Sun, 8 Jun 2008 06:47:25 -0400
The first night we had preaching services, we had visible proof of just how people were feeling emotionally because of their experience of living through a major earthquake. We are in a compound where we have 6 classrooms -- 3 on the ground floor and 3 on the second floor. There is a wide staircase at the end of the building made of metal that gives access to the second floor. The children's class is on this upper floor. The children have a class that lasts as long as the preaching. The restrooms are downstairs in a separate building, so when they need to use it someone takes them down. During this first night, several went down and on the way back they hit the stairs on a run; their bouncing on the metal creating a noise and a vibration inside the adjoining classroom on the 2nd floor where all the kids were in class. It felt like an earthquake and it immediately spooked ALL the children and caused an instantaneous reaction of kids screaming and running to the door to get out. Before the teachers realized what was happening, most of the kids were out the door and on the walkway leading to the stairs. A couple of the teachers got the frightened children stopped before they got to the stairs. Fortunately the small children were sitting in the class room so that they were the last ones out or some of them might have gotten trampled. It took some time to get the kids settled down again and go on with the Bible lesson.
Separately, one of our evangelistic team leaders told me that many people have told them they want to be sure before they are baptized because immediately after the earthquake there were many people who went to church only to quit later demonstrating that they were not serious. The earthquake is still in their mind. About a week ago they had a 5.3 tremor. During the breakfast prayer this morning, we felt another tremor that rattled the windows.
We are now at about 10 baptisms. The latest one is a man 95 years old. He had a clear enough mind that he wanted to make a decision to follow Jesus. He has a daughter that wants to be baptized but at the baptism she said she had a cold and wanted to wait until it got better. Before the daughter let her father go, she wanted one of the team members to stay behind to make sure they would bring her father. She specifically wanted one of the ladies to stay behind. Johnnie LeMaster was the group leader and laughingly said the lady wanted a hostage to make sure we brought her father back!!
Time is flying. We are grateful for your prayers. KEEP THE PRAYERS GOING UP!