Sunday, May 11, 2008

La Barra de la Cruz

We just recently got back from a mission trip to a small village named La Barra in southern Mexico on the Pacific coast. This trip was part of our training at the CPCP(Center for Pioneer Church Planting) in Los Fresnos, TX. We were joined by CPCP staff and fellow students from the school.

Since we were the largest family on the trip we drove the TETM suburban and pulled the team trailer. I was warned to slow down for signs that say "tope" (Spanish for speed bump). Every village has five or six "topes" and sometimes the village is so small you can't tell it's there until you test your suspension on the first bump. Overall I adjusted well to Mexican driving, but I did have to let a few cars pass me since I was pulling the trailer.

Here's Frankie and Daddy taking a break on the way to La Barra.

On our third day of driving we hit a road block and weren't able to move for around four hours. We found out after about three hours that the village blocking the road was doing so as a protest against the Mexican government that had failed to send needed medical care and supplies. With the delay from the roadblock we arrived in La Barra de la Cruz on the fourth day of driving. The village leaders were immediatley wary of our presence just as they have been in the past when missionaries have visited. They have a concern that the presence of a "Protestant" church will bring changes they don't want. La Barra has a great surfing beach that's becoming more well known; so they've become more open to outsiders as long as they don't have an agenda to "change the people of La Barra."

Even though the village leaders have made it clear they are not interested in the gospel, many of the people are willing to listen and now there is a small group of believers(all women) who have confessed the name of Christ and also have a desire to meet for fellowship around the word of God. Please pray for Eva. She and her husband Rafael allowed us to stay on their land in spite of the pressure from the village leadership. Rafael is not a believer, but has been hospitable to visiting missionaries. Eva has been carrying a heavy load mostly on her own because of her public testimony of faith in Christ and her leadership among the believing women in the village.

Eva and Frankie(As you can see, Frankie was held pretty much 24/7 on this trip)

Eva and Rafael's son, Jonathan, who is twelve also came to the fellowship times and listened closely to what was taught. He seemed to enjoy the times of praise and joined in on the songs that he knew. Jonathan is an avid surfer and we were able to make it to the beach a few times to watch him catch some waves. It would be great to see God raise up this young guy through the faithful testimony of his mother to reach the village from the inside! There is such a need for godly men in the church at La Barra.

While we were in La Barra Hannah turned seven so we had a cake and pinata for her and invited kids from the village over to celebrate. Here are a few pics of the party.

Before we left for La Barra we asked the Lord to give us opportunities to connect with the people so we could encourage them with the gospel. One way this prayer was answered was through the laundry! Keri and Hannah tried their hand at Eva's new wash station complete with a washboard built into a concrete slab.

We are now past the half way point in our training with TETM(To Every Tribe Ministries). The Lord's direction seems to be pointing in the direction of Papua New Guinea for us so we are going to pursue that as we prepare for the future. Lord willing, in the fall we will be ready to hit the road to share our burden for unreached places with some churches. Pray for us as we prepare and pray for those who have never heard the "name that is above every name."