Monday, April 13, 2009

A ZBI flashback!

I attended Zion Bible Institute when...........well, when it was called Zion Bible Institute! I was a student when the school was located in East Providence. I was there in the days of Dr. Leonard Heroo, Mary Campbell and Alice King. And I was there in the days of blue uniforms for normal days and a white uniform for Easter, which brings me to my flashback!

Since we arrived in Jamaica almost 8 months ago we made a choice to attend a different A/G church each week. We are on a cultural learning curve and learning from the churches is a great avenue. We are learning from the Bible College students and their distinct churches.

On Sundays the services start at 11:00 which makes it wonderful for travel time. We don't have to leave the house in the dark! But today the church we chose to visit moved their service to 9:00 which is early for Jamaica. Because we had a 2 hour drive it had been an early morning. I dozed off pretty good before we arrived at the church. When we drove into the church lot, I opened my eyes and thought I was dreaming! A deja~vu kind of dream! All I saw was WHITE, men in white suits, ladies in white dresses. White, white, white everywhere. The platform was decorated with white touling draped over white pillars. I had worn black, Denny was in black, Renee in pink! Wow did we stick out! But hey, we're learning culture! We will wear white next year!

All of a sudden I thought I was back at ole ZBI!!! When school started in September we wore blue uniforms. Through the winter we wore blue uniforms. But when Easter came, out came the white uniforms and if you happened to have a sweetheart, a beautiful corsage adorned your neckline! When Easter hit the calendar in those days the girls were required to put on the white uniforms. We all looked so pure, so clean, so bright. It was an absolutely beautiful sight! If my children were to see ZBI today as it was then, they might laugh. However, back in those days the white uniforms were quite refreshing after the long, hard, New England "blue" winters!

I travel with my camera and unfortunately, we left the house so early today I forgot to put it in the car! Today would have been a great photo op! I haven't thought about those uniform days in a long time but today, well......let's just say I must be getting old because all during the service I saw Raymond Goodwin leading the Gospel Temple in the great old hymn, "He Lives" in only the way he could direct. I heard Sis. Chase at the organ and when Dr. Heroo stood to speak using those picture word sentences as only he could, I found myself wishing that I was a ZBI student one more time! Where does the time go and I wonder what ever happened to all my uniforms!!

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Prayer Prompters

Funny the things that remind us to pray! Since we moved to Jamaica and left our boy at VFCC, you can imagine how many times a day our thoughts turn to Ryan and if not careful a few tears will run at any time, at any place.
The first time we found a coin on the pavement one of us said, pray for Ryan! Well it stuck, now 7 months later, we have quite a collection! 147 coins that when spotted, Ryan came to mind! As if we needed a reminder!
Actually the majority of the coins are worth 8/10 of a penny, not very much value at all. But let's talk about the value of the spontaneus prayer. Could it be that when we found a coin he was driving alone, feeling homesick? When he was nervous about a recital, did we come upon 8/10 of a penny? When he was struggling financially, did we spot a coin? When the enemy was tormenting him, did the three of us say, "Oh God remember Ryan" when finding a very damaged coin, run over by more than one truck?
As a matter of fact, we have a lot of prayer reminders in the house! We have a gift from the first children's ministries group we served in our first staff position. Everytime I see that heart hanging on the door I say a prayer for little kids who are now adults and have long forgotten who the Seler's are!
The little dish that holds our "Ryan" coins is also a reminder of praying for a person who literally despises me and caused severe damage to me in every way. As difficult as it is at times, we have to pray those kind, you know, the blessing kind of prayers. Everyone in a group of 100 people was given a dish like this one, that is why I received one. I am not sure why I didn't toss it away or put it in one of my many yard sales, could it be that even my spontaneus prayers have value for a person like that?I know it has value for me.
Prayer is so powerful. What still amazes me is that I can be here and Ryan there and prayer supercedes all geographical boundaries, it supercedes me "knowing all the details". Prayer supercedes all my hurts and lasting memories. Prayer goes far beyond anything my natural mind can comprehend. Prayer is supernatural. Prayer is so far reaching that even when my prayers don't make sense, God makes sense out of them.