This is the second of two posts on our family missions trip to Mexico. If you want to read about the first 3 days, click here…
We had two goals with this trip to Camichines, Mexico. The first was to support my little brother, Noah, and his wife Katie at the Ranchito Con Esperanza. They are house parents there and do amazing work with the 9 kids in their care who come from some dark places. We are going to do that by living life with them, teaching a daily VBS and trying to be as low maintenance as possible! Our second, and secret, goal is to get Noah and Katie away from the ranch for an overnight break. They need support at the ranch and they also need time alone which they rarely get. So today, we are off to Guadalajara to see the sights of the second largest city in Mexico. This will be good…
There are two Mexicos. There is the Mexico that I’m enjoying now here in Guadalajara…this is the Mexico of arches ,columns, beautiful courtyards and tile lined swimming pools. This the Mexico of doormen with grey hair, hotel rooms with soft beds, showers with glass doors and A/C. This Mexico, with it’s history, beauty and extravagance, is far away from the Mexico we’ve experienced up until now. It’s far away in terms of money and access, but it’s not that far away in that I can see that Mexico from the roof of this motel. It’s the same in the U.S. and other places in the world. You can find pieces of the 3rd world in Nicaragua or West Virginia, but they seem closer together here. The “haves” are living right next to the “have-nots”. Here you can see the difference that the Ranchito Con Esperanza is making to answer the call of Jesus. I see how they are meeting more than the symptoms of poverty. They understand that true poverty is separation from God and that leads to all the symptoms of poverty I see here, but you need to feed a person’s soul and their belly.
It’s Sunday and it’s good to be with the people of God…even when I don’t understand a word that is being said. I am sitting here at Christo Redentor Church. I am an outsider in this culture. But when the band transitioned to songs I knew (“Famous One” and “Change My Heart, O God”), I raised my hands and sang out. We did feel welcomed by brothers and sisters who didn’t speak English, but who still extended their hands as we walked in and said, “Hola” because we both know Jesus. The pastor is teaching out of 1 Thesselonians and what it means to be like God. We will be leaving Mexico soon, but right here, I see the kingdom of God all around me. People of every tribe, tongue and nation reading the Word of God, singing His praises and working to build the kingdom. At the Ranchito Con Esperanza, they are doing it by taking in kids who need a family. They meet their needs and introduce them to Jesus. They are saving them from poverty in all it’s forms.
P.S. The rumor is that after church we are going out to eat Chinese. That will be fun…Chinese food in Mexico. Bring it on!