Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Church Bells Ring

I thanked God for the darkness!

As our transport, (which don't misunderstand - was a complete blessing) strained around hairpin mountain roads, we all held our breath. One corner we didn't quite make and the bus had to pull the emergency brake, shift gears and hit the gas, (as we all gasped) to make the incline!

We arrived long after dark, but were met by a contingent of churchgoers and workers who had been alerted to our imminent arrival by the headlights coming up the hillside. Rev C looked at the darkness and said, "the generator is not working." We had not even considered our final destination would be in such a place as this.

We were led down the steep cobblestone pathway to the guest house. Of course we were the only ones with flashlights, but then again we were the only one who seemed trepidatious in the dark

"Darkness is not dark to you."

S greeted us warmly in the guest house and explained by candlelight the generator was being worked on and we should have electricity soon. Her graciousness humbled us. "You must be so tired, you have brought us so many gifts, we are so thankful to God you are here."

It was hard to be concerned with no electricity, no running hot water (they boiled water over a fire pit for our baths), rodents in the night, and 60 degree temperatures with only thin blankets to warm us, when we heard some of the women would be walking 2 to 3 hours the following morning to get to the conference. Our inconvenience was insignificant by compare. But all of our eyes filled with tears as S said "Many of the village women waited as long as they could for your arrival, but they had a long journey to return home. They asked us to please ring the church bells when you arrived so they could start praising God."

And praise Him we all did!