Rebecca had arrived on Wednesday morning , and had been hanging out with Ramon Celis
, the pastor who oversees Yucatan Presbyterian Ministries , and scoping out the local geography ever since.
( Sunday , March 28 ) Our hopes to attend Sunday morning worship and to pay a reminiscent visit to our old stomping grounds on Cozumel were fulfilled providentially , with the added bonus of hanging with Ramon
.All too early on this beautiful sunny morning , we packed_up the Suburbans and headed down the highway to La Playa del Carmen.There we caught the passenger ferry to Cozumel , arriving just in time for the 11 : 00 service at Eben-Ezer Presbyterian_Church , our destination two years ago.Of_course none of us understood much of the Spanish in the songs , Bible reading , prayers , and the sermon , enthusiastically delivered by a visiting pastor from Argentina ( currently serving a congregation in Florida ) .But the enthusiasm and warmth of the worshippers needed no translation.And it was_with nostalgic pride that the veterans of the mission here two years ago observed the progress that had been made on the building since our last visit , and eagerly pointed_out our handiwork to the first-timers among us.
We finished our day's work around 1 : 00 p.m. ( which Ramon
indicated would be our standard quitting time ) , showered , ate lunch , and headed for the beach.After beach time , we joined another Yucatan Presbyterian Ministries work group for dinner.This group of men came from Texas , Colorado , Kansas_City , and a few other places , and had come to work at another , much larger , YPM-affiliated church , Emmanuel Presbyterian_Church.Some of the core members of the group had been coming down to work every year for over ten years , helping with the work in Cancun.They're the ones building and installing pews ( which is what we had once thought might be our job ) .They were very friendly and enthusiastic about the work God was doing here , and in_which they felt privileged to partake.
Everyone stopped what they were doing to watch as Ramon
and the carpenters test-fit the pieces and assembled ( without glue ) the first prototype door.Once it was proven that everything fit properly , we repeated the feat , this time with glue.It was a moment of celebration to see the fruit of our labor in such a tangible way.
We have materials cut now for eleven such doors.They have an immediate need for twelve of these doors , and eight more later.Our plan for this week is to finish the first batch , and prepare the materials for the rest , to be finished by others later.
was also seeking , in his
own way : at the local hardware stores.Fortunately , he
was more successful than we were , and we eventually got the table saw_back into operation.
In the afternoon , most of the group chartered a boat to Las Islas Mujeres , for snorkeling and general bumming around.I stayed_back to fulfill a request Ramon had first made of me two years ago , to help him with some tasks on his
computer.I also attempted to send an email bearing news of our adventures thus far , but configuration problems and server errors thwarted my efforts.
The snorkeling group fared a little worse.While the snorkeling itself was fun , the boat ride to and from the dive spot was windy , rough , wet , and chilly.They returned home soaked , and had to change before gathering for dinner.
and I had a quick errand to run after dinner - picking up a birthday cake for Burke , whose birthday was today.Upon our return to the church , we sang , presented the cake , and celebrated.Happy Birthday , Burke.
While we hadn't accomplished quite as much as we had hoped , I think it was perhaps a little more than what Ramon
had originally expected.But , as has_been said in the theatre , Done is beautiful..
After lunch , Ramon
bid us farewell.He
needed to go to Cozumel , to the church that he
pastors , to prepare for the Good Friday and Easter celebrations.As we bid him fond and slightly sad farewells and thanked him for his
warm hospitality , we affirmed our desire to return again in another two years.His
reply : How about next year?.
A New Outreach Ministry for Bethany