Mexico Reflections…

Mexicomission2006090Another year has passed and I have to be honest with you
that it was in my opinion one of the best mission trips I’ve ever participated
in. Each adult and student worked very hard at what we were trying to accomplish
as a group of churches. Everything from the roof we put on the church to the
framing for the new house for the pastor and his family, to the vacation Bible
school where we saw close to 50 kids almost every day.

What impacted me the most about this recent trip to
Cuervos, Mexico was the relationships we built with the people of the Cuervos
Church, a small group of Pentecostal folks, who love worship and a pastor who
can preach his socks off. In many ways this little church has more life than many
of our churches here in Sacramento and guess what? They have nothing. No
budgets. No building campaigns. Nothing. The pastor gets paid nothing and
commutes every Sunday from Yuma, Arizona to be with his church for almost the
whole day and then comes down at least twice during the week. His wife shared
with me that they wouldn’t usually get home on a Sunday until after 3:00am and
how grateful that she was to know that soon they would have a place to live
right at the church with their new attachment we built for them. The greatest
experience for me as a pastor was to watch the people of God come together each
day to serve with a smile. Students who I know were exhausted by the end of the
week, who gave of their all in playing with children, leading a drama, or
helping with a craft during VBS. Adults who took more than a week off from work
without pay and who paid to go on our mission trip who never complained once.
These folks worked hard at the proclamation of the Gospel by the very fact that
they “showed up,” ready to serve. We were three churches (Peace, Celtic
Cross, and Carmichael Presbyterian) who gathered as one church that practiced
for almost eight days a ministry of presence. I wish you could have witnessed
our students, many who were uncertain about what the trip would be like, who in
faith built relationships with people, even though there was a language
barrier, and made an impact on this small little church in Cuervos.

The last day we were at the Cuervos Church we had the
opportunity to hear Pastor Valenzuela lead a “Pentecostal” hand clapping, hand
raising, worship service. We filled his little church. Pastor led us in some
worship and than with the help of his wife who translated, brought to us a
sermon with a purpose. “Do you know Jesus?” We then as a group sang a
familiar tune; “Lord I lift Your Name on high.” I heard our group sing it in
English and some of the folks of the church sang in Spanish. Same tune,
different languages, same God we sang to with joyful hearts.

It was a powerful expression of the body of Christ coming
together as one church. Pastor Valenzuela at the end of a few of our workdays
would close our day in prayer. He would shout out in a loud voice, “Mexican and
American, we’re going to pray,” and would pray for us and you know something? We
didn’t need to know what he was praying in Spanish. You just knew he was
praising God and giving thanks to God for what God was doing and you knew his
prayers were also for us. The theme for this year’s trip was “Unidad En
Comunidad.”
Trust me when I say this. Three churches from Sacramento and a
small little Pentecostal church in Mexico were unified and for a week came
together as one community. The community of faith, who gave thanks to God and who
were reminded by God of why Jesus called us to “go out into the world and to
make disciples of all nations.”

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3 thoughts on “Mexico Reflections…

  1. WOW KC…you paint such a wonderful picture. I love this! Oooo I’m so glad you guys had such a trip. I wish I could have been there too. It just sounds amazing! What a sweet gift of worship to the Lord!

  2. Sounds fantastic! That’s definately one of the biggest misses from our time in ym: mexico mission. You can’t compact all the ministry from the rest of the year into that one trip. Perhaps its as Christ intended, love each other as I have loved you.

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