We have a “sister church” in Mexico. There have been several visits back and forth, and projects completed for each other.
Eleven teenagers and five adults from LCC went to visit our sister church in Tlajomulco, Mexico (20 min. outside of Guadalajara). Our project was to paint their social hall. The small church is one of only 11 Congregational Churches in Mexico, which is largely Roman Catholic.
Prior to our visit, the Ledyard youth group sent money for a basketball hoop and a couple of balls. The church there was in the process of creating a small court to entice the teens to hang out at the church. Both groups enjoyed playing basketball during our visit.
Twelve of the Tlajomulco group came to Ledyard. We happily hosted them in our homes and planned activities for the two week visit.
The service project here was to create the wonderful Outdoor Chapel in the woods, guided by Alicia Ganz, a senior Girl Scout and LCC youth group member. We use the chapel on Easter morning for the sunrise service, and on summer Sundays for a worship service at 8:00am. Alicia earned the Girl Scout Gold Award for the project, the highest achievement in Girl Scouts, equivalent to the Eagle Scout award for boys.
The two groups also worked together to host a blueberry pancake breakfast…including picking the blueberries. This was a community breakfast and proceeds went back to Tlajomulco so that they could build a bathroom at their church.
Through the years, we have maintained contact. Four other visits have been made by Ledyard folks, individuals as well as smaller groups. An awareness and appreciation of a slower paced life was one impression of our visits. Along with this, the mutual joy in music, the closeness of shared worship, and a good dose of humor–all this made the foreign feel familiar.