“And the Lord Added to the Church”

This morning was a nice Sunday. We had gotten there exactly on time, and the greeters at the door were already sitting down waiting for the services to begin. As we walked down the hallway, there was a lady there handing out bulletins and her husband who greeted us. They had a Zoe Group CD playing in the background that we recognized because a friend of ours had given it to us when we were in S. Korea. The Zoe Group is one of the newest Acapella singing groups that sing wonderful new Christian hymns. We went into the large auditorium, walked toward the front, and sat down.

We barely sat down, and the song leader asked us to stand up and sing. It was a lively song! I usually write down the name of every song that we sing so I can have ideas later for song blogs, but they took me off guard, and I just stood up and began singing forgetting to write the name of the song. After the song, I realized I had forgotten and quickly jotted down the name of the next song before they began to sing it. It was “Lord We Lift Your Name on High.” Next, they stopped and asked everyone to greet everyone around them, and the church went after it talking to everyone they could. A lady who is considered a missionary to Honduras part time spotted me and came to talk to me and another lady who is one of the grandmothers of the church who has been there forever came to talk to me too. Next, everyone sat down and we had a wonderful song service with lots of new songs. You will be seeing some of them on my blog.

Nigeria is on the west coast of Africa right where the land goes in and the continent begins to get smaller, and the Cameroons is right under it. In Nigeria, they speak English with lots of tribal languages, and in the Cameroons they speak French. They are neighboring countries. gets Photo by Blue Ox Studio on Pexels.com

After that, they had communion, and then an offering time. Ultimately, they came to the time of preaching. We had a guest speaker from a church in Texas who goes to the Cameroons as a temporary missionary from time to time. The Cameroons is next to Nigeria where I was a full time missionary once upon a time, and I was interested in what he had to say. He preached rather than talking about the Cameroons. He urged everyone to have the goal of reaching people for Christ. They said during the Bible class time after worship, he would be in the small auditorium actually talking about the mission work in the Cameroons and I thought I would go.

Mexico is immediately south of the United States, and Honduras is one of those small countries in Central America just south of Mexico. You can see a very thin strip of land south of Mexico on this map, and Honduras is one of them. Immediately south of Mexico is Guatemala and a very small country called Belize. On the other side of Guatemala is el Salvador and Honduras with Honduras the biggest, and Nicaragua is immediately south of Honduras. Photo by Suzy Hazelwood on Pexels.com

Immediately after worship, they called for a short meeting of anyone interested in the mission work in Honduras to come, and then they could go on to their Bible class. I attended the meeting. They are planning a short mission trip to Honduras. The overall goal of the trip is to make friends with a particular church in Honduras, to make bridges between this church and the in Honduras. They say they want to build a couple of houses, teach a Vacation Bible school, give out food baskets, and possible some other things they still have to discuss. They were urging people to go, telling the dates, and telling how much money it would cost. The man in charge of the praise team was actually in charge of this meeting. I told him I wanted to go, but that I didn’t have any money. He had learned that I speak Spanish, and he said, “But we really need you on this trip because there are people who will be going who don’t speak Spanish, and we need a translator.” After that, he told me the church would sponsor me to go on the trip. I agreed to go with them. It won’t be for a while yet.

The teacher taught about prayer from Matthew 7 in the Spanish Bible class. Photo by Flickr on Pexels.com

Next, I thought before I went to listen to the man talk about the mission work in the Cameroons, I needed to stop in and talk to one of my Hispanic friends that is part of the Spanish language ministry. I went to the Spanish Bible class, but she wasn’t there. Class was just beginning, and one of the ladies motioned for me to come and sit with her, so I did. I stayed for the Spanish Bible class. They had a guest teacher too. He was also from Texas. He had been a missionary in South America. He wasn’t talking about his mission work, but he taught from Matthew 7 about prayer. He had a really good lesson. I carry a Spanish Bible with me, and I had to share it with the lady who motioned for me to sit down because she didn’t have a Bible. Right at the end of the class, the Mexican elder in charge of the Spanish language ministry announced that there was going to be a baptism, so we all went into the large auditorium for the baptism. I sat down and sent a text to my daughter because she was in another Bible class, and I wanted her to know where to find me.

Puerto Rico is an island located just south of the United States, east of Mexico, and north of South America. It is considered part of North America and is a Territory of the United States. The language there is Spanish. Photo by Caleb Oquendo on Pexels.com

The lady who motioned me to sit with her came and sat down with me. She is handicapped and can’t hardly get around, but she doesn’t let it stop her. She is from Puerto Rico. All of the people from the Spanish language ministry gathered in the front of the auditorium for the baptism, and I saw a few of the others who couldn’t speak Spanish there too. They handed out Spanish song books, and someone in the front began announcing the numbers of songs for us to sing. The little lady from Puerto Rico was having trouble keeping up. She couldn’t find any of the song numbers, but kept flipping through the song book looking a bit frustrated, so I helped her. It kind of slowed me down at the beginning of every song because I don’t have all the songs memorized in Spanish, but I was okay. I got caught up with the others. Finally, I realized this lady from Puerto Rico probably needed glasses, but wasn’t wearing them. She was singing, but I think everything she sang was from memory.

The Mexican elder getting ready to baptize the new Christian, Maritsa.

Finally, they were ready for the baptism. The Mexican elder baptized the lady who wanted to be baptized, and while they were getting dried off and changing their closes again, we continued to sing. While we were singing, my daughter came from her Bible class to sit on the other side of me. She is trying to learn Spanish to help in the Spanish language ministry too. She had been to the Young Professional’s Bible class. Eventually, they came out, and the Mexican elder prayed and encouraged everyone to welcome their new sister. I talked to the lady who was baptized and welcomed her. Since I am new to this church, I don’t know everyone, so I introduced myself and asked her name. Her name was Maritsa.

After the baptism, the Mexican elder was encouraging everyone to welcome Marita.

On our way out, I talked to the man who had taught the Spanish Bible class and tell him what a good job he did. My daughter stopped to talk to the son of the man who taught the class. We learned they were from Texas and did a lot of mission work in South America. As we walked down the hallway to leave, a lady stopped me to hug me who is thrilled I am there because I happened to go to the same church as her grandparents when I was in high school. The lady in charge of the children’s ministry stopped to talk too. All her kids are sick. Everyone has been having the flu. I learned that my Hispanic friend who wasn’t in class was also home with the flu. The lady in charge of the children’s ministry told me again about the church secretary leaving in a few months. The wife of the Mexican elder had already told me about it, and the people from the Spanish ministry are pushing for me to take the job because they want the church to hire someone they can talk to, who understand Spanish. The lady from the children’s ministry told me who I should talk to because it was his job to find them a secretary.

My daughter and I are committed to helping the church however we can. ///Photo by Luis Quintero on Pexels.com

Since we had stayed a bit late because of the baptism and talking afterward, most of the hallways were cleared, so we went on to our car and drove over to a drive in restaurant on our way home to eat lunch. The Spanish ladies’ Bible class seems to meet in a different house very week, and it is hard to keep up with them because we are new to Oklahoma City. I have wondered if there are others that have trouble going to that class and so has my daughter. She suggested they should meet in the same place very week to make it easier on everyone. We have a lot of problems at our house right now with the fridge breaking down, with drains, with a lack of chairs, etc., but we agreed that once we get our problems ironed out, we would love to invite the Spanish Bible class to meet at our house every week instead of changing houses every week. We don’t know if they will want it, but it would make it easier for everyone. After lunch, we came on home and took naps.

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