Date: Tue, 31 Jul 2001 11:45:35 -0700 (PDT)
From: Joy McMasters <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Subject: Saludos de Mexico (7)
I can´t believe this is my last Tuesday with my Mexican family. In a few hours less than a week I´ll be back at the hotel (only a block away from my house) for Closing Conference. This has been a crazy week, so I´ll jump right in.
Last Sunday: I have almost no recollection what happened. I think we went to the anthropology museum after church with some young people from church, ate at Burger King, and then went to bed early.
Last Monday: I woke up kinda sick again. We had a clown show really far away. I almost fainted on the Metro twice (probably because of low blood sugar) but was better after drinking a large Sprite. After an hour bus ride, I realized I was having "serious stomach issues" when I had to use the bathroom a lot at my teammates´ house. I was worried about taking the Micro (small bus) to the church because I felt like I was going to throw up. Fortunately, the Pepto settled my stomach down before too long, but I had to let my team leader Theresa fill in for me in the clown show. She was more than happy to help out! I think I had some sort of mild food poisoning or grease shock from eating at Burger King after not having American fast food for six weeks.
Tuesday through Thursday: My "cold" came back with a vengeance and I decided that if the Spearhead nurse didn´t tell be to buy some antibiotics I was going to go get some on my own. You don´t need a prescription in Mexico for anything, so even when she did finally tell me to get Amoxicillin, I just went to the pharmacy and asked for it. I ended up not teaching ESL all week because God caused the students to either not show up or tell me I was too sick to teach. I finally got a lot of rest last week! By Wednesday, I had become completely exhausted in every sense of the word and slipped into a depression for a couple days, but as I got rest and spent more time reading my Bible I came out of it very quickly. I praise God that He has showed me (and Jon too) what I need to do to deal with those times in a healthy way. That is just one area in which it has been exciting to see growth this summer.
Friday: After 24 hours on antibiotics, I was feeling a lot better and had enough energy both for Theresa´s birthday party and the clown show in a really poor neighborhood that followed. It was great to get to shower her with gifts including pink suede shoes that she has worn ever since. The neighborhood where we did the show has a Friday afternoon Bible club that a family there and some Brazilian missionaries put on. It was awesome to bless the people who participate in that with the treat of a clown show. We also gave the Christian woman who lives there an opportunity to invite more people from the neighborhood to the classes. That night, we went to a velada (all-night prayer meeting that turned into a slumber party in the middle when we stopped for more cake and some dancing). I slept most of the night because I was still pretty sick and knew that without sleep I wouldn´t get well.
Saturday: Once we finally got going in the morning, we went to Kristan and Allison´s church to practice and prepare for the church service we were supposed to lead the next day. We had everything worked out perfectly, so of course everything changed the next day. That afternoon I finally got to go to the jovenes (youth) group meeting at church. The group is just getting started, so they focus on the ultra-basics, but I think it´s a good opportunity for them to get to know each other at church without all the adults around.
Sunday: When we got to the church for the culto (service) we found out that the Presbyterians already had their whole elaborate order of service worked out and they only wanted us to be part of the worship time (after all the hymns had finished) and the preaching. We managed to work in everything we wanted to do including an awesome testimony about how much God has changed one of my teammate´s lives. The service went really late, but oh well, this is Mexico. I think we scared this "dead as a doornail" church with our upbeat songs, bass guitar, and clapping, but sometimes people need that. It was the coldest church I had ever seen. The pastor didn´t have to tell people to stop greeting each other and sit down so the service could start because they had already been sitting silently with blank expressions on their faces for a while. There are also racial problems in the church since there is a huge group of indigenous people from Chiapas there. The sermon was on unity and the guy who preached talked about the amazing work God did when all the Christian groups on his college campus united as the body of Christ rather than individual groups.
Monday: I had a good, long time to rest in the morning. I read my Bible, wrote in my journal, and read a little. Jon had hoped to take me to Xochimilco but his clown show ended really late. We ended up going to Coyoacan (the area where painter Frida Kahlo lived) to eat and talk.
Thanks again for all of your prayers.
¡Que Dios les bendiga!