As I suggested in my last post, evangelism in the rural mountain villages of Mexico just might work differently than evangelism in urban America. Here are a couple of things that are the same I think. It's all about building relationships, Mexicans just seem to build them faster and allow for trust faster. Our story is extremely important, it's also important that we listen to the stories of others.
Continuing from the last post. As we left the first woman's very traditional house we came upon a near-by home with graffiti on the side. The house was shaped a bit like an "L", the family had a little patio area right in the angle of the "L". They invited us to take up a chair and sit. The family consisted of a grandmother, a teenage boy, a nine year old boy, a baby girl and their mother.
I immediately noticed that the teenaged boy had some interesting tattoos on his arms and legs. After some conversation Arturo shared the basics of why we were there, and the basics of the gospel. We also heard a little about this family. The mother had recently returned from the US. She was not happy in Ahuatitla and felt she had little future there. She had worked in the US, but had no job at home. It was weird to be so far from home, but find someone who had been so near our home. I shared with them how beautiful their town was and how lucky I thought they were to live in such a great place. It seemed the grandmother was the leader of the family, considering the mother had left all of her children for a long period of time.
After some good conversation and some fresh mangos right off the tree in the back yard Arturo asked me to share my story. I did not feel comfortable, in fact, I had no idea what I wanted to say. We were all supposed to prepare our stories to be shared at times like this, but I had prepared nothing. So I started talking about how God had worked in my family as a child. It seemed important to talk about the family, since I was talking to an entire family. It would have been cool if someone from a broken home had been able to share. The family was greiving the fact that all the men in the family had left them to make money in the United States, the father and the eldest son. I think what I had to say connected on some level. I then realized a connection I could make with the teenage boy (whose name I forget). I showed him my tattoo and explained it as a symbol of the Trinity (they had never heard that God was three in one and one in three). I then asked him about his tattoo - get this - he did all his tattoo's himself! I went on to explain that all of his art, his tattoos, his grafitti, and any other art he would do in the future, was a special connection he had with God. I think this connected with him on a level my story didn't connect. I connected with his story and the idea that God had created him to be an artist.
Arturo then asked the BIG question to the whole family - do you want to pray and become a follower of Jesus. Of course I thought they would say no.... I was wrong. They said yes (except for the little girl who was embarrassed). The tough tattooed teenager wanted to pray with us and become a follower of Jesus! I was blown away by Arturo's sensitive way of inviting the family into a relationship with Christ. I pray now that the church in Ahuatitla is connecting with this family and inviting them in to their larger Christian famiy. I thank Arturo for giving me this experience - he is truly a gifted evangelist who I am honored to have learned from for a few days.
I have one more story to tell you regarding evangelism in Mexico - next post.