Saturday, April 11, 2009

Semana Santa

Greetings this Saturday before Easter. The thought sometimes crosses our minds that we have no idea how many people read our blog, but we hope you find it somewhat interesting and helpful to catch a glimpse of our world and be a part of what we are doing.

This week we said good-bye to the group from Michigan that spend 10 days here in Central Mexico with us. It was a sad parting at the airport because the group was a mature group that brought us many smiles and reminded of us home. We're thankful for their visit, their help, and there attitudes. =) We didn't realize how much energy it takes to work with a short-term team. It was a challenge, but a good one. Jennifer enjoyed working in the kitchen and Josh enjoyed helping with projects. Unfortunately Jennifer got sick and had to stay at home a few days, but overall it went rather smoothly.

Here in Mexico, and in Latin America in general, this week is called Semana Santa. It is a very big week here as all of the schools are out and many people are on vacation. The catholic churches celebrate in a big way and mainly they celebrate the death of Jesus on Good Friday or Viernes Santo. Since we love Latin America we have always wanted to see a famous procession on Good Friday. Many towns have processions were they reenact Jesus' walk to Golgatha and his crucifixion and processions where they take Jesus' body and reenact taking it from Golgatha to the tomb. Much like there are many passion plays in the states, there are many processions here in Mexico. Some of them are rather eery as there can be a lot of self flagellation etc. Yesterday we were thankful for the opportunity to travel to the nearby city of Dolores Hidalgo with one of our Mexican friends and see a procesion del silencio. One of the processions where they walk around the city with Christ's body after he died. For us it was an extremely eye opening experience as we stepped into a new world and culture. Much of it was very beautiful and reverent. However, we were struck by the homily in the middle of the procession about Mary the mother of Jesus. We knew that the catholic church here puts a huge emphasis on her, we'd studied it, seen the evidence in churches, but we where shocked when a priest in the middle of the procession spoke about her. He said nothing of Christ and his sacrifice for us, but rather he spoke of Mary's sacrifice and her example that we should all try to follow. We were saddened by the more or less worship of Mary and the lack of emphasis put on Christ and his example for us. Sadly, the catholic church doesn't give much attention to Christ's resurrection and that he is alive. We are glad that this Easter we can celebrate his sacrifice and death, as well as his miraculous resurrection!


Chichimeca children in the mountains. Josh went with the team to visit a Chichimeca congregation.

Josh with the indigenious Chichimeca pastor

The group from Michigan, us and other missionaries

Suffering Christ in the cathedral in Dolores Hidalgo

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