Kanxoc Mexico March 5th - 12th, 2017
Another successful year in the wonderful Mayan village of Kanxoc. Hauling cement and going into the schools teaching US history.
Lots of hearts were touched and many friendships were made.
Thank you all for your support through Merge Ministries!
Merge ministry web site Click here: www.covmerge.org
2017, year four
From Wayne Lund:
12 years ago I started leading teams into the Mayan Jungle, our first step was El Cedral, and we began with an all-male construction team, to replace a church destroyed by Hurricane Wilma. The team was built on the blueprint Terry Bergeron and Joe Radatz but together and I was able to witness in Cancun, the two previous years.
In El Cedral the church building was progressing well but it became obvious to us unless we did something to help fill the church on Sunday, we would just be building a building, so we started with outreach programs by having a kids Disney style picnic in the park, and in time Elizabeth Grothe, now Elizabeth Santana, joined us and then more ladies followed. Our outreach programs included our ladies tending to the feet of the ladies in town, repairing a playground, constructing a sewing center, Billy and Steve driving a van down for the church, rejuvenating a park, teaching in the schools, suppling medical supplies, then we had our greatest success the VBS, filling a church I saw first as footings with over 100 kids. What a fantastic site, but in time it became time to move on, but how do you leave a town after seven years of outreach?
We decided to take what we had learned and help create a sheep farm, with the proceeds being used to fund the Mercy Missions in El Cedral. It started out humbly, with 6 sheep than a mountain lion trimmed the flock back to three sheep, but now with additional fencing the flock has reached 21. It has taken some time but that project should be bearing some serious fruit shortly.
I told you that story so I could tell you this one
We have now moved to the town of Kanxoc, about 45 minutes away from El Cedral, and we are so happy to report that some of our friends past projects have not forgotten us. In fact last year we had folks from the Cancun church we last worked on 13 years ago, a couple from El Cedral, came by with their new baby the mother had helped in the food prep, her brother who had attended the VBS came along as well, as Lucio our old construction foreman and his wife Ruffi. Mayans aren’t big on traveling and gas cost big money so for them to visit it wasn’t because they were in the neighborhood. It was an event.
Welcoming at the church-we arrived at the church after the service had started on Sunday night and tried to be polite and hang out at the back of the church. But our friends from Kanxoc were having none of it. They ushered us to the front of the church and then some of the children when eventually properly aligned the shirts spelled out Welcome. The children sang a welcoming song, in English, to us and then handed out red carnations to the ladies of the group. Then the members of the church began to come over and shake our hands or air kiss the ladies welcoming us to the church.
So this year the theme was youth outreach our youth with theirs, and a group of students from Playa, leaving the youth to dub the saying Mayans, and Playans and Gringos oh my, and as God will do he blessed our trip with an abundance of youth of the 16 folks on our trip 9 were under 21 years old. The youth became an integral part of everything we did. While some adults taught Early U.S. history explaining how our country is founded on Christian Beliefs in the schools, the youth took half of the kids to the playground for Phys Ed games, reminding the kids about the festival on Friday. When the Playans performed in the park on Thursday our youth came up with a last minute skit complete with props that included a puppy in a box. They had a puppy in a box! How, a part of the local scene do you have to be to come up with a puppy? The youth continued to impress me as they took over the children’s festival, on Friday, teaming with local church youth to run the various games in the park, all impressive, yet kind of normal youth group stuff, but that is not all these guys did- they brought some serious game, that became evident on the day we poured the roof of the new church addition.
Now about this addition, my wife tells me I should not share the amount of concrete we moved with 5 gallon buckets, in order not to scare people away, so I’ll say from morning to well after lunch time, these young adults aided in moving between 13,999 and 14,001 pounds of cement from ground level to a roof 18 feet above them. All without complaint, in fact you had to excuse a person out of the job so they could get water and a little shade time. I didn’t hear anybody asked if we were going to stop for lunch, didn’t hear a complaint about the amount of work. These guys were indeed the hands and feet of the Lord. As a parent I was extremely proud in how the kids preformed, and you as a church should also be proud, these young adults would not be who they are without you. They were in part shaped, by the Children’s Ministry Team, the youth Ministry team, Nursey Teams, Awana, Feed My Starving Children Events, Sports Camps and all the other ways you pour into our youth, I dearly hope you can feel the same satisfaction that I do when I see the youth of this church.
Now as colossal of an ending as that would have been, there is a second ending.
Once we finished at the park and packed everything up we headed back to our last supper for the trip, when we went out into the courtyard of the church we were welcomed by the smell of the tortilla fires and the grilling of meat, not just chicken but some beef as well, and at least 75 people from the local church. Then in the distance you could hear the strains of a Mariachi band, and then it got louder as they weaved their way through the temporary log supports holding up the concrete roof, and there they were in their full regalia. This wasn’t just any band, this band is made up of the sons and Grand Sons from a man who Pastors in the town of Chemex, a Christian Mariachi band. As the band played on I looked around and at those who had worked with us all week, We had six old friends from Baptist Mission in El Cedral, we had two new Merge Members from the town of Popalna who attend an Assembly of God church, we had our friends from Playa who attend a nondemonminatial church, our Christian Mariachi friends who attend services in Chemex, our Assembly of God brothers in Kanxoc, and then us. We had folks representing six different churches and at least four dominations all working fellowshipping together. It was indeed a great reflection to end the week on.
Wayne Lund for the entire 2017 Kanxoc Team:
A special Thank you to this years team members!