Flying to Queretaro, take 2. Praise God we had a great night’s sleep. We were on the bus to the airport by 8:30am. Despite waking up to flash flood warnings and a serious downpour, our flight took off on time- Praise. The. Lord. When we landed in Queretaro, we went through the short customs line and quickly claimed our baggage. Unfortunately, 5 pieces of our luggage- including mine, again- did not make it onto our flight and were left in Dallas. So our team piled into the Word of Life van to head to Betnal while Jay and Hector stayed at the airport to file an incident report for our luggage. I won’t lie- having my suitcase lost two days in a row left me fighting discouragement. Fortunately, I had packed one extra outfit in my backpack this time, so I wasn’t completely stranded!
When we got to the camp, we ate a quick lunch, greeted some Word of Life friends, and settled into our cabins. There are six girls in our cabin- two mother daughter duos, and two college students. Other cabins are occupied by four other families on our team. We have several bunk beds in our cabin and a bathroom attached with toilets and showers. It felt good to settle in and know what our “home” will be for the week.
After getting settled, we piled into the van and headed to Queretaro to go to youth group at Vertical Connection Church. We met up with Pastor Pablo DiGilio, his wife, Michele and their son, Gabriel. We got to visit a bit with them before going to church. Once there, we hugged Pastor Alex Tarasiuk and wife, Julia, and youth group began. We played a game of relay tic-tac-toe, had worship, and a time of small group teaching. The Mexican version of InterVarsity (known here as Compa) gave a presentation and led small groups as an example of what they do in local universities. We had a great discussion about Paul’s speech to the Epicurean and Stoic philosophers in Acts 17. We were comparing it to how people of Paul’s day responded to the good news of Jesus and how similar it is still today. We examined how Paul SAW the people in the synagogue, marketplace and learning centers. He OBSERVED them- what was important to them, what their challenges were, what their beliefs were. And because he was intentional about his observation of them, he was able to approach them with humility and a sincere desire to see unbelievers come to a saving knowledge of Christ. He appealed to what they already knew and understood and showed them how Jesus Christ was the answer to the unfulfilled longing of their hearts. His actions are an example that we can follow today. I was challenged to observe my kids more carefully, as well as those who God puts in my path on a daily basis. How much more empathetic would I be toward other people’s need for Christ (including my family) if I stopped to observe them before acting/reacting. Taking that pause and seeking to understand them first may make my approach and appeal to Christ more effective. Regardless, people will respond to the Gospel as they have for thousands of years: by mocking those who believe it, by showing a fleeting interest, or by submitting themselves to the love and Lordship of Jesus Christ. And there is also comfort in knowing that no matter how I present the Gospel (from panache to insensitivity), God is in control and able to reach the lost despite my inept presentation. I am only responsible to be faithful to point people to the One who saves.