Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Naked Plants

I have several plants on my front porch that I have tenderly cared for all year. Since we haven't had rain, we have watered them every day and tried to keep them healthy. Imagine my surprise one day to arrive home from the grocery store and see them all stripped of their leaves! A line of leaf cutter ants from my plants to the hole in the ground showed me the culprits.

I was reminded of the promise of God for me this year, that I would see fruit in my ministry... I have seen lots of results this year of prayers, time investments, etc. The thing is, I have also seen people stripped away of everything they had believed. They are still alive spiritually, but barely. Like my plants, they now need extra care as they try to rebuild their lives.

I can't say that leaf cutter ants are from the devil, God made them. So are the trials in our lives that strip us naked of our leaves. We will recover, it will be difficult, but it's God's pruning to allow us to grow even more.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Sharing our Faith

We have been asked to help our church develop a missions program here in Mexico, helping them get out of the four walls of the church and be missional in all aspects. This week we met with over 20 youth to plan an outreach in a few weeks. We talked with them about how to share a brief testimony. Even if people don't believe the Bible, they cannot deny what God has done in our lives personally. The crux is that you must think of a moment that marked your life, maybe when you gave your life to Christ. Think of the before and the after, and share it in under two minutes. Several of the young people cannot really share their testimony, which is baffling to me and something we need to help them get down so they can share from personal experience what Christ has done for them.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Living by the watch

Most people who know anything about Latin American culture know that being on time is not a really important thing here. In the US, we would be about five - ten minutes early for church so we could get our kids checked in to kid's church and get ourselves all settled in for the 11:00 beginning of church. We moved to Nicaragua and would get there a few minutes early and be the only people there. The pastor himself wouldn't show up for at least thirty minutes (usually about an hour late).

Imagine how difficult it is for students at our Bible school, who have to be on time for everything or they face "consequence time". They receive one hour of work detail for every minute of tardiness. Last year we had a guy who had about a month of work details, he could just never get it right. It's counter-cultural, but it's a good thing! (The important thing to note is that this school is MEXICAN, not a bunch of Americans trying to impose this on them.)

We're starting a new week at the Bible School, with 35 new students. Time and the watch are usually their biggest struggle in the new year, so pray for them!

Thursday, July 30, 2009


Last April, when Mexico was in the midst of it's Swine Flu epidemic and all shut up in their houses, the Mexican Senate decided to pass a bill legalizing drugs. People can now have a certain amount of marijuana, cocaine, and heroine in their possession and they will not be prosecuted. Many people were upset that the Senate used the Swine Flu distraction to pass something so controversial.

We are beginning to see people smoke marijuana freely on the streets. I have read that the President is considering striking down the bill before it becomes law, which will happen in September if he doesn't do anything. To me it seems illogical that the government has cracked down so hard on the drug cartels, yet they are allowing the citizens to have their own personal stashes.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009


You can be praying for Northern Mexico, as we have not had any rain this year. Usually by March or April we need to cut our small patch of grass, but it hasn't rained and our grass is brown, dry, and definitely not growing. We haven't had to cut it all year. The heat has been tremendous, more than 40C or 104F.

How do we deal with the heat? We don't usually go out after one in the afternoon until around 7 or 8. If we do go anywhere, it's to swim! At night, we take cool showers before bed to cool our bodies down. We drink lots and lots of water. I cook in the morning or early part of the day and we eat cold food, salads, or something for dinner.

Last weekend we were in Piedras Negras, on the border, where it gets even hotter than here. All the houses and churches had a/c though. Our schools and churches do not have that luxury here. We depend on fans to move the air about. When it's this hot the air actually burns you, and hurts!

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Mexican Hospitality

Two posts in one day, can you handle it?

I wanted to talk about hospitality in Mexico... one common phrase here is "Mi casa es su casa" which means "My house is your house". When we Americans say that we mean you can help yourselves to whatever is in our kitchen and feel at home. Mexicans would be horrified at that, though, because they want to serve you the whole time you are at their home. It's a relaxed type of serving you, but it's attending to you nonetheless.

Recently we stayed in different homes around the Republic. The shocker was when we stayed in an American home and realized how different we really are! I didn't mind settling in and serving myself or hubby food from the fridge, but it made me realize how different that phrase "Mi Casa es su Casa" applies in the different cultures.

Coffee Talk

My kids were invited Stateside to visit their grandparents for a month, so my husband and I took advantage of the time to do some traveling around Mexico and visit friends. It's so hot up in the north where we are, it was great to escape to cooler weather.

We went to Guanajuato (posted below), and it did NOT disappoint. Cool weather, beautiful architecture, and great history. Afterwards we went to the Centros de Fe national convention in Oaxtepec. That was a nice place, but not really touristy. I did try rose petal ice cream, though. Delicious!

From Oaxtepec we went to Taxco, the silver capital of Mexico. Beautiful town and wonderful people! We stayed with a guy we had connected with over the internet. I was a little nervous about that, but it turned out to be a wonderful experience. Efrain and his family and friends gave us the royal treatment. I have not enjoyed times like that in a really long time.

From Taxco we went and visited one of our former students who is now a pastor in Queretaro. We arrived about 9:30 in the evening and the town plaza was full of people ballroom dancing! Apparently, that's a Sunday night tradition. It was beautiful!

From Queretaro we went to San Luis Potosi on our way home. It was also a nice city with colonial buildings, but didn't quite stand up to the beauty of the other places. I think we were ready to get home as well!

It was fun exploring these places with my husband and discovering new things about this country in which we live. I was burdened by the needs here, but fell even more in love with Mexico.