October 1, 2017 — RUF in Mexico

It’s a five-hour flight to Mexico City, plus transportation to and from each airport. I have a choice between a very early departure or a very late arrival. I always choose the very early departure, and I arrived at my hotel by mid-afternoon last Monday. The price I had to pay was getting up at 4:30 AM. Nothing was scheduled for Monday, so I spent the rest of the day doing office work.

Tuesday began with breakfast at IHOP with Barush and Monse. The RUF ministry is going well, but everyone is rattled by the earthquakes. In the larger scope of things, the Mexico City earthquake was not too serious. It was 1/10 as strong as the earthquake a week earlier in the south of Mexico, and much less damaging than the 1985 earthquake. That’s easy for me to say. I’ve never experienced an earthquake. Monse was shaken by visiting a school which had collapsed and killed the students. Many of the buildings which were damaged were relatively new construction. Mexico has laws requiring earthquake-resistant construction, but corruption is rampant and some builders cheat. Barush and Lanu (his wife) had been in the south of Mexico where the destruction was far worse, helping the residents dig out and recover. The Presbyterian churches are also actively assisting in earthquake recovery. I joined the Large Group meeting Tuesday afternoon where Barush preached, followed by lunch.

Monse and I returned to IHOP for breakfast on Wednesday. In the afternoon we participated in the English Club and lunch afterward. One of the students was interested in talking, and we conversed for over an hour.

Barush wanted a change of pace, so he chose to have breakfast with me at Itallianni’s on Thursday. Barush began serving with us two years ago as a staff member, but he was ordained in the spring and has made the transition to campus minister. We spent several hours discussing the significance of this change and how that affects the way he does ministry. Barush is very gifted. He has a strong influence now, which I expect to grow in the coming years. After a lengthy breakfast we drove to the north of Mexico City to the Aragon campus of the UNAM for a new Bible study. There are many Christians at that campus, so we are hoping that this one Bible study can develop into a large ministry. That night I finished the latest RUF Northeast newsletter and sent it to the printer.

Friday morning I wrote some notes for a workshop I was to give that afternoon, then headed to campus for another English Club. That was followed by lunch, and then my workshop. I began by reminding the students that in evils without a moral cause (such as earthquakes), God promises to be with us, and even in these He still loves us. I spent the rest of the time teaching that salvation is a lot more than a ticket to heaven, but is participation in the Kingdom of Jesus. As no athlete wants to sit on the sidelines, so Christians should want the excitement of Kingdom activity. And if, frankly, we don’t? Pray for God to soften our hard hearts.

I always have a wonderful time in Mexico. Did you notice that I spend most of my time eating? Breakfast is at 10:00 AM. By then I am really hungry and have a healthy meal. Lunch is at 4:00 PM. Some days I didn’t need dinner, but if I had something, it was only a salad.

Pray for Mexico. The earthquake damage in the south is catastrophic. That is a poor area, and it will take many years for them to recover.

I type this on my flight to Atlanta, where we meet with the PCA oversight committee for RUF.

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