Sunday 14 December 2014

Coro Unido de Puebla

We are so fortunate here in Mexico to have so many talented people as missionaries. (Almost) every year for the last nine years the Vanderwerf's (Terry and Helen) have used their talents to put on the most incredible Christmas concert. 

Well over 400 singers, dancers and instrument players set the stage last night for the first of two nights of the concert. 

Not only is it a huge under taking to be able to get 400-500 people organized, but they were faced with many challenges this year along the way (robberies, issues with people not being able to show up the day of the show, etc). But, by God's grace, all obstacles were over come and the Gospel was clearly shared. 

This years theme was "un regalo de Amor"--- "A gift of love". Complete with a Christmas tree full of choir members. It was a wonderful performance to a completely packed house!

Friday 12 December 2014

Jesus Maria Closing Ceremony

Last night we had a great turnout for the community center closing ceremony last night in Jesus Maria!

We were able to recognize people that participated in all the classes we offered this fall (over 100 people came out), we ate over 300 tamales, drank delicious ponche (a christmas drink) lots of laughs and a great little devo from Jim!

Thank you for all that helped the event go off without a hitch!

December 12th... every year.

Tis the season for more than Christmas around here, it is the day that Mexican Catholics Celebrate the virgin.
Actually, the Christmas season doesn't start here until December 16th (even though the retail stores start early).

On Wednesday we seen probably a thousand people trekking to the Basilica (the meca for worshipping Mary the Guadalupe) just in the short time we were traveling to the city. Many of them carrying heavy Mary statues or wearing coordinating Mary attire. They are on foot, bike, and truck.

They spruce up the boxes that Mary is kept in all around the neighborhoods. One of my neighbors worked day in and day out to get a Mary Box made. Last night, for about a few hours around midnight, there was huge parties around the boxes that Mary is in, in each neighborhood. Fireworks (so bad that my dog was shaking uncontrollably), loud music, chanting to Mary etc.

December 12th is the day that Mary apparently appeared to Juan Diego (again and left her image on his cloak). Interested... here is the story.

Anyways, millions of people head to the Basilica to honor Mary on this day. As we were driving on Wednesday it made me sad thinking about all these people putting in so much work to worship something that they shouldn't. I have always wanted to go to the Basilica on December 12th, just to experience what happens there for myself... that will have to wait for another year.

It breaks my heart to see so many people doing something to honor and worship something that they shouldn't be. It is a great reminder to believers why Mexico is still in great need of the Gospel. It is also a great reminder to missionaries why we are here. 

I have posted about this date before... like here, for example and here!
And Rod wrote about it too.

Thursday 11 December 2014

Closing Ceremony - Las Palmas

This fall we have been teaching class in Julian and Malu's house in Palmas 1. It has been an instant success, praise the Lord! 

Last night we ended the season with certificates, a christmas message, cake, candy and way too much caffeine. 

I am thankful for the little bit i know these 25ish people (mostly kiddos) who are full of energy and curiosity! I am also thankful for all the work that Julian and Malu put in this fall in Las Palmas (they are headed home to Canada this weekend) they will definetly be missed! 

I can't wait to see what the future holds for this neighborhood, and what we can do with more space in the new community center!

December is busy!!

I can not believe how fast this fall has just flown by! It seems like just yesterday I was trying to get everything ready to start the classes and now we are in the middle of the closing ceremonies.

This fall I have found a house (with the help of Mayra) to move into. It is dual purpose. It is going to be my house, in the new neighborhood, but it will also have the new community center attached. Starting to paint and get it ready for my grand arrival in January! I am excited to be able to paint and stuff before i move all my junk into it! There is so much i COULD do to the house,... but i will stick with painting and putting in outlets! Yipee ;)

Last Sunday night was the appreciation dinner for the leaders of all the bible churches in Mexico City. It is always fun seeing friends from all over the city! We were also able to honor Rollie and JoAnn Smith who have been on the mission field for 40+ years (a good chuck of that in Mexico). They will be retiring in 2015, and will be greatly missed! (Good job on the slide show, Rod)

just for fun, the other day we went and ate lunch in the woods... and found these hats! Thanks for the photo, Rod!
(i love hanging out with this family! )

Thursday 4 December 2014

Gingerbread Houses (Casitas de Navidad)

Today was the last baking class of the year, so we went out in style---- decorating Gingerbread houses. We also had a small devotion on Jesus being a gift =)

Most turned out, some did not... but a good time was had by all!

Tuesday 2 December 2014

Tiempo de Vivir Activities

Getting ready for the next block of Community Center classes.

Wanna know what we will be up to?

In Las Palmas we will have our first full schedule of classes in our NEW community center! We are hoping a lady from Palmas will promote our stuff, we met her this summer at the soccer tournament. Besides classes we are hoping for a wheelchair outreach, easter egg hunt, and another soccer tournament this spring!

Of course, we are still having classes in Jesus Maria... 

We are also continuing classes (english and baking) in Acozac and English classes in the center of Ixtapaluca

Prayers are appreciated as we wrap up this block and get ready for the next!