Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Something for you to chew.

I'm reading this phenomenal I bought from Koorong in Mt Lawley, Perth before I flew to Mexico City. It's called "The Ragamuffin Gospel" by Brennan Manning. 
Not the biggest fan of posting up portions of books, but this passage grabbed me by the hair and yanked me into God's heart this morning. So, I really want to share it with you, and maybe you will get a little something out of it. :)
Ready?
"Imagine that Jesus is calling you today. He extends a 2nd invitation - to accept His Father's love. And maybe you answer, "Oh, I know that. It's old hat....Lay a new word on me. I know the old one." 

And God answers, "That's what you don't know. You don't know how much I love you. The moment you think you understand is the moment you don't understand. 
I am GOD, not man.
You tell others about Me - that I am a loving God. Your words are glib, My words are written in the blood of My only Son. The next time you preach about My Love with such obnoxious familiarity, I may come and blow your whole prayer meeting apart.
When you come at Me with studied professionalism, I will expose you as a rank amateur. 
When you try to convince others that you understand what you are talking about, I will tell you to shut up and  fall flat on your face. 
You claim you know I love you. 
Did you know that every time  you tell Me you love Me, I say 'thank you'? 
When you son comes to you asking, "Do you like Susan more 'cause she skates better and she's a girl?" are you grieved and saddened over your child's lack of trust? Do you know that you do the same thing to Me? 
.....Do you understand that, motivated by love alone, your God became your slave in the Upper Room?
Were you grieved by the divine command to Abraham that he slay his only begotten Isaac on Mt Moriah? Were you relieved when the angel intervened, Abraham's hand was stayed, and the sacrifice was not carried out? Have you forgotten that on Good Friday no angel intervened? 
Mexican kids enjoying art at church in Alemada Centrale :)
That sacrifice was carried out, and it was My heart that was broken. 
Are you aware that I had to raise Jesus from the dead on Easter Morning because My love is everlasting? Are you serenely confident that I will raise you too, My adopted child?" 

Faith means you want God and nothing else." 

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Zocalo Antics.

An Aztec dancer 'blesses' a tourist with smoke
Things are heating up in the Art Evangelist's Zocalo ministry!! Some fast facts for today -

*Our team does public Bible reading - my team mate Marsha reads pretty loudly, and a group of Mexican police walked up to her...she kept going till God said, "ask them if they want their portrait sketched" so she did, and before you know it - police were crowding around her, wanting their faces captured on her sketch book. Marsh got to evangelise Catholic Mexican cops :)

*Alex, Jancia and I met up with a Mexican pastor who's been incredibly helpful with YWAM teams for Megacities today. His name's Pastor Eduardo, and after hearing I was Australia, told me in broken English that he saw on the news Australia's experienced bad flooding. He then said his church had prayed for us. 
I'm so used to praying for other countries - so to hear this man I'd known for 10 mins say he and his church cared enough about Australia to pray for QLD's flooding, totally blew me away!

*My staff Lynnea led the way this morning through a black market. Coming out the other side, we had a mini worship sesh in front of stall holders, and prayed for God's protection for the people in this dodgy area. From feeling fear and intimidation at the start, we felt God move incredibly and were filled with His confidence by the time we left. 

*God provided a translator for me, just at the right time to pray for a Mexican girl. My Spanish is practically non-existent, so I'm leaning on God quite a lot in these situations!

*There are lots of Aztec dancers in the Zocalo, and the last AES team here experienced some conflict with them...as the team's Bible reading 'disrupted the spirits'. We got talking, and my staff Lynnea asked them if he'd mind if our school did art next to them. The dancer said it was ok. !!

God is moving in the randomest ways. And it's incredible to be here, to see how God wants us to love and serve the Mexicans. 

Adios mon amigos! 
The Zocalo!!

Marsh sketched these policemen's portraits. :)

Hola!

Janica & Chris checking out the National Art Gallery of Mexico City.

After prayer walk, we found the Mona Lisa chalked on the pavement!
Hola! 
Day 4 of January - next week it'll be Christmas again! :)

I've been here in Mexico City 4 or 5 days, it's hard to keep track as the days all run in together.
Since the day I got here, it's been on the go go. Our days look like: 8am morning chores, 8:30 devotional by one of the team, then it's off to the city for ministry - which looks like prayer walking, to cover the areas we'll be doing ministry in, one-on-one evangelism. Last week my staff have been  organising previously made Mexican contacts who will translate for us when we perform skits and publicly tell the Mexicans why we're here in their city, and how Jesus wants a relationship with them, not religiosity. 
We've found sketching portraits are always a winner! Mexicans just love sitting down having their portraits done.
It's honestly been a bit of a culture shock for me being here in Mexico; I'm not used to being started at constantly (I'm told red hair is liked a lot here!) and I'm very white as is another Finnish team member.
It's a very funny experience! :)

But the Mexicans are some of the most hospitable people you'll ever meet - they're so happy to share what they have with you. 
When I catch a Mexican staring at me, probably wondering what I'm doing in their city, I say "Hola" and the Mexican face breaks into a shy, warm smile, as they "Hola!" back to you.

Mexico City is bright with colour, clashing noises and people, people, people everywhere! Mexican food fumigates your sense...and the street food is crazy cheap. We can't eat the fresh food without disinfecting it first, though.

Families reign supreme here - babies are adored, and you don't leave home till you're married. 

Black market wares are sold on the street everywhere you see, even some places in the heart of the city. Many Aztec items are available near the Zocalo, and have been 'blessed' before selling - jewelry, clothing, etc - but we've been warned by YWAM staff not to buy from the black market vendors (on outreach) as previous teams have, then suffered from horrific nightmares and sicknesses afterwards. It doesn't bother me though, as I'm not here as a tourist. :)

Yesterday was our day off - so 3 of my team walked from our warehouse accommodation in Tepito into the city centre, and passing through the Zocalo, my Finnish team mate Janica said out of the blue, "Oh, I love Jesus too! We love Jesus too!" 
Totally thought she was being funny, stating the obvious, when I turned around and nearly bumped into a Spanish lady who was looking doubtfully at Janica, who was waving excitedly at her. The Mexican Mum had a cap that said, "I love Jesus".
Turns out the lady was a Christian who was out for the day with her family - we had the amazing privilege to meet her family, take photos and exchange contacts.
It was my first meeting with a Mexican Christian family - we came away incredibly encouraged and stoked!

Much love to all! I miss you and am incredibly thankful for your prayers. It goes both ways though - if you have a prayer request, I'd love to pray for you!
God bless!
xxx

Cody