I can’t believe we are nearing the end of our trip here in the U.S.! Seeing all our family and church friends has been so great! Watching God work in us this past year and learning from His Holy Spirit has been invaluable as we reflect, to say the least, and eye opening on so many levels. It’s been a good year and we are ready to go home to the Andes!
Our trip wouldn’t have been complete though, in my hubby’s eyes, without us making the effort to go visit our missionary friends, Jon and Annie. When Tyler told me before we left Bolivia that he really wanted to go to Mexico to see Jon, a childhood friend, and the ministry I was pretty resistant to say the least. My biggest fear was that I was just afraid of not making it back. I mean, with all the stories we hear about the “unrest” (to say it lightly) south of the border…yeah, I wanted to live! God made this trip happen though, especially for Tyler, I have no doubt. God worked every detail out in unexpected ways.
I knew we were about to reach the border when miles became posted as kilometers. No more Standard system! I thought they were welcoming me home! Then I had a culture shock moment with the road warning “No Tire Basura.” I’d so quickly forgotten we weren’t in the States anymore bc I was waiting for the sign to finish what it meant by No Tire… Which the sign just meant “Don’t Through Trash.” I was a tad confused about why that threw me off and then… Mexico really began to sink in. They don’t always use the same Spanish nouns and adjectives we do in Bolivia and it became pretty plain when we first began hearing the Spanish “sing song like” speech that Mexicans speak in… It seemed we were headed for a tiny learning curve in as much as Americans would be going to Scottland.
Did I mention the tacos everywhere? Every hole in the wall eatery, every stand, everything had tortillas. I’m not kidding. A local even told me that a meal isn’t a meal if there isn’t a tortilla involved in some way and they weren’t even trying to sell me tortillas! It’s a serious issue. As serious as rice is to Asians and churrascos (grill outs) are to South Americans.
We had such a great time with Jon and Annie though, that the word great seems a poor choice of a word to describe it. We haven’t had a chance to open up with such a like minded couple that is walking the same exact path. It’s amazing after so many exchanges of field stories after stories and trials after trials and victories after victories how weirdly similar our experiences have been. The struggles of marriage, especially on the foreign field in ministry. Something very few people would even feel comfortable sharing. And how God has brought us all to nearly the same exact places, outlooks, and conclusions.
It was also pretty fun to talk and fellowship with the Mexican believers in their area. It was a blessing to share with them that there are believers in a small community pretty similar to theirs living in Bolivia. And just sharing with them that God is at work in the same way as in their lives in Mexico as the believers in Bolivia. We got to share tons of photos of Bolivia and they absolutely loved it! (Especially the photos with burros.) Jon and Annie said this was a first for their congregation and they could tell it was a blessing to the ones that were there. God is awesome. Oh, and the ladies gave me some great ideas for cooking Nopales when I get back to Bolivia. We have tons of these cactuses there too, but no one even touches the leaves. The prickly pear is all that is eaten. So, I’m excited about exploring a new food/vegetable/ I have no idea how you categorize a cactus you’re about to serve your family… and super excited about trying their recipe “Inditas Descalsas.”
Loved this whole scene so much! From the old faded green wooden counter, the busted up brick and cement floors, the high ceilings finished off with sticks in between the beams, and of course the ever present in all 3rd world countries, the local regulars.