Sitting in a restaurant yesterday, as our meals were being served, it sunk in. I’m in Mexico! And have been since Sunday, but at that random moment in a restaurant which could just has easily have been not far from home in a town like Forster (but for all the ‘espanol) I realised that the months of dreaming and planning were now reality.
We’re in Mexico to visit and catch the vision of RenovArte Cafe, an outreach ministry to the young Creative Arts students in the uni across the road from the cafe, set up by Phil, a missionary from the organisation I work for, and his wife Sandy. We’re here to experience the Cafe ministry (from witnessing conversations over the gospel with nonbelievers to helping source the ingredients for the offerings on the menu), Mexican culture, and to learn from and listen to Phil and Sandy and hear their heart to make disciples of Jesus among the young people, and some of the challenges and uncertainties that this entails.
Hopefully one of the outcomes of this trip is that I will be able to share the vision of the cafe with others – inviting support and bringing blessing to Phil and Sandy and the ministry in the long term. Oh, and Adam thought he might play his first ever live Birds in Branches gig here in the cafe tomorrow night.
God is good and I am learning much. About Mexican culture, and the realities of cross-cultural ministry, but also about myself. Having little Spanish up our sleeves has felt limiting at times and so it is hard to communicate beyond the things on the surface.
Sometimes our purpose here has felt unclear, as we just sit in the cafe and enjoy delicious Mexican food, and even today as we have felt unwell (just part of the mission experience). I know God’s purposes are so often not obvious at the time. So I must cling to Him and trust that He will achieve His purposes in and through me, and us, even if we feel limited now.
As I wrestled over the first few days with feeling unprepared, quiet and unsure of what I could offer, my reading for yesterday was from 1 Corinthians about the body of Christ, and how we are all given different gifts or functions. I was deeply affirmed in my Spirit that God wanted me to be me and to offer what only I could bring.
We would value prayer for healing and energy for the remainder of our time here in Mexico and for Adam’s gig tomorrow night.