Yesterday was the anniversary of the big 1985 earthquake in Mexico City. And then they experienced another one. It was 7.1 on the richter scale and many of my friends were impacted. I wrote this on Facebook, but I wanted to put it on here to remember in the future.
It’s hard to describe how I feel right now. After spending so much time in Mexico and having so many friends there, what happened today is surreal.
I’m grateful that I’ve been in contact with most of my friends and they are ok. However, I feel a tremendous weight on me as if this happened to me personally. I can’t stop watching the news on social media.
My experience is nothing compared to everyone there, but I can’t help thinking of the people who can’t find their loved ones or whose children didn’t come home from school today or are trapped in a building. Mexico still has a place in my heart and that place is hurting tonight.
Please join me in praying for Mexico. Que Dios bendiga México.
Since I wrote that, I have found out that one of my friend’s mom’s building collapsed. She is okay, but his childhood home is destroyed. Many others are still trying to find loved ones.
Mexico will always be in my heart.
Cinco de Mayo is celebrated more in the USA than it is in Mexico. It is a regional celebration in Mexico, while all over the United States people are eating “tacos” and guac and listening to mariachi music.
However, since we are focusing on Mexico, I feel it’s a great time for us to pray specifically for our friends and neighbors to the south.
Here’s a list of prayer categories that I’m using for this Cinco de Mayo.
Will you join me and take Cinco Minutos today to pray for Mexico?
Friday night Josue and I were on our way home from a great youth group meeting. Around 40 young people were there dressed as Toy Story, Star Wars, and other Disney characters. Many of them have come to Christ through the ministry of Josue and Kareny at their local church. There was food, games, and good fun. We left satisfied by what we saw and the way the young people responded to good Christian relationship building.
On the way home, we stopped at Oxxo, a Mexican convenience store that competes with 7-Eleven for business. While we were there buying water and snacks, around ten to fifteen young high school kids came into the store and went straight for the alcohol section of the cooler. Nobody asked them for identification, and the clerk behind the counter didn’t bat an eye when two of them asked for three bottles of Tequila that was stored behind the counter. There wasn’t a parent in sight.
I know this stuff happens in the USA as well–even with good “church kids”, and many parents authorize underage drinking and other things, but it broke my and Josue’s hearts as we saw these kids ready for a Saturday night of hard partying without anyone to speak truth into their lives. It reminded us of the battle we are in against spiritual darkness and that we still have so much more work to do.
Please pray for the youth of Mexico. Pray that God would raise up a generation of youth leaders and a church willing to rescue young people like the ones we saw Saturday night—a church ready to engage the culture and speak truth to young people who are looking to fill their lives with something meaningful.
Yesterday I was in a meet-up with the students of the certificate program here in Monterrey, and I was sitting next to Olga and her husband, who have recently started taking the Certificate classes taught by our graduates Josue and Kareny.
As we talked about our desire to begin a network of youth leaders in the area, she was excited. They had both been telling me about how there is a lack of vision for what to do with the youth in her denomination. She was talking about how they do events with no purpose and was excited about the possibility of inviting others who have not received any youth ministry training to these meetings.
Olga hopes that these other youth leaders will learn some of the principles that are taught in the YMI program to better reach out and disciple young people. The rest of the group agreed that the meet-ups would be a good idea for them as well, and the first one will be scheduled for some time in April.
Please pray for these youth leaders who have received training from YMI. Pray that they will put into practice the things they have seen and learned so that many more young people will be impacted by the churches in this region.
Current certificate program students
Last weekend I took a trip to Tuxtla, Gutierrez, in Chiapas. Chiapas is one of the most beautiful states in Mexico. The dean of the Seminary told me that Tuxtla reminds him of Guatemala. It is a beautiful state, with incredible views and a great zoo (that I visited on Friday morning).
The people are awesome, too.
I went to Tuxtla to teach a class at a place called, “School of Urban Missions,” or Emisur. My host was my friend Amilcar and his wife. They direct the school and have done a great job of launching young people to serve in missions.
The topic they gave me was Teamwork, so I broke out some great team building activities and taught about 5 qualities of good teams. It was a great weekend, and I enjoyed being there.
We have been training youth workers in Mexico for more than 10 years, and the Bachelor’s degree program has been met with a lot of excitement but at the same time difficulty because of the fact that it is a full time program that requires studies from 7 AM until 3 PM ever weekday (except Monday).