Family and Friends,
I left you last with an update from about a month ago before I left for Mexico City. I apologize for not getting one up sooner, but once you read about all the traveling that we’ve done, I hope you’ll understand why it’s up so late.
First up, Mexico City. This city is FULL of culture, history and beautiful architecture. We were in Mexico City with Ashley (the JourneyGirl) so that she could get her visa renewed. We also were able to tour the city for a whole day afterwards where we got to see an old, Spanish castle (El Castillo de Chapultepec), a park which had the feel of Central Park in NYC, we went up into a skyscraper to the 74th floor (if I remember correctly) and we were able to see the whole city from the top. We also ate a ton of American food and drank a lot of Starbucks. We decided that we would stick with Mexican food and local Oaxacan coffee. 🙂 One thing I really enjoyed about Mexico City was that I didn’t feel like a giant compared to the other people there. In Oaxaca, everyone is short (except for a few local friends who just happened to get a tall gene).
Village E: I’m unable to give the name of the village because of safety for the team and the people who live there, but we went to village E with a small team from Ohio (who surprisingly I have family that have mutual friends with some team members). It’s about 5 hours away from Oaxaca City. We were told we were going to be living completely off the grid for a week. However, we had the opportunity to buy WiFi for 24 hours and it ended up lasting the whole week so we were able to (somewhat) keep people updated. This village is beautifully placed in the mountains. We were at the very top of a mountain and the climate was cold and the sun was strong. I enjoyed waking up every morning to what felt like fall. There is one known believer in the village and he is so hungry to learn more about Christ and how he can continue living for Him. He has been working on learning bible stories to tell to his friends and other family members in the village. The team we went with has been going for the last 2 1/2 years about every other month. The relationships that they have built with the people there are amazing to see. They’re beautiful friendships and it was really encouraging to see people one to two generations above me still longing to serve the Lord and carry out the Great Commission in a place very far away from Ohio. Please pray for this team as a few of the members will continue coming down to Oaxaca after the new year.
Afterwards, we came home back to a somewhat regular schedule. We were able to pick back up on regular English classes and continue teaching. Last week we moved in with Ashley because there are a lot of changes going on here in Oaxaca with the leadership within the IMB team. Please be praying for all of these changes, that things would move along smoothly and that there wouldn’t be a whole lot of issues with the changes. Along with the changes that are being made, please pray for good communication among the team. We have all found that good communication is something that we all struggle with and we’ve recognized that and we’re wanting to fix that problem.
We’ve been able to do some fun, cultural things in the last few weeks as well. Last Monday (October 24) was our friend Josue’s “Golden Birthday” where he turned 24 on the 24th. His mom planned a surprise party for him and we were able to participate in the surprise fun. This past Saturday (October 29) I (and Rachel) had the opportunity to go to a quinceanera in the village of our friend Sebastian’s mom’s family. We were able to spend the night there and experience complete village life with no WiFi or phone service, however, the views in the mountains were incredible and you didn’t need those things to take pictures. Sunday (October 30), I (and Rachel and Ashley) were invited by our friend Jair to go to a wedding of one of his friends from his church. I cried at that wedding and I didn’t even know the couple. It was all in Spanish, but something in my spirit just told me that it was very Christ-centered and it was a beautiful display of the Gospel. It was really good to be able to experience these small things of this culture.
In the next few weeks, we’ll be continuing our regular ministries here in Oaxaca, but we’ll also be doing some tourist visits as well so be on the lookout for some pictures. I can’t believe I only have about a month left here in Oaxaca. My time here has gone by so quickly it seems like and I don’t want it to be over. I have made so many friends here and I know for a fact that they are lifelong friends. I do, however, miss my family and am ready to see them and spend Christmas with them. This is my first time being away from home for Thanksgiving so I’m interested to see how it will go this year. Some members of our team will be going to the beach for Thanksgiving, so I’m pretty stoked about that and the fact that I will be able to get a tan before Christmas.
This last month of ministry will be pretty busy with finishing up English classes and other ministry events, such as English Corner and our Translation Class. Our Translation Class has now become a Bible Study. We are going through the book of John. It’s been really good so far as we’ve had really good, deep discussions about the different passages we’ve been going through. Please be praying for this particular part of ministry as this is still a part of training translators and they are learning how to better translate words from the Bible.
As a wrap up of this post, I ask that you be praying for this last month of me being here. Be praying that my relationships with my friends here will continue to grow and that saying goodbye will not be as difficult as I think they will be. Be praying that even though my time here in Oaxaca is wrapping up, that I’ll continue to be putting 110% into my ministries here and that I won’t start backing away from them because I’m leaving. Be praying that I will continue to have opportunities to minister to the people of Oaxaca during my time here and that if it’s God’s will, that I will be able to return to Oaxaca soon. That is all I have to say for now, but hopefully my next post will not be posted right before I leave to come back to the States.
John 12:44-50 (ESV)
“And Jesus cried out and said, ‘Whoever believes in me, believes not in me but in him who sent me. And whoever sees me sees him who sent me. I have come into the world as light, so that whoever believes in me may not remain in darkness. If anyone hears my words and does not keep them, I do not judge him; for I did not come to judge the world but to save the world. The one who rejects me and does not receive my words has a judge; the word that I have spoken will judge him on the last day. For I have no spoken on my own authority, but the Father who sent me has himself given me a commandment – what to say and what to speak. And I know that his commandment is eternal life. What I say, therefore, I say as the Father has told me.'”
S. Juan 12:44-50 (RVR1960)
“Jesús clamó y dijo: ‘El que cree en mí, no cree en mí, sino en el que me envió; y el que me ve, ve al que me envió. Yo, la luz, he venido al mundo, para que todo aquel que cree en mí no permanezca en tinieblas. Al que oye mis palabras, y no las guarda, yo no le juzgo; porque no he venido a juzgar al mundo, sino a salvar al mundo. El que me rechaza, y no recibe mis palabras, tiene quien le juzgue; la palabra que he hablado, ella le juzgará en el día postrero. Porque yo no he hablado por mi propia cuenta; el Padre que me envió, él me dio mandamiento de lo que he de decir, y de lo que he de hablar. Y sé que su mandamiento es vida eterna. Así pues, lo que yo hablo, lo hablo como el Padre me lo ha dicho.'”