When our friends Larry and Linda offered to give us a tour of Larry's workplace, we said yes. When they said we could be there for devotions with the snowbirds who had just arrived for their winter of volunteer work, we could hardly wait for Monday morning. We were going hang out with some of our heroes: missionaries, retired missionaries, and people who volunteer to help missionaries.
SIL Mexico Branch facility. A few minutes before 8:00 am, people, mostly retirement aged, began to gather in a meeting room lined with blue, yellow and green banners. New Testament into a language spoken in Mexico. The translators' names and date of completion were on the banners as well. Yellow banners represent languages which are currently being worked on. A dozen lime-green banners hang on either side of the stage. These are languages which don't yet have any part of the Bible, and on which no SIL translators are working. By 8:00, most of the seats were filled with volunteers or missionaries working from the Mexico Branch headquarters.The blue banners -- by far the largest group, reaching across the back of the room and all the way up one side -- represent completed translations (sometimes with a revision) of the
The Family of God," which everybody seemed to know (the woman leading mentioned that it was sung every morning), followed by a reading of Psalm 27:4. After that, we sang "Great is Thy Faithfulness, one of my favorite hymns ("all the verses!" the leader said). When we finished singing, she gave us an assignment: write our own fourth verse. I've been pondering this since then, but haven't yet written it.
As we walked to another building, we passed two men discussing the deck-building project at Larry and Linda's house. Since they weren't entirely sure how to get there, we all drove back to the house together, postponing the rest of the tour until later in the day.
Before long, the volunteers had torn off half of the sagging deck previous owners had built (badly) outside the dining room. Once it was down, they asked if Dean would mind whacking down a particularly nasty weed called cats' claw that had grown up under the deck. He welcomed the opportunity to get some exercise. Before long, we were able to head back to the offices to resume our tour.
Service Length: 47 minutes
Sermon Length: 18 minutes
Visitor Treatment: first time volunteers were asked to stand and give their names (and where they came from).
Our Rough Count: 77
Musicians: maybe piano? I forgot to notice, but I'm pretty sure we didn't sing a capella
Songs: Family of God
Great is Thy Faithfulness