This week has indeed flown by. Some days it seems as if time is going so slow and then I look and my watch and realize that the day is almost through. I cannot believe I’ve been in Oaxaca for over a week now. It’s been so exciting and overwhelming all at the same time.
We spent Monday having some last minute training sessions and then learning routes to each of our assigned villages. For these next two months, our Nehemiah team is broken into assigned groups that will travel 3 or 4 days out of the week to various villages with different objectives. We have one pair working to help translate bible stories into the Zapotec language, others working to minister to college students, and others with small churches needing encouragement to flourish. My group consists of myself and two other young ladies. We are working in two parallel villages right now simply talking with the people and hopefully getting involved in the ministries currently there. One of these pueblos is without running water and electricity so I believe we’re hoping to do a light project out of 2 liter water bottles with the people there. Our task is fairly flexible so I definitely think we will be following as the Spirit leads us this summer.
Also this week we were able to visit Casa Hogar, a children’s home. The kids there were so full of energy that my team and I had an awesome time! As soon as we arrived and placed name tags on the table to begin making for everyone, many of the children ran over and took charge. One little girl would take blank name tags and copy other peoples, sticking them all over the place. I think by the end of the day I ended up with at least six random names on my back. While there, we played several games of tic-tac-toe on the sidewalk, colored some pictures, and shared the story of Daniel and the Lion’s Den. It was a lot of fun and I think we’re hoping to go back on the Tuesdays to come.
The next two days we went to our villages. We walked around passing out flyers for a sports camp we’ll be having this week. As soon as we were dropped off at the smaller village, we met a new friend. She’s a young mother and she helped us tremendously in the two days we were there. She showed us around and helped us explain the camp in Spanish to her neighbors. Then, the next day when we returned another lady we met, showed us how to make tortillas. I did a pretty good job and pressing it flat but struggled to lay it on the stove flat. But, by the end of this summer, I should have it mastered. They already invited us back to try again this week. Also on that same day, the children at her house led us up a small trek to the top of a hill overlooking both villages. It was beautiful! I’m hoping that we will really get connected with the believers in this village to encourage them. We visited the other pueblo across the street some too but didn’t have as much success because it seemed like a lot of people weren’t there. However, we barely covered a fourth of that area so this week will be filled with more exploration.
Friday and Saturday were our days off. Friday we had a team meeting and then we walked the Zocalo some and that night had a family dinner. Our team prayed at the table after some conversation for the world issue of human trafficking then spent some time praising and worshipping on the roof top. The students that God has placed me here with are so great. They each have a strong heart for the Lord and are so in tune to his leading that they greatly encourage me. I’m a big listener so it’s always a pleasure hearing them each share what’s on their heart. Some of us chose to walk to the Zocalo again in search for opportunities to minister. We met an older gentleman on the street singing of the love that Christ has to share. At first we just passed him but one of my friends turned to me and said, “Wouldn’t it be terrible if we allowed him to sing and he not fully understand what he’s singing about and one day go to Hell?” We felt the conviction of the Holy Spirit and decided to turn and talk to this man. It turns out that he was formerly Catholic and drank on a regular basis until they had to remove his leg because of his addiction. He turned to Christ in that time of need and found salvation in the resurrection, what an inspirational testimony! The next day, we travelled to Mitla to see the indigenous ruins there. It was really cool! We had a really nice tour guide who showed us around and explained the history and architecture of the buildings. I enjoyed it a lot. I later watch Man of Steel with a large group of our friends here. It was just like we were in America expect that we stood out like a sore thumb because of our light skin. The movies here are in English with Spanish subtitles so they don’t have to have weird voice overs. I thought that was interesting.
Today we went to Casa de Restauracion, which is where many of our new friends from the village go. It was a more contemporary service and I enjoyed it a lot! It was awesome because they sang some songs we knew in English so I could hear both languages at once. Also, since it was Father’s day they played several games and served us tacos for lunch.
Like I said, it’s been a busy week but the Lord is working. Please pray for health and healing for my team and I as many of us have gotten sick. Pray that I would be confident in the power God has given me and that I will continue in adjusting to Oaxaca. Pray for our groups in the villages, that the Spirit will lead us to where we need to be. Thank you for your support and love!