Mount Calvary, Interns, Trip to León, June 2024

Summertime, oh summertime! Always so full and full of fun! The month of June started with two of our Liebenzell USA summer interns arriving, Jackie and Michael, who joined Andrew, already here. I’ll dedicate a photo to each of them below. Jackie attends Rod’s home church, Word of Life Chapel. Next year we’d really like to see more 4-8 week summer interns from our supporting churches. Interested?  Contact Lynette Beard at today.

Mount Calvary Church visited us for their 8th summer in a row (if you skip the two covid years), which has to be a record for a visiting church. Another record…the amount of students that came; 20 students and 5 leaders. 25 people challenged our ability to house everyone, with 5 people on blow-up mattresses and three on cots, but we managed! The focus for the group was a bit different this year. Instead of doing sports ministry inside the church, the focus was the neighborhood, with sports activities done in local schools and the parks and courts surrounding the Jesus Maria church. The finale of the week was a youth rally, with eight different stations, where the different teams, mixed Mexican and visitors, had to work together to achieve certain goals. As a result of the rally, three new young people attended youth group. We praise God for that.

Both the girls and the guys played the local high school basketball teams. The girls, thanks to the dominating play of the Webb sisters, won their game. The boys came down to the buzzer, losing by 1 point! Tough break, but the most important lesson of the game was good sportsmanship, and a good testimony of clean play.

The group also was involved in giving two separate conferences to both High School and Jr. Hi School students. The two themes were friendship and social media. Different Mt. Calvary students participated in these conferences.

And of course, there were lots of opportunities to make new friends, and strengthen existing friendships.

Towards the end of the month, Rod and Mayra and co-worker David Gómez and the three Liebenzell summer interns headed about 5 hours northwest to the city of León, Guanajuato. We met up with Alberto and Ana, a Mexican missionary couple there that work with a fraternity of missionaries called “Good News for the Circle of Silence.”  The phrase “Circle of Silence” refers to the region of Mexico called the Bajío, where there are 115 municipalities in the states of Jalisco, Michoacán, Zacatecas, Aguascalientes and Guanajuato that have a population of less than 2% evangelical. Guanajuato right now also has the rather dubious reputation of being the state with most homicides, and quite a bit of drug-related violence.

We were involved in two primary activities: English classes and reading glasses donations, both events accompanied by personal evangelism. One reading glass donation was done at the house that serves as a church, and the second event at a nearby hospital, where literally hundreds of people took advantage of the opportunity to receive free reading glasses. To reach out, we used several tools, among them the EvangeCube (the giant version, which unfortunately is out of print), the Cross Puzzle, an ingenious puzzle that was created and is manufactured by a gentlemen at Word of Life Chapel, Ken Rutt, and also the Holy Bible Coloring Book, a fun, simple way to share the gospel.

English classes also went well, with 9-12 people showing up to learn more English, the majority of them kids. During both the reading glass donation and the English classes, we did an evangelistic skit, and invited the people to come to a Bible study with Alberto and Ana.

And finally, a picture that  pretty much summarizes each of our Liebenzell USA summer interns.

Andrew Polizzi could easily survive on fresh Mexican bread (called bolillo) and Coke. Oh, pizza is always a good option, too.
Jackie Miller is our adaptable, willing to do anything intern, who genuinely seems to be enjoying her time here.
Michael Fanoway (MJ) is always ready for his next meal and a good laugh.

More pictures…

Transporting a group of 25 is no easy task!
Impressive Mexico City, the zocalo and Metropolitan Cathedral as seen from the Latin American Tower
Selfie with Leon’s beautiful cathedral in the background
Inside the León Cathedral
Teaching English at a local elementary school (with teacher Melanie)
Lots of people at a local hospital in Leon, trying on their reading glasses
Reading glasses donation event at Alberto and Ana’s home
Eating León’s traditional food…a pork rind, tomato and avocado sandwich. No, it was not better than it sounds! León needs to improve it’s culinary offerings. It’s called a guacamaya.

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