Friday, October 7, 2011

Oaxaca, Mexico - Day 3, An Obsession with Food

My adventure in Oaxaca continues with Day 3 of my diary:

Sunday, November 9 – 6:55 p.m.

Whew! What a day! First things first. Remember what I said about no gardens and lawns?
Darling, we were just not in the right neighborhood! We drove by some incredibly beautiful
villas today, with gorgeous doors and painted stucco walls and huge wooden gates. Just like
in the other movies...the ones with folks who have a little more money.

Back to last night. Excellent dinner! Homemade taquitos with guacamole and salsa verde
and mole negro and fresh sour cream, with a dessert of chopped apples and pineapple and
raisins and nuts and cream and a little sugar – yummy. [Please pardon all the talk about
food...I was just getting used to Oaxacan food, and I was clearly enjoying it. You would, too.] Lolita is a genius. She is also cooking for a lot of people. Four teams, about 35 people.

Ours is the largest team at 13 people. This is the first group hosted by Tom and Wendy
Hogan, our Forward Edge International (FEI henceforth –
coordinators. They have just started at this new post, and it's a bit much for a starter. So
far, so good, though.

Richard Twiss's group [] arrived last night, so it's a bit more crowded in the
girls' bedroom. (I'm in the top double, by the door, which was unfortunate last night, as the
door was open for ventilation, the light was on in the next room, then the streetlight was
shining in my eyes, and, of course, there were the folks loudly playing! On a
missions trip! I am in mock shock! the adjoining sitting room – but I digress.) Richard's is
a ministry of reconciliation to indigenous peoples all over the world. His presence seems to
bring peace to a room.

Breakfast this morning was tamales and fruit and chicken mole negro in banana
leaves...and hot chocolate! Yea! Lolita said that this is a traditional Sunday morning meal.
As usual, outstanding.
Photo by Chris. All rights reserved.

We went to church in a small town nearby [“Nearby” is a relative term in Oaxaca, as it
seems to take an hour to get anywhere you go. The traffic is terrible, and let's not even discuss the driving! The speed bumps are gargantuan. If you don't slow down enough, you will leave your axle behind and flip your vehicle. I'm sure the bumps are for the public safety.] What a wonderful experience church was! The worship team was very much like our own setup, very good worship time. Ronny preached in English for our sakes, even though he is fluent in Spanish [Ronny and Susie G. are old hats at this missions thing, and what nice people], and Tom translated.

There was prayer time after the message, and I was invited to help with that. It was an honor to pray alongside my Spanish-speaking brothers and sisters. Susie and I ministered together – she is fluent in Spanish and very sensitive to the prompting of the Holy Spirit. We prayed for Saul, a little boy with severe scoliosis, a deformed hip, and a leg that isn't growing – the sweetest child, and he needs a miracle. His parents can't afford the $35K (in Mexico) surgery he needs to keep his spine from totally collapsing. His organs are already being impacted. We also prayed with a young wife who just became a believer in Jesus today. Hooray! Forgiveness prayers are so powerful, and she wept as she experienced the freedom that can only be found through inner healing. It was wonderful. It was impactful. There was no hesitation or request for deep explanation for intellectual understanding; there was only openness and willingness to go wherever the Holy Spirit wanted to go. How can you stop the tears from flowing at such an enormous moment? God is so good.

After church, we drove to Santa Maria del Tule. Very picturesque, quaint, with a street
market and an impressive civic building and an even more impressive church on the plaza.
There is a huge tree that is reputed to be 2,000 years old there, and it is next to the church
quite nice restaurant for lunch. I had horchada and chicken estofado (with plantain mole).
And then Mexican coffee, which was delicious (boiled in a clay pot with cinnamon). We did
a little shopping at the market, but nobody would barter. Hmph.

Dinner was soft tacos (chicken) covered with salsa verde and lettuce and sour cream – light
and scrumptious, but I'd better not eat at all tomorrow. I've probably gained five pounds

Tomorrow, we pour pisos to replace dirt floors in homes. It will be hard work. The pisos are
very important for sanitation purposes, and for comfort, too.

Next up: The work begins.

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