated by pastor Fimo is the daughter of Jhonny, one of our other pastors.|
Now that was over and I could relax again, but what about the dedication? When would it be? Nothing was said. I was called up front to give out grade cards for the institute from last year. (We had 33 students who had completed at least one class.) I was prepared to do that and had the grade cards in hand. Then it was some other items. A baby dedication was in there somewhere. Two offerings (one for the district and one to help an hermano that fell off of a roof while working), special music and announcements. There was also a "cake offering". (I don't remember ever seeing this before. There were about eight cakes that would be served at the end. Inserted into the cakes were ribbons. On the end of each ribbon was an amount of money. You were invited, if you wished, to pull out a ribbon and then give the amount of money indicated as a special offering to help with the new headquarters. Wouldn't you know it, my ribbon had the highest amount!) A closing prayer was finally given, dinner announced and pictures were taken of each church represented in the junta. I must have missed the dedication prayer, I decided.
Following lunch I was visiting with one of the pastors who said to me, My name was not on the program but I was called up to the platform four times. First, because you weren't here, I has to dedicate the building. . . . WHAT? I was supposed to dedicate the building as well? The president was standing there as well. I told you. Don't you remember? NOOOOOOOOOOO. So I really missed it that day. Feeling both embarrassed and amused at the same time, I eventually put my tail between my legs and slunk home.
I suppose there is a lesson in all this, but I really am not sure what. I am sure that the president did indeed tell me all this. I am also sure that when he did I did not catch what he was saying. I would have remembered something like that. Oh well, the hermanos are very forgiving. Maybe next time both they and I will make sure the message reaches my brain.