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.