Monday, April 16, 2012

a week of firsts

-->Last week was not at all what I expected it to be. I am quite alright with that; oftentimes (okay, pretty much all the time) God’s plans for me far exceed my own elementary sketches. The past two weeks, all of Mexico has been on vacation. At least, most of Mexico. You see, the week leading up to Easter is Holy Week, and the week after Easter, most schools still have holidays without normal responsibilities. Our school had the latter week off, and we all took advantage of the free time in our own way.

This week, I did not one, not two, but three things for the first time.

1)      Camping

Yes, you read correctly. I went camping for the first time. Not for the first time in Mexico. But for the first time ever. And I loved it! The Cases, the Davis family, and I left on Monday mid-day to journey to Majalca, which is just outside of the city of Chihuahua. With the dirt roads, it makes for about an hour and half trip. Many people had been on the campgrounds before we got there, but once we arrived, it had cleared out and was quiet. We found a beautiful campsite that was secluded and spacious. The boys spent their time climbing every possible surface of the campsite, while we ladies cooked (okay, so I just chopped some stuff and let the gurus handle it all…) played cards, and read. It was a lovely couple of days away from the city.

2)      Movies

On Tuesday, when we returned from camping, the Cases, the Rizzutos, and I went to see The Hunger Games. I may or may not have been seeing it for the third time in theaters. I’ve never gone to see a movie that many times in theaters before, but let me tell you that it was worth it! My friend is borrowing the books right now, and I so badly want to reread them. However, I have decided that they will be my reward to making it to the end of the school year. Hopefully I can make it for seven more weeks, I do already know what’s going to happen…

3)      Flying

On Friday, I had the once in a lifetime opportunity to fly into a tribal location. The Cases lived and worked in Baborigame (BG) for over thirty years with the Tepehuan people. Now my friends Chris and Rachel Thomas live there, and they are working with the established church of Tepehuan believers. My friend Dave is a pilot with United Indian Missions (UIM), and he took us up in the little six-seater on Friday morning. We all had gotten up before the crack of dawn and were ready for an adventure. This trip came together in a much different way than was anticipated at first, but it was wonderful. We currently have two interns living here in Chiwas and working with the church, so they joined us, along with another guy who works in our church café.

I flew in the front passenger seat as co-pilot, and after a few quick pointers, Dave let me fly the plane for a good five minutes or so! As we soared through the air, Josh said to me, “Well, Jessica, you are now flying a plane. How does it feel? Not many people can say they’ve done that!” It was such an exhilarating feeling, and I could not believe it was happening even though I was in the midst of the experience. Needless to say, it was amazing.

3b) Baborigame

Okay, so I know I said I did three new things, but it was really four. But the fourth is related to the third, so we’ll make it a subpoint. Minor details. Anyways, the point of flying was to visit Chris and Rachel in the tribe. I don’t know about you, but when I hear the word tribe, I think thatched roofs and mud floors. The tribal location of Baborigame (commonly known as BG among those in the mission) was not as rudimentary as I expected, however. Yes, the roads were unpaved and quite bumpy. I could see that the people’s resources were lacking. But it was not what I thought it would be.

However, it was a privilege and joy to be there. To see the work that Chris and Rachel are doing and to hear stories of the people and their lives was wonderfully encouraging. The church is across the street from their house, and it was neat to see not only the physical building, but also meet some of the brothers and sisters in Christ who are part of the fellowship. One of the sisters from the church owns a restaurant, and she fed us the most delicious burritos for lunch. (More on those later.) We also drove up to where the Cases and the Arnolds (another family who used to live out there) lived and saw their homes. This year, we have sent out many sets of boxes of school supplies for a program called Operation School Pack, and we saw one of the little elementary schools in which those boxes have been distributed. The work that is happening in the tribe is tangible, and yet there is still much to be done. The people are widespread throughout the valleys and mountains of BG, and the word is just now seeing a harvest. Please pray that these people continue to grow in Christ and that they have the courage to spread the good news to their friends and family members.

Well, my friends, those are the highlights of my week in a nutshell. Here’s to the last seven weeks of school!

P.S. Keep praying for that job opportunity, please. I’ve got another interview on Wednesday evening.
P.P.S. Please pray for my heart and that I would give my kids my best in these last seven weeks and finish well.
P.P.P.S. About the burrito- not a great choice when you’ve got a bumpy ride in a teeny plane back to Chiwas. Especially not with Coke. Take my word for it.

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