I (Pete) recently got back from a great visit to Mexico City to participate in the National Youth Specialties Mexico Conference. It was a great experience and I wanted to quickly share some of the highlights of the trip.
First, the workshop on developing a spiritually transformative environment for your camps and retreats went really. Before the workshop I was wondering who would really come and as the time for the workshop to start passed it was only myself and my co-worker in the hallway. I looked to him and said, “Well at least we will have two people!” …but this is Mexico…and in good fashion…we quickly over 60 people in attendance. We made a number of contacts, people were engaged, and a highlight for me was watching my coworker be able to answer questions about camping ministry even though he has no “formal” training. He knows thing he doesn’t know he knows simply by being part of our community. It was cool watching this light bulb go off in his mind.
Other quick highlights were that I got to talk with Mark Matlock, the current head of YS in the US, for about an hour. I had attended a number of his events as a youth pastor and some of his other
trainings, and it was fun to connect with a familiar face and chat-up the nature of youth ministry. I was also able to meet 5 potential interns who are looking to come to the ranch this summer. It is exciting to see the ministry of the ranch extend beyond the city of La Paz into the interior mainland. These kids are excited to come to the ranch and participate in our internship program. If they all come we will have a Venezuelan, a Colombian, 2 Mexicans, and a Mexican kid who was adopted by US parents who now pastor the oldest English speaking Church in Mexico (141 years old)….talk about cross-cultural…as we will throw these kids into the mix of kids from the US as well as kids here from La Paz.
And last but not least. The conference shared the same expo building as a Lucha Libre event! I got to watch my very first lucha libre match, which was definitely a cultural experience.