Friday, February 27, 2009

Getting to Know One Another

Since we've been here our stereotypes of Mexico have been challenged as we learn more about the people and culture we've grown to love. One thing that surprised us is how long it has taken to get to know people. We noticed that many people generally seem happy and cheerful. And if you ask, "Cómo estás?" They are going to respond, "Muy bien gracias." If someone asks you the same question and you say something different it will most likely surprise them and they may not understand why you would give another answer. One of our language professors told us that many Mexicans function this way. They are happy and cheery in front of everyone, but when they are behind closed doors it is a different story. I don't think this phenomenon occurs only here in Mexico, but maybe it is more common. As we've been trying to deepen relationships here the idea that one is always fine (especially if you are a Christian) has been a roadblock. Thankfully this week we saw some progress. We had commented to each other that we wish this one family would open up to us because we know they are struggling right now and we'd like to talk to them about their situation. And it happened! Transparency! When we asked the famous question this week, "How are you?" finally the father responded "actually I'm really sad." He then began to open up about all the problems he had been having with his children and how devastated he felt because of all that had transpired the week before. Wow. We were shocked. And last night during a Bible study the same family admitted that they felt more comfortable around us and were glad that we could all share honestly with one another. Mainly, we've learned that if we are open and real with others, they are more likely to be open with us. Only in a community with a spirit of honesty can we grow. Sometimes it takes sacrifice on our part to humble ourselves enough to be honest about the things that we are struggling with in our lives. But lets be truthful...Isn't it freeing? We can only experience God's deep love for us in true Christian community. Have you ever experienced that? Are you striving for it?

Also, last night we celebrated our friend Jorge's birthday. Jorge and Erika have become good friends of ours. Why? Because they have opened their home to us time and time again. They've invited us out for tacos and invited us to super numerous times. They have been there for us when we've felt lonely and for that we are grateful! Jorge has his own salsa business and Josh has enjoyed helping him make them on a few occasions. Jorge's birthday celebration was special because his family didn't ever celebrate his birthday and to this day his mother doesn't even call him to wish him happy birthday. We were glad we could celebrate with him and bring a smile to his face. =D

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