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  • Natalie Raynor


On a day where death is the main feature here, Calvary Motul celebrated life. The whole church was invited to bring their family and friends, food, and to share a time together of laughter, celebration, and salvation. We had about 70 people come out and some of them were new, some families that had only come a few times before, and many were our church family. We laughed together as we played simple games like musical chairs and tic tac toe. We celebrated as we worshiped our Lord and Savior in song. And this day was a day of salvation as many decided that this night would be the moment they chose life and to follow Jesus. What a night of rejoicing. Our hearts were filled to see so many new faces and to see those that prayed to follow Christ. Will you join us this month in praying for them? For many, it was such a battle to come for their first time to a Christian church; but now the battle will continue for them to return.

(We included some facts about the Day of the Dead below for those that are interested in learning more. Every one of those facts is true and happens here in Motul every year.)

Puerto (the nearest beach city that is only 20 minutes north of us). It was nice to be able to unplug and unwind and just enjoy time with family.

Currently, both of our vehicles are running. We were able to get all of the repairs done and paid off thanks to those that helped financially. The Lord is good!

This month we had our ups and downs when it came to health. The bad news was that both Len and Noah caught the dengue fever. As Natalie had it in August, we knew a little more of what to expect, but it didn’t make it any easier as it is a strong sickness to recover from. But on the upside, we took Noah to the chiropractor this month for his one-year checkup on his back. From the recent x-rays we had done, the doctor said that Noah’s back has made a great recovery. All of the hard work he has put in with working out in the gym has strengthened his back and his spine has straightened. Thank you to everyone who has been praying for him. We are so grateful for this report.

We want to inform you that we have changed over to a new organization and are no longer with Shepherd’s Staff. We (and Calvary Motul) are now able to receive our donations through The Uproot Collective. The link is updated on our website as well.

To donate via check, please make a check out to The Uproot Collective and mail to:

The Uproot Collective

7875 NW 57th St # 25375

Tamarac, FL 33351

Write the account number (NA00061023) in the memo field.

Please do not write our name on the check.


Day of the Dead originates from rituals practiced by Indigenous people in the Americas, most notably the Aztecs. The Aztecs had a ritual known as Miccaihuitl, which was a time to honor the dead. But when the Spanish arrived to the Americas, they brought Catholicism, which had its own celebrations: All Saints’ Day (November 1) and All Souls’ Day (November 2), both of which also commemorate those who have passed. The Spanish then incorporated their own holidays with Indigenous traditions, which evolved into Día de los Muertos. It is believed that the spirits of the dead return home to spend time with their families.

Many people honor Day of the Dead by visiting the graves of dead relatives and loved ones. But they don’t necessarily go to mourn; instead, they clean the graves and headstones or decorate them with flowers. Some might pray, while others play music. The environment almost resembles a party, with music, food and drinks. People come together to share stories of their loved ones — helping keep their memory alive. Some cities in Mexico also celebrate the day with parades and festivals. Many will paint their face to resemble a bare skull and wear costumes. Women especially will dress up as La Catrina, a tall female skeleton commonly depicted wearing a fancy gown and a lavish hat flaring over her head.

One of the most sacred aspects of Day of the Dead are the altars, called ofrendas. These altars are built in homes, schools, or other public places to honor the deceased. Family members will top the altar with a large photo of the loved one, along with colorful papel picado, which translates to “perforated paper.” The color tissue papers represent air as the four elements are meant to be portrayed in the altars. Marigold petals are also featured throughout the altars, which are meant to guide the spirits back home with their bright color and pungent scent. Candles, both to light the way and represent the deceased, are also commonly seen on the ofrendas, as well as pan de muerto, a traditional Mexican pan dulce rooted in Aztec customs. Skulls made of sugar, also commonly placed on ofrendas, are meant to allude to the ever-present nature of death.

Salt, often placed in the shape of a cross, is placed on or in the vicinity of the ofrenda as a means to purify the visiting souls. Families will also place a container of water, and sometimes tequila, on the altars, so souls can quench their thirst after their journey. But these altars can also be personal. Some families will include the deceased’s favorite food or personal tokens from their lives, like a favorite book or a shirt. All of it serves both as a way of remembering the dead and honoring them in their return.

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