Food and Ministry

While at a missions conference at Mt. Calvary Church, lead pastor Richard Vaughn mentioned that book that I want to download and read. I believe it was called A Meal with Jesus. I hope that was what it was titled, because I just downloaded it from Amazon. I’m sure I’ll be commenting on it as soon as I get a chance to read it.

Fact is, eating is central to our lives, and it was central to Jesus’ ministry, both in outreach and in discipleship. Some of the most well-known Jesus stories revolve around meals…Jesus with Zacchaeus and post-resurrection Jesus with the disciples eating roasted fish.

I have benefited from the wonderful mechanical abilities of Mardonio for over five years now. I stopped by this past week to have our van looked at, and after about an hour under the hood, he took out a stuck thermostat. “You really don’t need a thermostat in Mexico, you know” he asked me, as if I knew that. “You can just take it out…the only reason you would need it is to help heat the van in cold weather.” Didn’t know that. I told him to take it out. I trust him. That’s how friends are.

He invited me to a carnitas meal at his construction material sort-of store on Saturday. It’s mason’s day on Saturday, you know. I’m going to make a bunch of carnitas and I’m going to treat some of the people that buy materials from me. No, I didn’t know that. Ok, sure, I’ll stop by!

Eating carnitas is not sacrifice for me. Carnitas is basically boiled pork. Ok, probably no stories in the gospels about eating pork, but thank God for Peter’s revelation in Acts 10. “Get up, Peter. Kill and eat.” Turns out pork is pretty tasty! Now, Mexicans eat everything of the pig except the oink. The “safe” part, the normal meat is called mazica. Novices and visitors will want to seek to limit their pork input to maciza. Ah, but there is so much more! Buche is the throat and stomach lining. Nana are the intestines. Cuero is the skin. Trompa is the snout.

My son Daniel and I arrived at the roadside store before Mardonio got there. But a huge, half-gallon glass bottle of tequila was ready, as well as many bottles of Coke. Tequila and Coke, the two beverages of choice in Mexico! And it was only 9:30 a.m.

Mexicans are phenomenal hosts. If you’ve ever visited Mexico, you know this. It seems you’ve hardly finished half your glass, or hardly see the bottom of your plate, and the refill and second helping is on the way. I was hungry…but had trouble finishing the two mammoth portions of pork and rice that I was served. After an acceptably lengthy time, Daniel and I said goodbye, but not before first inviting Mardonio and his wife to our church service the next day. He had been mentioning their desire to go sometime.

And they did go! More than five years of friendship, and quite a few meals together finally raised the trust level enough so that Mardonio and his family would visit our church. I would appreciate your continued prayers for this family.

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