Mexico has continued to be a place of fulfillment and wonderful joy this week. Our team feels like a family and the care and encouragement we show to each other daily has been beautiful to witness and experience. We support each other through the difficult portions of the trip, whether those moments are feelings of homesickness, exhaustion, or whatever new challenges the day may bring. We have been able to give and receive so much love with people here and to enjoy what each of us brings to make this team a blessing to us and others. The Spirit of the Lord is moving through us and through our brothers and sisters in every place we’ve visited.
Once we returned from Saltillo, we spent a few more days with the Church in San Andreas, Monterrey. Playing with the kids again was so sweet, and the closeness we’ve grown in with the community there truly touches us. It’s been especially encouraging seeing the real connections we’ve made with the adults and families of the church through that ministry, and Rev. Martín has thanked us for the life we are helping to bring to the neighborhood. We’ve painted some of the chapel building, but the real changes we’ve seen go much deeper. Moments like when we walked around the neighborhood and prayed for strangers were sincere instances of connection that transcend language difficulties, and some of our team members were even able to help teach a girl who came with us how to pray. The tears she shed and the fears she shared were reminders that God can work in someone when we least expect it. It was hard leaving them again but we will return to San Andreas once more before the mission ends.
Last Friday we left for Río Bravo and stayed three days with Rev. Elizabeth and her husband Jesús at San Esteban Anglican Church. We knew we were welcome the moment we stepped off the bus as Elizabeth hugged and kissed each of us. They are a loving couple who selflessly give to the poor of their community and their testimonies moved us deeply. It has been so reassuring to meet people who are giving everything for the Gospel and have overcome tremendous sorrow to gain lasting joy. We spent most of Saturday helping with the children’s retreat they hosted at the church. It was a beautiful time of teaching and connecting with the children; and we helped paint their new building. Being able to help a community that has experienced violence and hurt in the form of organized crime over recent years was an incredible opportunity. Elizabeth is intently motivated to reach the children there and told us repeatedly how important it is to have examples of faithful youth there for the children.
We loved our time there, and were sad to go but the last couple of days in Monterrey have been restful and fun for the team as we have celebrated birthdays and prepared for our travel to Chihuahua. In Chihuahua we will meet Padre Esaul and begin the work of ministry to communities in his area and the villages of natives who have been overlooked and ostracized. We are excited for this next step in our journey, and we hope you will continue to pray for us and the new people we meet!