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Tlapexmecayo

Xilitla municipality

Christians at TlapexmecayoAfter having driven several more miles through the mountains of the Huasteca that Sunday afternoon, we came to our next stop: the meeting-place of the congregation in the small Aztec town of Tlapexmecayo. We were quite grateful to the Christians there for waiting on us, since we were running behind. They were most gracious for waiting to have their worship service when we arrived, even though we had previously worshiped with the El Cañón congregation.

When we arrived, we were heartily greeted by the preacher there, and we were soon led to the meetingplace. Even though this group of Christians did not have a building, they were content to meet under a pavilion, under which there was only enough room for about half of them. The rest stood or sat on benches, and the preacher led the service from under the pavilion.

One thing I noticed was that the preacher did nearly the whole service, except for one of the prayers which he asked brother José to lead (which he did entirely in Nahuatl, I may add!). Apparently the men present didn’t know how to lead various parts of worship, or weren’t confortable with it. Of course for all I know they were relatively new Christians!

Although I don’t remember the sermon topic, it was sound and biblical, as well as bilingual. It was actually a bit difficult for me to follow the preacher, since he kept switching between Nahuatl and Spanish. I noticed that he used a good number of Spanish words in his Nahuatl (mostly religious words), and upon asking him afterwards I learned that these are actually loanwords from Spanish, understood by all the Nahuatl speakers. Read More

El Cañón

Xilitla municipality

In the clouds

Sunday morning found us on the highway south, headed to the Xilitla municipality. This part of San Luis Potosí was very near the state line of Querétaro, but we did not go that far south. Instead we headed up into the green mountains, and forsaking the paved highway the van slowly crawled along the rocky roads along the slopes. I refrain from saying “dirt roads” because this would be misleading–the roads were paved with quite large rocks, making any speed whatsoever in a vehicle quite difficult. As we saw various people crossing the road as they took the footpaths through the hills, I could not help but envy them. How much I wished I could be out on the trails, taking a faster pace but also being able to enjoy God’s creation up close. But I was confined to the van, so I was content.

These mountains are not as rugged as those of central Mexico, and are probably not as high due to their close proximity to the ocean. They reminded me much of the Appalachians, since they were all green and covered with foliage. Beneath this outer covering, however, they are solid rock. As we followed the meandering road, mist overhung the mountains and we were soon in the clouds. Across the valley we were able to see the town of Xilitla–the chief city of that region–and all along the way the scenery was beautiful. There were numerous cattle grazing on the mountainsides, and as I watched the verdant landscape with occasional stone fences and steps, I could almost fancy myself in Ireland or Scotland.

At long last we turned off the road and came up to a concrete building painted turquoise on the front. As I read the words Iglesia de Cristo on the front, I knew we had arrived. We were running behind schedule, but since Mexicans are wont to do this as well, I’m sure no one minded waiting on us. Quite a few people came out to greet us, even with a holy kiss. Though this may seem odd, it is the custom of some, and it is certainly Biblical. Read More

Firsts

Montañas

While in Mexico this past week, there were several things I did for the first time. Besides it being my first visit to the state of San Luis Potosí, below are four “firsts” from this trip. It was definitely a learning experience!

First time to act as a translator

Since I was the only one of our number who could speak Spanish, a translator went with us while we were in Mexico, who would translate anytime they wanted to talk to people. Since most people down there know Spanish, we usually had no problem.

I myself had never tried translating for someone, but when we were in Huichihuayán (pronounced wee-chee-wah-YAHN) at the preachers’ training school, I found myself talking to some of the students there while our translator was busy elsewhere. Then when a couple of the men of our group came up to join the conversation, of necessity I told them in English what was being discussed. Thus it came about that I would tell the one side in English what was said, and then tell the Mexican brethren what the others were saying, and so on, back and forth. It was great practice, and I think I did fairly well, though certainly not as well as our Mexican translator. There were times that I didn’t understand what someone said, and there were times when I didn’t know the word for something, but overall I was able to get the point across. Read More