I made it to san cristobal!!

Trip Start Jan 30, 2007
Trip End Apr 03, 2007

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Tuesday, February 6, 2007

okay, so i made it to san cristobal!! yay!! i got here really early this morning.. and God blessed me so much.. at the bus stop at 4 in the morning, was a guy named elias.. and i asked him where a certain hostel was, and we ended up walking to the central part of san cristobal together.. he grew up here so he knows the area really well.. and i got a mini tour at 5 in the morning with nobody else around.. it was nice being there with no tourists.. i found out so much.. but more on that in a bit.. i want to talk about elias more.   Talking with Elias, i found out that he divorced his wife in december, and became a born again believer shortly after when he had an encounter with God.. those of you not familiar with that term, it means Elias came to know Christ as His Pastor, or savior.. he came into a personal relationship with Jesus Christ, Lord and savior :) so gracias a Dios.  But since that moment, all of his drunkeness, and cussing, left him.. and he has been walking close with God since.   for this reason, and because he has the next few days of, we?re going to hang out, have been hanging out. i have my own personal free guide! isn?t that awesome.. God is so good to me. and i had the honor of buying Him a bible today. He wants me to write in it.. don?t know what to write yet, but cant wait.   i?m also staying at the same place that he?s staying at.. he?s contractor and is here for a short time so he?s staying at a hotel..get this $5 dollars a night..well less than that cuz it?s 50pesos! there?s a communal bathroom, but the land lady is really nice. and it?s clos to centro.. if anyone comes here the place is call hotel santa lucia.   there are many barrios here, and in each barrio there is a different church, and each church in each barrio has day where they have a big party to celebrate the saint they represent.   The first church we went to en el barrio los cerritos, was the iglesia de San Cristobal. we had to climb these stairs that were sooo steep, adn sooo high, and we?re really high in elevation as it is.. i was soo tired when i got to the top.. but it was well worth it. it was so beautiful, because there were indegenous people praying in their own language. i found out that there are three main languages hereѠcental, tzeltal, adn tojolabalzotzil.. yea.. don?t ever ask me to pronounce the last one, because i don?t think that i?ll be able to... anyways.. in the church there were indegenous people from two different pueblos, and you can tell who belongs to which through their clothes. the men and women wearing clothes that are furry and black are from San Juan Chamula (i?m going there tomorrow!!) and the mean and women who were wearing more colorful clothes.. mainlyof blue and purple.. were from zihacantan. it was so beautiful. i didn?t take any fotos of htem, out of respect. in theirown individual towns they have signs that ask you not to take pictures, and i wanted to show the same respect for them in town. although i did buy a postcard.. ;) anyway.. it was also really beautiful because before they entered the church they kneeled and made the sign of the cross. it?s so beautiful to see people showing respect for God before they enter the church.. it reminded me of the reason hawaiins call white people hollys.. there are steps for the hawaiians to take before they enter their church for their gods, and in the last step`they breathe in the breath of life.. but since the white man never did this, because they felt they did not give their respect to God?s house.. they call them holly?s.. one?s without breath.. i don?t want to be without breath..so to speak.. i hope i remember to always give thanks to God every time i go to church, and every time i do any activity, like being able to write these letters right now, to all of you, how lucky am i to have a family out there, and support. thanks be to God. truly.   we also went to the palacio municpal, and outside there was a statue of a man born in san cristobal, a neurosurgeant named Dr. Manuel Velasco Suares.. underneath his statue is a quote that says "El hombre vale por lo que sirve, no por lo que sabe, ymenos por lo que tiene" in short it means that a man?s worth comes from how he serves, not for what he knows, or for what he owns.. and it?s so true, and it?s so true of the way that God sees us. He doesn?t care what we own, or what we know, he cares about our heart, he cares abuot our heart towards him, and our heart towards humanity.   it also showed me that this place is truly a place built on liberation theology. Let?s start with bartolome de las casas. outside in the square is sign that this place, san cristobal, was founded by him. during the.. i think 16 century, he fought for the rights of the indians. during a meeting held in europe discussing whether or not indians were of a lower species, lacking the ability to learn, he was one of the only ones fighting for their cause. He was a pastor that worked with the people, and saw that they were equal to the europeans, but only lived different types of lives. his name is everywhere in this town.   also in the square are statues of hidalgo and morelos. hidalgo was a pastor who helped start the mexican independence in 1810, and when he was decapitated morelos, another pastor, took over the fight. they were fighting for the rights of the indians, because during this time there was a caste system that oppressed, people of darker skin. the independence movement didn?t change much in the caste system, but it was a step forward to reaching for dignity for the indegenous.   it was also cool, being in the palacio because inside where all the official papers are signed are two painting of the important leaders of the time, and a statue of bartolome de las casas. i took a picture of it, and i know i?m behind on putting pictures up, and don?t expect knew ones up today, but you?ll see them soon.. hopefully sooner than later!!   anyway, next to the palacio is plaza de la cruz, where la iglesia catedral stands. this is where the zapatista movement started on january 1 1994, after NAFTA was signed. Next to this is the church of santo domingo. it was so nice having elias with me cuz he knew so much of the history.. i found out that reverend samuel ruiz garcias was the one helping the zapatistas in their cause, and he used to reside at santo domingo. they hid all of their guns below the wooden floors in the church before the uprising! and, the walls in the church used to be made of gold.. and this i think is only a rumor, but elias said that ruiz helped the zapatistas by selling the gold in the walls to pay for the weapons... now the walls are onlypainted gold.. although there is still a statue of christ with gold in it, and a coupleof other things.. anyway.. samuel ruiz garcelo was kicked out of chiapas for causing disturbances, and according to elias, he is causing disturbances in oxaca now.   also, i thought this church was really interesting too becasue there are two statues on the building of decapitated saints.. they were martyrs.. they fought to protect the rights of the indegenous.. along with santo domingo.. it seems there are a lot of people in the church in the history of san cristobal that fought for the rights of the indegenous. it?s interesting to me, that the government that killed them for their cause, are now commemorating them.. and profiting from tourism because of them. .ironic.   it was also interesting, and you?ll see it when i get the fotos up, but there was a picture of bush spray painted on the wall with a nazi symbol on his forhead.. no comment.. except you can see what the people think about our president..   we also went to el barrio cerillos, and guadalupe, and visited their churches.. and then i ate some great steak for $6.. soo good. i was soo hungry.. and my feet hurt soo bad.. def. ready for a nap right now!! okay, well like always, there?s more to write, but this is getting really long. hasta luego amigos. God bless, love, michelle  

psalm 119:105-112 "your word is a lamp to my feet and a light for my path. i ahve taken an oath adn confirmed it, tha ti will follow your righteous laws. i have sufferedmuch��eserve my life, Lord, according to your word. Accept, Lord, the willingpraiseof mymouth adn teach me your laws. though i constantly  take my life in my hands, i will not forget your law. the wicked have set a snare for me, but i havenot strayed from your precepts. your statutes are my ehritage forever��ey are the joy of my heart. my heart is set o nkeeping your decrees to the very end." given to you by God through the courtesy of elias.
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