I want to share some of the mission’s trip events, pictures, and thoughts (religious, political, and just general). Since this is a blog that incorporates religious issues, political issues, and the inane to boot, I will talk about it all in this post, so bear with me. If you want to skip all the political stuff, go directly here (I hinted at it in my first post on the trip):
First, I want to say that it was a rousing success. We built a house in two-and-a-half-days. While down there, our team was informed of another family where the living conditions of the family was horrendous. The mother was sick so she could not cook, clean, or care for her seven kids. The nine-year old was doing laundry for the family (and they do not have washing machines... the old fashion way is employed). There were feces in her home, no furniture, and no way to get food and water. As one member put it, she has to wake up and wonder how she was going to get water, something to hold it, transport it, and clean it. I just reach in my fridge and pour some from the Crystal Geyser gallon jug that I brought home from the grocery store that is down the street from me. That is half her day, if she was able to do it.
(One of our team members daughters is holding the sick child)
Her youngest boy was the sickest and needed immediate medical attention. So some of the ladies stayed with and watched her other kids (the younger daughters of our team members giving bathes to the kids and washing their clothes) while others brought the mother and sick kids to the hospital and got medication and explained whom to give what and at what times and dosage.
(The small church in this small shanty town)
Food, some money $200 dollars was given to the local pastor to assist this mother of seven to live a bit better for a while and get on her feet (her husband is here in the states or elsewhere in Mexico where there is work (?), he sends back money when possible. They may even be separated (which is rare in Mexico).
The family we helped (the Reyes Pascual family) was intact, and the father and oldest boy, as well as the mother, worked in order to continue to pay on the land. The family was 9-months into a three-year contract to buy the land from the landowner, after which they own the land outright. When the government gets utilities and a maintained road to the community, then they will have to pay taxes on the property. They were a month behind and sometimes went without food to make sure there land was payed. We payed for three months I believe, getting them caught up on payments - ahead in fact. Food, water, skin care products, clothes, beds, table, battery powered lights as well as some extra batteries of course, and the like was donated and bought for this family.
(This was the first time this family lived in a house... ever, let alone one set up ready to go)
The mother was brought to Wal-Mart in town and something she said made me smile. She had never seen or been in Wal-Mart and mentioned that only the rich people shopped there. What a contradistinction to what people say here in the states about Wal-Mart! (Check out this video presentation about Wal-Mart by Pen and Teller -- nudity and language warning during the playing of this video -- Penn and Teller are atheists -- be warned... that being said, it is a very informative short documentary.) There was also a funny story about the purchase of the dining room table. The mother mentioned that they were going to overcharge the others because they were white. So the team members handed over some of the money and told her to “go get HER table.” She did, for a far better price than this second hand store would have charged any of us. We also ordered a new outhouse for the family, while the old one was sufficient, when you used it you could see that the wood was rotted and thoughts of staying on past diets ran through my head (praying that the wood held my weight).
All-in-all, it went better than expected. The Yugo crew down there said we were one of their favorites... I don’t know if they say that to every church team that went down there or if they really meant it (I like to think my looks will sway anyone towards our favor - joking). I have to say though; I would gladly go back, even though Canadians ran the show down there (joking... geese!). Rhonda, one of the main ladies down there at YUGO had the really thick SCTV accent. So I promised some other team members that I would post one of my favorite ads (Molson beer ad; to see it married to a montage of hockey fights, go here):
I would be remiss if I didn’t throw one of these in for effect:
So the trip went better than planned, as already said. It was my first missions trip and I took away from this experience some thoughts I am sure others didn’t. One thing was, that on Sunday morning, I noticed some well dressed men and women canvassing the neighborhood of YUGO. I immediately called J-Dubs (Jehovah's Witnesses), one of the pastors from our church said they were most likely people ready for church that morning. But I have exquisite cultar (not gaydar, although that is highly tuned as well, but cultar). The pastor went and checked, I was right of course.
When we got to the build site there were some J-Dubs around this shanty town as well. Of course the Watchtower organization doesn’t care for their members like the Body of Christ does for their members, but house or no house, these cult members could convince the family (a hypothetical “for instance”) we built the house for that Jesus is Michael the Archangel and that the Trinity is of Pagan origins and nowhere found in the Bible. If this family does not study the Bible much (too busy working and caring for the house), this could very easily be done. Then we will have built a house for cult members. I do not believe a single person in our group could care less about building up the Body in this theological way. Salvation is more important than a house. Period. I would think it more important that this wonderful Oaxacan family make it to the kingdom of heaven living under some garage doors connected together to make a “makeshift” house than to live in a nice house and be headed down the wrong road! Call me weird, but....
So important, I am taking donations to send down a case of Jehovah’s Witnesses Answered Verse by Verse, by David Reed, in Spanish of course (if it is still published that is). I will ship it to YUGO and have them split it up between some of the churches around the area, making sure of course that the Reyes Pascual family gets a copy. This side-by-side study of false views created within the past hundred years and the 2,000 year old historic Christian faith is the quickest way to get to know your faith. If you wish to embolden your understanding of the Christian faith, get the above mentioned book as well as Mormons Answered Verse By Verse, by David Reed and John Farkas. Another great book I can recommend is one by Robert Bowman (an ex Oneness Pentecostal) called Why You Should Believe In the Trinity: An Answer to Jehovah's Witnesses. These three books will give the reader a crash course in their own historic understanding of the faith as well as being equipped to respond to most theological challenges about who Jesus is.
The section that follows may be new and unknown news to you, however, know that I know that the church and the Gospel Message is the best possible cure for the ills that are creeping in the name of socialism, Marxism, and liberation theology (black or Hispanic).
Okay, we are out of the general religious aspects of the trip. However, I am a political animal, so I must reflect on the issues at hand in Mexico. Of course we have heard about the drug lords in the northern of Mexico smuggling drugs across our border into America as well as the sex-slave trade. I am a Rage Against the Machine fan, but the bands Marxists views as well as support for Zapatistas and the atheistic views which follow are at the heart of the problems in Mexico as I write. Marxist views of cosmology as well as the thesis and antithesis is anti-Christian.
In fact, according to our State Department is more and more concerned about Mexico collapsing quickly. So like the Reyes Pascual family’s possible indoctrination into a cult, they stand a far greater threat from being forced out of their home at gun-point, as non-Marxists are in Venezuela. Death usually follows, or the reduction of faith:
Chavistas Shooting People:
Stalin Reduces Religion to Rubble:
Khmer Rouge Interview (PART 1)
Khmer Rouge Interview (PART 2)
If you think this has no affect on us here, you are sadly mistaken. You should watch the following video and understand that this battle for worldviews is no respecter of borders:
The liberation movement, which is really a marrying of Marxist ideology and Christian theology, is not one that will end in utopia, but it will end in war and genocide, casing the United States to become deeply involved in Mexican affairs. The following videos are ones that offers a lot of cussing (be warned - atheist Marxists involved... and if you do not know what Aztland or MeCha means or stands for, start here), but also a great contradistinction between two movements... one western (Judeo-Christian in its most basic form, the other atheistic in its most basic form):
Ted Hayes American Civil Rights March parts 1-3
So where does the Christian stand in all this? How is one suppose to answer the idea that salvation includes political standing as part of the freeing salvation of the Gospel? One must understand a working definition of liberation theology:
I suggest the Christian who follows the bibles “edict” to have an answer or response to skeptics, searchers, believers, and the like, should listen to the following interview/discussion:
Remember, the further you go down south the more you will run into this thinking.