Friday, May 1, 2009


Nestled in the mountains of Hidalgo is the village of Mecatlan with a population of about 2000 people. This is where the brethren of the Mecatlan church had prepared to host our quarterly local association of the Aztec churches. The church in Mecatlan had worked for days to prepare. One of the local community pavilions had been secured for the service, chairs had been rented and one of our project pigs that dressed out at 180 lbs had been converted into tamales for all of the attending brethren to eat. They had prepared to receive 600 to 800 people that are the usual attendees at this service.
On this occasion the was a rumor was beginning to circulate that there was a new deadly disease that we killing people in Mexico City and people were beginning to be afraid. Our expectations began to drop as to how attendance would be.
Saturday morning we were blessed to see brethren begin to arrive by truck and foot. When the time to begin the service, more than 450 brethren arrived. We worshiped together in song and preaching of the word. After the service we fellowshipped while everybody ate pork tamales and had plenty left over for everyone to take some home with them.
After the service the local church workers and pastors gathered for prayer and to eat a “tapataxtle”. A tapataxtle is giant tamale made from the pig’s head. The ladies had packed the entire head in corn doe and wrap the entire thing in banana leaves. It is all steamed over an open fire. It is considered a real delicacy because the head has the most tender meat cuts.
The news of the Swine Flu outbreak was public that next Monday. We don't leave the house unless we wear a face mask. Our town is almost a ghost town as people are staying off the street. More than 40 people died last week in Mexico city from the flu. There are 8 confirmed cases here in our area and we expect more as hundreds of unemployed workers flock home to the Huasteca from Mexico City. School has been canceled at least until May 6. I think it will be much longer before we go back to school because the pandemic hasn't peaked yet. The health organizations will have to get a handle on this before they let people congregate at school again. The whole town is sold out of facemask. I had a box in storage so we are OK.
After meeting with the men of our church we decided to follow the health recommendations and suspend church services until they give the green light. We are going to broadcast our Sunday sermons over the radio so folks can listen at home.
This is a great opportunity to let people see the witness of security and hope God has given us that believe in Jesus.

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