Tuesday, November 1, 2011

The Pan American Games Meet Mary, the Pope and Death

The Pan American Games are now officially over. We preached in our usual spots in Centro throughout the whole two weeks of this event. Things were pretty much the same as usual as far as evangelism goes. Though I did see many tourists walking around with Pan American name tags/identification cards hanging around their necks, the majority of the people in the streets were Guadalajarans. The streets were crowded with them; as anticipated and hoped for by Guadalajaran authorities, the locals used the Games as an excuse to party, vacation, shop and walk around the town. There were many festivities, events and live music shows Downtown. 

They also closed down almost an entire major street, only a block from where we live. There they set up many booths with touristic information about other countries and parts of Mexico, PAG merchandise, souveniers, and food. This street meets a huge roundabout, also a block away from where we live; they closed half of it off and set up a giant stage where they had live bands play every day of the Games, from the afternoon until about 11pm. Our neighborhood was very noisy, crowded and filled with traffic (as a result of the nearby street and roundabout being closed off).

It's been about three weeks of back-to-back festivities here in Guadalajara, as five different events occurred at around the same time. First, Wednesday the 12 was the annual idolatrous celebration of the Virgen de Zapopan; then, two days later the PAG commenced; and while that was going on last week, the late Pope John Paul II's relics payed a visit to different parts of the city, attracting multitides of devoted followers; yesterday was Halloween; and finally, tomorrow is Día de los Muertos (Day of the Dead). Three weeks of idolatry (of Mary, the Pope, sports and dead loved ones), drunkenness, revelry, national pride, sensuality, death-worship, occultism and many other sins which I would rather not mention.

Please pray for Guadalajara, and for me, as Lord permitting, I will continue to preach the Gospel almost daily this week.

Above: an example of the syncretization of recent events. Skeleton mannequins adorn the streets of downtown Guadalajara (for Día de los Muertos), this year with a Pan American sports theme.