Mexico. Ah. What did we do? I got asked this all the time. What we didn’t do: build a house or dig an out house. Get sick from the water or food. Miss electricity that much. (Except for the girls who brought their battery powered curling irons, but that’s another story. We got to see some of our best friends in the world. Mine are Priscilla and Sandra. She and her family are very poor and are always asking for food or money. Priscilla’s little girl died two years ago (the little girl was blind already, and she pulled a pot of boiling water down on her) and she gave me all of her daughter’s clothes for my daughter. I will never forget her kindness to me. Sandra was originally our cultural liaison from the VBS to the church. She became my very good friend. She likes to cook for us (tamales this time) and always bakes us a cake. We have been able to help them a little with some financial stresses, but there is no way we could ever repay all he’s done for our church family. She is a very strong, powerful woman of God and is an example of how I hope to be someday.
More than just hanging out with friends, we also go to share in stocking their food bank, entertain and educate our elementary school kids, teach the young women about being beautiful and trusting God (not that they needed help on the beauty realm.) encourage the mamas by teaching on prayer and doing crafts for their home, teach the men …teach the men more about what it means to truly be a man of God, and share testimonies during the evening services. One of the men told us that last year’s program changed his life.
During service I got to share about my illness – how I was much better and I attribute that to their love and prayers. I was very sick – I told them – I had a problem with the chemicals in my blood. I know it wasn’t exactly true and I do not like to lie, but was afraid to risk the ostracism that sometimes comes with being mentally ill. At the end of my testimony, the church clapped. I was the only one who received applause all week.
I got to translate a lot, but had great help this year. A very intense, hardworking girl who could help me with weird vocabulary (She’s in Spanish 4, I think, at school.) Another who speaks Spanish at home and, I believe with his grandparents. The team leader was even able to help as I got scrambled one night during the evening service.
We also ate burros (burritos) churros (deep fat fried in pure lard), tacos and sodas we don’t have here. There were these incredible chocolate dipped bananas with a frozen banana Popsicle in the middle instead of a banana. They were more manageable than the real thing, and maybe even more delicious.
Towards the end if my baby wanted to go play on the playground at the church while I was inside, I let her. The older kids take care of the younger kids. There was a mama sitting and watching, but even if there wasn’t, I probably would have let her stay anyway. She came up front while
I was interpreting. One day, she just copied me and all of my handmovements. The next day she sat fit to do a interpretive dance. She was funny, but didn’t distract.
I was glad she was there.