Good Friday in Iztapalapa Mexico

Good Friday in Iztapalapa Mexico

Mexico is a very religious country. It really shows during “Semana Santa, or “Holy Week”. You can really learn a lot about Mexico’s traditional Roman Catholic beliefs on Good Friday.

Mexico City is the home of the largest re-enactment of the Way of the Cross in the world. For months, people in Iztapalapa prepare for the re-enactment of the Passion of the Christ (click here for the official website in Spanish), and they have done it since 1843.

More than a million people visit the delegation on Good Friday to watch the processional and the crucifixion of Jesus. I heard on the radio today that there were about 800,000 people there when it started. There were probably another 200,000 who showed up by the time the man representing Jesus made it to the hill they use for Golgotha.

One of these days I’ll go and see it first-hand, but this year I just watched it on TV. It was covered all afternoon on local television stations. Here is a little I recorded while watching.

VIDEO: Music in Xochimilco

As I’ve already written, we went to Xochimilco (pronounced So-Chee-Milk-Oh) last week. I’ve already posted a video of Mariachis there.

Basically, you get on a large, flat, covered boat with your group. There’s a table in the middle where you can eat. You pay to go down the canal, and while you’re on the canal, there are lots of things you can do.

You can stop and go to a restaurant. You can order food from the floating vendors. Or you can pay mariachis to play or listen to marimba music. You can also stop on the side and shop for plants and flowers.

It’s a lot of fun. Check out the video. If you can’t see it in this post, check it out by clicking here.

Family Time and Special Places

Every once in a while I have a deep desire to take my family somewhere special. It’s a time to get away from the demands of ministry and just play together.

We have a few places that are special to our family. We go to the Mexico City zoo a lot, and today we added a new place to our list of special places. Six Flags Mexico is somewhere I hope to visit a lot in the future.

We had a blast. Nathan rode his first roller coaster, and we enjoyed some great entertainment. Hopefully, for a long time I’ll remember him running to me after getting off the roller coaster and asking me to go with him.

One of my favorite parts was watching the Looney Toons show where they sang a lot of American music with Spanish accents. It was definitely entertaining. Watch this video to the end, and you’ll see the Looney Toons show. I hope you laugh as much as I did.

Six Flags Mexico – February 2009 from Dennis on Vimeo.

Expanding Youth Ministry Training in Mexico

For a while now, we’ve been thinking about a way to expand the youth ministry training we do in Mexico. We already started one of the only Bachelor’s degrees in youth ministry in Latin America. But we know that it’s not enough to offer a bachelor’s degree in youth ministry.

Although the bachelor’s program has been growing, we recognize that not everyone who is working with young people can come to the Seminary full time for training. With the problems that come from living in Mexico City, it makes it difficult to do a lot of informal training.

Saturday was the first day of the long-awaited Diploma in youth ministry. We started with 6 students who are working in various churches. Each one of them told us how important it is to get training in youth ministry, and they are all very happy to have this informal type of training.

The purpose of the diploma program is obviously to provide practical training for youth workers as well as promote the other youth ministry programs at the Seminary.

We are praying that this Saturday morning course (9 months out of the year) will help many local church youth workers and spread throughout the country.

We’ll keep you up to date with this new program, which we think will grow and expand in the coming months.