I was not exactly sure where we were going as I rode with Mr J, in his pick-up truck that has a mere 250,000 miles, through the dirt roads that wind through sorghum fields as far as the eye can see. We conversed as brothers in Christ – him in “hillbilly Spanish” as it has been dubbed and me in my best efforts in broken Spanish. Yet, although we had some difficulties at times understanding one another we had an incredible conversation talking about life, family, the Bible, faith, etc. When we arrived to our destination, his plot of farmland, Mr J handed me a machete he just sharpened and we went to work side-by-side harvesting sorghum plants. The ride back to feed his animals was even better as I could tell Mr J had a new respect for me and we continued to celebrate the gospel of Jesus Christ together.
Needless to say, our team had a fantastic time in village EZ. To give you a larger picture of the village – there are three believing families in this small farming village. We estimate there are approximately 40-50 families total. This trip we were blessed with a lot of side-by-side time with two of the believing men (Mr J and Mr E) working the farm and going on errands which meant a lot of time building into these men spiritually. We also had some great discussions on the porch and around the table. We even had the cultural experience of watching Mexico play in a World Cup Qualifying soccer game with a couple of the families.
On the evangelism front we had more great opportunities. A few of us played a few games of soccer with the teens in the village. They are always surprised that this old gringo has some game :). In fact, I had the opportunity to give my testimony to a few of them when the game had ended. Some of the other guys on the team had some very meaningful conversations with this difficult to reach group. We continue to seek to build relationships throughout the village by visiting with people, sowing seeds for the gospel in our conversations with them, and inviting them to our outreach Bible study.
We also had a fantastic time with the children going through the story of the prodigal son with them and the parable of the hidden treasure along with some activities to help these great Bible truths stick in their hearts and minds. We pray that they bring these truths into their homes and ultimately that this is the beginning of training up a generation that would make up a church of people who grew up in the Word of God! Finally, we had an outreach Bible study where I shared my testimony and another team member walked through Luke 8. The Lord really blessed our time with great discussion around the Word.
Our biggest challenges in the village remain to be a general apathy toward the gospel and reaching the men who spend long hours working in the field. Please continue to pray for my language learning and that the seeds sown while we are there take root while we are gone. I praise God for the way in which he has bound our team together with incredible unity, love, and a joyful spirit. Lord willing, Betsy and the kids will be accompanying us on our next trip!