I promised one more post on Mexico and my experience with evangelism in the rural mountains in the state of Hidalgo. I posted about the first and second homes we visited on our door to door evangelism attempts, they went surprisingly well - at least surprising to me! The third home was right next to the the second and was drastically different. It reminded me of a small town house that you might find in San Diego or some other south western state. The first house had a dirt floor, this one had beautiful ceramic tile. There was a full entertainment system, it was very clean and very neat. We met with a woman and her two children, one 12 and one probably about 15. It turned out that their father was in the United States earning money for them. Each of the children went to a private school in some other, larger, town. The woman actually worked in the town we had been at the day before, Jalpa. She said she taught at the school, which is about an hour away from her home. We shared a simple gospel message with them. They were basically non-practicing Catholics. There was no bible in the house, none of them had ever read one, so we gave all three of them a bible. They seemed very interested, flipping through it. Arturo pointed out a couple of key verses that expressed God's love for his people. Again, I was surprised by their hospitality and their willingness to hear and even respond to the message we shared. Arturo asked them if they would rather their father be in the US making money for them to live in their house and have a nice car, etc., or if they would rather him be in Ahuatitla with them, they said they wanted him at home.
For this family I think the beginning of the gospel was that their Father, God, would not leave them. The men of these rural Mexican towns are leaving their family to try to earn more money so they can get more things and have better houses. My experience in these towns did not uncover "poor" people, I didn't see anyone lacking food or clothing, of course they exist, but most of these people have what they need. I found myself loving the simple lifestyle that most of these people live. And yet most of them are seeking the things that we have here in the US. So they come here and leave their families, much of the time never to return. The gospel for the women and children seems to start with the idea that God will never abandon them. The first woman we met with had expressed that the church had abandoned her. The church is to be God's representatives here on earth, of course we fail, but sometimes it's the only place people will see God. It's no surprise that in the Mexican culture a woman will give up on God when she feels abandoned, again, by God's people. Hopefully the hope that these families heard through our stories sticks with them and leads them to embark on the journey of following Jesus. Hopefully they come to know the God who is always present and will never abandon us.