Saturday, June 24, 2006

Mexico: Part 8

Wednesday, March 15

Now I really regret that I did not write about this trip sooner, because more details are escaping me.

It was wonderful to wake up to comfortable temperatures and low humidity—a combination rarely experienced in Connecticut. The days were always sunny and we didn't have to worry about rain clouding our schedule. On la agenda today was door-to-door tract distribution.

Before breakfast, Nancy put on a CD of Christian music, and I enjoyed hearing God-honoring songs sung in Spanish. I still remember one of the songs: "Yo soy Alpha y Omega, principio y fin" (I am Alpha and Omega, beginning and end).

One of these days we had cereal for breakfast—Cornflakes or a Nestle's version of Cocoa Puffs—and vanilla gelatino, or pudding. It was nice and quick, though not distinctly Mexican!

Josue made it to school on time, so Nancy took us to the Landrums' home via the oruga. Now that we had more experience with the bus system, we noted what was the stop for the Landrums'.

Yesterday Caleb invited Ken or me to bring a devotional at the team time today. I replied I had some thoughts I could share, which is what I did. Starting from 2 Timothy 4:1-21 I solemnly charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who is to judge the living and the dead, and by His appearing and His kingdom: 2 preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort, with great patience and instruction., we looked at what last words Paul, at the end of his life, had to give to his son in the faith Timothy. We were encouraged to live all our lives for the Lord, to please Him, and looked at how these verses relate to 1 Peter 1:13-1913 Therefore, prepare your minds for action, keep sober in spirit, fix your hope completely on the grace to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ. 14 As obedient children, do not be conformed to the former lusts which were yours in your ignorance, 15 but like the Holy One who called you, be holy yourselves also in all your behavior; 16 because it is written, "YOU SHALL BE HOLY, FOR I AM HOLY." 17 If you address as Father the One who impartially judges according to each one's work, conduct yourselves in fear during the time of your stay on earth; 18 knowing that you were not redeemed with perishable things like silver or gold from your futile way of life inherited from your forefathers, 19 but with precious blood, as of a lamb unblemished and spotless, the blood of Christ. and 2 Corinthians 5:9-11,14-159 Therefore we also have as our ambition, whether at home or absent, to be pleasing to Him. 10 For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may be recompensed for his deeds in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad. 11 Therefore, knowing the fear of the Lord, we persuade men, but we are made manifest to God; and I hope that we are made manifest also in your consciences.
14For the love of Christ controls us, having concluded this, that one died for all, therefore all died; 15 and He died for all, so that they who live might no longer live for themselves, but for Him who died and rose again on their behalf.

After the main meeting of Team Time was finished, while we were waiting for lunch to be ready, Ryan began folding some more origami objects. Now Caleb grew up in Japan, where his father teaches english in a school (if I recall correctly), so he was interested in trying his hand at folding a paper crane. While he did, he also explained to us some of the Japanese words written on the instruction sheet. I found out Origami is pronounced correctly when you pronounce it with a Spanish accent! I also folded a paper flower, which Scott wanted to learn how to do. So here's a picture of us all folding paper before lunch.

Amy, Ryan, Caleb, me, Scott.

The plan for the afternoon was to drive to some nearby neigborhoods and make some first contacts with the people, giving out tracts and gospels of John. We were expecting a certain number of fluent Spanish speakers to arrive to help us with this task, but a few didn't show up, so Craig had to make some adjustments. One major adjustment was when he said, "Ken, you speak pretty well; why don't you go out with Ryan [not me] and Zeke." Ken was surprised, but accepted the assignment. He didn't do too badly at it either, he tells me. He speaks better than I do.

So Bob DeLaine and his 8-year-old son Zeke arrived, and Celia and Alberto from the church. Bob took Ken, Ryan, Emily, Marshall, and Zeke in his pickup truck.

Marshall and Zeke

Ken and Ryan

Willie, Celia, Scott, Amy, and I all packed into Alberto's Jetta. Since Amy was the lightest, she sat on Scott's lap in the front seat. Caleb stayed behind and went out with Brenda to their neighborhood. Beth and Celina were not with us today but spent the day with their hosts, Luis & Yola.

When we arrived in the neighborhood of Manzanares, Alberto, Amy, and I set out to cover a block together. Alberto pointed out to us his own house, a mere two streets over! He said that last year he was saved as a result of people passing out tracts door to door! Oh, what motivation that was, to know that such evangelism worked! And here we were doing the same thing that led him to the Lord.

Not long into knocking on gates and doors, we met a man who was a Christian, who had been saved many years ago as a result of the ministry of some missionaries who worked in Leon before the Landrums started there: the Beattys. As we moved on, we encountered a old lady with deteriorating eyesight who had spent many years teaching catechism in the Catholic church, and was relying on her works to enter heaven. It was sad to see she was set in her ways. I think she did receive a gospel of John, though.

We stopped at many houses; at a good number no one was home. Sometimes we gave the tracts to children in the street to deliver to their parents.

At one house, my ears perked up at the sound of parakeets. Having had parakeets all my growing up years, I was delighted to hear the happy chirps so far away from my home. It turned out that several houses had these little cages of parakeets hanging in their garage/patios.

When we were on the last street Alberto greeted a woman in her sixties mopping the floor of her garage/patio. She spoke really fast, so I didn't get much of what she said, but I could read her body language and expressions quite well! She wasn't at all interested in taking a gospel of John, and thought it a curiousity that Alberto was passing them out. She was kind of scoffing at Alberto, but was friendly enough. She seemed to appreciate his sincerity in passing out the gospels, but her attitude towards him was condescending, as one might regard a child trying to do something his own way. In the end, she still wouldn't take the gospel.

Thursday, June 22, 2006

A quick note and a link

Hi everybody, I just wanted to write a quick note to say I do intend to continue my account of Mexico, and I do have more I want to blog about, but I just haven't had time lately. So for any of you checking my blog every day there is more coming.

I just read a post over at Doulogos that was very true and motivating, concerning our relationship with the Lord and the effect it has on our prayer life. It's certainly a matter I need to deal with in my own life. Here are a few excerpts:
God doesn't answer prayers because your faith is greater than the guy beside you - he answers prayers because you are in communion with him through your continued willingness to obey....

God doesn't demand perfection as a prerequisite to communion - but He is rightly aloof from those too proud or lazy to continue in obedience.