Yesterday morning our hosts’, Lydia and Bill’s, neighbor asked Lydia if she had 4 blanquillos. Lydia thought, “Why, yes…I have 4 Blanquillos…but what do you want with them?” The punchline? They meant white eggs, not white people. Blanquillo, literally, means white. Either way, yes. She had 4 blanquillos. Haha! This was our inside joke of the day.
We spent the main part of our day finishing up work at Centro Cristiano Transfomación. We finished building the kitchenette/cabinet (wooo!) and painted the front of the sanctuary as well. It has been hard work, but it’s been very rewarding. One of my favoriteparts of this trip, no doubt, has been working with Pastor Otoniel. He doesn’t speak English so he has challenged us to better understand Spanish. As he has lead us through the steps of building and fixing things around the church, we’ve picked up on a lot of useful Spanish vocab; we’ve learned the word for tape (cinta), screws (tornillos), screwdriver (desarmador), drill (taladro), saw (cierra), and many other words.
After finishing up our projects, we headed back to Bill and Lydia’s home for a little descanso (relaxation) and then prepared for a children’s ministry program to put on at a local church. We were expecting maybe 30 people to show up at best, but we were surprised to find that double that amount showed up! We sang “Gloria a Dios” (Praise Ye the Lord), “Tengo Un Amigo Que Me Ama” (I Have a Friend Who Loves Me), and a song about El Arca de Noé (Noah’s Ark). (See this kids singing in this video! IMG_0631.MOV).
After worship, we told the gospel story using the Wordless Book, which is a “book” of 6 colors, each of which represent a different part of the gospel story. Black, to represent our sin, red for the blood of Jesus, white because his sacrifice made us pure, blue for baptism that washes away our old ways, green for new life in Christ and yellow because we were meant to live forever with Christ in heaven, on the streets of gold. We made bracelets of corresponding colors so all the kids could leave with a reminder that Jesus truly is their friend and savior.
Because we were not expecting so many children and because the language is still somewhat in our way of sharing and teaching like we normally would, things were a bit hectic. It took too long to pass out candy and stickers and beads and bracelets and the room was pretty loud with kids of all different ages making noise. But in the end, it was truly a great night. We had the opportunity to engage these kids and to share the gospel story. And we made some little friends in the process! One of the most talkative kids was Alexandro (pictured above, with Nick). He was very surprised to hear we were from the US and greatly enjoyed learning a new English word — “stickers.” It was a privilege to talk and play with these kids.
During our team devos, we discussed what types of things we have noticed about the Mexican culture so far. We talked about this in a previous blog post, I’m sure, but it is such an important takeaway that it’s worth mentioning another time; the people here are so hospitable. I have never felt more welcome anywhere in my life. Though we have only been here a few days, I feel like the people at Transformación are family. I think the openness and hospitality that the people here have portrayed are a beautiful depiction of the invitational nature of the Holy Spirit — He is always desiring to bring people in close to the Father — to invite.
Each one of us on the team feel it would be an immense honor to return to Mexico one day. We are all praying for how and where God might best use us in His plan, be that in Mexico or the States.
Today is our day to be tourists in the beautiful, historic capital city, Guanajuato. We’ll let you know how it goes when we are in the airport for too long on Saturday and have some extra time on our hands.
Que Dios te bendiga! (God Bless!)