Today is Sunday. Two weeks ago we worshipped with a wonderful group of believers in Zorrillo. It was a beautiful experience. As we walked up to the church building, several of the members waiting ourside came over and shook our hands. It didn’t take Carter long to find some buddies to run around with. The rest of us waited, smiling and nodding at each other because of the language barrier. Someone arrived with a key, and we began filing in.

The building was larger than I expected, and in a few moments it was almost full. We listened as different men led prayers (at the end of each the members all chimed in with AMEN), and several songs were led. Through the translation of Misial, a young man who joined our group on Sunday and stayed with us during the rest of our time in Mexico, we understood they wanted us to sing a song. Brett Mitchell stood up and led us in As the Deer Pants for the Water. After a few minutes, I understood it was time for the children to go to class, so Patty took Zoi and I took Carter and we went outside to the back of the building. There, sitting outside on a covered deck, the preacher’s wife Yolonda taught a children’s class. The children sat on chairs and listened as Yolonda spoke and asked them questions. Carter and Zoi became restless as they couldn’t understand anything, but before long colouring pages and crayons were handed out and everyone was occupied for a while. At the end of the class, Yolonda brought out a box and handed a bracelet to each child. Someone must have donated them. Each bracelet had the name Jennifer on it. The kids were thrilled and I spent several minutes fastening Jennifer ID bracelets on the arms of little boys and girls. Then we all went back into the main building.

Although I had missed the sermon, I learned after that Roy’s son Robbie translated the message given by Franco, the preacher. Franco spoke about caring for others, telling the members that “there are many in our community even poorer than we are.” At the end of the message, he asked Robbie if he would like to say anything. Apparently this is a common practice, to invite the guest to participate. Although Robbie is not a church-goer, he seemed moved by Franco’s message and his request for his comments. Robbie spoke beautifully in Spanish and English about his distress at the inequalities experienced by the Mexican people. He talked about how the things we (North Americans) have and take for granted in the United States and Canada are often due to the poorly paid efforts of Mexican labourers, and how we protect our wealth with violence. His tears as he spoke were shared by those of us who listened.

Finally, we shared communion together. What a beautiful experience. (Part way through, Carter and a new-found friend slipped out of the building and were found in the courtyard, happily throwing dried dog dung at each other. Just another Mexico experience!)

Sunday morning was a highlight of our trip. It was a chance to connect in a personal way with some of the people, and to share our joy in our mutual faith. I met Gloria that morning, a special mother-of-four who I will always remember. She gave me such a warm hug, and I was so happy to see her at the job site that afternoon. She spent much of her time with us over the next few days, singing as she painted with us, her smile lighting up our days.

I am not able to upload my own photos right now, but here are a few that I borrowed from an email sent by Patty.

Here is a beautiful sunset in Zorrillo, as those not height-challenged work to finish the roof.

Working on the roof

This is the almost-finished kindergarden, on the last afternoon. Most of the workers are here, minus a few Canadians who went for a walk.

FinishedWe are loaded up and ready to leave the campground. The bags on the top of Roy and Patty’s van were listing rather alarmingly by the time we arrived in San Diego.

Leaving Zorrillo