For our official trip blog, go here.
It has been an exciting 28 hours. We woke up yesterday at 4:30 am, had breakfast at 5:30 and then made our way to O’Hare for the 8:20 flight out. Check-in went well, and we went to the gate for a while. After boarding, our runway got changed so we had to do a lot of taxiing to get to the right spot. The pilot came on and said, “I know it seems like we’ve been driving for a while…because we have.” Good stuff. The flight to Dallas/Ft Worth was uneventful, but delayed. We got off at the A Terminal, and then had to hop on the train over to D. Off the train, and ran to our gate where they were holding the flight for us. We sat on the plane for 30 minutes as they transferred our luggage, and then we took off. The flight was pretty empty, so each of us had our own row. We filled our paperwork out, and arrived in SLP later than we were supposed to. We walked off the plane into 73 degrees and 43% humidity, absolutely beautiful. We got through customs ok, Monna had something filled out incorrectly, but it all worked out. We met Brigido, Amy and Marcos in the airport, and then we were off to Brigido’s house to drop off our stuff and grab some gorditas (corn tortilla with pulled pork and potatoes, and a scrambled egg one as well) to go. Next, we got on a bus (with air conditioning!!) and drove about an hour and ten minutes to Gorgorron, our first VBS of the trip.
Gorgorron is located south of SLP about an hour away. One of the members of the Pavon Church (in SLP) has family members there and told them about Jesus. The Pavon Church began an outreach there in November of last year. They do a Sunday evening service, and this is their third VBS there. Over the past few months, they’ve built a church building there, attached to the home of the family member.
We arrived at Gorgorron and the VBS was already started. By the end of the afternoon, there were 97 people of all ages there for the lesson. Our group helped with crafts, played games and helped with song time. We got back on the bus at 6:30, and most of our group slept on the return to SLP. We had some hang out and relax time, followed by a dinner of cheese and ham quesedillas and some “really good salsa” (Rob Frederick). There was ice cream served, devotions and then to bed.
I was up this morning by 6:45am and got a 3.5 mile run in to a local plaza, around and around and around and then back. Breakfast is eggs and bacon on bolleo bread and coffee, which is pretty great. Today holds work at the Pavon Church, and then back to Gorgorron for VBS. Here are some thoughts and questions that I’ve been kicking around over the last 15 hours or so:
- Gorgorron was discovered because a woman at Pavon had such a relationship with Jesus that she told her relatives about it. Wow.
- Upon hearing about Jesus from a relative, they invited the church down to tell them more.
- They went, even though it is an hour away, and is on top of several other ministry outreaches that are already taking place.
- Brigido’s whole family is involved in this ministry, teaching and leading.
- They built a makeshift church building to have Sunday evening services there.
- I wonder what Gospel is being preached. It is certainly not the Western Gospel of convenience and “your best life now.”
- What would possess people to do this kind of thing? Why would they drive that far away? What would cause a people to do whatever it takes to preach God’s Word?
- What is happening here is my dream for our youth programs. A fall-kickoff that involves a VBS for all ages, kids to adults. A program that leads into a weekly ministry for all ages.
But, I wonder. Are we so enamored with “Dancing With the Stars” and the “vanity of vanities” that make up our lives that we would never, could never give up our time and efforts to reach out? What would it require? Are we so in love with Jesus? Has He changed us to the point where we tell our friends, relatives and neighbors about Him?
If someone asked us, at Eastview, to drive an hour outside of Cedar Rapids and have a weekly service…would we do it?