|There goes another weekend.|
I've definitely had worse weeks than the seven days just past. Three points at Anfield on Sunday. Finally conquering the outrageously challenging final level of Super Mario 3D World. And then, in the early hours of Friday morning, a most pleasant surprise: a big, fat, juicy south wind tumbling its way into town.
For the benefit of the relative newcomers, south winds down here are like northerlies in Europe and North America, bringing temperatures down dramatically and generally ruining everyone's day -- except mine! With the vast majority of the year seeing temperatures well over 30 degrees, with a good deal of humidity thrown in, south winds roll in all too infrequently, but are welcomed (in this house at least) with open arms.
The real surprise was the timing, as the peak sur season is between June and August. Not that we're complaining. With the weather particularly humid at this time of year, the mercury is already beginning to rise again. We shall savour this.
The rest of Trinidad, meanwhile, will have to wrap up well tomorrow, when they will be obliged to stand in line for the local elections, which are taking place across the country, with president Evo Morales' 'MAS' party set to sweep the board once again. Everywhere except here, of course; the Beni region has long been the sole remaining province of Bolivia impervious to Morales' unique charms. Now that we have permanent residency, we would normally be required to vote ourselves, except that no voter registration has taken place this year. So we have been granted a special exemption based on the fact that we were out of the country last year, the last time new voters were registered (to acquire this, we had to submit photocopies of the entry and exit dates on our passports). This is vital as proof of having cast one's ballot is required at a great many everyday junctures here.
Elections here also mean the country is in a state of semi-lockdown, with businesses forbidden to trade, motorists forbidden to, er, motor, and public meetings banned until the polls close at 6pm. That means that we can't have our usual church service tomorrow in the morning; instead, we'll be having our first ever Sunday evening service to mark Palm Sunday.
Not too much else to report this week, really, so straight on to the prayer points.
- The youth group at church are beginning a series in Hebrews 11 tonight, in which they'll be looking closely at the examples of faith cited by Professor Hebrews (as my dear old Cornhill teacher Edward Lobb refers to the New Testament's man of mystery). I will be giving the introductory talk to the whole thing. And, being true to those Cornhill roots, I'll be using it to establish the context of Hebrews 11 in the whole book (because, let's face it, the writer didn't wake up one morning and think to himself, "I'm gonna write the faith chapter to end all faith chapters!") while showing how lack of faith so often takes root when we focus on the things we see. Pray for wisdom for me and understanding for the young people.
- Keep praying for Hernán. He is due to be operated on any day now to receive skin grafts, but surgeons are not yet sure if he is in a fit state to go under the knife.
- Pray for stability in the country in the next couple of days as the polling booths open, and votes are cast and counted.
- This time last week, we were setting off with the youth group for a day trip to the lake, which, alas, was also affected by the weather, with very heavy rain arriving midway through the morning. Nonetheless, we had an enjoyable time of fellowship together, and the rain dried up later on, allowing everyone a brief swim.
¡Que Dios les bendiga!
Craig & Amanda Cunningham