A. Ray Lee ss

Partnership continues

By A. Ray Lee

Columnist

The partnership between Lebanon and Creu Alta churches continued in the years following the visit of the delegation from Creu Alta to Lebanon.

The next year, Effie and I spent two weeks in Sabadell to fulfill a request from Pastor Lorenzo.

The church had entered into an arrangement with the city to minister to individuals with special needs. The ministry would be done by volunteers. Lorenzo knew of my experience in the past as a volunteer chaplain with a hospice organization and felt I could be of help in sharing care-giving principles and serving as an encourager to those who would be directly involved in the ministry.

Scheduling the time for the mission was not easy. I was in the last year of my tenure with Lebanon and was looking forward to retirement, but there were certain projects that needed to be completed before the church called a new pastor. In addition, I had accepted a part-time position for ministry beyond retirement and was preparing for it as well.

As it unfolded, the trip was – without question – the most physically challenging of the 10 we made to Spain.

We had just completed our retirement home and moved into it, and I was exhausted from all that involved. Although Effie had retired, she had filled in for the past semester as a substitute for a teacher out on maternity leave. She had finished her school responsibilities just hours before we rushed to Atlanta for the overnight flight to Barcelona.

I was miserable on the flight and exhausted when we arrived in Sabadell. We got into town mid-morning on a Saturday and immediately stepped into a full day of activities that culminated in a welcoming party in the evening.

It was followed by a restless night.

Somehow, I made it through Sunday services and visits in homes afterward.

A full day of activities had been planned for Monday, but it was obvious I would not be able to participate in them. I spent the day in bed taking an over-the-counter remedy that did little to relieve my discomfort.

Tuesday morning, however, I was feeling better and paced my activities for the first teaching session in the evening. Wednesday was much the same.

Thursday, thanks to a medication prescribed for me by a doctor attending the sessions, I was back up to full speed.

The remaining days blend together in my memory. My journal of the trip reveals I preached in a mission sponsored by the church, spoke at home meetings, visited in many homes and was taken to see recently acquired property where the church would soon relocate and build spacious facilities to provide for developing ministries.

The trip that had begun with struggle had a restful ending. After the days of unceasing ministries and activities, we were treated by Pere and Maria to a trip into the beautiful Pyrenees Mountains, where we spent two days of leisure marveling at God’s magnificent creation.

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