Sunday the sun was rising when I woke. The nights are cool here and the days are warm but the air is very clear and dry. Mountains surround the area. After a few minutes on the roof I took a very quick “missionary shower” and ironed Hope’s dress and Lois’s clothes. It took a while to find a place to plug in the iron. Everything takes extra steps and extra time here in Mexico, but we are very, very happy to be here.
The team visited an orphanage, singing songs, giving testimonies, Susanna Whitten did a beautiful chalk talk. The children were fascinated with it. At the end of the presentation she gave the gospel in such a clear way it brought tears to my eyes. Chuk, Dan, and Wes juggled tennis balls which the children loved. When they were done all the children wanted to learn themselves. One of the girls did a gospel trick with ropes. A number of the team gave testimonies of principles of God at work in their lives. The boys signed some of the tennis balls and left them with the children.
The orphans were so eager to love and make friends. I noticed that though they have very little, if you show interest in something they will often give it to you. I watched a little girl cheerfully, eagerly placing her necklace around the neck of one of the Great Expedition team members.
When our meeting was over the room came alive with a buzz of conversation. Children and team members spilled out into the courtyard. Some of the team members spent time braiding and arranging the girl’s hair. With a little prompting five or six boys from the orphanage
We had a tour of the building. It was very simple and very, very clean and organized. I was impressed and humbled by the devotion of the small staff and the use of the space. From the outside you would have thought the building was industrial, but inside it was full of light and love.
The whole orphanage was run by a man who was converted in prison. He lived in the building himself. The children were obviously very well cared-for. They were well groomed, happy, and attentive.
A couple Christian young people from here in Mexico were so fascinated by what we were doing they asked if they could come along with us for a few days. A van load of people followed us to be involved in the ministry. We rested for an hour and a half and had lunch at our Latin American office at Lake Chappala. Some of the team were able to make Mother’s Day calls home.
Sunday evening we went to the town square in Johotopec and mingled with the people. We did a program, chalk talk and testimonies there before perhaps a thousand people. When we were done our team helped them distribute ice cream to all the mothers.
In the evening the air turned cool and a steady breeze blew in the square. It was hard to leave the people as all the team mingled and witnessed and chatted with people. The people are very friendly and very willing to talk. Some key relationships were formed and our love and appreciation for the country and people of Mexico grew. Toward the close of the evening we were invited to two or three more festivals.
To day we will do a program and minister for four hours in an orphanage of thousands of boys. Thank you for praying for the strength and endurance of our team and wisdom for our leader, Mr. Gothard, who is with us on the tour.
The Oasis Orphanage
Lake Chappala, Mexico
May 15, 2006