Teaching Weekend in Puebla
This is a short visit to the wonderful city of Puebla. Puebla may be my favorite city in Mexico. It is loaded with history, with wonderful architecture, and has a large central area with a strong colonial feel—more like Spain than any other Mexican city. This city is the scene of the final battle which led to the defeat of the French and Maximillian which is celebrated as Cinco de Mayo by Mexicans in the US. Also here is Cholula, with its dozens of very old churches and the massive buried pyramid—larger than the Pyramid of the Sun in Teotihuacan. This is also a university city. I am told that Puebla has avoided many of the narcotrafficing crime, in part, because so many of the children of the drug trafficers attend university here.
Puebla is the fourth largest city in Mexico, behind Mexico City, Guadalajara and Monterrey. It has six million inhabitants. As with all of Mexico, it is dominated religiously by Catholicism. The church I am visiting is fairly large. There are about four hundred members. Leaders from Tlaxcala and Cholula come for the class on Friday PM on Freedom in Christ. The church in Puebla supports churches in Cholula (about 30), Tlaxcala (about 80) and Oaxaca. They have a very close relationship with the church I am from, in San Diego, with Luis Mendez coming to help the church here on a regular basis. This is a fairly mature church with many couples who have been Christians for fifteen and twenty years. They have begun to appoint shepherds, ministers for meeting the needs of the poor and overseers of the various ministries. Salvador Anorve is the lead evangelist, along with his wife Ana. His vision is to be trained as a teacher to help the many churches here in Mexico. Our sister churches in Mexico have done a marvelous job of training leaders and planting churches. There are more than thirty congregations in the country. The need is to raise up more evangelists, of course, but also shepherds and teachers.
Saturday AM I had amazing breakfast, including mole poblano, chilaquiles and very authentic food with Salvador and Marin, one of the evangelists from Mexico City. After this, we traveled to a museum which celebrates the revolution of 1910 which started with a battle here in Puebla. It is this revolution which got rid of the dictator Porfirio Diaz and led to the modern constitution of Mexico. After this we had a fiesta for the men in a park near the pyramid in Cholula. About 150 come to this fun event, after which I taught a lesson from the life of Daniel, Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego. After this we visited the site of the battle that defeated Maximilian—the one celebrated as Cinco de Mayo. This is on a high hill which overlooks this beautiful city.
Sunday included a lesson, “Living By Faith” for more than four hundred. The service is very encouraging. I hope to return with my wife Jan in 2015.
John Oakes 11/24/2013