Lighthouses of Faith

“Faith, what is Faith?” These words, spoken by of one of the team members who played the role of Noah in this week’s program, are now settling into the hearts of over a thousand people who heard the Gospel presented, demonstrated, or shown by a small group from RockPointe church in Calgary.

Twenty-five ambassadors for Christ were blessed to be a blessing, fulfilling the same covenant given to Abraham, as they served with open hearts and open hands in some of the poorest areas of the Yucatán.

A group of five families (including 13 children under the age of 10), the C-Quest Mexico staff and their local partners, navigated the occasionally rough waters, serving together in a challenging environment. Each family came through the week with beautiful testimonies of the work God had done in their hearts and the hearts of the Yucatan people. Each partner attested to the value of the work done and love shown to their community. Parents remarked about changes they saw in their children as they struggled, played, laughed, and shared their sweet and innocent faith with hundreds of little children of a different race, nationality, and economic background. Easy? No. Rewarding? Yes.

It was evident to the entire group that extreme poverty takes its toll – both physically and spiritually – on people who are hungry for hope.

The small group left Mexico even more tightly-knit after living together and serving cross-culturally. Their words humbly present the emotions they felt as they served in the poorest of pueblos such as Baca, Hunucma, and Flamboyanes. Their stories express the feeling of joy and sadness they experienced while serving at eight ministry locations – ranging from an orphaned seniors home and children’s shelter, to Camp John 3:16 and a public hospital. Their testimonies of strength, through serving as a team, are bound to make an impact on those with whom they come in contact in their daily lives – raising kids, doing life together, leading kid’s church, talking to coworkers, and serving the less fortunate in Calgary.

At the end of a faith-testing and faith-growing week, one team member summed it up best when reflecting on some of the most painful things she observed this week.

¨I had to ask, God where are you in all of this? And you know what He said? I’m right here with you. For you are here, and I’m shining My light through you.¨

Those who crave more inspirational stories can read the team blog, see a short video and view photos at http://www.c-quest.net or at  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3yn53JpRgHA

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To Become Fluent in Love

We received 23 friends from Calgary on Sunday evening to spend a week with us in the mission field. Five families from our small group at home church Rockpointe are ready to get down and dirty, soft and sensitive, as they prepare their hearts for what lies ahead. Only He knows what will transpire this week as we go out to serve in the community.

For our part, we’ve been working away on the schedules, food plans, logistics, project materials, route plans, safety briefings, cultural lessons, and many other details. The group will be at a Mayan site today, at a seniors home tomorrow. A hospital the next day. They will see and work at all four of our project partner’s churches, camps and pueblos. They will meet hundreds of little children. These little niños y niñas will be curious to know why unfamiliar people from a land far away, speaking a language that is foreign to them, made such an effort to come to meet them personally. They may ask the question, “¿por qué estás aquí?”

One of the visiting families is originally from Colombia and is fluent in Spanish. The rest have been taking a few casual conversation classes in preparation for the trip. When I asked the question during a training session yesterday, “How many of you are fluent in Spanish?” I only expected to see three hands go up. I was going to make the point that even without knowing Spanish, that the act of serving cross-culturally and loving others will bridge linguistic divides in the pueblos this week.

What surprised me was that in addition to the family from Colombia, Rachel and Ryan also put their hands up.

As I think about it, what does the word fluent meant anyway? To speak a language (or of a topic) perfectly? Or does it really just mean able to express oneself easily and naturally? Synonyms for this word are articulate, eloquent, expressive, communicative, coherent, cogent and illuminating. Nowhere in that list do I see the word <perfect>. What did I have in mind when I asked the question?

My understanding of the word was obviously not the same as that of our kids. The reality is, our kids are naturally learning the language, at school, on the playground, at church, in the pueblos. They are in fact articulate, eloquent and expressive. They no longer see themselves as having a handicap in language. The crutches are now off.

Perhaps this whole idea of borderless language – not of the linguistic type but more broadly of the expressive type – is the best language of all.

May the actions of this group this week demonstrate the greatest language of all time, that of love.

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Eighteen and Still Ankie

Today, we officially turned the page on eighteen years of marriage. Life is good in Mexico. Last night we had a steak dinner – imported beef from somewhere in the midwest US. Good steak is a real treat down here. We are living in the land of the pig, chicken, turkey and skinny cow so a piece of good beef tastes great.

Today, we celebrated by teaching an english class to an eager flock of little boys and girls from Pastor Miguel’s church. Today’s subject : body parts.

Kary bravely agreed to stand in as the live human body apparatus, succumbing to the placement of thirty individual body parts by thirty interested students.

“Hair!”

“Nose!”

“Arm!”

“Elbow!

“Ankie!”

The labels were pre-made by one of our able assistants, Karen.  I didn’t have the heart to tell her that to my knowledge, there is no body part called an ankie, at least not one that would be appropriate at this age level.

After a rowdy chorus of Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes, thirty little faces went home beaming with new vocabulary and even more love for their teacher Mister Kary.

Mi amor, vamos a ir otros 18 años juntos. Te amo mucho.

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