Tuesday, December 21, 2010

garage sale and Christmas party

Six talking with one of the ladies from the church
Abraham watching while some
children chose toys
Early in January, we would like to take the children of Huejotzingo on a day trip to a large city park, the Parque Ecologico.  They have never been to the park, and it is a fun place to play.  There are  basketball courts, a large aviary, soccer fields, several playgrounds, and lots of open grassy space to play in.  On the weekends, there is a company that has zorb balls that float on water.  People pay 25 pesos for 10 minutes to play in the ball.  Awhile ago, we decided it would be enjoyable for everyone to spend the day at the park and also go in the zorb balls.

In order to pay for the zorb balls and the transportation to and from the park, we planned a garage sale.  People from Puebla Christian School and the church Dios es Amor donated a variety of items, and we set the sale date for the 18th of December.  It was a long day, but we raised more than the amount necessary for the day trip.  The remaining funds will help pay for Bibles and will help a widow start a tamale-making business.

In addition to raising money for Huejotzingo, we had the chance to witness to some of the people who came to buy items.  One of the people is a teenager who came to see if we had dress pants.  He asked if we were starting a business.  I told him no, that we had come on behalf of Dios es Amor.  I explained where the church was and invited him to attend.  His response caught me off guard.  He said, "I am not permitted to."  Then, by way of explanation, he showed me the chain around his neck that had the image of La Santa Muerte.  He told us that he began following Holy Death after he received a job the day after praying to her.  Those who follow her vow not to seek any other religion.  Abraham was able to spend some time talking to Jovani, telling him about Jesus' promise of eternal life and explaining that Jesus has conquered death.  We intend to visit Jovani on Wednesdays before going to the church for Awana.  Please pray for him;  he has become involved with a powerful evil.  Pray also that we can share the gospel clearly with him.

Pedro helps Naty hang a poster
One of the church ladies donated
gift bags with treats for the kids
The children and adults thought of gifts
to give to Jesus this Christmas
On Sunday afternoon we had a Christmas party in Huejotzingo.  We hadn't decorated for Christmas yet, but the kids were more than happy to help put up posters, hang tinsel, and decorate the tree.  We were glad to see that Naty and Zalma, after a few weeks of absence, returned to spend the afternoon with us.

During the afternoon after decorating, we sang Christmas carols and then discussed what gifts we could give to Jesus for his birthday.  Suggestions included obedience, respect, and love.  Abraham also read the Christmas story from the Bible.  When the service ended, we dished out pozole and Christmas punch that had been donated by several people from Dios es Amor.  Everyone ate their fill, and we saved some to take to Marta, Lupe, and Jorge, the people that Abraham has been studying with on Thursdays.  Marta and Lupe are the two who recently accepted Christ into their hearts, and Marta is the widow who wants to begin selling tamales in order to have an income.

Thank you for your prayers.  Please keep them coming.

Have a very merry Christmas!

Monday, December 13, 2010

Bigger than Christmas

December 12 is the day in Mexico dedicated to the Virgen de Guadalupe. It passes up Christmas in the importance of the celebration, for on or before the 12th, tens of thousands of pilgrims travel in car, on foot walking or jogging, or by bicycle to the Basilica in Mexico City. So great is the number of pilgrims that the Catholic church has designated different days for different groups of people to make their journeys to the Basilica. If everyone tried to enter on the 12th, there would be no room for the majority.

Those who cannot make the pilgrimage to the Basilica gather in great numbers in other chapels or cathedrals dedicated to the patron saint of Mexico. People wait in lines for 2 or more hours just to be able to enter the crowded chapel.

So the celebration of the birth of our Savior Jesus takes second place to the reverence offered by tens of thousands to the Virgen de Guadalupe.

The day of Guadalupe fell on the Sunday this year, so we half expected that none of the kids would show up to the class in Huejotzingo. For the first hour and a quarter, it looked like they wouldn't, but then at 4:15, Flor came with her baby and her little sister. We read with them and studied verses in the Bible that refer to the roles of angels. Then we walked the three home. We stayed awhile there to talk with Flor and Lupita's parents and also with the three children who were supposedly going to be leaving for Oaxaca and Michoacan, and then we went to visit with two ladies who have been doing a Bible study with Abraham on Thursdays.

And here's the excellent news! On Thursday, both of them chose to give their hearts to Jesus. If you also follow Him, you have two new sisters. Please pray for them as they grow and pray for Abraham as he continues to study with them.

Monday, December 6, 2010


We have found that the rate of illiteracy or near-illiteracy is quite high in Huejotzingo. There are several of the adults that either do not know how to read at all or only have rudimentary reading abilities.

One of the men that has been doing a Bible study with Abraham was commenting on how different people from different religious groups have come to his door telling him many confusing things about the Bible. "And now here you are," he continued, "Reading from the Bible and telling me different things. How do I know who is right?" Abraham challenged him to check in the Bible for himself, but that challenge is impossible right now, because the man does not know how to read. Abraham then said, "Let me teach you to read." And so he began teaching the man, but the task is difficult, because the man is now often at work from dawn until after nightfall, so for the last two weeks, Abraham has not been able to meet with him.

A large number of the children also read poorly or not at all. Several of them do not go to school anymore, and those who do often have little or no help from their parents at home. Their parents are completely absent, at work for long hours, or do not know how to read.

When we move to Huejotzingo, we hope to begin an informal school where the kids and their parents can learn to read, in addition to learning basic math. We would also like to teach English and some job skills for the teenagers. This school would of course include Bible lessons as well.

Please pray that we would find a place to live in Huejotzingo and that we would be wise in teaching the academic subjects, the life skills, and the Biblical content.

We found out this Sunday that the children who supposedly were going to be leaving for Michoacan and Oaxaca had not left. It is not clear whether they ever really were going to leave. When we saw them on Sunday afternoon, the two girls were hidden with a group of boys about their age, in their young teens. They ran off giggling when we approached, but then some of them drifted back. The younger brother of one of the boys told us that they were playing at being boyfriend(s) and girlfriend.

We began to talk with the group, and then Abraham told them sternly, "It is not your time to be playing at dating." One of the boys protested, "We were just telling stories." So Abraham said, "If you value these girls as your friends, then you won't be hiding here with them. People will begin to talk badly about them." Please pray for these young teens. They see much more sexuality than they should, and they believe it is fine for them to be experimenting. Pray for prudence for them and wisdom for us.