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This weekend two other church members and I went to visit Xalmolapa (pronounced “Chaam-o-la-pa”) to build relationships with a Free Methodist church plant there. Xalmolapa is an agrarian community of about 200 people, half way between Mexico City and Oaxaca.

I don’t know all of the details, but before Pastor Odilón became a Christian, he lived a “worldly life” and his family ran the risk of falling apart as a consequence. Thankfully, he and his whole family came to know God while living in Phoenix, Arizona. His family saw great healing during this time. During his first two years as a believer, a desire grew in his heart to go back to the province of Guerrero share the hope of Jesus with his home town, Xalmolapa.

God paved the way, and today in this community there is a small congregation and even a church building to go with it.

While there I started building a friendship with the pastor’s family, and taught the children’s Sunday school on Saturday and Sunday. I was privileged to go hiking up the nearby mountain with the pastor’s son and his friend- most of the pictures are from that trip. We also went to the neighboring town of Cualác to cheer on the pastor’s daughter in the yearly youth cross-country race. I also played some of the most intense soccer that I can remember.

I ate the best corn tortillas of my life, experienced some new culinary dishes, and learned about six new words that pertain specifically to the different parts and stages of corn. More important than all of this, however, I was blessed with the privilege of hearing some of Pastor Odilón’s testimony, and developing a rich friendship with him and the other community members. I am hopeful to have the opportunity to return.

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