¡Hola from Mérida! Our family prays that you had a good Easter and that spring time temperatures are finding you! We´ve experienced our first few 100+ degree days here and we are in the middle of a dry season. Its amazing how a cool, cloudy day can really brighten your spirits here!! Since arriving in Mexico, we´ve learned quite a bit about making plans, changing plans, cancelling plans and realizing that we always need to be prepared for just about anything! We´ve even experienced our first tire blow out and Wal-Mart exchange. I´ll (Mandy) admit, it is taking my type A personality a little bit of time to adjust. Especially now that we are preparing for our mission teams coming in this summer. More on that in a moment.
We´re trying to keep our lives documented with photos and if you go on over to our PHOTOS link you can check out a little more about what we´ve been up to.
We were beyond blessed late in March by a visit from the Gillam family! God orchestrated a plan that allowed them to bring some amazing gifts from our church family at Corticelli, our friends at Eldon First Assembly of God, as well as our friends and family. The Gillams were able to deliver Tyler some much needed tools as well as bring us some goodies that we have been missing a little since we moved. We were also able to spend the day with them at Uxmal exploring the Mayan Ruins. This has quickly become one of our favorite places to visit!
We quickly found out that Easter is celebrated very differently here. The schools and government shut down for the two weeks surrounding Easter Sunday and there are many activities to celebrate the resurrection of our Savior. But not the kind of activities we were used to! There is no Easter Bunny, no egg coloring or hunting. It reminded us that the resurrection of Jesus is a celebration and adding all the extras certainly takes a way from that. Our church here in Mérida had a Good Friday Service meditating on the 7 Final Words of Christ. On Saturday, we started our service at 10:00 pm and had times of fellowship and prayer (and coffee!) before our resurrection service at 6:00am. Our family was able to have a part in these services. The resurrection service was conducted by the women in the church and I brought the message. I must admit I was very concerned about staying up all night then speaking at 6:00am, but God carried me through and we had a wonderful service!
Because the schools are on break during Holy Week, we were able to take a little road trip with our ESBA team and facilitate clinics in some small towns outside of Mérida. The kids were out of school so that gave us more time during the day to have some fun with them. The clinics went great and we were able to share the gospel with the kids and parents that came out. This break opens up the possibility of adding more teams during the year and we are looking for opportunities to host mission teams next year the week after Easter.
During this time there was also a mission team from Louisiana working that we were able to spend some time with as well. We were able to travel with them as they did programs and activities with the kids. It always amazes me how openly we are welcomed when we visit new places. Whether it be for clinics, or other mission projects, people here in Mérida welcome us and appreciate what we are doing. This gives us so much encouragement and confirmation that God is working here! How humbling it is for us to be chosen to be a part of it!
We will be taking the next month preparing for the summer teams that will be coming in. Sports Crusaders will be bringing a volleyball mission team June 2nd-9th and a basketball team June 16th-23rd. In July, we have a youth team coming in from Kentucky that we´ll be doing sports ministry with as well. We´re so ready for these groups to be here! This will be Sports Crusader´s 13th year in Mérida and we are beyond excited to see how God is going to work this year and what doors will be opened because of these teams coming in.
Later in July we will be bringing a team from Mérida to Missouri. We are excited to bring a team from our new home to visit our old home and to share with them a little about where we come from. We´ll be playing in basketball games, exploring some of the sights in central Missouri and of course trying out some good American home cooking! We´re raising money for this trip both for our family expenses and some of the others on the team who have been raising money for almost two years, but will need additional support. Most of them go to school, work a job and pay for many of their home expenses. It isn´t easy for them to raise the funds. In addition, the cost of living in the US is a little more than here in Mexico so things like food, drinks and general entry into attractions are far more expensive than here in Mérida. Would you consider making a donation to our trip? What about sponsoring one of the team members? We´d love to talk to you about the needs if you would be willing to donate! Contact us via email at firstname.lastname@example.org to find out more ways that you can help! Or if you would like to donate, you can click HERE just select ¨Missouri Trip¨ in the donation application section.
We are also looking to schedule teams for the fall, winter and spring coming up! There are a lot of possibilities for ministry including sports ministry, construction (heavy and light), kids carnivals, bible clubs and more. We would love to see your youth and/or church team here to serve with us.
Will you commit to pray with us for these needs?
Sports Crusaders volleyball and basketball mission teams coming in June.
Kentucky mission team coming in July.
Missouri Trip in July.
Monthly Financial Support-Prayers for our existing partners and for the opportunity to make new partnerships for our monthly support. We raise all of our monthly income that supports our family living expenses as well as ministry expenses.
Our work with ESBA.
Our work in the Mission in Hunucma.