Sunday, November 29, 2015

Luz Y Colon - 3 Day Mission in Mexico

Each morning after prayer we received the day's agenda during announcements. Usually the activities included time for study, prayer, service work, home visits, etc.  Monday, November 16th was very different.  We learned that we'd be hosting a 3-day mission at Luz Y Colon, a nearby rancho, starting that night and we had only a few hours to prepare.  Come Holy Spirit!!!



The kids spent the afternoon making no-bake cookies. When we went to people's homes to invite them, we said (in Spanish), "Here's something sweet.  Come to the chapel for something sweeter!"  It worked, praise God!!  The chapel was full.



The Holy Spirit told Chris to begin the retreat by explaining the kerygma with pictures.  This was a little crazy because before our training began we'd never even heard the word "kerygma". (Just in case you've forgotten, the kerygma is the bare-bones story of our salvation through Jesus Christ.)  After Chris' captivating intro, a team member gave a talk on God's love and emphasized how much sweeter it is than no-bake cookies.  They loved it all!



During the talks, we played Spanish Church Bingo (Loteria) with the 20+ kids that came. This was another awesome inspiration of the Holy Spirit.  The game boards that we rushed to make that afternoon included squares for Bible, prayer, crown of thorns, the Eucharist, etc. We gave away chili pepper & tamarind lollipops (a local favorite). This is a picture of the kids playing Loteria altogether.



We wrapped up with Spanish praise and worship and then prayed over those asking for intercession.

When preparing for session #2 (the very next day) the Holy Spirit worked through the kids. He inspired them to buy a soccer ball so they could play "football" with the Mexican kids in an old, nearby horse stockade.  It was a HUGE success and they all had a blast!! The missionary kids blessed the kids at the rancho by leaving the soccer ball as a gift when we left.  God works in so many different ways!



Chris took his sax the second night to join in on "Alabare", "Baja El Rio" and some other Spanish praise and worship songs, which they LOVED!  Thank you Jesus for sending Chris this beautiful gift which allows him to share his talents with the world. The second night's teachings were on sin and how Jesus has redeemed us.  We wrapped up with prayer for all those asking for intercessions.


Our talks on night three focused on repentance and belief as well as growth and transformation in Christ.  Part of our message was how to live out Jesus' love.  To make our love (and yours too) more tangible we provided each household with much-needed food, household supplies and personal hygiene items.  To emphasize the importance of supporting one another and living as a community in faith, we wrapped up the mission with a potluck style dinner.  (Sorry, we were so busy we didn't take any pictures of the supplies or the dinner.  It was too hectic.)
 




We saw a big change in the people over the three day period. The first day they were pretty glum and very reserved.  By the end of the third day, there were smiles galore and warm hugs all around.



As we were preparing to leave, one kid kept asking "Cuando, cuando?".  We weren't sure what that meant.  Our hearts ached when we learned that he was asking when we would be coming back.  We've been told that the hardest part of missions is leaving those we meet.


After leaving the rancho we continued praying for all those we met.  During prayer, the Holy Spirit spoke loud and clear: they needed crucifixes to remind them that Jesus is the one that opened the gates of heaven for us.  It's Jesus that has saved us from the damnation we all deserve.  It's Jesus that has saved each and every one of us from our sinful selves.

We bought 17 crucifixes and took them to Luz Y Colon the following Sunday.  Thanks to the VERY generous support we've received from all of you, we were able to bless each household with a beautiful image of Our Lord and Savior.  I wish I could say that they were speechless with gratitude because we don't speak Spanish yet, but it was quite the opposite.  They talked and talked about how thankful they were... Even though we didn't understand anything they were saying, we smiled and nodded just like we were taught. Here is a picture of a couple of the happy recipients of the crucifixes.

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