Tonyia and I have settled into life in Galeana, Nuevo Leon, Mexico. What seemed unusual at first now seems ordinary, but I thought you might enjoy a glimpse into our life here. Last week was a busy time, but our routine has become busy every week.
I had the privilege of preaching Sunday, May 15th at Pastor Reynoldo’s Church in Galeana with Martin translating. My sermon called, Battle in The Mind, had three points. The Holy Spirit pushes us to be more like Christ, the battle is between the Spirit and the flesh, and the Lord gives us ways to win the battle. My anchor text was Romans 8:5-6.
One of the joys of working with Martin is he is a strong Christian and preaches too. He adds to what I am saying in Spanish, making it more powerful. The Lord works through us together.
After the service two young women, who had come through a difficult time, came to us asking Tonyia, Martin and I to pray for guidance about their future.
Pastor Reynaldo asked Tonyia to come back and preach at a special lady’s service he has each Friday. So on May 20 Tonyia delivered a powerful message which included her using a penny with a cross cut out of the center. It represented the empty cross and she asked “are we constantly putting Jesus back on the cross.” Once we have asked for forgiveness for specific sins those are forgiven – no need to keep asking.
Tonyia is very particular about who cuts her hair. A major advancement this week was both of us got our hair cut by Adriana, Martin’s sister-in-law. We were both very happy with her work and the cost was very reasonable. Plus, it was a boost for her as she is trying to start her own shop to support three boys after a difficult divorce.
On many Monday’s Martin and I go to one of the local pastor’s association meetings. It is a worship time when pastors come together to renew. It is held at different churches in the area. On May 16 we were in nearby San Francisco where a guest pastor, John and wife Ana Rosa Palacios from Leesville, Louisiana were visiting and he preached. He and his wife were here on vacation and it was fun to speak English and talk about the USA over the meal after the service.
One of the interesting aspects of living here are the number and types of entrepreneurs. There are no big box stores or large chains. There are little convince stores all over. In the central shopping district small shops sell everything from motor oil to fresh produce, shoes and table cloths. There are even two new pizza restaurants.
I find the drive-by sales people most interesting. They often have loud speakers on their vehicle announcing their goods with background music. They start about nine in the morning and each different service makes a different sound. We get a kick out of the ice cream man, he uses 1970’s music.
A specific example is Pastor Hernandez with whom we work often. He sells Tortillas so he can feed his family. He has a vibrant church, but it is in a very poor area.
Ministry House Work
Working at Casa Cristana El Alfarero (the ministry house) is always part of our week. It is almost finished,
the walls are all painted, windows replaced, roof fixed, new commodes, custom bunk-beds and many other improvements. It was encouraging in a recent post on Facebook to hear one of the out-of-town pastors say he was happy he would have a place for him and others to stay when in the area. We also are hosting a fellowship dinner party weekly for different local pastors and their family. We are looking at having a number of other Christian related events soon. The pastors are very interested in our teaching and education resources.
People Who Speak English
I was in the hardware store buying stuff for the ministry house when a man spoke to me in English. “Hey Brother I saw your Texas licenses plate and thought you might need help with your Spanish. I lived in North Carolina for forty years…” He stopped just to help me as he did not need a thing – I love small towns.
We have also met others who speak some English. Tonyia and I were in a shoe store when a man started talking with us, he had lived in the Dallas area many years making cowboy hats. About a month ago, we met our neighbors across the street. Elias, the dad, is a police officer. He speaks good English as he lived and worked in the USA. They have become good friends. We have had folks walk up to us may times in a friendly way and use their English. Sometimes kids will greet us on the street with “good morning” because they are learning some English in school.
The pace of life is just easier here. The sights and sounds are very different from the USA, but it is a pleasant difference. God is on the move!