Pole Swinging – PV Mission Day 1

We all arrived safely in Puerto Vallarta to spend a week working with Worship in Paradise Church. It took us 12 hours to travel from Mitchell, SD to the beautiful paradise on the west coast of Mexico. We began the journey at 3:30 a.m., split the team at the airport to fly two different itineraries, and arrived in Puerto Vallarta just a few hours apart from each other. The only delay we had occurred in Chicago due to a broken tow cable and a bad sensor. One hour later, we were making our way to Mexico.

Walking around after dinner last night on the ocean boardwalk, we saw these native Mexicans (Indians) doing some kind of traditional pole dance. They climbed up 200-300 feet in the air with only the ropes you see attached to their feet holding them together. Needless to say, more than one of the students felt we were going to watch someone plummet to their death! But, they landed just fine to very loud applause.

Right next to us they were setting up for a concert/dance and we could barely hear the traditional music because they were testing the sound system for the next event. I found this to be a very apt metaphor for Puerto Vallarta. It is a town in transition. We drove by Starbucks, 3 Wal-Marts, Burger King, and a number of traditional Mexican restaurants. It is a town booming with tourism but makes me wonder how much “soul” of Puerto Vallarta they may lose in the process.

Tomorrow we will be leading worship in the morning at the English church, followed by our work orientation for the week, and worship at a Spanish-speaking congregation. The team is very excited to get going to see how God is going to use us this week!

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