I had a good flight to Mexico last Monday, but when I called for an Uber, it took forever to find a car, and it was 25 minutes away! I grabbed a taxi and arrived at the hotel in time to meet with Matt Jesch. Matt is the MTW missionary assigned to oversee their campus ministry in Mexico City. My role is to advise them on the campus side of the ministry. Matt and I reviewed the state of things and planned our activities for the week.
On Tuesday morning I finished the sermon I was to preach at RUF (CUR in Spanish) that afternoon. Then Matt and I caught a ride to campus and participated in the Large Group meeting. There was a good attendance and it seems my sermon was well-received. A middle-aged man heard the music and dropped in. Afterward he had some questions for me and told me, with Monse interpreting, a long story about God’s grace during his daughter’s long illness. I was worm out by evening!
Matt and I met with Marco, a local pastor, on Wednesday morning. The RUF-MTW-Mexican Church alliance has been wobbly for a few years, but Matt is putting into place measures which will strengthen it. We had a productive meeting with Marco, then Matt and I debriefed afterward. Matt headed back home to Guadalajara, while I went to English Club. Attendance was a little light, but we had a very good time conversing in English. This is the primary entry point for students into the CUR. I joined them for lunch afterward, then headed back to the hotel. Again it seemed as though there were hardly any Uber drivers in the area, and I had to wait 20 minutes for a ride.
I spent Thursday morning with Monse. She is an amazing staff woman and we spent the morning talking about how God is at work in her life. I had no scheduled activities in the afternoon, which was just as well because I was able to use the time to get materials ready for our student training conference in two weeks. I spent Friday morning with Barush, sharing how God is at work in the CUR and discussing some ways to improve. We also discussed the changes Matt is introducing from MTW’s side of things. Barush and I rushed off to English Club, which was packed with students. Lunch followed, as always.
Monse had asked my age at breakfast on Thursday, and I let slip that Friday was my birthday. Barush showed up with a gift – a green necktie! Monse got reservations for us to have dinner at a Mariachi restaurant Friday night. The food was amazing and the Mariachi bands were wonderful. Then Monse and I went to a jazz concert at El Redentor church. The musicians were astoundingly good and it was perhaps the best jazz I have ever heard. It was a wonderful birthday! I wish Ruth had been able to be there.
After the conference Monse, Liset, and I decided to share an Uber back to our side of the city. It was then that Monse pointed out that I had to swipe the app to get Uber X. I had been using Uber Black because that is the only option I saw! We swiped to display the Uber X option, and behold, there were Uber cars everywhere!
It took all day Saturday to return home, and I accomplished a lot of reports and office work on the flights. I got a first-class seat on the flight from Mexico City to Atlanta courtesy of a charming couple. The man got a first-class upgrade which he gave to his wife. But then she decided that she would rather sit next to her husband than in first-class, so I traded seats with her. The first-class meal was delicious!
This week I will visit Lehigh University here in Bethlehem, then Ruth and I will travel to Newport, RI for the New England winter conference.