After visiting the congregation of the Lord’s church at La Soledad Monday morning, we travelled to the town of Chalchocoyo (the name of which means “guava” in Nahuatl). The church at Chalchocoyo is one of the biggest in that region, and there was a great turnout considering it was Monday.
Upon arriving we were greeted by a bunch of children on the road, who were very interested to see us. We were soon led down the hill to where the church building was, and entering we saw Bienvenidos los hermanos de Aledo, Texas written on the chalkboard. It was here that we first met brother Nicolás (a local preacher) and Abraham Antonio, who led the welcome song when we were all assembled. After this Mr. Dugan introduced each of our company, and when this was accomplished Nicolás spoke in Nahuatl inviting anyone to come forward if they had something to say to us.
First a young man came up, and he was able to speak good Spanish. After him was an elderly man of 80 plus years who knew only Nahuatl. However, this did not hinder the message in any way, for what he said was translated to Spanish by Nicolás, and then brother Jesús translated into English. It was quite interesting to observe this process, and I was glad I didn’t have to rely on too much filtering. After that a monolingual Aztec lady came up and spoke to us; all of these thanked us for coming and gave us much encouragement.
A meal followed, with the regular fare. We ate in their old building, which was built on a higher level than the old one. It’s a smaller building, and one reason for its abandonment was foundation problems. It served us well as a fellowship hall, however!
After the meal reading glasses were brought out for the members to try on, and Mr. Dugan had brought a plastic jug of bubble gum just for the little kids. During this time I wandered around the premises taking pictures of things and people, and there was one boy who seemed to enjoy having his picture taken. There were more little children at this place than I had seen at any of the other churches we had visited, and I believe all of them knew Nahuatl, and probably Spanish as well. I did hear them use the word chichi when they were looking at a stray dog.
We had been invited to the home of a certain couple who lived not far from Chalchocoyo, so we went there after leaving the church building. The man’s name was Pascual, and he and his wife had recently taken the initiative to start a congregation of the Lord’s church in their own home. Brothers Abraham and Nicolás accompanied us to their house, and we had a very good conversation there. Their zeal for Christ was very encouraging, as well as their hospitality. Pascual’s wife, even though she could not even understand Spanish, brought us orange soda and was very hospitable.
One thing that I found interesting in the bilingual conversation that developed was that the Mexican preachers seemed to have the idea that the Christians of the United States were more knowledgeable in the Scriptures, or somehow ‘better’ than they. However, we were quick to point out that this is most definitely not the case, and that in many ways the Mexican Christians in general are more zealous for the Lord’s work and more dedicated to Christianity. We concluded that we are all brothers in Christ, and we should all be continually seeking to do more in the Kingdom while on this earth.
It was a very good day, and I was greatly encouraged by what I had seen of the Lord’s church in San Luis Potosí.