Bible school, time, Fourth of July

• At Taubate, we don’t have Bible school. Never have had, due mostly to scheduling and the demands of working with both congregations. In yesterday’s men’s meeting, Ricardo, who arrived in January in Taubate as a military transfer, expressed a desire — proposal, actually — for him and Humberto to begin a Bible school. More power to them! I like to see such initiative.

• For a taste of Latin America, here was yesterday’s schedule. The meetings were set for 3 p.m., we got started close to 3:30. The men take the women’s meeting as their cue, perhaps because we can’t eat until they finish. Meetings ended around fiveish. Then came the food, birthday cake for Daniel, the usual chit-chat. People leave around 6 p.m. About three hours for what Americans would do in an hour, or at least, in half that time. Of course, we drive 50 minutes to get to Ricardo’s house where the meeting was held, so add that time on to our Saturday.

• My uncle Raymond Holt died of a heart attack yesterday morning, at home, I believe, in Blytheville AR. His wife Doris is my mother’s sister. His funeral will be on Monday. Please pray for the family. At times like these, we miss not being able to be with family, but the Lord is shepherd of us all and gives comfort to each one.

• Ricardo is a sharp guy. He’s in Taubate for training as a helicopter pilot. Takes the initiative. And yesterday asked me about my trip to the US and another brother about his recent disappearance from church. I think he asked me first so the other brother wouldn’t feel singled out and awkward.

• Normal day for us, the Fourth of July. Except in the back of my mind, the sounds of fireworks past, of family cookouts, of a poor, rural and naively happy childhood, of saying the Pledge of Allegiance daily at school with hands over hearts, of stirring renditions of “God Bless America” and “Star-Spangled Banner. That sticks with you.

What do you think?