Day of the Dead

Day of the Dead.  Truly a celebration here in Mexico that I will miss.  I think some people get the wrong idea about what this holiday is all about.  More than anything, it's all about setting a day aside to remember the loved ones we've lost.  Now that Halloween has crept it's way across the border, it's creates a good mixture of celebrations for us gringos.  Of course, Ry and I love the traditional essence of this holiday. 

We've always loved this season and the festivities that it brings.  Before we moved to Mexico, we threw Halloween parties.  However, as I stated in my last blog, we decided to keep things low-key this year.  Of course, my idea of low-key may not be the same as others.

We had great fun just sitting around and chatting.  We chowed down on chicken and veggies, pan de muerto, a Day of the Dead cake and some other goodies.  The kids in the congregation enjoyed their Scooby Doo Halloween movie.  Then when they were off to bed, the adults played!  Well, we watch the latest remake of Nightmare on Elm Street.  Mostly it was just a blast to hang out and spend time with our family here.  It was the perfect way to celebrate this holiday for the last time here in Mexico.


Fall Happenings

Things here have just been CRAZY!  We've been extremely busy in every area possible.  Since my last post, we've been to an area-wide leadership retreat, having our regular weekly groups, setting goals and have had meetings after meetings with the leadership of the Nueva Creación Church and enjoyed a visit from a dear friend.  I've been baking cakes for kids, downsizing on my recipe books, working on gifts for our goodbye and spending time saying goodbye to some of our favorite things in Mexico City.

So, let me start with the first thing.  At the beginning of October, Jay Jarboe (Missions Resource Network) and Paul Dowell (Sunset International Bible Institute) came down to Mexico to help guide us through an area-wide leadership retreat.  Leaders and servants from four different congregations throughout the city, came together to reconnect and renew the vision that we have to make disciples in Mexico City and turning this city into a Christian City!  It was a refreshing time and we even got the chance to see some faces of people we've haven't seen in a long time.  Vero, Juan Pablo, and Alejandro joined the three of us from the Nueva Creación Church.  After this fruitful weekend, our leaders here have taken the same excerises we did at the retreat and have implimented them within our own congregation.  Last Sunday we broke up into small groups and had "dreaming" sessions.  Some of the things we discussed within these groups were things such as: If there were no obstacles, none at all, what would you want for the Nueva Creación Church?  What are the strengths you see among our church family? Weaknesses? Threats for these dreams to come true? Oportunities?
This proved to be an amazing opportunity for those within the congregation who tend to keep quiet and roll with the punches. 

Everyone had a voice last Sunday and with that comes a stronger connection between the members.  Tonight the leaders ad servants will meet and we'll be putting everyone's thoughts together and ready to be shared this coming Sunday.  Goals will be made and the wheels will start turning to begin new Bible studies and community activity.  One of the things that was mentioned more than anything was that the members want to make sure we live up to the name of our congregation: Iglesia Nueva Creación: Una comunidad para la comunidad. (New Creation Church: A community for the community)  We want to make sure that we have a presence here within the city.  That we are reaching out and pulling people in with the Light of Christ. 

Please keep the members here, in your prayers.  Many changes are coming their way and with that, Satan will for sure begin his attack.  I'm a firm believer that Satan attacks harder when Believers are working hard for the Kingdom.

Our good friend Brian Hall paid us a visit this past month.  It came as a total surprise to us and we couldn't have been more thrilled.  Brian was an AIMer in Guadalajara and worked as an apprentice under our missionary friends there.  Now, done with his AIM time, he dedicates his life to the training of future AIMers and work throughout Mexico.  To be honest, he's one of those GREAT people.  He has a big heart and isn't afraid to show it or give it away.  He also happens to be one of Jax's favorite people.  Could it be the constant attention he recieves from Brian or the fact that Brian would crawl through Jax's tent and play endlessly with him...well sure!  We are blessed to have his friendship and the common bond we have in Christ.  He's living in Lubbock and so we are super excited to be able to live in the same city with him. 

We are in the "goodbye" process.  That means we are relunctly saying goodbye to some of our favorite things this city has to offer: public transportation, fresh fruit on the corner, corner stores for that late night snack, the best quesadillas at the park, elote, tacos, culture found in everything, Day of the Dead, Mexico's Independence Day (the list could go on).  However, believe me when I say that there are several things that I CAN'T wait to say goodbye to: loud honking of cars at 6 in the mornings, sirens at all hours of the night, the loss of electricity 2-3 times a day, the terrible shrill the steam makes from the cart of the sweet potato dude (I've never gotten use to him).

Anyway, we've been going around to some of our favorite places and doing some of our favorite things lately.  I suppose this is a way to bring closure to things so that we don't feel later on that we ripped ourselves out of Mexico City.  Last week we went to one of our favorite parks and had THE BEST quesadillas in the city.  We've been enjoying these quesadillas since 2001, when we came down for our internship.  We will miss them, THAT'S for sure.

If you've kept up with me throughout the years, you know that we love to throw a good Day of the Dead/Halloween bash every year.  Well, due to packing and the stress that all brings, we're doing things more low-key this year.  We decided to just enjoy time with our church family.  So, tomorrow we'll have a potluck type meal and watch some scary movies.  Of course, I can't help but bake some goodies for the occasion.  I'm planning on some mini pumpkin and leaf shaped cakes (from the molds that Marilyn Burnett brought me last year) and then some yummy Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Bread!  I'll be sure to post some pictures.


A Change On The Horizon

Yesterday we had our last area-wide service here in the city.  Last?  Yes.  In case you haven't heard it of this by word-of-mouth or from our own mouths, we are relocating back to the States.  We are in the process of selling furniture and once again, scaling down EVERYTHING.  Everything we will be taking back will either fit in luggage for Jax and I (with some help) to take on our flight or in our van. 

During this process, emotions are in full swing; excited to once again live near our friends and family, but leery of leaving our family here.  Our hearts and spirits have been with this work since 2001, so it's time for some more stretching.  Moving here has been, by far the BEST decision Ryan and I have EVERY made.  We came here as a fairly new married couple in our mid-20s.  It's strengthened our marriage and we've done our growing into "adulthood" here.  We now have extended our family with Jax and have TRUE family of another culture.

Wow, there are so many thoughts and feelings, that they are hard to put down...and I'm sure there are more to come that I don't even expect.  That's the adventurous part.  Ryan and I have always been those who view life as an adventure and a journey.  We can't help but to do so.  With adventure, comes nervousness, excitment, and the un-expected...sounds a lot more fun than the normal ho-hum that life can tend to feel like.

So for now, we are sorting through our things, selling furniture, having a blast during our final 2 months here.  Jax and I will fly out on December 12th.  Liz Madrid from Georgia has blessed us with buddy passes and is even coming down to fly out with us.  This will allow for extra luggage and of course much needed help.  Our flight will take us through Atlanta, where we hope to stop for a day or so and hoping to see a few friends.  From there we will be home-bound.  LUBBOCK, TEXAS!  

Ryan and Israel Campos (member here) will drive to Lubbock, leaving the same day.  Ryan is so excited to have someone tag along with him, but man, I know there will be memories made during that trip.

There will be more news to come, but until then please pray for:

  • The selling of furniture
  • Organization
  • Memories to be made
  • Strength to continue within Iglesia Nueva Creación
  • Our upcoming travels
  • Our sanity through it all