Saturday, July 01, 2006

Mexico: Part 9

Wednesday, March 15, continued.

After the afternoon tract distribution, we drove back to Craig and Brenda's house. We hung around on the sidewalk talking to Alberto until he had to go to work. He is a dentist and works in the afternoons till about nine o'clock PM.

It was around this time that Beth and Celina arrived from their day of outings with their host family.

Somehow or other, some believers from the Leon West church helped transport us all over to a neighborhood on the west side of the city for evangelism. The neighborhood over there was poorer than where we all were staying. The roads were rather beat up and the houses didn't seem as nice. Some of the men set up a power inverter to their truck's battery and plugged in a large amp to make a rudimentary PA system. Then they took turns preaching the gospel to the whole neighborhood!

We Americans were handed many home-made tracts to hand out to the inhabitants of the neighborhood. Those soon ran out, so some others and I were writing the contact phone number for that area on the backs of the other tracts we had, and the rest of the Americans passed them out.

There were quite a number of young people from the West church there too: Chuy, Samuel, Stephanie, and more that I didn't meet. When one of the men finished his address from the top of the street, they moved down a block, set up the amplifier again and another preacher took over. Samuel, who was 16 years old took a turn too, and it was awesome to see him despite his youth unashamedly preaching the gospel.

Once again, Celina's fluency with Spanish was a blessing as she was able to explain the gospel to several children on the sidewalk. I'm sorry the photo quality is poor, but it was at night under street lights. Celina is at the 11:00 position in the circle on the ground, looking at the girl on her right.

You may recall my reluctance on Sunday to hand out tracts, but thankfully this evening was different. Especially because of observing Alberto's method in the afternoon, I was more comfortable and more eager to give tracts to people and converse a little in Spanish.

I felt rather put to shame by those who knew very little Spanish but used what they could. Here I was, knowing more than they did, but fearing to use it: What if they respond too fast or say something I don't understand? How silly! I have an ability; I should use to the fullest what God has blessed me with and let Him worry about the details! So I did.

"Buenas noches, seƱor. Le regalo un folletito." I could be pleasant and personable by using the greeting, like Alberto did, and be confident they would be happy to take something free. We passed them to people riding by on bicycles, people walking by on the cross street—everyone.

Oh, if only all those people would take the best Gift that's free! Everyone wants a handout, except when it regards his eternal destiny.

It was getting rather late and we had to get back to our homes, so we began to say goodbye to the West church believers, knowing we wouldn't see each other again on this trip. However, Ken found out that Stephanie knew some English and also had Skype on her computer, so he gave her his e-mail address. Then she went around gathering as much contact information from us all as she could.

(Fast forward to back home, she had some problems with Skype for some reason, so we have communicated using MSN messenger. Samuel also has Messenger and he and I have chatted a few times, he in English and I in Spanish!)

We enjoyed some joking and laughter together and then shook hands and hugged everyone good bye. It was delightful to know them all as brothers and sisters in Christ, and that gave us special comfort, since though we may not see each other again in this age, we shall see each other in eternity!

Back at our Mexican home again, we had supper after 9:30, I think. Typical. We stayed up with until around midnight, playing dominos. And of course we joked a lot. ¡Nancy es muy chistosa! She jokes a lot, and we had some running jokes during the whole week! You had to be there, you know?


BrittLeigh said...

Another great Mexico post! I loved the pictures too. Thanks for sharing your experience. It's really neat to read!

hannah michelle said...

Hi Ryan! I just wanted to stop and say thank you for the link! What a pleasant surprise, and I'm honored. You're now linked in my sidebar as well. :-)

God bless!

Rachel Marie said...

Thanks for the new posts!
I agree with Britt; I always enjoy the interesting accounts!
Now, I have a question for you, Ryan... how much Spanish do you know? Are you fluent? Just curious...=)

Ryan said...

Thanks for the comments everyone!

Rachel, I am by no means fluent, but I know enough to get around, as that trip proved! I was a little nervous about having to use only Spanish, but I certainly managed.

I started learning Spanish when I was about 10. I'm convinced starting a child learning a language early is more efficient than teaching it in high school. Anyway, I think that did play a part in my Spanish ability, since some words and phrases I am fluent in! My brother and I did have at least two years of Spanish study in high school, and I took Spanish III at college. I am familiar with the present, past imperfect, past perfect, future, and conditional future (?) tenses, and a fair amount of vocabulary.

One thing I found difficult regarding the language in Mexico was the extensive use of indirect pronouns which seem to turn the sentence structure inside out! That alone caused me to have to stop and slowly parse the words until I understood what they all meant together!

Wholesome Works said...

I'm enjoying your posts on your Mexico trip. It sounds like you were accomplishing a lot for God, and having fun too. :D