Doug posted this note on Facebook, and we wanted to share it with all of you since it really speaks of our ministry here. Please continue to pray for the villages of La Pitahya, Rosales, Boca del Rio and Las Glorias and the families we fellowship with and minister to in our area.
The other day, I went to the lumber yard to pick up some
materials. My order was ready when I got there, so I loaded up my wood,
and proceeded to say goodbye to the owner, who is a friend and
Christian brother. An hour later, I was on my way (now in a bit of a
hurry) to pick up Rebecca, who was waiting for me downtown. Saying
goodbye takes a little longer in Mexico.
friend Julio’s father passed away. We went to his home at about 11:00
last night to wait for the family to bring his body from Guasave. They
arrived about 1 a.m.
Before Huichi’s death, the family
was struggling with not only watching their father fade away, but also
with the decision of whether or not to keep him connected to the oxygen,
which was the only thing keeping him alive. In the end, they decided
to bring him back to his home with an oxygen tank so he could pass “next
to his guamuchil tree”. Huichi said that he was tired of trying to
breath, tired of fighting. He didn’t make it home.
the day today, people will continue to arrive to say their good-byes to
Huichi, look at pictures of him tossing his fishing net,talk about the
big fish that he was so good at landing with his harpoon. They will
wait for up to three days to make sure that all the family gets a chance
to be there.
I always thought that many Mexican
traditions had strong roots in Catholicism, and that the people are
shaped by their religion. I am, however, beginning to realize how much
the Mexican culture has shaped their religious traditions, Catholic or
When someone passes away in Mexico, life
stops for a few days. I mean everything stops, and I don’t mean just
for close family. Friends, neighbors and acquaintances will come to the
house to visit with, pay their respects and wait. They will share
meals, drink coffee, talk about old times. Wait.
night I realized just how much the waiting fits with everything else in
Mexico. I’m here to teach people about Jesus, and I’m glad I had a
chance to effect Huichi’s life and pray with him a few days before he
died. As I ponder my life in Mexico though, I see how often I’m the one
who is being taught.
Why do they wait? If you look
it up on Wikipedia, you might read that they are praying for the
deceased’s soul and asking God to forgive their sins, and move them from
purgatory to paradise. If you ask one of Huichi’s brothers or sisters,
children or grandchildren, they’d just say that they are saying
1 Corinthians 15:55 "O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting?"