Teaching Trip to Monterrey, Mexico 1/30-2/1/2009
Teaching Trip to Monterrey, Mexico
Jan and I traveled for a teaching weekend in Monterrey, Mexico. Unfortunately, the airline cancelled our flights without informing us. A last-minute standby flight got me to the city nearly on time, but left Jan behind in Tijuana, to fly through Guadalajara. In the end, we both got to our destination, even if by circuitous rout. Monterrey and Guadalajara are the largest cities in Mexico outside of Mexico City. The population of the prosperous city of Monterrey is about five million. It is in northern Mexico, only about two hours from the US border. It is a city of maquiladores (factories with connections principally to American companies). The city is relatively modern. It is located in a beautiful valley, surrounded by very sharp peaks of the Sierra Madre. The city landmark is the stunning Monte de Silla (Saddle Mountain). Soccer is king here. We saw literally dozens of games being played at midnight in the city "futbol" fields. The food here is wonderful, of course, the specialty being cabrito (goat).
The church we visited has a bit over six hundred members. They are the strongest of a network of six other churches in northern Mexico-in Culiacan, Tampico, Saltillo, Ciudad Juarez, Tijuana and Mexicali. The church in Monterrey is led by Roberto and Sonia Arroyo. Sonia is the sister of Irene Uribe, who, with Flavio, leads the church we visited in Bogota last year. The churches here have gone through great changes and are still looking to find their footing. They obviously need strong Bible teaching. My first lesson was for the leaders of the churches in Northern Mexico. The topic was "Induction, Deduction, Revelation." The lesson was about understanding the difference between commandment, principle and things we can learn from experience and church history. There seems to be a lot of interest in the members using their gifts to serve the church in a more organic way.
On Saturday Jan taught a class in Spanish (without translation) for the women on Remaining Faithful. In the afternoon I taught for about 130 on Daniel, Prophet to the nations. That evening we had a marvelous meal at El Rey de Cabrito. The goat is really amazing. We had so much wonderful fellowship with the leaders of the churches in Mexico. Sunday was a worship service with 800+ in attendance. The place was packed, with many visitors. Church in Mexico is a lively affair with a full rock band for the music. I spoke on From Shadow to Reality. The church seemed to be very encouraged. We flew home through Guadalajara, arriving at midnight, exhausted but feeling our time and energy were well spent.