Living among the people of Yucatan is a blessing. So is being able to "do ministry" as a family. Dave will get invitations to participate in a service or special event, and he is often asked to bring his family. We try say "yes" to as many of those requests as we can. This past Sunday we had the opportunity to spend time with a great family from Pixyah, Yucatan. They pastor a church there, but also have a "mission" in a nearby town called Ochil. There, they were celebrating one year as a congregation, since the start of their mission. So, after teaching Sunday School in our own "home" church in Mérida, we headed out to the "pueblos" to catch part of their service and join them for lunch afterwards. So we were able to hear the encouraging words of the pastor who also invited Dave to share with the group, and then we had the rare treat of eating venison tacos with homemade corn tortillas - "hechas a mano." A few of us had seconds.... After everyone had their fill, and there were still leftovers, they packed things up - chairs, sound system, etc. - and headed back to Pixyah where there would be service in evening.
Well, that is easier said than done. In order to get between the 2 towns, you take the "ruta fea" - basically the backroads, very scenic (and very bumpy!). We've taken this way a few times which makes it sort of a novelty, but they do this several times a week to minister to the people in the nearby town. Once we had arrived back at the church, we were invited to visit a local cenote called Nomozón with the pastor and his family. And, you guessed it, more backroads - this particular route boasted 4 gates that you have to open to pass through and close again before continuing on your way, with cattle and horses and dogs to boot.
We've enjoyed cenotes in the region in the past, but it never gets old since each is unique, beautiful in its own way. The adults decided not to swim this particular day, but the kids enjoyed the refreshing coolness of the huge underground water hole. I don't know which was more fun for them, though - riding on top of the pastor's pick up truck or swimming and racing each other in the crystal clear water on this hot, humid day. After making our way back to the church, we shared a typical Yucateco snack - charritos with cheese, ham, half and half cream, salsa and jalapeño all mixed together in a bowl for sharing along with some Pepsi to wash it all down. Yum.
It was a good day. And the Lord was blessing us even more with His beautiful creation on the ride back to the city...amazing colors and clouds as the sun set in front of us as we drove, reflecting on how great it is to be alive and experience life with others.