Winter Storm Mara

Hello darkness, my old friend
I’ve come to talk with you again
Because a vision softly creeping
Left its seeds while I was sleeping
And the vision that was planted in my brain
Still remains
Within the sound of silence

The Sound of Silence by Simon & Garfunkel

That silence you experienced from the blog for a few weeks was the result of my work and Winter Storm Mara shutting down Texas and Arkansas. There was darkness for over 500,000 people with power failures, but we were lucky and kept power. But, the roads were shut down, businesses were closed, and we had to delay our trip home by another two and a half days. I have now returned to write to you again about all the ideas floating around in my head from my adventures at the International Linguistics Center in Dallas.

The view of ice starting to cover the ground and trees during Winter Storm Mara in Texas 2023.
This was the view as the storm started and ice and snow began accumulating. Once done, I had over and inch and a half of ice encasing our van.

Sorry. I went to Dallas for a weeklong conference for SIL International leaders called Leadership Pillars, followed up by a couple days of meetings regarding the future of the Paratext application. I had planned to keep the blog updated while traveling, but the conference was much more engaging and intense than I expected, then Winter Storm Mara slammed Texas and the region with sleet, snow, and freezing rain. Texas does NOT do winter, thus disrupting our meetings, shutting down the Center and area businesses, and requiring us to stay in our Guest House room for three and a half days without leaving it. The isolation and stress caused by the winter storm was emotionally and mentally challenging, and I just didn’t have the creativity to write a blog post.

Now that we are home and have had time to catch up and recover, I can reflect. The Leadership Pillars event helped me better understand the history of SIL, the goals and vision of our organization, the history of missions, and where my role fits within the organization. I also gained some new friendships and strengthened existing ones by finally having some face-to-face time with people I have only spent time with via video conferencing. The Paratext meetings went very well, even after getting disrupted and moving to online for many of us who could not travel to the meeting room because of the ice. Incredible conversations and partnerships built during those two days of meetings stretched into four since no one could leave. So glad we made the trip to Texas for these events, even with he hassle of the storm and delaying getting home. Lots of prayers were answered during both events and for our safe journey home.

Ever experienced a storm or unexpected event that altered your plans dramatically? Were you still able to benefit from the frustrating delays or last minute changes?

Sound of Silence

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