2019 Mission Mexico Blog
Just a few random pics from the week.
These are some pictures from our visit on Friday to the Mayan ruins at Uxmal.
I had a ton of fun this week and learned a lot. One of my favorite memories was talking, interacting, and getting to know people I didn’t know well or at all. I was able to meet Benjamin, Gabi’s nephew, and to see how funny Kyle is. The coolest part of the trip was going to Uxmal on Friday. I looked out from the governor’s palace at all of the ancient Mayan ruins, and imagined how wonderful the buildings were 1500 years ago. The most challenging part of the trip was not knowing Spanish well, and therefore not being able to interact well with some of the Mexicans that I wanted to. Overall this was extremely fun and I look forward to hopefully going again.
These are some pictures of our visit to the cenotes. The last two pictures are of us in Gaby’s childhood home, hearing him share about what it was like growing up here.
This has been a great week and as it is getting close to the end, there are two things that stick out to me as the most meaningful moments.
The first highlight is the conversations we have had with pastors at the churches we’ve worked at. The pastor at Bethel Presbyterian, where we worked on Monday and Wednesday, told us the story of their church. It was so encouraging to hear how God has used their church over the last 30 years and the ways he is using them right now. Then he asked for the story of our church and we got to tell him about the things God has been faithful to do through Faith over the last 30+ years. At Antiochia Presbyterian, where we did VBS all week, we got to hear from their pastor about the 95 year history of their church and school, and the vision they have to reach their community. The pastor became a Christian in this church, went to college and seminary, came back as the youth pastor for a number of years and is now the senior pastor. He said the biggest challenge they have right now is taking people who are just happy with having a nice facility, and turning their hearts outward to those in their community who need to hear the gospel. And at Antiochia Community Church, where we worked on Tuesday and where we spent the whole week two years ago, the pastor saw us and remembered our names and was so excited to see us again. He told us about their mission to a nearby village. Many of the people in that village practice witchcraft and it has never had believers in it. But through their ministry efforts, God has brought three families to faith in Jesus there. What incredible things God is doing in these places through faithful pastors who love Jesus and love the churches he has called them to. Please pray for these churches and their pastors.
The second highlight has been our time with Gaby. He is such a humble man of God who loves Jesus a lot. The relationship we have built with him over the years is one of the best things about our church continuing to support and serve here in Merida. He took us to see his childhood home and shared some really personal things with our group about his life, how he has seen God work in his life, and the things he is thankful for. He also spent some time sharing with some of our leaders about some challenging things he is dealing with as a pastor here at Shalom and in his role helping to lead their Christian school. It was humbling to have him share with us so honestly and s privilege to pray for him in our group worship time.
I am really thankful for the relationships we are building here and I am always so encouraged by the way the gospel is powerfully at work in this city and through our friends.
*As a personal highlight, it means a lot to me how many people here remember and obviously love my kids every time we come. This is Emily’s fourth trip and Micah’s third, and every time we go someplace we’ve been on a previous trip, people run up to them and hug them and call them by name. I love how God has been connecting my family to this place.
Here are some pictures of Bethel Presbyterian Church where we spent 2 days working and meeting people. We mixed cement and poured it on the roof to cover what we built on Monday. Their church took some great pictures also that we shared on our church’s Facebook page.
Yesterday, the team got up around 6:00 a.m. and we slowly, but hungrily walked downstairs to breakfast, where we ate yummy cheese croissants. After breakfast we left for more work at Bethel church where we laid cement on an overhang that we built on Monday. It turned out that we finished earlier than we planned, so we actually got to rest! During our Siesta(nap time), all the girls wanted to get started on the craft for VBS later that day. So we managed to put a few bracelets together and sort the strings by color. Around 5, the team got together downstairs, to leave for VBS. During VBS, we had face painting, crafts, snacks, while the older children played a game of soccer. After the children left, the pastor of Antioquia church showed us his church and talked about the history of the beautiful building. In spite of a long and hardworking day we got showers and winded down for a good nights rest.
These are some pictures from our first two work sites of the week.
Today started out a little rough. We had to be up by 5:40 to have breakfast at 6 and leave by 6:30 because the place we were working at was a 2 hour bus ride away. The church was in a small town of about 900 people that we had put a roof on during our trip 2 years ago. It is so remote that everyone speaks Mayan as their primary language. It was amazing to see the progress God had brought about during that time. They had put a second story on the 4 rooms we had worked on, and had added another 4 with a second story above those. We were mixing concrete and hauling buckets up to the second floor so that they could pour a support base for the eventual roof. Kyle sprained/broke (we’re not sure which yet) his pinkie when we were trying to separate the buckets that were stuck together with old concrete, but he splinted it up and powered through. Our students were all amazing because this was definitely a lot harder than the first day. Everyone did what they were asked to do without complaining and stepped up to take up any slack when someone had to take a break.
After the ride home, quick showers and group devotions, we headed back to the church downtown where we did VBS the previous day. all of our students interacted well with the children even though most of our kids don’t know much Spanish. After dinner, we headed downtown to relax a bit and have some ice cream.
It has been good seeing our group come together and really stretch themselves physically, relationally, and spiritually. Please continue to pray for safety and that we get the rest of the small jobs we have left done.
- Philip Weinrich
On Saturday we traveled on two flights one to Houston and another to Merida. We had a pretty great time Driving to Atlanta, we arrived at our flight an hour or two earlier. We boarded our flight to Houston which took about 1 hour 45 minutes. After we arrived we purchased lunch from different stores around the airport. After our three hour layover we boarded and took a two hour flight to Merida.
While doing VBS we sang, played soccer, face paint, and craft. The soccer game was pretty intense. I made a new friend named Leonardo who was around ten years old. Most of the people from Faith tried to talk with the kids.
- James Mustard
Today we went to a plant off of Shalom called Bethel Church. It was large cement building that has a roof but, when it rained the people would get wet coming in so we worked on building a roof like overhang. We moved 16 cement beams and put them up as supporters. Once we had put the beams securely we moved around 180 cement blocks and dropped them in the beams as the celling. The way that the buildings here are made is different but incredible. They can last forever, way longer than our buildings can in United States. The people here are really kind and interesting to talk to. Today I met a man that was a member of the church and came out to help us with construction. He told me about how he lived in New York for 24 years. He told me he could tell I was from Georgia because of my southern accent and I told he he should meet some of my friends. Overall we had a really good day it was hard and hot but very much worth it. We worked quickly and were able to finish early so we came back to the church and began painting. Even though we spoke different languages I saw God use each and everyone of use to work for his glory.
- Emily Brooks
On Sunday, after a long day of travel the day before we woke up early and went to the Shalom church service. Although the service was in Spanish it was interesting see how others worship the Lord and their culture in the church.We had communion which was a little different from out church because we went up to the altar. After church we headed downtown to do some shopping. It was different how you had to barging prices instead of just one price. Emily and I also learned how to say chicken as well as many other words in Spanish. later that evening we played soccer and ultimate frisbee. I played frisbee and it was exciting to see how we could connect and have a great time. Experiencing the culture and how others worsting was very different but also the same in many ways. So far this trip has been amazing and the people are so kind. I saw how God used all of the team members to get to know and form relationships with the people here.
- Caitlin Feilmeier
Welcome to the blog for our trip to Merida, Mexico this year. Keep coming back to see and hear more about what God is doing through our trip. This year’s team members are: