Mission Team Helps Dedicate a New Sanctuary (7/29/17)

Posted by on Aug 17, 2017 in EventReport, Mexico Mission, Mission: Global | 0 comments

For 18 years, a poor but vibrant Methodist Church in Mexico has been diligently working to build a new sanctuary for their church. Over the years, our church has supported them with our prayers, gifts, and with several hands-on mission trips to help in the construction.

To get a taste of our efforts to partner with La Palmilla over the years, click this button: La Palmilla

This year’s Team had the honor of being in La Palmilla to take part in the fruition of this effort: The sanctuary was finally dedicated on July 29, 2017!

 

2017 Mission Trip to La Palmilla

A group of 9 Team Members left for Mexico on July 22 to join with team leader Jennifer Andrade (and her son Jeremy) who were already in La Palmilla. We stayed in La Palmilla for 8 days and returned on August 1.

The trip to the village of La Palmilla isn’t an easy one! It begins with a flight to Mexico City, a drive to the nearby city of Puebla and an overnight stay. The next morning includes a 3 hour bus ride to Tlapacoyan, where members of the church then transported us in the backs of pick-up trucks to La Palmilla.

During our stay, we were hosted by members of the congregation. The host families are church leaders (the ones who happen to have running water for showers and bathroom needs). Even in the heat, these families do not have air conditioning, but they kept us cool with the fans they provided. And they kept us warm with their loving hospitality.

We’ve traveled to La Palmilla several times before, but the purpose of this trip was special. We helped out with some remaining construction items, but then we were privileged to participate in the dedication of the new sanctuary. The team also had the chance to meet with our Mexican friends, including some of the school children that our church has been sponsoring.

The team consisted of five PUMC’ers along with four from other local churches.

 

 

Enjoying the Fellowship of our Friends in Mexico…

Our relationship with this church in La Palmilla isn’t limited to the building! Over the years, we’ve formed relationships with the people of this loving congregation. During this trip we were able to lay down our paint brushes and spend some time hanging out with our friends.

God’s awesome creative power abounds in the beauty of the area around La Palmilla! We were treated to some adventures by our brothers and sisters from the La Palmilla congregation, and we were able to take in the beauty of the countryside. These pics are from our trek to the archeological ruins of a site called Vega De la Peña, which flourished between 900-1500 AD.

 

Meeting our Sponsored Children…

Completing school in La Palmilla isn’t an easy proposition. In our part of the world, we take affordable elementary education for granted. But in La Palmilla, the costs frequently outstrip the parents’ ability to afford tuition, uniforms, and supplies. The result is that children frequently are not able to complete their education.

Part of our mission with La Palmilla is a sponsorship program where we sponsor a school-aged child by helping to pay for that child’s education. Currently, our church is sponsoring over 250 children. For more info about the Sponsorship program, see the La Palmilla page on our website.

During our trip, we were able to meet some of these children and to close the distance between Pitman and La Palmilla.

Wrapping Up the Construction Details…

Yes, it wasn’t all “fun and games”… we came to get some work done, and we did spend some quality time with rollers and paint brushes.

The United Methodist church is a global church, and all local churches are connected together in Jesus Christ, and also under the banner of the United Methodist Church.

As a United Methodist Church, the “Flaming Cross” logo is a familiar sight within our building, on our stationary, and even on the home page of our website (just scroll up to the top of this page!).

And so, the “Flaming Cross” logo of the world-wide United Methodist church is also displayed on the walls of this sanctuary in La Palmilla Mexico.

 

 

 

Dedicating the New Sanctuary…

After a long (long!) wait of almost 18 years, the sanctuary has been completed. Not only does this room speak to the hard work and patience of the people of La Palmilla, it also declares the glory of God!

After the dedication service, we all joined in with what Methodists like to do most- eat! We all gathered on the grounds outside of the church, roasted several pigs, and enjoyed a dinner.

 

It Was Worth the Wait!

Jennifer, who has been the leader of this mission from the beginning, summed up this year’s trip:

These past 10 days have been busy, full, physically challenging at times, exciting, frustrating at times, emotional and satisfying!

The goal was to finish up the new sanctuary (which was started 18 years ago) and have the dedication service. Goal accomplished! (well, actually the balcony is not finished, but the congregation decided to hold off on that part for now. ) There were about 450-500 people in attendance for the dedication service. There was a celebratory meal afterwards for all!

 

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For more about our La Palmilla Mission, click this button: La Palmilla

 

 

 

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