(*Special guest blog from Linda Lanesmith) Yesterday’s highlights brought to you by ‘jugo verte’ (green juice), Papa John’s Pizza and grace home church of AWESOME.
After such a long day of travel yesterday (7am-10pm), we were thankful for a lovely hotel to stay in, Holiday Inn Centro, Guadalajara.
By now, everyone has heard Pastor Mike rave about the green juice he loves to drink in Mexico. The consensus at breakfast this morning was, most of us have jumped on the ‘jugo verte’ bandwagon. It is seriously yum! Made with celery, pineapple juice, orange juice and cactus!
If you can’t really imagine how a 4 hour ride goes, in a 2003 Chevy Express, packed with 12 HUGE suitcases, 7 carry-ons, 5 teenagers, Pastor Mike, Gerardo (our awesome host) and myself, (Linda) here’s how it went down.
On the drive to Celaya “Hey, let’s practice some worship songs in the van!” So we did. As we were trying out some harmonies, we discovered that Gerardo can sing, AND SO CAN PASTOR MIKE! There were some sweet sounds coming from that Chevy. Gerardo let us know that the plan was to do some music in the service on Sunday.
At one of the washroom stops along the highway, we discovered a ‘Papa John’s Pizza’ place.
Pastor Mike: “Hey girls, the guys are getting some pizza, do you want some?”
*After smelling the pizza*
Linda: “So, who regrets the pizza decision girls?”
Girls respond in unison: “ME!!!”
So, Pastor Mike kindly goes and orders another pizza. #FlexicoInMexico
Beautiful sounds of worship quickly changed to loud camp songs, radio and TV jingles, silly songs with Larry, musicals, etc. The girls made sure we covered all genres…LOUDLY! We quickly decided we should stop trying to translate English songs into Spanish after butchering Justin Beiber’s “Is it too late now to say lo Siento.” It is important note here, that Jonathan at some point inserted his ear plugs during this loud medley.
All of these wonderful moments with the youth in the van, were interspersed with one of us asking Gerardo how to say something else in Spanish. “Como si dice __________.”
This evening Mike was scheduled to preach, and some of us shared our stories at a grace home church. I’m sure the kids must have wondered where exactly we were going, as we walked down a dimly lit alley into someone’s home. We were greeted warmly and welcomed into their home. As we sat together, we heard a story of a husband and wife whose son was kidnapped two years ago and senselessly killed. They shared how the pain of losing their child hasn’t left them, but they have found hope in Christ through the tragic loss of their son.
It was a big surprise when Gerardo called me (Linda) up to lead a worship song…….and then another one. Remember how we were practicing to do a song on Sunday? #Flexicoinmexico However, singing a song together in Spanish and English at the same time, with this group, was wonderful.
Mike also shared more of his own journey of understanding God’s Love and God’s acceptance of him. Watching Mike preach from his heart and Gerardo translate for him with such passion was great to see. They are like a well oiled machine!
It was a blessed day, what will tomorrow bring?