Once each month, I make a trip to Villavicencio to work with the school and the church there. I just returned from my monthly trip yesterday evening. Now for the next couple of days, I will be recovering and resting up as I wash clothes and answer email here in the apartment in Bogotá. These trips are exhausting, but I enjoy them very much. I always return with a sense of satisfaction in having accomplished the many things I set as goals for myself on these trips.
I left for Villavicencio early Sunday morning. I was up at four thirty and left the apartment by six. I was scheduled to preach at the church in Villavicencio, so I needed to be there in time for that. By leaving early on Sunday morning, there was very little traffic and so the drive was a fairly easy one. I arrived in Villavicencio a little before nine. That way I could greet the brethren when they arrived for the church service and chat a bit before the service got under way. It was great to be back for a church service there and to see the building packed to near capacity.
After the service, many people wanted to greet me, so there was a line waiting for the chance to say hello. I had an invitation for lunch, as I always do in Villavicencio, so I told the family that had invited me to head on out and I would follow. I finished greeting and speaking with people about one and headed for the restaurant. We had a type of roast beef that is one of the specialties there and I enjoyed the food and fellowship very much.
Late that afternoon I headed for our old house in Villavicencio where I stay when down for my visits. To my surprise, there was no electricity. Apparently the bill had not arrived or had been lost and did not get paid. But the Lord blesses and a crew from the electric company was just around the corner. I explained the situation and assured them the bill would be paid the first thing in the morning. They were kind enough to hook the electricity back up for me so I could have water and a refrigerator.
The next morning I was up at four thirty and headed out to the school so as to arrive there by five thirty. School starts at six and I wanted to be there to greet all of the children as they arrived. I had special conferences with the different classes as we are involved in our week where we focus on Christian moral values. I present a case where I use social science research as well as Biblical teaching to make my point. After that I allow the students to ask any question they wish or to challenge me on any point. This makes for some lively discussion, as you might expect.
In the afternoons, I held individual sessions with parents or sometimes with the parents and their student. It was a time when we worked together to deal with any difficulty in the area of grades or behavior with their son or daughter. In each case I attempted to work with them to construct a program where we would work with them to help their student improve. Each afternoon was booked solid and in the end my time ran out before I was able to fulfill all of the requests for meetings.
Then each night we would hold conferences for all of the parents in the classes that I had met with that day. This was a time when I shared with them specifically what I had discussed with their children and gave them an opportunity to ask any questions they might have. The sessions started at six thirty and would normally end about eight thirty. After that I remained at the school to talk with individual parents. I normally would finish my day around ten or ten thirty at night and head up to the house to catch a few hours of sleep before beginning the whole process again.
I worked in Villavicencio at the school Monday through Friday. On Friday I returned to Bogotá after all of the children had left at two in the afternoon. I headed up to our old house and packed the car. It was a longer drive as there were many heavy trucks on the road. I put in sixteen or seventeen hours each day of constant activity and work. I took time for lunch most days but did not stop for supper even one evening. I put in more than seventy hours of work at the school during this one week. It was a great week and everyone at the school was thrilled. Many of the parents asked that I send them my notes on my talks. I returned to Bogotá absolutely exhausted but very content with what we had gotten done during the week. God is great!