April 10, 2010

National Convention 2010

We just came in from a full day of our church's 33rd Annual National Convention. The praise and worship during music time was spectacular. We also heard reports from different ministries and the projected plans for the coming year. Through the sermons, we were encouraged as believers to minister in our communities, to get involved in reaching out to our neighbors, and to take part in what God is doing in our "local" world. There was enough free time to reconnect with pastors and friends we've made from across Paraguay, and a few from nearby countries.

I couldn't help but think of what we're used to in State Conventions and General Assemblies, how for me growing up, even in our poorest times, it was kinda like family vacation. Well, actually, some years it WAS family vacation. but it meant we'd stay in a hotel and eat in restaurants, and we'd wear our finest clothes, whatever that might be. The Paraguayans mostly arrive on the public buses (run a search on this blog to find my experiences with the public buses), and those who don't live very close are spending the nights on the concrete floor of the church. These two factors alone add up to the inability to do much "primping" before church service, much less ironing clothes or wearing your finery. But you'll not hear them complain about the conditions. On the contrary, they are thankful to be able to sleep in the church and not have to travel back home each night. They are at the convention to share fellowship with their brothers and sisters, encourage and be encouraged, and spend time with the Lord. Thank you, God, that we had the chance to share this time with them this year.

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