The 2015 Teach Us to Pray, Huejotzingo, Mexico VBS is in the books, except for the Sunday graduation service. We had a total of 51 registrants, a number of whom were kids who had not participated in any of our events before. Many moms brought their kids each day to the sign-in. We hope to see a number of parents at the closing ceremonies Sunday afternoon. The kids recite all of the memory verses they learned during the week and Abraham gives a summary message regarding what the children learned during the week. We also serve light refreshments, which everyone always appreciates.
One of the most moving things for me yesterday was at the end of the last lesson when the writer of Hebrews completed his story about how Abraham was a man of great faith. He had spoken about Jesus being the ultimate source and object of true faith. He then led all of the kids in a prayer in which they acknowledged that they had a personal faith in Jesus as the Son of God. Very touching to see their heads bowed, eyes closed, hands folded as they expressed this simple measure of faith.
While the volunteers were cleaning up, I was already transferring pictures from the day to my computer so I could post them to FaceBook and finish the PowerPoint for Sunday. I completed that by about 7:30 p.m. Then we went to a neighbor’s house for coffee. This couple were volunteers during the week. When I was here in 2013 they had also volunteered. At that time they were expecting their first child, who is now a two-year old boy. The husband had some things he wanted to ask me.
We wound up talking until almost midnight. Some of the men he works with are Catholic. They have a lot of beliefs that are not consistent with an evangelical understanding of Scripture and he wanted to know how to respond to some of the questions they ask or comments they make during various discussions of faith. As I’ve mentioned previously, the Catholicism in this area of Mexico is not Christianity, but rather a gross twisting and misunderstanding of the Bible combined with former pagan practices that were prevalent in this location centuries past (syncretism).
We had a good discussion of how Catholicism elevates tradition to the level of Scripture and how various things came into their belief system over time, especially as concerns Mary. The Virgin of Guadalupe (a perversion of the Biblical, historical Mary) is worshiped as a virtual goddess here in the area around Huejotzingo. She is the one people rely upon for their salvation and the one to whom they pray. She is the supreme deity, not Jesus or God the Father. Then there is the archangel, Michael, who is second in their pantheon.
We talked about how all he can do is present the truth of the Bible as he talks to his co-workers. We have to rely upon the Holy Spirit to open their eyes and ears so they can receive the truth God offers. God alone draws men to Himself. And He is not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to a true faith in God, as we pray the kids at our VBS and in our various classes throughout the year are doing.
On another note, Rachel and Abraham took my grandson to the doctor after VBS was over. He does not have any sign of infection. His throat is fine, his lungs are clear. Thanks be to God for answered prayer. He needs to drink more liquids. This is a boy who would rather play than do almost anything else. He is high energy. His mom has to side track him while he runs by to get him to eat or drink anything. We had chocolate cake last evening with our coffee. He loves chocolate cake! He ate about two bites before running off to play with toys. As he rode by on a small car, Rachel would catch him and make him drink some of his yogurt drink. She didn’t even attempt to tempt him back to his cake. He ate that when we got home around midnight.
Thanks for your prayers for Rachel and Abraham and their kids as they continue their work here in this part of God’s creation.
Appreciate your prayers for my last few days here. We have some more shopping to do today for Sunday. Then we will visit the plot of land we purchased at the end of last year where we will build our new TUtP center, hopefully starting soon as funds are available. We have final preparations for the VBS graduation. We plan to travel on Monday to a town that is about 2 hours away by bus. The folks there make a wide variety of Christmas ornaments that are the source of income for the entire community.