Mural 25 in Piedras Negras, MexicoWhen I returned to life in America, one of the things on my "to do" list was to find a church. There was a huge coliseum of a church right next to my new home and I expected to attend there. Unfortunately, I just hated it. So, I looked around at several churches until I came upon King Avenue. I knew right away that this was the correct place for me. The pastor, John, was just so positive and funny. I liked him immediately.
The first few times attending, I didn't know anyone. One Sunday morning, after the service, I lingered at my seat hoping to make eye contact with someone, anyone. It didn't happen. As I made my way slowly from my seat to the main foyer, I tried to make eye contact, again, with anyone. Would somebody notice me and say hello? Well, finally, just when I had given up all hope, someone approached me. And, yes, there was eye contact.
He asked for money.
I wasn't sure I'd ever return. But, I thought I should write to the pastor and tell him about my experience at King Avenue. Up until this point, I'd never actually met John. However, I got an immediate reply and a lunch invitation. Things just kind of grew from that. John loved my murals, travels, clipart, folk tales, and portraits. He obviously spent a chunk of time on my website. Of course, he wanted a mural at King Avenue. No problem with that. And, even better, he wanted a mural in Piedras Negras at the Casa de Misericordia orphanage that the church helps to sponsor.
I'd never heard of Piedras Negras or the orphanage. I never for a moment imagined that I would travel to a town on the Mexico/Texas border. They don't have the best reputation in the world of drug wars. But, I said "si" and found myself on my way to Mexico.
In case your Spanish is no better than mine, "Casa de Misericordia" has nothing to do with misery. It means "House of Mercy". And, in my experience, that is the best possible name for the gracious and caring people associated with the place, both adults and children.