Monday, May 24, 2010

News of Huejotzingo

video
The school year is almost over, and therefore AWANA is drawing near to a close as well. Here is a short video of the kids playing a relay where they have to carry plastic eggs on spoons in their mouths. In two weeks we will have the final ceremony, and the club will end for the summer. Meetings will soon begin for the week-long VBS that will be the second week of July.

The people of Huejotzingo, specifically the children, need your constant prayers. Recently I was talking with a man who works, together with his wife, teaching children how to protect themselves against sexual abuse. I mentioned that Abraham and I are praying about moving to Huejotzingo to work full time with the people, and he said, "That's a difficult area. There's a lot of child prostitution there." This unwelcome news made me consider again how unprotected the children who go to Bible class on Sunday are. Many of them wander around almost completely unsupervised, because their parents either work long hours or are in the States.

I also immediately thought of raising our own children there. We will of course protect them as much as possible, but parents cannot be with their children all the time. I have begun to pray already for their protection, even though they aren't born yet.

Other unwelcome news came from Don Ezekiel, a man that I have mentioned previously as having bouts of extreme pain in his abdomen. It seems he has colitis. He is also under attack from the spiritual realm.

On Sunday he talked with Abraham and told him that he has begun having horrible nightmares about killing people. He said also that there are times during the day when he is walking down the street, and he sees someone and begins to think how he could kill the person. One time someone had tools of his and claimed he hadn't taken them, and Don Ezekiel felt an overwhelming urge to kill the man and even felt as if he were being pushed from behind toward the man.

Don Ezekiel is a powerful man, and he is physically capable of giving in to these dark thoughts. At this point he is not a Christian, although he reads the Bible and believes in the existence of God. He doesn't want to give his life to Jesus, because he is afraid he will mess up afterward. He has not been able to hear with his heart that perfection isn't necessary. Please pray for him. Satan does not want to let him go.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Huejotzingo



This is the land available in Huejotzingo. It is 20 X 20 meters, and the owner is asking 200,000 pesos up front.



Yesterday Abraham went to visit a family where at least some of the children usually come to the Bible class on Sunday afternoon. None of them had come, and he went to take the birthday dessert to one of them. When he arrived, they were just getting ready to leave to take flowers to the Virgin of Guadalupe. Several of them have professed faith in Jesus as their Savior, but at this point they do not see that this means they do not have to offer flowers to the virgin anymore.

Later, Abraham asked another girl what she thought of the virgin. This girl has also professed faith in Jesus, and her response was, "Well, she's an idol, isn't she?" Our prayer is that everyone can realize the same fact.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Land in Huejotzingo

Lord willing, Abraham and I will be moving out to Huejotzingo to work full time there after Abraham graduates from the seminary. We are looking for land to buy, so that we can construct a house close to where the mission work is.

Two weeks ago, the owner of the rooms we currently rent for the Sunday meetings in Huejotzingo told Abraham about land for sale. The owner has two empty lots side by side which he is selling together. The land is 20 X 20 meters, and he is asking 220,000 pesos for it (roughly $17,000). He wants all the money in one payment, and we do not have the finances at this point to buy.

Please pray with us that God will let us know his plan. Also, if you feel you can give toward buying land, the area available now or other land later, please send checks written out to Newport Mesa Christian Church. Include an insert in the envelope saying that the funds are for Rachel and Abraham Lechuga for land. The church's address is: 2599 Newport Blvd. Costa Mesa, CA. 92627
Thank you so much for your support!

Monday, May 3, 2010

The Joel competition, our first first anniversary, and the Sierras


Wednesday was the Big Night of the junior high and high school youth group competition on the book of Joel at Dios es Amor. Abraham and I had been working for several months with the junior highers, reading the book of Joel, discussing the meanings, and learning a whole lot about locusts. The format for the competition was baseball, with the 'pitcher' reading a question with a value of 1 - 4 bases to the 'batter.' The game went a bit overtime, but in the end, the junior highers won 16 - 9. They, and their parents, were very pleased.

On Thursday Abraham and I stayed home from work and school to relax together and enjoy a day celebrating the anniversary of our civil marriage a year ago. We slept late, and then Abraham made breakfast for us. After that, we went to a theater to see Date Night (funny but rather crude in spots). It was late evening when we returned home, and Abraham began to prepare a deluxe dinner.

One of the reasons we decided to take time off on Thursday, aside from celebrating our anniversary, was that we knew the weekend would be far from restful. A church in the Sierras had planned a youth conference and had called our pastor asking if anyone could speak at the conference. Abraham accepted the invitation, so Friday after school, we boarded a bus for the town of Zacatlan.

After three hours, we arrived in Zacatlan, and a young man came to pick us up for the 1 hour drive to the clinic where we'd spend the night. The roads wound and snaked through the mountains, leading generally upward, sometimes on paved stretches and sometimes on rutted and potholed stretches.

We reached the clinic at 11:30, and ate with several of the clinic staff. By about 12:30, we finally went to bed. Our sleep was cut very short, however, by the cacophonous ring of church bells at 5:15 a.m. The ringing was replaced by recorded songs, and then the musical interlude gave way to bells again at 6:15 when we had to get up anyway.

The youth began to arrive, trickling in in two's and three's. Finally, about 35 people had gathered, and we divided up between two very overloaded trucks for the 1 1/2 hour drive to the church where the conference would be held. After about 1/2 hour of driving, we stopped to pick up five more youth before continuing.

Most of the youth from other areas had already eaten when we arrived, but the ladies cheerfully served us beans, salsa, and homemade tortillas. Once we'd eaten, everyone gathered in the sanctuary for the conference. After singing - this group seemed very musical - it was time for Abraham's first message. He spoke about real liberty, the kind that comes only from serving God.

When he finished the message, we had games outside for awhile. By this time the heat and humidity had increased oppressively, and midges kept raising welts on exposed skin. These difficulties didn't dampen most spirits, and when we returned inside, the singing was as enthusiastic as before.

Abraham preached a second time, this time speaking about living abundant lives in Christ. He involves any congregation in his preaching, but in the Sierras, it is extremely challenging, because the culture as a whole is reticent and also most of the teens' first language is Totonaco rather than Spanish. Some of the more citified teens willingly answered questions and participated in illustrations, but some of the girls especially wouldn't even answer direct questions.

Once Abraham finished, the kids broke into four groups for a variety of games. They had sword drills, dramatized Bible scenes, sang Bible verses, and sang songs containing certain words. By the time games ended, the teens were tired and hungry, and the heat felt like a physical weight.

Abraham had chosen, rather than to preach again, to tell a simple Bible story, ask some questions, and then repeat the story. After that, he broke the youth into groups of 3 or 4 for them to retell the story, ask the questions, and then discuss the answers. This was a method he had learned at a conference a few weeks before, and it was moderately successful with this group. The extreme shyness of some meant that not every group participated. One of the teens with me wouldn't speak even one word.

This activity ended the conference. We ate together, and then groups began to leave. It was time for Abraham and I to go back to Zavaleta to catch the bus back to Puebla. We finally reached home at 10 pm.