We’ve finally reached the final part of our Mexico series! For this last installment, a sneak peek into our time in Mazatlan and into my journal (Plus a picture slideshow from our whole trip!)
We spent our time in Mazatlan reaching out during Carnaval, an enormous week-long street party reminiscent of Mardi Gras. There is no official record, but it is rumored to be the third-largest Mardi Gras party in the world! It is a hotbed for human trafficking, substance abuse, and rape.
In short, Carnaval does not love women.
But Jesus does.
This story chronicles my favorite night of women’s ministry in Carnaval, when Jesus really showed one woman the promise of his love.
You can also catch this story on my Facebook group page if you add me as a friend. (https://www.facebook.com/keisha.bruce.35)
The other night, I made a stranger cry.
I didn’t mean to. I promise.
But there I was, sitting at a café table in the middle of the frantic bustling streets of Carnaval, speaking to a middle-aged woman who only spoke in Spanish, and she was crying.
Her family. That’s what we’d been talking about. How many siblings did she have? Did she have children? What was her husband’s name?
“My husband is dead.”
And I felt absolutely terrible, because what the heck did I just do?! The poor girl is in tears. So I hugged her as she cried, prayed for her, and offered to bring her to our Ladies’ Ministry tent.
I led her to the tent, brimming with flowers and middle eastern fabrics and little twinkling lights. We got her coffee and a warm blanket to ward off the rainy-evening chill, and I got a friend to help translate.
The woman spilled out her story to us – that exactly one year ago her husband died unexpectedly, and she was suddenly a single mother of three. She fell into a pit of depression for half a year, and the only thing that kept her from ending her life was her kids. She had no means of supporting her family, and no one from the church ever made the effort to come alongside and comfort her.
And so I sat and prayed as this woman, Aracelli, shared her story with my friend. My friend then shared her own testimony about how God had redeemed her, and she apologized on behalf of the entire Christian church for the way they had neglected to take care of their family. And as she finished speaking, Aracelli told us that she wanted to know who Jesus really was. He was not as the church had portrayed him in their actions toward her. He was not distant. He was a God of kindness and grace, closer than her breath.
And here’s the best part. As we explained to her about this loving Christ, she decided she wanted a relationship with him.
We prophesied over her and gave her words of encouragement after she prayed.
Eyes still red and puffy from her tears, she smiled, “I feel such a peace.”
That’s how Holy Spirit works! He’s been doing his job for a long freakin’ time now, and he’s really good at it.