In May 2006 I skipped my graduate school commencement and Chuk skipped his college graduation ceremony to take advantage of a missionary opportunity. Our family went with an evangelistic team to Mexico. One evening we visited a tiny, humble village on Lake Chapala. Most of the streets in the village were dirt. The main street was cobblestone.
The street was filled with children when we got there. We had a big watermelon to use for a skit, but someone had the idea that we should just slice the melon and give it out to children. A long line of children formed for watermelon. One of our team members made animal balloons. Another line formed there. Three or four girls visited in homes. I walked to a little shop that opened up to the street and ordered a Coke. I didn’t drink the water in Mexico but I put away the Coke. In Mexico they are cheap and cold and sold in real glass bottles.
Dan, Wes, and Chuk juggled. We sang to draw a crowd, told stories and did skits. Finally it was time to go. Most of the team made their way to the bus, but two of our young women stayed behind. The sun had set and the street was getting dark. I stayed with them. One of them knew Spanish. She interpreted while the other told the gospel story to a group of about five teenaged girls from the village. I watched. None of the girls looked away from her eyes for even a second. She explained the gospel and prayed with the girls, then we all walked back to the bus in the cool night air.
That spring night in a tiny, poor village in Mexico, a young lady from Indiana and another from Boston were learning missions first-hand. On the bus home they were tired but joyful that they had been able to give the gospel and pray with the girls. I will never forget the look in the eyes of each of the girls, the joyful chatter of our young ladies, the cool of the night, or the worn cobblestone streets of the village. I will never tire of telling the story.
April 28, 2008