PUEBLA 2020: Monday Is Mexico’s Constitution Day And WorkDay One At Hananeel

Fireworks are heard pretty much all day and late into the night on Constitution Day in Puebla, Mexico, to commemorate the 1917 Constitution that was adopted on February 5, 1917. The holiday is celebrated the first Monday in February.

Welders connecting josts and putlins on the Hananeel Baptist Church’s sanctuary building roof.

For the Friendship mission crew, Monday is also the first workday and it is inevitably a little disorganized.

But it’s a great day as old friendships are renewed, work plans are agreed upon, and crews organized.

This year, our main construction task is to erect a roof on the third floor of the main sanctuary building. So much of the work is done manually in order to keep costs down, which makes it harder but it also makes for wonderful, long-lasting fellowship.

The welding crew today is connecting the josts and purlins to create the skeleton for the roof, then we will be hefting the actual metal roofing sections up to the third floor to then be attached and sealed. We’ve had very few injuries over the years, but all prayers are appreciated, as a bunch of us will be working up high on scaffolds during the week.

Our main evangelism tasks include daily trips to the market to buy fruits and bakery goods for the morning break, plus a medical clinic for pregnant mothers, soccer clinics led by Pastor Nevil Johnson and, my personal favorite, talking to passersby about the Lord. I say my favorite because I am convinced the typical Mexican is among the friendliest people on Earth.

In one especially striking encounter earlier today, an older man who was clearing a lot of vegetation and assorted junk, by hand, from a nearby lot came over to us and explained “I have to do this kind of work because I didn’t go to school.”

Hananeel Baptist Church’s congregation worshiping.

When he was shown the red and green cards that appear to be different sizes, he asked a great question when shown the appearance of one being bigger than the other was an optical illusion.

His question (in Spanish) was this: “How can I see the Lord when I can’t see the difference between the red card and the green card?” I explained that Jesus is no optical illusion because He opens our eyes to see ourselves as we truly are and our need for His saving grace (See John 3:16-20).

A little while later, we saw the man sharing the optical illusion cards with some of his co-workers!

More to come.


 

Sunday Breakfast In Puebla

It’s Puebla Week for 2020, so I and a bunch of fellow believers from Friendship Baptist Church in Sykesville, Maryland, and a bunch of other places from around the country are here for the week to do construction work for Hananeel Baptist and to share the Gospel with the people of this beautiful city.

Sunday breakfast in Puebla 2020.

I’ll be posting reports here on HillFaith each day to share what’s happening. We will be erecting a roof on the third floor of Hananeel’s main building, starting tomorrow, plus assorted other carpentry, electrical, etc. chores.

Today, though, a bunch of us will be in the worship service at Hananeel, and others of us are heading over to a church plant in a distant suburb where Friendship’s Senior Pastor, Mark Massey, will share a message and I will talk a bit about how the Lord has blessed me.

It’s going to be a great week, so stick around for each day’s reports, plus lots of photos. And all prayers are appreciated!


Sunday breakfast in Puebla 2020.

Here’s What Football And Sunday’s Super Bowl Teaches Us About The Purpose Of Life

San Francisco’s 49ers and the Kansas City Chiefs meet Sunday in the Super Bowl and millions of people around the world will be tuned in to watch what could be one of the most exciting such games ever.

(Photo by Dave Adamson on Unsplash)

Nobody on the playing field, in the grandstands, listening on radio or watching the game on TV will have any doubt whatsoever about the purpose of the game — score more points than the other guys and win the Lombardi Trophy, the biggest victory anybody can gain in the great game of football.

But how should the “score” be calculated in the game of life? Depends on what the rules are, according to Dr. Frank Turek of cross-examined.org. As he explains in the following video, it’s a lot like how we know the difference between a touchdown and an interception:


While You’re Here, Have You Read?

The Impeachment Trial Prayers Of Senate Chaplain Dr. Barry Black

IMPEACHMENT PRAYERS: Senate Chaplain Dr. Barry Black’s Wise Appeals To The Almighty

Every day of the Senate impeachment trial has been opened with a prayer offered by Senate Chaplain Dr. Barry Black. Each of Black’s prayers has included admonitions that are particularly applicable in the current tense atmosphere, as well as in the every day functioning of Congress and the nation.

Senate Chaplain Dr. Barry Black (Photo from Senate website).

On the opening day, for example, the heart of Black’s prayer is his appeal to the Lord to keep all of the trial’s participants mindful that there are men and women of good character and integrity on both sides:

January 22, 2020:

Let us pray.

Sovereign God, author of liberty, we gather in this historic chamber for the solemn responsibility of these impeachment proceedings. Give wisdom to the distinguished Chief Justice John Roberts as he presides. Lord, You are all-powerful and know our thoughts before we form them. Continue reading “IMPEACHMENT PRAYERS: Senate Chaplain Dr. Barry Black’s Wise Appeals To The Almighty”

STAFF MOVES: Look Who Is Being Promoted On The Hill!

Recent Staff Moves, As Reported By Legistorm:

Katie Earle is the new professional staff member in the office of the House Foreign Affairs Committee Republican staff. Katie comes over to the House side following her tenure as a national security fellow for Sen. John Hoeven (R-ND). She is a 2019 MA graduate in security studies and military operations from Georgetown University, while her 2012 BA from Middlebury College was in Russian studies.

Another significant move on the Republican side of things is that of Erik Kenney to legislative director for Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner (R-WI). Erik’s 2013 BA in political studies is from Marquette University.

Newlyweds Natalie Knight and Matthew Ellison (Screenshot from Facebook).

New evidence that Hill staffers sometimes meet, work in some proximity, fall in love, then get married: Natalie Smith, legislative counsel for Rep. Lucy McBath (D-GA.) and Matthew Ellison, deputy policy counsel for the House Democratic Whip Rep. Jim Clyburn (D-SC). HillFaith sends blessings and best wishes to the newlyweds.

Ebise Bayisa is the new House Judiciary Committee counsel on the Democratic side. The judiciary slot is Ebise’s first position on a Hill staff, as she formerly worked for the U.S. Sentencing Commission as a senior attorney. Her law degree was earned in 2005 from the American University Washington College of Law. Continue reading “STAFF MOVES: Look Who Is Being Promoted On The Hill!”

Have You Decided Your Life’s Core Convictions? You Will Go This Far But No Farther?

Being an aide or intern to a senator or representative in Congress is a lot like what it must have been for Daniel, the Old Testament prophet who at a young age found himself among a small group of conquered Judeans being groomed for the court of King Nebuchadnezzar.

Do you or don’t you violate your most cherished convictions? (Photo by niklas_hamann on Unsplash)

Part of the group’s three-year study and preparation for service to the King involved adherence to a royally prescribed nutritional course that conflicted in key respects with the dietary regimen of the Jewish faith of Daniel and three of his friends, Hananiah, Mishael and Azariah.

“Daniel determined that he would not defile himself with the King’s food or with the wine he drank,” Daniel 1:8 tell us. “So he asked permission from the chief official not to defile himself.” Continue reading “Have You Decided Your Life’s Core Convictions? You Will Go This Far But No Farther?”

MYTHS & MISCHIEF: You’ve Heard About ‘Pay-To-Play;’ Now What About ‘Pay-To-Pray?’

“Pay-to-play” is a phrase one hears from time to time around Capitol Hill and it’s usually not as a preface to good news or a compliment. Now comes a study of whether and how much are people willing to pay for prayers.

Photo by Milada Vigerova, via Unsplash.

This is no joke. The study was conducted following Hurricane Florence in September 2018, according to Reasons to Believe, which reported that “Linda Thunström, an economist at the University of Wyoming, [who] teamed up with Shiri Noy, an anthropologist-sociologist at Denison University in Ohio.”

The study was designed as “an incentivized experiment on 482 North Carolinians who suffered some kind of hardship as a result of the hurricane. Thunström and Noy preselected the 482 North Carolinians so that they would fall into one of these two groups: Continue reading “MYTHS & MISCHIEF: You’ve Heard About ‘Pay-To-Play;’ Now What About ‘Pay-To-Pray?’”