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A View from Southeast Mexico: Rosine Carter

Recently, I was asked to join a team going to SE Mexico. Actually, I was tagging along, my husband was asked to go to help evaluate livestock projects and the water issues associated with them. This being my first mission, I really didn’t know what to expect.  Everyone I talked to gasped and asked if we were worried about safety in Mexico.  No, we weren't. However, after a while we did begin to wonder, since so many were worried for me that maybe I should be.  That was not going to deter us one bit.

Our mission was a virtual tour of the Anglican Diocese of Southeast Mexico, guided by Bishop Juarez and his staff.  The geographical area of the diocese is larger the than the Diocese of West Texas it operated, however, with only 13 priest or deacons and about 16 missions. We flew to some locations and drove the rest, 2200 miles in 8 days and I know we walked at least 3 million steps.  From celebrating the Eucharist in the home of a young family to a shelter on the mountain, it was evident that the foundation of Christ had been laid. The people, the country, all, are shining lights of Christ. Oh, and security, I forgot I was even supposed to be worried about that. Actually, there are cities in the US that I worry for my safety more. It is not to say that there are certainly some issues on the border, but I never once was afraid, except for the taxi drivers in Mexico City. Actually, they really weren’t much different from the drivers in New York City.

Everywhere we went, people gathered to greet us, rang the church bells, it was truly joyous. In most of the villages we visited, the need for clean water was apparent. People were carrying water anywhere from ½  to several miles. There was a bread making operation in Arroyo Zacate, where the women make bread to sell, they have to carry water in a wheelbarrow about ½ mile uphill just to make bread. This was common in many areas we visited.  We visited the Hogar Infintal and we were particularly awed by the happiness of the children and their carefree spirit.  They are doing well, though there are many opportunities of us to help them in future missions. We celebrated the Eucharist in the chapel with the children, it was a wonderful service. They currently have a livestock project raising pigs, goats, and chickens run by the older boys of the center.  The pig project is very well run and a clean operation.  They would like to expand it and the benefits are great.  There are so many opportunities for mission trips in SE Mexico, my mind is continually spinning. It was a great opportunity to see their needs first hand and not leave it to our own imaginations.  Often, we can dream up things that people need, reality is that we don’t need to impose my wants on them.  We have to remember, what works here, doesn’t always work somewhere else.  In Christian life we often think others need what we need and we fail to remember the common denominator, Christ. He is already there in SE Mexico, we need to listen and let him guide us.  Bishop Juarez truly loves the people of this area, it is apparent just watching him with them.  The opportunities will reveal themselves as we continue are discussions.  The joy and love of Christ these people have is an example to everyone.

Back at home as I busy myself with the everyday happening of my life, I often think, what can I do for SE Mexico? What I really need to ask, “What does God need me to do in SE Mexico?”  I need to ask him and not take it upon myself.  There are many opportunities there, I just need to be still and listen to where he wants me to start.

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