Mexico

11 06 2009

cityscape

I must have been to this country over two dozen times. Growing up in California, I remember just walking across to TJ with just my driver’s license and goofing around for a few hours before crossing back to the States. A lot has changed since then. I’m in Chihuahua visiting some friends and ministries. Chihuahua is a city-state, one of 31 states in the country of Mexico with a population of about a million… give or take. With close ties to the US, it is an important destination stop for transports and industry.

But it’s the people that I love here. The children at the orphanage would look at me and say ‘tu es chino?’ and I would sarcastically reply ‘tu es mexicano?’ and everybody would get a laugh. That would be my extent of Spanish. Despite my horrid butchering of the language, people still greet me with a smile. I met one gentlemen today as my friends took me to see a church that just had their roof completed. Chuy is the pastor of a tiny church at the north end of town. If you know where Vida Nueva is, then you can throw a baseball and hit this church (actually, it’s across the street close to the Walmart).  Chuy has been pastoring this small church for about eight years or so. He’s kind, warm and very eager to tell you how God has blessed him and his neighborhood. The streets are gravel paved (paved is an exaggeration) with huge rocks jutting out every once in a while. When we came in, they were getting ready for a mid-week worship service. Their band was awesome and sounded great despite out of date equipment. There are cracks and holes in the wall because they have not plastered yet and there are a couple extra rooms for a nursery, classroom and kitchen. Despite the lack of amenities, Chuy loves serving the Lord and this community. Oh and did I mention that he is disabled. He has a rare disease similar to Samuel Jackson’s character in the movie “Unbreakable” in which his bones break easily. He has to maneuver the church and street in his wheelchair. Believe me there are no ADA guidelines when they build the churches here. I walked away after meeting Chuy for only 15 minutes and thinking ‘He really loves his Jesus’.

And so my friends and I talked in the car ride home and thought you can’t help but to ask why he is so happy. I believe we should live our lives in such a way that demands an explanation. Chuy doesn’t make sense to most people. I would be complaining. He doesn’t. Instead he just praises God and leads his church. And believe me the people respect this man of God. I sure do.

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