|I just returned from Ensenada, Mexico. And no, this is not going to be a post about immigration, because frankly, Kingdom wise, immigration is a non issue. I just want to share with you how my last couple of days went.|
We arrived late Tuesday and went to meet Pastor Alejandro at his house to plan our summer ministry times together. We have worked with Alejandro for over 10 years. By the time we got there for dinner, about 6:30, two other families had joined them for dinner. Soon thereafter, two other families arrived and before you knew it, the entire kitchen and living area was full. Lilia served molé up to rapidly growing group as we sat around the table for hours sharing stories, planning ministry together, and enjoying some incredible fellowship. Every time I am at Pastor Alejandro house in the evening, there is a meal and the people of his church are always welcome. I think there is a lesson for those of us who keep our houses closed to others.
Wednesday we visited Pastor Martín. We have known Martín for about 4 years and in that time have helped them become better able to respond to the needs of their community in a variety of ways. This year we have a group that will be helping with some outreach events not only at his church, but also further up in the hills behind his church where conditions are really tough. Most of the people of that area struggle to get enough money to have one good meal a day. The children seldom have new clothes and the clothes they do own are usually dirty, torn, and ill fitted hand me downs. Martín and his wife Mariné believe they need to do ministry in this area as well as the area around their church.
In the afternoon we visited with Pastor Jesus Vera. His church is growing very fast and they no longer fit in their worship center, which we built about 5 years ago. As his congregation is young, it will be hard for them to set aside the necessary money, about $30,000.00 US to build a worship center. We have developed building plans and needed the final approval from Pastor Jesus to begin the process of finalizing those plans and seeking funding so that we can build next year. When this is done, Pastor Jesus and his wife Mirtha will be able to realize a ministry dream of having a center open to the hundreds of kids left unsupervised after school in their area.
Our evening was spent at Café Tomas with Camilo. I blogged about this place earlier in the year. Camilo has been the person in charge of our Outreach Ministries in Mexico the last three years. I have never seen a guy so committed to kids hearing about God. He is an incredible guy with a heart of gold who wants to see the whole world come to know and love Jesus. I love having him working with us.
Then we stopped by to see Hermana (sister) Rebeca. Rebé as she is known to those close to her is our cook. But she is so much more than that. She is one of our closest friends, not just in Mexico, but anywhere. She is a mom to our teams, counselor for my interns, prayer partner, and one of the family. I have worked with Rebé and her family for the last 15 years. She is the closes thing I can imagine to having a sister.
In a time when relationships come and go, I am fortunate to have friends and ministry partners who have stood alongside of us for many years. It has not always been easy, but it has always been worth it, “vale la pena” in Spanish. Thank you God for bringing these people into my life and for the time we had together this week.