Where's Waldo (and Mrs. Waldo)?
Nowadays it is fairly easy to answer the question – probably at home. Except for some people who aren’t. And God is not surprised. That is our challenge of faith today – to understand that nothing that is happening is a surprise to God. Many are “surprised.” Many are also anxious and maybe even fearful but faith understands that God is above all of our circumstances. Each of us have had circumstances in our life that have been tumultuous but nothing like what is happening now. Imagine if we are tinged with “fear” what people without a relationship to Jesus must be feeling. Our relationship with Jesus may not change the outward situation but it powers our ability to not live in fear. So where is Waldo (and Mrs. Waldo) now? Well, they are not home. Barbara and I flew out of El Salvador the 9th of March to go to the AMS Montessori conference in Dallas. We attend to be a witness to the many people who have not heard that there is Fellowship for Christian Montessorians. It is always an exciting time to meet new brothers and sisters. We lived in Dallas for 35 years so we took the opportunity to gather a group of friends at our favorite Mexican restaurant, El Fenix to celebrate years of friendship. There were people who Barbara knew from before we married, a group from when we were all in Bible school together, a group from church, a group of former teachers who ministered with us, a family group and friends as well as one student who Barbara taught 25 years ago. It was a great celebration. Our friend, Mary Tate, even turned it into a birthday celebration for Barbara (March 15th) by distributing birthday cards for people to sign. The scriptures record that after victories and deliverances that God commanded the children of Israel to gather stones and build an altar so when future generations would ask, “What do these stones mean?” they would hear the stories of God’s power to deliver. I am not sure the next story fits easily into that Biblical category but it is a testimony of how God’s love is so often demonstrated in the smallest details of our lives. To get around Dallas we needed to rent a car. I had a reservation for an economy car. When I showed up they said that they were sorry that they didn’t have any economy cars available. Would I mind driving a red mustang convertible? (I had to think about that.) They brought the car around to the front door and parked it next to a truck. Barbara was visiting with the friend who was dropping us off and was not paying attention to what was happening on the parking lot. The truck pulled out and there was the Mustang behind me as I approached Barbara. “They don’t have an economy car.” I grinned. Then she saw the red Mustang. “You didn’t rent that did you?” her voice rising. Now, I smiled innocently. “No, that is my economy car.” She just shook her head and laughed. “Plus, the guy says I can have the gas that is in the car and just bring it back empty.” There was a half tank of gas in the car. The next two days were absolutely glorious convertible weather. (It did not start raining until we returned the car.) Does it compare with the crossing of the Red Sea? Kind of, because God is involved with all the details of our lives both big and small.
On Wednesday March 11th the president of El Salvador closed El Salvador to visitors for 30 days. Our ticket to return on the 23rd wasn’t much good. Then he closed the airport for at least two weeks to all flights. On Sunday the 22nd he declared a national quarantine for 30 days – shelter in place. So, even after 30 days we don’t know if we will be able to return, if the airport will be open, or if there will be flights. As challenging as this might be, it pales in comparison to all of our friends whose schools have been closed due to the virus. The concern for children, parents and staff and for the survival of the schools themselves is a heavy burden. We need to pray for each other. If God can produce a red convertible is He not even more able to produce the miracles we need to continue proclaiming the Gospel through Christian Montessori education? We were in line to register for the hotel at the AMS conference and the lady behind me tells us the conference has been cancelled. Wow! We decided to spend the night (as God always has plans.) We met up with a friend who has done extensive work with Montessori music. In fact she recently returned from Amsterdam where she explored the archives of Montessori’s writing on music. We have wonderful possibilities now of adding more music to our Montessori training. We also met a delightful young lady who works for AMS who has already become a sweet friend. We are sheltering in San Antonio with our son until ……? Pray for us as we pray for you during this time of “worldly uncertainty.” Remember, God is not surprised and as the scriptures say our heavenly Father sees us in our need and already knows the end. God bless. Barbara and Edward