Monday, September 27, 2010

Four more gone

About a month ago, two of the girls who sometimes attended Sunday afternoon Bible class in Huejotzingo left the home with their grandparents, aunt, uncles, and many cousins to live with their parents who had recently returned from the States. We miss Jacqueline and Gaby, but it's probably better for them to be with their mom and dad again.

Yesterday we learned that two more girls had gone, along with their adult uncle and fifteen-year-old aunt Margarita. Last Sunday, Irene, age six, and Lina, age eleven received a call from their parents in Philadelphia. The call was to tell them that their parents had arranged for them to cross the boarder and join them in the States. The four left from Huejotzingo on Wednesday and are now somewhere near Tijuana where they will spend anywhere from two weeks to a month before making the dangerous crossing with the dubious help of a coyote. It's hard to know what to pray. That they be caught and returned? That they make it safely into San Diego and from there continue to Philadelphia to be reunited with parents they haven't seen for a long time? The best prayer comes from Matthew 6:10b "...Your will be done..."

Regardless of your views on illegal immigration, please pray for these four. They are risking their lives to cross the boarder and then travel to the Northeast in fall months.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Fiestas and more

The week of the bicentennial of Mexico's independence from Spain provided us with two and a half days off from school, but we had more than enough to keep us busy. On Wednesday the students' last class was right before lunch, and then when the bell rang, releasing them from their classrooms, they all gathered under the school's balcony for a reenactment of El Grito. After the final "¡Viva México!" rang out, the students dispersed to various games, piñatas, or their lunch of tostadas. The festivities ended at 1:20 when the last child had left for home and two days of vacation.

For the teachers there was still grading, room cleaning, lesson planning, photocopying, and more to keep us occupied for some time. When I returned home, it was to prepare the ingredients for the tostadas that Abraham and I signed up to take to the church's Noche Mexicana. We needed to arrive early at church, because Abraham was asked the day before if he would lead the games for the party. He led musical chairs, dramas, the singing of the himno nacional, and other activities until it was time for the potluck dinner. During the meal, the final game was that no one could say 'no.' That made conversation difficult but hilarious, and in the end two of the youth won.

The celebration of independence didn't end on Wednesday night for us. On Saturday five church youth groups met at Dios es Amor for another Noche Mexicana, and again Abraham lead the games. Forty youth and their leaders gathered at 4 p.m. for three hours of fun and fellowship. Abraham is gathering quite a repertoire of group games!

On Sunday in Huejotzingo, he continued teaching Walk Through the Bible to the kids. They really enjoy hearing the Bible stories and learning the motions. We pray that God's word is taking root in all their lives as they learn more. Abraham continues to go on Thursdays to visit with the kids' parents and grandparents as well. Please keep praying for these families. Also please keep praying for land and a house in Huejotzingo so we can work there full time.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Happy Independence Day

Mexico is gearing up to celebrate 200 years of freedom from Spanish rule. At midnight on Wednesday/Thursday, thousands will gather in the country's zocalos to yell along with the president, "¡Viva México!" I'm sure it will be quite a stirring event for everyone. How different life would be here if Spain still controlled this country.

We celebrated with the kids in Huejotzingo on Sunday. When we first arrived, we played different games with various kids, and Six read with Flor, a 15-year-old who does not attend school but is eager to learn.

At about four o'clock, Abraham called everyone together, and we began playing a game similar to hot potato where everyone sits in a circle and passes a hat from head to head as music plays. When the music stops, the person with the hat is out and takes their chair with them. After playing "hat potato" we began a game of musical chairs, and then we played bingo (loteria in Spanish). There was much hilarity and noise in the room.

When the games ended, Abraham spoke about freedom, telling the Bible account of the boy who would throw himself into fire or water until Jesus healed him. Abraham reminded the children that, even though we are free from the rule of an outside country, we can still be slaves to sin. Later he talked with one of the girls who faithfully attends and asked her if she had received Jesus in to her heart. She said no. He asked what she was waiting for, and she didn't answer. Please pray for Zalma. She has heard the message of salvation many times, but her heart isn't open.

We left after 6 o'clock. The advantage of the church van still being out of commission from the accident during VBS is that we don't have to return the van to the church at a certain time, since we go and return by bus. The bus trip is much longer, but we then have the freedom to stay in Huejotzingo as long as we want.

Abraham has begun to go during the day on Thursdays as well. He is not able to take many seminary classes this semester, because the classes he needs aren't being offered. This allows him a more open schedule that he has fast filled with visiting family and friends and going to Huejotzingo. The two times he has gone so far have been wonderful opportunities to talk with the adults. On Sundays we typically only have children, but as Abraham visits, he can go to their homes, and the adults have been very open to talking with him. One of the fathers is almost illiterate, and so Abraham has begun reading aloud from the Bible, starting in Genesis. As he finishes each chapter, the man asks questions, and they discuss what the Bible says. Please pray for these weekly visits, that they help more people give their lives to Christ.

Monday, September 6, 2010

another beginning

We have begun the school year again. I am teaching 5th and 6th grade again, but this time I have 12 students. For a public school teacher, that may sound like a small class, but compared to the 8 students I had last year, it's a jump in size. Although larger in size, the class is slightly less international with several Mexicans, some Americans, two Koreans, and some students who are double nationality.

So, we begin again. I asked to have my students' art class instead of having another teacher take them. The history curriculum lends itself to many different crafts, and I'm also looking forward to teaching drawing. The kids still have other teachers for math, music, and ESL or Spanish. Abraham is their PE teacher, but I go along as his assistant on PE days.

Please pray for the school as the year begins. Pray for health, and pray that the students really grow close to God. Pray also for the teachers as we adjust to being back in the schedule and as we work with the students.