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Team Mexico Updates
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Update - January 15, 2007
Thank you all so much for praying for us. We had a wonderful trip and were able to minister with the Shields in numerous ways. From preaching and music to drywall and concrete, the Lord gave us many opportunities to be servants, despite some interesting sicknesses. The trip home was easy, except for not being able to watch the BCS championship game, and everyone was excited to eat some American food. Praise the Lord for His goodness to us throughout the entire trip.
Update - January 6, 2007
It's Saturday, and we only have a couple days left. Looking back on this trip, I am very glad that God allowed me to go. Everyone on this trip has a different expertise, and God has used everyone to accomplish something for the mission down here. From installing computers to hanging drywall, God has allowed us to pool our skills and help where needed.
Yesterday, we went to the city of Saltillo which has roughly 750,000 people. What a difference! We went from dirt roads and wild chickens to crowded market places and confusing highways. We all got to shop and even eat at a McDonalds! We also saw a very old Catholic church having a service. How sad it is that 90% of all Mexicans are under the Catholic Church. It makes you sit back and put things in perspective and how important missionaries are.
This trip has been so awesome. We have had some funny times, but most importantly we have had growing experiences. As you may know, a lot of us have been sick, but the Lord has been great and has helped us get better, and we have been able to keep ministering. Friday was an awesome day because we were all able to stay together and go to Saltillo. We did some great shopping, and the best part of that is above the shopping center was this place where you can find pig heads, feet, hearts, etc. The smell was not pretty but it was something that we will probably never forget. We also went to the desert museum. That was a lot of fun, too. There was a man who was making pottery. He gave us all free pottery, and we were able to tip him and give him a tract. It reminded me of how the Bible says that God is the potter and we are the clay, and He could form us into anything. He has all the power. Please pray for our health and safety back home. Thanks.
Update - January 4, 2007
I have been quite busy eating goat intestines and who knows what else. If you would like to learn how to lose four pounds in less than one minute, ask me when I get back. There was no water or electricity the first time some guys got sick. Just imagine the sights and smells.
You wouldn't believe the village we were able to do a VBS in. It's not what we expected, but at least we have water and electricity most of the time. The people here are very nice. It's been fun to go to the villages and work with the little kids. It's unbelievably cold, but the climate is wonderful. We got to climb a mountain, play cat, cat, dog (duck, duck, goose), ride a donkey, and eat who knows what. We will probably need a week off to recover from all this strenuous activity.
If you want to lose weight, it's not a problem here. Imagine this meal - Joanna Martin squeezed her goat intestines while she giggled across the table in front of the women who graciously prepared the meal. Then, she continued on by wiping her hands on a corn tortilla. Our manners have not been appropriate thus far. However, our Mexican native, Areli, tells us that we haven't hurt anyone's feelings yet. Mike McHugh has been busy hiding out in the camp working like a beast. He hasn't experienced the innards of an animal in his food yet.
Joanna, Alicia, Sharon Hurst and I had an opportunity to participate in a kid's club. We walked door to door, handing out tracts, inviting the townspeople to a VBS club activity. We traveled to a village called United States of Mexico and had 102 in attendance. Andrew Shields' wife, Egla, witnessed and prayed with all the village women while the rest of us joined in a time of games, crafts, Bible stories, songs, and bonding with the village church. After our time with the children, we had the opportunity to eat lunch in a small shack (about 10x20). Lunch consisted of tortillas, rice, and goat soup, including the intestines. Praise the Lord for Joanna Martin, the toughest girl on our excursion. We later enjoyed sitting on a donkey, hiking a mountain, and collecting quartz from a remote quarry. Our adventure has been exciting and most of all, very humorous.
God bless. Can't wait to shares our stories with you.
Update - January 2, 2007
Sunday night we rang in the new year with members of churches in surrounding villages. We had an amazing, uplifting service with testimonies, songs and short sermons. It lasted about four hours and nearly everyone there shared what God had done in the past year. Outside, loud music continued in the neighborhood until 5 a.m., but at least it drowned out the roosters. Now the team is in two parts: about half of us are in the city of Guadalupe working with Matthew and Naomi Shields and the rest are back at the Institute doing one-day Bible schools in villages around San Antonio. Happy New Year from Mexico!
Today a group of us drove five hours through the central Mexican desert to the city of Zacatecas, pop. 300,000. This area is home to one of the first Catholic convents in Mexico, so the people are steeped in the Catholic tradition. We had the opportunity to go into one of the largest cathedrals in Zacatecas. It was extremely ornate, with huge arches supporting the dome ceiling. There were many people in the church, praying and listening to somber, liturgical singing. It was very sobering to see so many people depending on their traditions to save them. To the 600,000 residents here in the twin cities of Zacatecas and Gaudalupe, a convert from Catholicism to Christianity is to reject hundreds of years of family heritage and as a result, they are very resistant to the Gospel. The Shields need our continued prayers and support.
Update - December 31, 2006
Hola! Our trip so far has been filled with different adventures and experiences. The Lord has been showing Himself mighty already, giving us strength to accomplish several work projects, such as painting, cleaning, and laying drywall. It has been great getting to know the people here, as well as the Shields. I am so excited to see what God will do over the next few days with our different ministries. Thank you so much for your prayers.
P.S. The McHughs say Hi to all their family.
Since arriving in Mexico on Wednesday, we have had a great opportunity to help around with jobs that desperately needed done. Some of the girls and I organized and labeled books in the library. Thursday night after church I got to eat an authentic meal in a villlage with a lady from church. The weather is cold, but I'm enjoying this awesome experience.
Update - December 29, 2006
Thanks so much for your prayers! We arrived safely and have already begun working on many projects--painting, cleaning, pouring concrete, etc. We also had the great opportunity to split up and visit a few local churches for their midweek services. These were a great blessing to us, and we are glad we get to spend more time on Sunday in these churches. Hopefully, we can return the blessings as we minister in song, testimony, and preaching throughout the next week. Please continue to pray for us while we are here, and we will update you as much as possible. (The internet access is quite limited!)
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