Friday, August 05, 2005

A Mexican Ephiphany-Via Tucson

This is a picture of some of the children I had the privilege to meet in the small village of La Paz in Sonora, Mexico on Monday, ministering with the Risley family.

I have not blogged in awhile. That's cause I have just returned from a fantastic 12 day trip to Tucson and Mexico. The principle reason for the trip was a mission training "boot camp". Eight of us Tulsans joined two from Florida and four from Arizona to see if we could meet the "Faith Factor" challenge of a program designed to prepare us for any mission trip to an extreme country, as in Africa. We set up our camp on beautiful Mt. Lemmon just outside of Tucson.

Each morning, we would make the one hour trek down the mountain, past the saqauro cacti forest and sweeping vistas to Tucson Bible Church. There we had the opportunity to hold the very first Vacation Bible School for them. The first full day we had gone out in the sweltering heat in teams of two to knock on doors and invite neighborhood kids to the VBS. The results: About 15 children attended and there were 4 new Christians added to the family of God! Two were hispanic-speaking girls and the other two were english-speaking. The team was able to immediately put into practice some of the things we were learning on the mountaintop.

We were given a reprieve for one day to be just a tourist. We chose to go to Old Tucson Studios which has been to scene of countless westerns; movies and TV series alike. Things like Gunsmoke, Have Gun Will Travel, and Bonanza. Movies like Rio Bravo and Rio Lobo. It was a blast!!!

After leading the Worship Service on Sunday, after church the group packed into a van and drove to Hermosillo Mexico to visit the Risley family. After going to the local children's hospital and passing out food and gospel tracts to the families with children in the hospital, we went back to the house. The men slept on the roof in our sleeping bags. The next morning we visited a community of people living in tar paper shacks and again passed out food and encouragement. It started to rain and one family insisted that our group come inside to stay dry. The light of Christ shone in their faces and their hospitalily and friendliness were overwhelming! They had very little physically, but what they had they gladly shared. They are certainly poor, but not poor in Spirit!

Then we traveled North to Rayon Mexico and ministered with another of the Risley's. Grady allowed us to accompany him to teach his bible class and also a karate class for the kids in La Paz.

This is a trip I will never forget!

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