With my running commentary on the state of my health here and here, one can get the impression that we have been shut down for a while on the ministry front. However, although I’d lost a few days in my recovery, we’ve also been active, planning for an upcoming missions team to work in Muna, starting a new semester here at the Bible Institute, and serving in our local church.
One especially noteworthy event was our Carnaval service. Every Tuesday before Ash Wednesday, the date that marks the beginning of the Catholic season of Lent (Cuaresma in Spanish), the city of Mérida hosts Carnaval. This event, which is very similar to Mardi Gras in New Orleans is one big day of “sinning” before the purification of the Lenten Season begins. Of course, as Christians, we don’t believe in this binging and purging habit when it comes to living a Christian life, so our church offered an alternative Carnaval service.
During the service, there was an atmosphere of celebration for what God had done in the lives of the believers, participation in games and singing, and a wrap-up teaching before we sat down to experience the culmination of the event, sharing some great yucatecan food!
I was in charge of the afternoon’s message. It was an opportunity to share with the people my message on the tongue. (You can read the message in Spanish here.) I was able to share that it is not only sufficient to avoid the apparent sins of the world (e.g Carnaval), but that it is necessary to subject our entire self, all the way to the unruly tongue, to the power of the Holy Spirit.
During the course of the message, I was able to utilize Kelly’s pink dish washing glove as an example of being filled with the Spirit, as well as invite others to try and refill toothpaste tubes as an example of the difficulty that we have in taking back the words that we say. The picture above is of one of the church members, Joel, as he attempts this impossible task. The wonderful payoff, though, was seeing several of the church members come forward to pray for a new experience with the Holy Spirit.
So, yes, we’ve taken a few steps backward due to illness, but we’ve also seen God taking a few steps forward utilizing His power through us. Thank you for your continued prayers on our behalf!
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