Saturday, July 6, 2013

Everyone is Needy

It`s crazy to think that I`ve been in Mexico for a month. Time is going by so fast, too fast. With so much left to do, I pray that God would renew my energy and passion to proclaim His name here. With this realization, I think that God has shown me that it is a good thing to have a sense of urgency. None of us knows how long we are here for, we are ¨a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes¨ (James 4:14). For those who know Christ as their Lord and Savior, there isn´t a lot of worry about what is to come, but what about those who don`t know the Lord, those who have never heard the name of Jesus, or those who are so lost that they have convinced themselves that they know about Christ, but don´t truly know Him at all. It`s a scary thought to think that the reality of life is that some people leave this world everyday to spend an eternity separated from God. That hurts, a lot. So, what are you going to do about it? I pray that more workers would be sent because the harvest is plenty, but the workers are few (Matthew 9:27). It`s overwhelming sometimes to think about how much need in the world there is for Jesus. The funny thing, I found myself thinking a couple weeks ago was how people love to compare themselves with others to justify the way they are living their lives. That is the silliest thing I  could ever do. Why am I, a sinner, comparing myself to someone else, who is also a sinner, and making my sin seem better in my own eyes? The truth of the matter is that sin is sin and all of it separates us from God. EVERYONE needs Jesus. I need Jesus every single day. I`m not ashamed to admit it, it is such a beautiful, relieving thing to know that I don´t have to do it all by myself. Not even don´t have to, but simply can´t do it by myself (John 15:5). The only person we should be comparing ourselves to is Christ, the author and perfector of our faith (Hebrews 12:2). I guess that´s enough preaching for today...haha

This week in the village was filled with more conversations with some of the friends my team and I have made. We met up to teach English to some kids on Tuesday and then ate lunch with them and their family. We met a lot of new people that day. We met a man who wants to teach us about Mexico and help us learn some Spanish, so on Tuesday and Thursday we visited him. On Thursday, Katie got to share the demon possessed story with him and he ended up reading a couple chapters in the bible after that. On Wednesday, we played worship music in the middle of the village. Jose, one of our friends from Oaxaca, came with us all this week to the village. He is an awesome guitar player and singer. Unfortunately, he was sick and wasn´t able to sing, but Natasha, Katie, and I tried to pick up the slack. I learned a lot of songs in Spanish, that I´m excited to be able to bring back to the states with me! Sometimes hearing music in a different language makes it sound so much more beautiful. We plan on doing some more singing in the village another time when Jose is feeling better. After playing music, we climbed to the top of a hill and then from there to the top of a mountain. I can check that off my bucket list now haha. I probably will never do that again, but I have to admit the view was incredible. I just sat there and prayed over the village and started reading my bible. I think at that moment was when I really fell in love with Mexico. 

This week I went to Casa Hogar, the children´s home here, two different days in the morning. It is such a beautiful thing to love on those kids. There was a team from Tennessee working there doing bible studies, crafts, and playing with them, so I´m glad I got to join in on that. I can´t wait to go again! The 4th of July was definitely different that I`m used to, I guess that was to be expected. We had a party on the 5th to celebrate. There was tons of food and great people to share the day with. Today, we´re going to a baseball game and I`m really excited about that! I might even buy a jersey! Then, church Sunday and the week starts again! We are planning on continuing to teach the kids in my village every Tuesday and meet up with the man helping us with our Spanish every Monday and Thursday. 

-Please pray for the relationships we have already made to deepen
-Please pray that the Lord will be working in the man´s heart as he is hearing and reading the Word
-Please pray for the kids that we are teaching English to, that they would be receptive to talking about their faith as well as their family
-Please pray that I would continuously rely on God´s strength and not my own
-Please pray that I would realize my need for Jesus everyday
-Please pray that God´s love would move me in to action
-Please pray that I would learn more of the language and culture to better relate to the people here
-Please pray for health for me and my team
-Please pray for encouraging encounters this upcoming week

Love you all and will update you next week! Thanks for your prayers and support!

Sunday, June 30, 2013

La Cultura Aqui!

There are lots of things that are different. For one there is the language. I definitely don´t know as much spanish as I thought I did. I find that it´s a lot easier to hear it and understand it than to actually speak it. Hopefully this next month I´ll be able to soak it all in, or at least most of it. 

One of the hardest habits to break involves toilet paper. Here you are not allowed to flush the toilet paper, don´t ask me why, I just do what I´m told (most of the time). I´ve finally gotten used to this, so when I get back to the states I will have to re-teach myself to flush toilet paper. 

There´s an extremely large amount of perros (dogs) here and it makes me so sad because I want to keep all of them. In my village, I´ve adopted the sweetest one, I call him Amigo (I know real original but whatevs). Everytime we´re there he comes up to us and gets so excited. Then, one day he got ran a bike. It was the saddest thing, but he´s just fine now, I consoled him with lots of pats! 

Where I live, it´s a pretty safe neighborhood, but every once in a while and by that I mean everyday there are fireworks and it scares me silly. At orientation for security training we got shot at, so everytime the fireworks go off I think we´re about to die (but only for a split second). There´s always some sort of celebration/parade going on, so that makes things interesting. The house I stay at is super close to the zocolo; which is a major tourist area here. There´s restaurants, little shops, and not to mention a ton of vendors who come up to you. I can´t tell you the amount of times I´ve had to say no gracias to them. 

Another thing is the absolutely beautiful mountains. When we´re on the bus I love to look and see God´s creation. Before this trip, I had never seen mountains, so it´s something I will miss dearly when I leave. It´s so cool to be able to go to the roof of buildings and see the view. 

Also, I don´t think I´ve ever used so much public transportation in my life. I´m a pro now! Too bad there aren´t buses in Ruston, so this skill will not be of much use. 

That´s all I´ve got for now, but I´m sure I have a lot more to learn!

Finally an Update!

So sorry about the lack of communication since I´ve been here! I literally just figured out how to add a post to the blog haha, technology has never been my strong suit.

As of this past Thursday I have been in Mexico for three weeks. How crazy is that! A normal week for me consists of going to church on Sunday. There´s two churches that I can go to and I enjoy each of them. This morning I went to CDR and really enjoyed the music and message. It´s such an awesome thing to experience a church service in a different language. I feel like it provides a little taste of what it will be like in heaven, when people from every tribe and tongue will be worshipping the Father together. I get really excited when I know the song in English and I can belt it out haha. Today that happened when the band played Forever Reign and Rooftops!

Monday through Thursday is village work time! There are four different groups of people that are assigned a different village. My group consists of Katie, Nick and Natasha (sometimes), and I. Within our village, we are trying to build relationships with the people there and find out what they believe. It has been really encouraging in our village to find people so hospitable and open to us coming in to their lives. The first day we got to the village, immediately we were welcomed by the sweetest family, and by the end of the day we were considered part of the family. This family has been such a blessing to us in our work. They've introduced us to other people in the village and given us valuable information about the village. Our village assignment is the one that had the least amount of information known previously, so any information is greatly appreciated. It has been a mission for my team to find the believers that are already in the village. We are so close! Last week, Katie and I were walking around trying to get more familiar with areas of the village we hadn´t gone to yet and we stumbled upon some ruins. We saw a guy standing by his car, so we stopped and asked him what the ruins were of, and to our surprise it was the remains of a hundred year old CHRISTIAN church! We were so surprised because the majority of churches in Mexico are catholic and the majority of people are as well, so we got giddy when he told us that. He said that when the spanish came in to the village a hundred years ago they tore down the church and built their own; which is still standing in the middle of the village. This man also told us that the christians live in a separate part of the village than the catholics (really interesting). Our mission is to find them pronto! This man also said he would give us a tour of the village and we´re hoping he can clue us in on where the christians live.

Friday and Saturday are our days off! Fridays we have meeting with the other workers here and it´s always so encouraging to come together and here what the Lord is doing through the other teams and through different ministries. One weekend we went to see some ancient ruins, and before the trip is over, we´re going to see some other ones. Next weekend, we are going to a baseball game and then eventually the zoo!

I hope this gives a better idea about what exactly I´m doing more or less (mas o menos). Feel free to ask questions or comment if you´d like to know some more stuff. I probably left out a ton because I just now am updating this thing. I plan on doing another one today about cultural differences and similarities that I´ve noticed so far! Love you all and please keep me and my team in your prayers!