Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Where is everyone going?

Hello everyone. We hate to break the news to you, but it has been very warm and of course sunny all week. We are thinking of those of you who are braving the snow and ice right now!

On the way to classes this week (we have an hour drive) we saw groups and groups of people walking on the highway. Some were riding their bikes, but most were walking. We thought "where in the world are they going?" The person in the front of the group carried a banner or a glass box of a woman. The woman is the the lady of San Juan de los Lagos and every year at the end of January people from all over Mexico travel to the her Basilica in the state of Jalisco to view the statue of this virgin. It is the second largest pilgrimage in the country only second to the one held in December to Mexico City to the shrine of the virgin of Guadalupe. Below we have attached a wikipedia article if you are interested in learning more about the pilgrimage to San Juan de los Lagos. The sight of swarms of travelers carrying statues of a this virgin, knowing that they were going to be walking in the heat all day, was heart breaking. They place their faith in these statues and pray to them thinking that they hold power to heal and save. We know there is only one who has that power and no human or statue can take his place. These pilgrimages are examples of how some types of Catholicism have become very syncretistic here in Mexico.

Our language classes have been extremely intense over the past two weeks. Sometimes we leave class thinking "do we know anything about Spanish?" Somehow we are making progress. One example of the progress we've made: Josh preached last Sunday in Spanish once again and our pastor said his Spanish was much improved and that the errors he made were minor. Yahoo! We still have a long way to go though. Would you please pray for patience as we work and study?

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