Guadalajara de nuevo

I spent the last week in Guadalajara, Mexico. It was a good week in that we got a lot accomplished, but it was also a very long week.

There is a group of missionaries and national pastors working with the Deaf in Mexico that gets together a couple of times each year to fellowship and learn from one another. This trip was the normal fellowship time coupled with our planning meeting for camp this summer. This always takes place between Palm Sunday and Easter Sunday. That is the week that virtually all Mexicans who work regular jobs are given time off. It is easy for the pastors and church leaders to travel to the meeting even if they are working outside the church.

We had a great time of fellowship. There were 3 national pastors as well as another national who is not the pastor of his church, but teaches the Deaf in the church’s ministry. Then there were 2 missionaries present. There were several others who were in and out of the meetings as church leaders and close friends of the ministries represented. But the main ones were the 6 of us present really just to spend time learning from one another and encouraging the pastors.

We also spent a couple of days planning for our upcoming camp. The camp will be in July. The camp facility that had casually been considered was not available the week we needed. We were able to confirm another location that we have used in the past and everyone likes.

I knew there were some grumblings of serious problems. I had no idea what they were or who they effected. Because of this, the other missionary paid most of my airfare to get me down there and made sure that I had my hand involved in the planning of camp. I am the camp director (for this final year), but felt like things could be handled without me. As it turns out, everything was handled well by one of the pastors.  I let him take control and was pleased to know that the camps will be just fine without me in the future.

The problems were never fully revealed to me until the last night of the meeting. What seemed destructive on Monday turned out to be just a misunderstanding of an outside party who innocently spread some information inaccurately. For whatever reason, this information was withheld from me until the end. I think it worked out for the best. There was no need for confrontation and conflict.

It was a great week, but I had a couple of nights that were about 3 hours long. I am ready for some rest.

When does it end?

I have really been hoping for time to catch up on the blog. I have so many events and activities that are taking place every day. Then when I do have time to blog I have not had Internet access.

This week we are in a conference at a church in Ringgold, GA. This is a church that I have been part of in a small way since its inception. A friend of mine started a Bible college for the Deaf in 1994. The school was connected to a local church and did well in the church. After some time though, they felt they needed more room for their own church services because they were growing bigger than the hearing church could accommodate. I am not sure what year they started having services on their own, but they have been an organized church for quite some time now.

In 2001 we were at this church for their missions conference. They were growing well, but still at the early stages of growth. Now the church has several missionaries that they support and some which are sent out from this ministry. We have had well around 200 each night for the conference.

Many of the missionaries and staff at the church and school are old friends of ours. It is great to get together with them and share stories and catch up on old times.

When this is over I will be flying to Guadalajara, Mexico. I may or may not be able to blog from there. But rest assured, I am working and not just going there for vacation. You believe me, right? I know, how can someone go to a beautiful place like Guadalajara and call it work? I will try.