2006 Mexico Mission Diary 

missions the Jim Grey page

The Lord's day

Sunday was a special day of community and leisure. We had breakfast together at 8 am and walked just outside the mission compound to the church for worship at 11. Services are in Spanish, of course, but you'd easily recognize the service's Restoration Movement roots with its familiar five elements: singing, prayer, communion, preaching, and giving. The praise band sang a few songs we knew, with a verse or two in English. I've learned enough Spanish pronunciation rules now that, because they project each song's lyrics onto a screen, I can sing along in Spanish, even though I don't understand the words. Communion is delivered to your seat, but you walk up to the altar to deliver your offering. Sermons have been long in the past, but today it lasted a surprising 20 minutes.

It's become our tradition to feed the congregation lunch after church, so we scurried back to the dormitory to bring simmering hot dogs and all the usual stuff that goes with them out to the gazebo.

At far left is Sanille, handing out bags of chips. She had learned how to say "regular, pepper, jalapeno, or sour cream and onion" in Spanish just for the occasion.

At near left is of Erika, who cooks all of our meals, helping a little girl with her hot dog.

Since could have been more organized about setting things up, all of us were tripping over each other and the people we were serving. And we sort of overengineered the event, often placing complete meals on plates for people rather than letting people choose what they wanted to eat. We aimed to serve, and nobody can say we didn't serve thoroughly! But everybody took it in stride. We Americans huff and snort where our friends in Piedras Negras just wait patiently. (I suppose if they tried to complain, we wouldn't have understood them anyway!)

Below left, Tammy and Connie, both from Hazelwood, are pouring drinks, trying to keep up with demand. Below right, Erika is readying buns with Linda from West Park Christian Church in Indianapolis. Sue Wilkes, also from West Park, has her back to the camera.

After lunch, the boys played on the basketball court (below, left), the little kids ran around like little kids do, and the adults hung out and chatted for a long time. Below right, the mission's executive director, Jair Castillo, sits on a picnic table in his white shirt. Jair also preaches for the congregation.

After we served everyone, we ate and cleaned up the large mess. And then the rest of the afternoon was ours. Some people took long naps to help recover from the bus trip. Some enjoyed some quiet time. Some played euchre on the veranda, proving conclusively that the game defies even international boundaries. Below left, Sanille, Tammy, and Connie play at one table, while below right, Sue watches Lynn, Linda, and Erika play at another table.

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