As we now live in a much smaller city, the cultural differences are much more pronounced. Mostly, every day one of us notices a little cultural difference. But this month we experienced spring break, Good Friday and Easter in the city of Motul. The night of Good Friday, around 7 o’clock in the evening, a huge parade had started. We have never seen so many people in our small town. Our centro here has streets that surround it - about a ½ mile long and two lanes wide. The street was filled with people; at the head of the parade was a glass casket followed by a life-size statue of Mary and then followed many, many crucifixes. What we saw broke our hearts as we witnessed religion without relationship. So many good people in our city were following idols instead of the Savior. Religion without relationship; yes, there is a difference and we got to witness this first hand. Our little city is known for having bars and many of them. That night every bar in town was open and packed. Please pray as we continue to minister and love the people in Motul.
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This month we were blessed to have a team from Calvary Chapel Texarkana, a well trained enthusiastic group of youth be with us. They performed dramas, helped in the café and allowed us to meet many new people. We pray the seeds planted in hearts continue to grow. Our family also had a visit from Len’s mother and sister. It was a great time as they got to spend time with Noah and Caleb. Although our time with them was very short, we were blessed. And as we said goodbye, we’re reminded of one of the more difficult things of being a missionary - saying “goodbye.” As a missionary, it seems like you’re saying goodbye more than you ever have in your past.
So now to our first Easter service. Wow! What a blessing. This was one of those times in ministry where you felt the presence of the Lord, the feeling was as real as the person sitting next to you. We chose to have our service on the beach about 15 minutes away. This beach is usually deserted, most of the time no one is ever there. But this was spring break and thousands upon thousands were there. So as we got close we prayed for a good spot. When we pulled up we saw tons of people, but noticed a hut that no one was using. The culture here is - if something is available use it. We saw locals making makeshift shade tarps to get out of the sun. But yet this hut was available; it was like God blinded people to this hut so we could use it. So we did. We had our Easter service comfortably out of the sun. Len taught out of Matthew and John. The points were - we cannot leave Jesus on the cross; if we do, we only have religion. And we cannot leave Jesus in the tomb; if we do, we are not living in Him and He is not living in us. Afterword we had a baptism. A young married couple got baptized. We are blessed to see the fruit in their life and the changes only a loving God can make. Len has baptized many people in his life and all have been special, but he was blessed, honored and blown away at the opportunity. Later, about 18 of us all returned to Calvary Motul for a time of lunch and fellowship. Len had ordered the food earlier in the week thinking we would have 6-10 people. He didn’t think we would have enough food with only ordering 4 pounds of food. We prayed and trusted. One family brought a chicken-ham rice casserole another family brought a cake. We all had multiple servings and were all stuffed. And we even had food left over! Thank You, Jesus, for allowing us to be a part of Your ministry here in Motul.
The day after Easter was Monday. We took a trip with a family from the church to visit a Ruin called Ek Balam. What a great time to just relax and spend time with family and friends. Len was reminded how much we are blessed and how well our Spanish is coming along. Two people that went with us, Angel and Octavio, have both lived their entire lives here in the Yucatan but have never visited a ruin. It was really cool to experience this moment with both of them. Calvary Motul is a small church but we are building a family. In this family we see fruit being grown and people choosing to follow Jesus. So thank you all for your support with prayer and finances.