Iglesia Bautista El Redentor Zacamil (Sunday)
I've never felt more welcomed by strangers to worship and the table.
IBERZ is a Compassion partner with child sponsorships, and several in our group were able to meet their children in person. The children learn entrepreneurial skills in craft making and financial management.
The girls make crafts for parties, Christmas cards and decorated pens to sell. They presented to us their work, demonstrated their technique with confidence and poise. The signs on the wall said, "the student will learn basic skills of financial administration, a personal budget and a personal bank account" and "the student will learn to commit themselves to financial integrity and stewardship of all aspects of their personal finances and strive to be above reproach." We were welcomed into worship enthusiastically with handshakes, hugs and kisses, as well as popular worship songs led in English and Spanish.
Pastor Pablo Figueroa preached from Luke 14:15 "happy are those who will eat at the feast in the Kingdom of Go." Table fellowship brings life, breaks down barriers, includes others, points to the heavenly banquet, breaks down barriers and creates love among God's people that creates a compelling example to the world of God's love and grace.
There is a legacy of God's grace and leadership in this church, which celebrates 25 years next weekend. Rocio was our Compassion guide. Her grace, commitment and skill was inspiring. We met her aunt, an original Compassion translator in the 70s. We also discovered this church was a church plant from her father's church. We also met Vladimir, her childhood friend who is now director of Compassion in the Caribbean and Central America, and his mother.
The barbed wire surrounding church, the Ritz crackers and grape juice made me think more about the meaning of Jesus' body than usual. Regardless of language, culture or geography, we are his body and God uses us all (together) to experience and invite others to the Kingdom of God in ordinary, real ways, in the context of our real lives.