News from the Department of World Outreach
SWEPT UP IN A COMMON LOVE
My husband, Jeff (Director of World Outreach), recently had work-related things to accomplish in Orlando, Fla., and to make it easier for him in a number of ways, three of our sons and I went along. Being a very practical person, I thought it would be all about taking care of everyone’s needs while Jeff attended meetings for four days, and then zipping down to Miami for church on Sunday. The four days went as I had expected, but the zipping part turned out to be so much more!
Before I get into the details, here’s a little background. Many of you know about Ray and Ledy Marco from the ministries the Lord has enabled Pastor Ray to pioneer: Cristo Salva and an online radio station. But Pastor Ray also pastors a church in Miami (Oak Grove) where Ledy, besides being the pastor’s wife, runs a full-time daycare for 72 toddlers and preschoolers. Ray’s church is currently on the smaller side, yet the diversity and love found there truly reflects the greater kingdom of God.
After spending the previous evening in Ray and Ledy’s warm and fun-loving company, we went to church, where I was first struck by the diversity. By diversity, I mean skin tones that range from very pale to very dark and such variety of English accents! There was the clear diction of the Midwest, the faintly harsh first syllable of the Northeast, the slow lilt of Jamaica, the soft and open tones of Haiti, and the quick and truncated roll of Latin America. While I found all that fascinating, it was our common love for each other and for God that swept me up.
At church we hugged and chatted as if we were just reconnecting instead of meeting for the first time. We sang together, worshiping God in unison, though we were so different. And after the church service, as was their custom, everyone who wished to gathered at one person’s home to share lunch. Between 20 and 30 people sat, stood or raced around – the two little boys who were new friends couldn’t be expected to be still. But, more than just enjoying flavorful food, we enjoyed each other’s company. We laughed, shared struggles and talked about what God has done and is doing. An hour slipped by, and after a prayer and farewell wishes, we had to drag ourselves away.
We were, after all, only zipping down to Miami for church.
(Submitted by Rhonda Walsh)