POWER Journal Week 3 day 4
Sunday is our traditional day off from work activities. Heavy rain this morning! I am glad I packed my jacket! Temperature will be twenty degrees less than yesterday. Due to the rain we are canceling Bruce Hepburn’s place and heading straight to Alianza Church for their worship service. Our home base in Reynosa. Lightning on the air, love it! After the service lunch is provided then off for our long drive to Del Rio Texas. A long day ahead…but…
2 Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters,[a] whenever you face trials of many kinds, 3 because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. 4 Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.
Up early at 6;00, 41//2 hours sleep last night. about normal for a POWER night (at least for me). Breakfast finished, bags loaded, and in the vans by 7:00 for a good departure. Alianza, here we come!
Arrived at Alianza, John Wright and the worship led us to God’s presence. Dave Barnes led us in devotions…Perseverance, requires us to be faithful in sowing seed to reap the rewards of persevering. We can all be busy in the process of change. Dave challenged all of us to pray for people God has put before us. And if we have a time of need, that is when we most give… Amen to that. So maintain our purpose and stay focused on our purpose…Then Communion, a holy time with our Lord and our brothers…here we are in an upper room at Alianza, just as Jesus and his disciples. The strong rain beating upon the rooftop, distant thunder, but here we are safe and secure, meeting with our Lord. Thank you Jesus for loving us beyond measure.
Alianza worship service is always the highlight of the trip, this year was no exception. We met with our translators who helped us at yesterday’s fiesta.
A small word about the translators. Alianza trains young men and women to speak English to help out at the many events held at the church. These young people are the bright lights of our tour, always helpful and fun to work with. Each of them, to me, represents the future of Mexico. All are ambitious and dedicated Christians with big goals in life, from becoming a doctor to being an international travel expert, (I know two with just those ambitions). A lot of guys keep in touch throughout the year via Facebook. So when we come back again it is almost like finding a family member. I love this, for sure!
Back to the service. Alianza Church is huge, a giant domed structure that can hold over 6000 people. We are able to sit out among the congregation. during the service, but first we all were called on stage to be honored by Alianza. It was an experience not to be missed, as the church video cams panned across us to project on a giant screen above our heads. Quite a sight for sure, and since I was assigned photographer duties I had the freedom to stay down and enjoy the view. Our guys looked amazing, formidable, humble and proud. I don’t know how you get a humble but proud look at the same time, but there it is, I’m sticking with it. Anyway, we all sang several worship songs (in Spanish of course, now that’s a challenge) Pastor Mario Perez, Doug Wible and Dave Barnes spoke before we left the stage to sit amongst the congregation.
Tim James was given the slot to bring the message to the congregation. Working through a translator he challenged the congregation to continue to run the race to completion. Very powerful and motivating! The service finished we said good by to Alianza.
Another brief aside about worship time at Alianza. Basically the worship is much more of a celebration with music lights and movement. I was once told by a missionary that the Mexican culture is passionate in life and speakers need to be more animated than we are used to. So the worship time is exciting loud and joyful. It is…fun😀. Another thing I noticed is that during our meals the Mexican missionaries and Christians traveling on this trip will laugh long, hard and at very small jokes. So funny, but a bit frustrating since I don’t speak Spanish. Gotta learn that before my next trip so I can fall out of my chair laughing too. A happy time and a happy culture.
Then, back in the vans for lunch…they sure feed us a lot on this trip! So, off we go to Jimmy’s Tacos!
Lunch at Jimmy’s Tacos House was a quick schedule change due to the rain. We had to cancel Bruce Hepburn’s Place, which was a disappointment to me. When we worship there it’s like heaven itself sings with us. But, Jimmy’s house was great food, and a great time of extended fellowship and conversation. Even an impromptu worship session. I love hearing men’s voices strongly singing in a smallish hall. Strength and power comes down.
After lunch we left for the border, getting on the road at 1:55 hitting the line of cars at 2:10. Still in line now at 3:15, so about an hour wait so far. But moving faster than last night, praise God.
A small adventure at the border. As we neared the the border crossing we noticed a car in the next lane was being pushed by its driver, a woman. Out of gas! So a few of us from my van got permission to jump out and push her up to the border crossing. And we found out the woman was pregnant. With three kids in the car. Long story short, four of our guys were given their passports and pushed her through. The border guards thought it a bit irregular, but in the end the guards processed everyone through and her car was push through and about a quarter mile down the road to a place where a relative was able to bring gas from the US side. Well done POWER!
A quick stop at Border Mission after our crossing and off on the first three hour leg of our trip to Del Rio and our home for the next two nights, Faith Mission. It is 5:00 on the nose.
8:00 and we are at Luby’s cafeteria in Laredo. I’ll say nothing about the food other than it was plentifully provided. We met some Laredo missionaries and broke bread, or uh fried chicken with them. All great friends with POWER, Randy and Jeannie along with our great friend David Burkett. After dinner we all had a rendezvous with Louie’s truck where we transferred boxes of Bibles into Randy and Jeannie’s uHaul truck.
Then David climbed up into the back of Louie’s semi truck and gave us a short stem-winder sermon. Old school style. Very cool. Too short a time here with them, but…
We are on the road to Faith Mission, ETA about 1:10am! So, signing off for today because 1:00am is tomorrow! Ha😳 I crack myself up…