Today was our busy day – and a great one at that! It began with Bible study at 8:45 am at Grace Lutheran in Norfolk. We had the chance to share about LCMS work around the world and my anticipated work as a Theological Educator in Southeast Asia. Afterwards were some questions and discussion. Then there was just enough time for the kids to grab a donut before worship. I preached again and there was another baptism – what a great thing! The church is filled with young children, and one lad of about four years old escaped the pew and ran around the altar area and front of the church as I began my sermon. Eventually he got bored and was wrangled back for what I’m sure was a stern but whispered talking-to.
After worship we had time to grab a few items to bring to our friends’ house to assist them in an annual event they host – a tamale making party for the local pastors and families. It may have been their largest turnout, and they’re quite certain there were more kids this time than ever before. We assisted in shredding the chicken (boiled thighs – higher fat content which is then used to help make the masa dough). We had a quick lesson in tamale making and made a few before the crowds started arriving, eager to help. We gladly moved aside to let a dozen people or more make tamales.
We had the opportunity to meet many local pastors and their wives. Some retired, some still serving. We had a great conversation with a retired pastor and his wife who were also former art teachers – he a sculptor and she creating collages. Our daughter Mika was able to show them pictures of some of her water color portraits and they were impressed, both of them encouraging her to keep pursuing her interest and developing her skills in the media. I think she was pleased to get that kind of feedback! Several of the pastors we spoke with indicated an intent to talk with their congregations about partnering with us, so that’s exciting.
When we asked what we could bring for the event it was mentioned that the pastor who normally made margaritas for the event was out of town. I was happy to pick up the makings for margaritas and they seemed to be well-received – we ran out of ingredients before we ran out of requests!
Our kids were kept very busy by the younger kids who were thrilled our kids were willing to play games with them, push them on the rope swing, or sit and talk with them. After seven or so hours we were all pretty pooped, and with the party starting to wind down we were grateful to make our exit for a well-earned night’s sleep! None of us had much experience with tamales before today – either making or eating them, and we all came away very interested in learning more about making them ourselves. Maybe the kids will set up a home business in Indonesia selling tamales!