Mark’s Visit to the Circle of Silence – Part 1
Day of arrival: Donald and I take a trip around Queretarro to find an optician. Donald needs new lenses for his glasses, but the optician can’t locate the ones needed and nor can his colleague who he calls in his attempt to help. It appears Donald will have to hunt his new lenses down in the USA on his next trip. I am reminded straight away that what would be a straightforward trip to Specsavers (an English opticians) and maybe a few days wait for new lenses is not a formality in other parts of the world.
Other blessings I take for granted in England noted so far on my trip are: flushing toilets that flush toilet paper away too, roads without Grand Canyon size potholes (although we are fast catching up in the UK) and a LOT less ‘sleeping policeman’ (speed bumps) which are the size of a small house here.
After our unsuccessful shopping trip in Queretarro, we eat breakfast together and begin to discuss cultural differences between our two countries. Obvious differences exist: language, currency, food flavors, meal timings and weather patterns are just some. Mexico has it’s religious traditions, being predominantly Catholic. England claims to be a ‘Christian’ country, but that all depends on your definition of the word, doesn’t it?! We also recognize the issue we have in common whatever country we originate from or reside in, which is the need that all men and women have for a restoration of their broken relationship with God through Jesus Christ.
So Donald brings me to the Mission in San Luis De La Paz. I meet the rest of the team: Becky, Cecy, Hugo, Ivonne and their children. They live in a community setting, three apartments within the one large building, which also houses classrooms for the English school they run and a large multi-purpose room. I fully realize the impact of not knowing Spanish at this point as I cannot communicate effectively with all the team. I am so grateful to Cecy for ‘going above and beyond’ by volunteering to be my interpreter.
I observe the discipline of the team from the morning of my first full day with them. We start the day at 6:00am with an hour of bible study and prayer led by a different member of the team. This is followed by an hour of exercise. For the boys, tennis football and the girls, Zumba. Breakfast follows and then starts the business of the day. This pattern can be interrupted however, e.g. each Monday morning at 7:00am a prayer meeting takes place on the internet where a larger missionary team ‘meets’ to share prayer requests and pray for one another…. Donald may have a business meeting that has to take place first thing….Hugo runs a business off site and on occasion has to be there first thing….children have to be cared for.
The teams purpose here is to build relationships with whomever they come into contact with, to share the love of God in practical ways so that they earn the right then to share the gospel. As soon as possible after that they are wanting to disciple these folks. I am fortunate to be included, at different times, as each member of the team goes about this business.