Sunday, August 3, 2014

Thank You, Kathy

 Last Sunday, July 27th, we said goodbye to Kathy Miller.  She came in January to interpret for Sulmi at St. Peter's.  Sulmi was struggling because she needed an interpreter/tutor.  Kathy brought the right combination of interpreting and helping to the task.  Her competence with that job allowed Sulmi to learn and excel in her Standard 6 (8th grade) classroom.  Kathy was a Godsend.  I don't know what we would have done if she did not come.  I am so grateful God called her to be a missionary with us for 7 months.

In addition to interpreting at St. Peter's, Kathy also started a children's Sunday School/nursery care program for our church.  When she arrived the parents and I were having some trouble keeping the toddlers in the pews during worship and the sermon.  They liked to get up and move around and were hard to ignore.  Kathy and Chelsea took turns taking care of the children under the age of 8 during the testimony and preaching part of our church service.   It was wonderful!  The young children looked forward to joining in free play and activities in the Sunday School room.  The adults were able to focus on the sermon and not be distracted by children running between the pews.  Ahhhh.  We were blessed by this service that Kathy and Chelsea provided.  

When Kathy's term was nearing the end, our church talked about "What are we going to do when Kathy leaves ???!!"  Sometimes the question was posed rhetorically, sometimes in panic.  Once or twice I answered the question by saying, we as a church are going to have to take turns watching the children. That was usually met with quizzical faces and unspoken replies, "I hope you don't mean ALL of us.  Will I have to do it?  Maybe only the women?  Maybe only the mothers?"  Following my organized mind set, I said I would set up a nursery sign-up. But I thought about it later and that doesn't really work with this culture.  Most people plan only a few hours in advance.  The school doesn't even send home a notice about meetings until the day before it happens.  Only the few super Type A professionals carry a day book . Rarely, if ever does anyone in our church write something on a calendar... if they have a calendar.  It's very relaxed here. That's nice to be in a place that is not as ultra-scheduled as I remember from my American experience. It's nice to be free to pick up and go at the last minute, but that means a "nursery schedule" would not carry much weight if the person got an inkling to go visit friends in a neighboring village instead of coming to church that Sunday. Hmmm.  I was still wondering what we will do when we arrived this morning.  I brought a bucket full of books, chalkboards, construction toys and coloring books and put them in the front of the church.
Within minutes Lupita picked up the bucket and took it to the table I had set up for children in the back.  She said she would take care of the children today.  Just like that.  I thank God for Lupita.  I thank God that she answered this call.  And she even listened to the sermon while she was back there... because when I asked a question, there she was in the back of the room waving her hand waiting for me to call on her.  

We didn't have toddlers today, but when we do, I am confident God will have a solution for that, too.

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