October 27, 2015

{mexico part two}

An average day doing mission work in Mexico:
5:15 AM -- The alarm goes off on Olivia's phone. "California Dreamer" by the Mamas and the Papas.
5:45 AM -- Actually roll out of bed and get dressed.
6:00 AM -- Eat breakfast which usually consists of strong coffee and refried beans. The dining area is always crammed full with people, but the fellowship is irreplaceable.
6:30 AM -- Load up the vans and head out to the work site. The 20 minute commute is one of my favorite parts of the day; the sky is glowing pink from the sunrise, the city lights are still winking brightly, and mountains are towering on all sides of the sprawling city. On our ride we have entertaining discussions, sing hymns, and look out for landmarks such as Wal-Mart, the farmacia, and the Kim Kardashian sign.
7:00 - 8:30 AM -- The men and women separate into groups for morning devotions. There are more men than women, so they occupy the sanctuary and we take the chapel. While we pray and preach and listen, we can hear the men singing and praying aloud all at once; it is a powerful experience. Afterwards we frantically set up for another long day.
10:00 AM -- The labor begins. Carolyn and Olivia run the medical clinic with the help of Ilia. Sharon and I sit at the eyeglass table and manage with no interpreter. Our communication is limited to:
"No, no bien."
"Si! muy bien!"
"Buenas Dias!"
Needless to say, my ability to make up sign language improved rapidly. Thresia and some other women prepare food for the day and Michelle and Jeanine work fervently setting up the Children's Crusade program. Nick turns on the generator in the work trailer and immediately the welding, sawing, hammering, and drilling commences. One gets used to the humming and banging pretty quickly. In four days, electricity, 40 pews, and a flight of stairs are installed by the hard working crew of God-fearing men. I have been inspired by their perseverance and spirit.
12:00 PM -- Lunch begins. For a short while the construction stops and we enjoy the peaceful quiet while gathered under the tents. Everyone jokes around, Joe tells fishing stories, and someone always shares their testimony. Christian fellowship is rejuvenation for the soul.
1:00 PM -- The generator starts up again. The children begin collecting together begging for candy and presents, or just generally looking adorably. Is it just me or are Mexican children the absolute cutest? Some of the girls are especially sweet and help out as much as they can with huge smiles.
5:00 PM -- Dinner. Everyone is glad when dinner comes because it means that the day's work is done. Some of the Mexican church members join us.
7:00 PM -- The townspeople pull up in their dusty old trucks for evening worship; some of them bring instruments and some of them bring Bibles and all of them bring children. Hoards of children. So many children. They all lay out blankets and put the babies to sleep on the floor. One of our pastors preaches with the assistance of an interpreter. There are a few inside jokes our team has from interpreters making mistakes (Jalape├▒osos!) resulting in the mission team crying with laughter. After the sermon, those who want to be saved or need prayer are invited to the alter and their Christian family comes forward to pray for them. It is a time of powerful prayer. Bold prayer. And the Spirit of God moving among the people.
11:00 PM -- The days are long: full of every emotion, hours of labor and determination, moments of peace. By the hand of God, they are brought to completion, and an exhausted mission team stumbles into the hotel welcoming sleep with open arms. Tomorrow is bright new day, full of opportunities to serve the Lord and spread His love!

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