Monday, November 02, 2009

Nothing is easy in this ministry

Carol, wife of our Academic Dean David, shared with me the single task of obtaining the food and preparing the meal for a week of seminary. In the US, we would simply make a list of items needed, call Sysco or some other company, and wait for it to be delivered. Not possible for this ministry. Here is her account of the process:

The Saturday before class I went with Marcia, G'ma Ana, Siloth and Amanda to buy the food for seminary week. (I hadn't done this before and wanted to see what they were doing.) We went to the open-air market held in Cabudare on Saturdays. It was dirty, exhausting, and took about 2 hours to find everything on the list. At least it had rained earlier that morning and wasn't very hot. Marcia gets G'ma Ana to decide on a menu for the week. Marcia and Ana figure out how much food that will be (10 Kilos of potatoes, 8 kilos of carrots, etc.) While we shop Marcia has the list, writing down how much we paid for each item. There are boys in the market with 'dollys' who will haul your stuff from food stand to food stand and then to your car. We didn't find one of the boys until we were all carrying huge bags of produce. G'ma Ana and Marcia are VERY careful with the seminary funds. If they don't like the price they move on to another vender. Marcia will negotiate with a vender for a better price since we are buying more than the average shopper. These ladies really put alot of work into providing meals for the students! After the open-air market we went to a local grocery store to get the things not found in the market, flour, butter, salt, etc. It all gets loaded into the Blazer, with Siloth sitting up inside and Samuel handing her things so that it will all fit. We then headed for the seminary where it was all unloaded, again with Siloth sitting up inside handing things out to us. They are very organized and I just tried to stay out of their way. They worked all the rest of Saturday prepping for meals for seminary week. On Samuel's urging they posted a menu in the classroom. The students really liked this. The love offering we give them doesn't begin to cover the work they put into this. Marcia washes all the dishes in a little concrete sink in the kitchen. There aren't any cabinets to put anything in. We couldn't do what they do where they are doing it.

First, we thank God for the faithful servants. Secondly, we pray for God's blessing on them as they give so significantly for the sake of the seminary students. Thirdly, we pray for more giving to the seminary so we can adequately pay our staff and provide for the classes. Please pray about what you can do. Send your gifts to Venezuela Now, Inc. at the address in the sidebar.

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