July 6, 2015 - Mexico
After only five days at our first host site, it is so clear that there is so much that God wants to teach me, Katie, and Rebecca through this summer. We are here in San Jose de Las Palmas-- Palmas for short. Our host family has shown us greater hospitality than we could have ever imagined, and coming back to this house every day is such a joy.
While we have had many experiences this week, many of which have included crazy amounts of thunderstorms, I'll share when we participated in a half day spiritual retreat with the Conexion Mosaico staff. After waking up much earlier than our tired selves wanted to, we took a "combi," a small van that acts as a bus, down the windy hills of Palmas to get picked up by Karina, one of the CM staff. An hour and a half drive and many worship songs later, we arrived in Papatlota at the Conexion Mosaico retreat house.
After a round of introductions, we jumped in a time of meditation and worship. This kicked off a day of prayer, Scripture study, and updates on how each project of Conexion Mosaico is doing. Throughout the day, as we learned more about the staff, what they do, and why they do it, I was continually struck by how deep each of their relationships with God is. Everything they do is rooted in prayer and in a desire to move where the Spirit leads them. The most incredible thing is that their staff of less than 12 people was able to impact over 8,000 people last year. Towards the end of the retreat, one of the directors spent a long time reminding the staff why it is they do what they do. He said that no matter how joyful, fulfilled, or frustrated we may feel, we cannot give up on the work that the Lord has called us to. God desires a deep, intimate, radical transformation in the communities that we have become a part of. As his children, we must desire the same.
Later that night, back at our host home in Palmas, I sat on the roof of our house, looking out across the hills at the sea of gray cement houses and tin roofs that stretch as far as the eye can see. Through the haze and fog that settles over the horizon, I saw hundreds of lights, each one marking a house and a family that lives without properly paved roads, an adequate water supply, electricity, or a way of preventing their homes from flooding each time one of Mexico City's summer storms roll through. The injustice these families are forced to embody in their everyday lives is overwhelming. As I sat on the roof and prayed, the voices of a small church somewhere in the night greeted me. Their boisterous, earnest worship and prayers was a beautiful reminder that while darkness may try and steal the hope from this place, it will not win. God sees the people in Palmas and he wants so much more for them. Whether it is through a staff of a dozen dedicated individuals, the joyous worship of a house church, or the quiet prayers of young college students, hope persists in Palmas. We have only begun to scratch the surface of what God is doing here, and we are all ready to go much deeper. The light that shines in the darkness was here before we were and it will continue to burn even after we have gone; we are grateful to be a part of it, even if for a few short weeks. God is here and he is moving. He has not forgotten the people here and his love for them is endless and unfailing.
Written by Marissa