During the week preceding April 9th, (which is the day that the evangelical pastors were in town), we were flying to get everything done in time. There were days that we had to go to the kitchen to help make the burritos and there were days when you had to call the various churches to see if anyone would like to come and help. Also, sometimes, everyone else was so busy doing things that I took on the task of making lunch for all the volunteers, let me tell you it is a lot of work to feed all those men and women in one household.
Let me take back to the Friday before, it was on April 1st. We had to go to the grocery store to get some things we needed and on the way back a very interesting thing occurred. We got stuck in traffic, now you say, what could be so unusual about that? Well there was a meeting that had gotten out on that day and the dignitaries involved in that were driving by, so of course the police had to get involved and block traffic.
We sat there – stuck – for a good hour before we finally were able to move. The funny thing is they moved us into a single lane road and stopped us again. We saw army tanks and soldiers out and people on the street milling about. We suspected that they were training the people to get desensitized to this sort of thing. So that when they proclaimed Marshal Law no one would really complain. I have never seen anything quite like what I saw that day. Anyway I just thought that might be an interesting thing to throw in there.
The last couple of days though, one of the other ladies took the duties of the kitchen, and we all went out to the Senate and the House of Representatives to do a different sort of colporteur evangelism. We partnered up and walked to the various buildings that we were assigned to. That was a lot of walking those first 3 days, especially for those of us who had to walk to the House of Representatives, those buildings were about 1 mile away or more and then we had to walk to each and every office on the floor that we got.
We had heaps of fun though, my partner and I figured out a quick and efficient way to go to each office and give the invitations to the other series that we were putting on, from the 11th to the 14th of April. It took us a few hours every day to get all of our list done, and the third day we worked so hard to go back to all of the offices and give them the official invitation with the map of where we would be and what areas we would be located at.
Then Friday was the busiest day, because we had to repackage sweet potato chips into brown bags, and also put homemade salsa, which we got a company to do for us, into 2 oz. soufflé cups. That took us all day, we then had to make peanut butter and jelly sandwiches for all the volunteers. That night we definitely slept great.
We were up early the next day – the big day had finally arrived. There was a group of us who were going to hold interviews with the people that were at the event and to get them kind of intrigued and thinking about what the pope was really doing here last September, also to get their opinions of what they would say if a National Sunday Law were to be enacted.
The weather got bitter cold though and the elements were definitely working against us. It started to rain and then the snow/sleet started to come down, the wind was trying to knock us over it seemed. We had to take shelter under a memorial for the Korean War. This was also near the Lincoln Memorial and Reflection Lake.
We eventually all had to go into the Lincoln Memorial and regroup, several of us had to go home to change out of our wet shoes and socks. Our feet, face, and hands were numb with the cold we had to keep moving in order for us to get some warmth. By the time we got ready to leave the house again the rain had stopped and we just had to contend with the wind, but that too subsided at times.
We passed out invitations left and right for people to come to our meeting. The day passed by very quickly and before we knew it, it was time for us to start heading toward the Capitol building. Some of us got into the van and drove there and the rest of us went by foot. I was one of the people who decided to go by foot.
It was quite a good walk to the Capitol building about 2.1 miles away. Not only that but we were speed walking in order to get back by 3:15pm. Also, we were passing out invitations to people as we were walking, so not only did we get great exercise, fresh air, some sunshine, but we also were able to hand out some of the invites.
On the dot we arrived in time to help unload the truck. Things flew into a flurry of activity. Since this was the first of many times we would be setting these things up it took us a while to figure out everything. Time has a funny way about it sometimes, on this certain day it seemed to be going fast and slow at the same time. I don’t know if you guys have had that experience before but it is a very interesting feeling.
Anyway, we got everything set up and were able to start the meeting, even while the meeting was going on a few of the marshals had invitations and were telling people to stop in and even if they couldn’t stay to take a bag of food with them. There was plenty of food that was for sure. Did I mention before that we prepared burritos for 5,000 people, also chips and salsa, praise the Lord we had a caterer to make the burritos.
Now although we didn’t have 5,000 people who came to the meeting, it turned out to be great blessing in another way, we were able to minister to people who have less than us. It is definitely a blessing to be able to share with those people. I will tell you more about that later.
To be continued…