Friday, April 12, 2019

NEW ALTERNATIVE MISSIONS DONATION LINKS

The Alternative Missions donation links have a new look and a new url.  Please make note of the changes if you need to as you give. Our old donation links will become obsolete. 

Here are a list of donation links related to our ministry in Cofradia:

COFRADIA MINISTRIES:
  • Cofradia Operations: This is our general fund link where you will specify your contribution in the "notes" section for people or ministries that do not have a specific link.
  • EL RETO: This is our annual youth event that reaches over two hundred students in our area.
  • Cofradia Restoration Center: This is the Drug Rehabilitation Center in Rosamorada led by Pastor Amado.
  • Cofradia Leadership Development: This is anything to do with our reaching out to Pastors, Leadership Training School, and Conferences we hold.
  • Cofradia Disaster Relief: This was originally to help those affected by Hurricane Willa and serves to help those in special need when/if disaster hits.
COFRADIA MISSIONARIES/STAFF/PASTORS:

Tuesday, April 02, 2019

APRIL MINISTRY UPDATE

Greetings from Cofradía, Mexico! This update was ready yesterday, but I wanted to wait until today, April 2, to send it in case some might think we’re joking about our forthcoming plans. :)  After praying a lot and seeking guidance since last summer, we are convinced the Lord is leading us into a season of rest, study, and spending time with supporters during the next school year in order to strengthen our spiritual, mental, and physical health as a family and as missionaries.  This time will start when we go to Washington in the summer and we will be returning to Cofradía in the summer of 2020.  We are excited for what the Lord has in store not only for us, but for the ministry in Cofradía and the surrounding areas.  It will be a blessed time for all of us as we continue to Raise Up Leaders in Rural Mexico.

GIVE THANKS TO THE LORD, FOR HE IS GOOD; HIS LOVE ENDURES FOREVER!

Last month, we asked you to please pray for...

  1. Grace Course. It was a blessing for us to be able to teach this course from Freedom in Christ Ministries.  Attendance ranged from 25 – 30 people each week.  Here is a little more about it.   
  2. Pastor Ruben from Las Varas, Nayarit, is doing a lot better. He still has another month to recover before he starts rehab. During our visit with him and his wife this month, she was badly burned on her chest and arms with boiling water.  She also had to rest for a week which set them back a little with the church and work. 
  3. Church Truck. The pastors purchased a truck for the church which was a huge need. Thank you all who participated in helping with this great need. See the truck here.
  4. Administrative Tasks. Over the next couple of months, I will be training Goyito (Pastor Goyo’s son) in taking over the majority of my administrative tasks while we’re gone. He has been living on the base as a caretaker for a while now and I have full confidence that he will do a great job. 
  5. Visitor: Our friend Behzad Mostofi from Poulsbo, Washington, was here for 10 days to visit our ministry and take advantage of the opportunity to get some dental work done.  It was a great time as he encouraged and challenged all of us. I have been praying for a number of years about some of our conversation topics. It was very motivational and the Lord’s timing is always correct; it was perfect timing! Thank you, Behzad! 

Here are some links to more:


This month, will you please pray for...

  1. Furlough Preparation: Please pray for our family and ministry as we prepare for our one-year stay in Washington.  We are fully confident in the present leaders here to administer well and continue in the direction God has been leading us, but it will still be a lot of work.  Pray for our specific family needs as we will be needing a place to stay, getting the girls settled in next year’s schooling, situating certain things here in Cofradía, and we anticipate a considerable increase in our financial support needs. We know that this is the Lord’s will and necessary, but it is going to be a stretch of faith for us so we ask that you please keep us in your prayers. I will be sending out another email with more details soon. 
  2. Pastor Ruben from Las Varas, Nayarit.  Please continue to pray for healing in his leg and the burn his wife suffered.  
  3. Provisional Administrator. As I mentioned above, I will be training Goyito in the majority of my administrative tasks over the next couple months.  He will be receiving a salary and living on and taking care of the mission base as well. 
  4. Visitors: The Calderon family from Templo Calvario, Bakersfield, will be with us for a few days this month for a visit.  We are always excited to host visitors and look forward to having them here. (13-15)
Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good; His love endures forever!

Thank you so much for being part of our team as we work together to RAISE UP LEADERS IN RURAL MEXICO!!!!

Blessings,



Steve, Geña, Rebecka, Emma, and Mackenzie Silberman
Missionaries to Mexico
Alternative Missions
Cofradia Area Director

** JOIN OUR FINANCIAL SUPPORT TEAM **
ONLINE:
Online, you can make a one-time, tax-deductible gift, or set up to make automatic monthly donations to our PERSONAL SUPPORT at this link.


MAIL IN A CHECK: 
Send a check made out to Alternative Missions to Alternative Missions / PO Box 3107 / Ferndale, WA 98248.  Indicate that it is for The Silbermans for our PERSONAL SUPPORT.



Monday, April 01, 2019

Freedom in Christ - Grace Course

We had the opportunity to teach the six-week Grace Course that accompanies the Discipleship Course  of Freedom in Christ Ministries that we've been teaching for the past few years. This was our first time teaching it and it went really well with 25 - 30 attendees each week.  Sandwiched between lessons five and six is a one-day retreat where we help guide people to experience God's grace through renouncing lies and declaring truth.
Steps Retreat
This course deals with four obstacles that prevent us from truly experiencing God's grace: Guilt, Embarrassment, Fear, and Pride.  I, personally, have experienced all four at one time or another and this course has shown me a number of areas that I still need to work on. Many others were impacted in the same way and we deal with those issues by "Demolishing Strongholds"; renewing our mind to think and believe the truth instead of the lies. Issues that people have been dealing with are fear of man, fear of death, anxiety, and embarrassment.  Some felt a definite change in their outlook on life.

Thank you to all who prayed for us during this time. The Lord continues to bless this ministry with a solid foundation of our Identity in Christ and experiencing true freedom in Him.

_______________________________________________________________

Please join our financial support team for our ministry and make an online contribution to Cofradia Operations 
or
mail a check made out to Alternative Missions designated for "Cofradia Operations" to: Alternative Missions / PO Box 3107 / Ferndale, WA 98248

Martin's Motorcycle

In January, Martin shared his plans to start working up in the neighboring Indigenous villages and continue his work with the children/adolescents in Arrayanes.  His Place Church from Washington committed to buy him a motorcycle and help him with his vision. The other day, we were able to find him a motorcycle, a Yamaha 125cc, and give it to him.  It was a precious moment!! As Martin hopped on the bike, he said, "I've been praying for this for 5 years!" He slumped forward and broke out in tears of joy. Praise the Lord!

New Truck for Church Ministry

We were able to help the church purchase a truck for the use of the ministry. Thank you to all who helped with this. This is a 2010 Ford Ranger and will replace the 1984 Nissan pickup that was sold last month. They have been in need of a more reliable vehicle and this will serve as a huge blessing!

Wednesday, March 06, 2019

MARCH MINISTRY UPDATE

Greetings from Cofradía, Mexico! February was a great month as the TenBrinks from Mt. Vernon visited and the women were able to have a week of sewing and fellowship together.  Thank you, Mary TenBrink!  We love having visitors.  Larry TenBrink also helped Jay with some projects around the base and church.  Jay put together some much needed fellowship time with the brothers and sisters from Arrayanes.  We had a great time!

GIVE THANKS TO THE LORD, FOR HE IS GOOD; HIS LOVE ENDURES FOREVER!

Last month, we asked you to please pray for...
  1. Freedom in Christ Conference in Rosamorada.  It went really well.  A number of people were set free form the lies of the enemy and some wished they had known this information about who they are in Christ years ago. Here is a quick report of our time there
  2. Date Night for our married couples was also a really good time with youth and parenting specialist and author Ernesto Ramirez.  He also challenged and encouraged the congregation on Sunday, the 17th.  We were all blessed. 
  3. Freedom in Christ Grace Course. We have started the six-week Grace Course with nearly 30 people.  We anticipate the Lord to move in all of our hearts. 
  4. Church Anniversary. We celebrated 8 years in the new building this past weekend.  It has been great to reflect on how God has been faithful over the past 25 plus years in Cofradia.  Here is a link to a 40 second video of our time.

Here are some links to more:

This month, will you please pray for...
  1. Grace Course. Please continue to pray for those of us leading the sessions and the participants.  Pray that we all have open hearts to be receptive to what the Lord would speak to us about during this time. (Every Tuesday through March 26) 
  2. Pastor Ruben from Las Varas, Nayarit, fell from over two stories off of a ladder and crushed his ankle last month.  He will be confined to his bed for two more months.  Please pray for a quick healing, encouragement, and his wife as she “holds down the fort” at home and at the church. 
  3. Church Truck. Our local pastors are wanting to purchase a new truck for the church.  They have sold the Nissan that has served us for so many years, but it was time to let it go and the pastors are ready to buy another truck.  I want to help them get a decent vehicle that will benefit their ministry and the church.  We have $6,000 available, but with at least another $3,000, their options will expand and be able to get a newer vehicle.  Please pray they find one that suits their needs.  Will you consider a one-time generous gift.  You can donate at this link indicating it for “Cofradia Truck” in the comment section. If you decide to send a check, use the information at the end of this message, but make sure to designate your gift for “Cofradia Truck.” 
  4. Administrative Tasks. Even though I am free of the bookkeeping of the Mexican Civil Association, there are still a number of administrative things to do.  Please pray for time to do them and the ability to train more leaders in this area. 
  5. Visitor: Our friend Behzad Mostofi from Poulsbo will be with us for about 10 days.  We look forward to having him here and showing him what our ministry entails. (March 7 - 17) 

Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good; His love endures forever!

Thank you so much for being part of our team as we work together to RAISE UP LEADERS IN RURAL MEXICO!!!!

Blessings,













Steve, Geña, Rebecka, Emma, and Mackenzie Silberman
Missionaries to Mexico
Alternative Missions
Cofradia Area Director

** JOIN OUR FINANCIAL SUPPORT TEAM **
ONLINE:
Online, you can make a one-time, tax-deductible gift, or set up to make automatic monthly donations to our PERSONAL SUPPORT at this link.


MAIL IN A CHECK: 
Send a check made out to Alternative Missions to Alternative Missions / PO Box 3107 / Ferndale, WA 98248.  Indicate that it is for The Silbermans for our PERSONAL SUPPORT.



Wednesday, February 13, 2019

Freedom in Christ: Rosamorada


It is always refreshing for us and those who participate in the Freedom in Christ conferences.  Through the course of three days, Pastor Goyo, Pastor Luis, and I had the opportunity to teach and lead 12 people to find Freedom in Christ at Pastor Amado's church in Rosamorada.  We always love hearing how the Lord speaks to people at the end.  This is what they had to say:

"For the first time in my life I have peace and I feel free!" a lady who had been abandoned at birth and since childhood has struggled with bitterness and lies about herself.

"I was able to forgive a person whom I thought I never could; I didn't want to see them, nor hear their name mentioned!" a man referring to an ex-wife who left him for another man.

"I was able to overcome my fear of taking the course because I didn't want anything bad to happen again" a lady referring to her son almost being killed after her husband took the course last December.

"I know who I am, where I'm going, and what I want now!" a lady who was freed from confusion in her life.

"I wish I would have taken this course 10 years ago!"


Thank you to all who prayed for us during this time! It is so great to see people free in Christ!

Thursday, February 07, 2019

FEBRUARY MINISTRY UPDATE

Greetings from Cofradía, Mexico! After getting settled in from our quick trip to California during the new year, we hosted two teams in January, are in the process of changing Board Member positions in our Civil Association, and have started the process of developing opportunities for employment through making adobe bricks.  And, Rebecka has finally been able to return to school after a three month wait due to the flooding in Tuxpan after Hurricane Willa which I wrote about previously.

We recently revised a document that gives information regarding our history, staff, ministry function, and vision for the future. You can click here to view that document.

GIVE THANKS TO THE LORD, FOR HE IS GOOD; HIS LOVE ENDURES FOREVER!

Last month, we asked you to please pray for...

  1. My Dad’s recovery from surgery.  He is improving a lot and the doctor says things are going really well. 
  2. Cy-Fair Women’s Team in the words of the women’s ministry leaders here it was a total success!  The local women were encouraged during this joyful, reviving time and relationships were restored as chains of bitterness were broken.  Isabel says, “It seems like a new door has been opened.” It was an exciting time that brought life, hope, and expectancy.  Thank you for your prayers!! Here’s a link to a little more.
  3. His Place Team did an excellent job building a home for Nando and his family. Partnering with the Sluys from Poulsbo with a matching gift, they were able to provide all of the funds needed and a little more for some essential furniture items.  The family was left with extreme gratitude and tearful eyes of joy.  Here is a link to a little more and a video of the build.
  4. Wisdom with the Board Member changes in our Civil Association. A weight has been lifted off of my shoulders by handing over the Treasury responsibility of our Mexican organization.  Instead, I will have the title of the role I have played since the beginning, President, which is much less administrative work.  I feel free now. :) 
  5. Our Greatest Need(s). We are getting the Employment Opportunities vision underway as our worker has been making test bricks of adobe for a brickworks business.  Click here to read about that vision.

Here are some links to more:


This month, will you please pray for...

  1. Freedom in Christ Conference with our church in Rosamorada led by Pastor Amado.  Pastors Goyo and Luis and I will be leading another conference and we would really appreciate your prayers over our lives and protection against the enemy. (February 8,9,10) 
  2. Date Night for our married couples will be on February 16.  This year the leadership has chosen youth and parenting specialist, author Ernesto Ramirez from Mexico City to speak.  He will also be speaking to the congregation on Sunday, the 17th. 
  3. Freedom in Christ Grace Course We will be kicking off a new six week study about the Grace of God.  Pastors Goyo and Luis and I will be leading the teachings.  We are excited for this material as it has had a very positive impact in our own lives! (Every Tuesday evening for six weeks starting February 19). 
  4. Church Anniversary We’ll be celebrating our 8th anniversary in the new building the first weekend of March.  We are blessed to see God’s faithfulness through the years! Our friends, Doug and Jan Taylor, will be joining us as the special speakers throughout the weekend (March 1-3).
Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good; His love endures forever!

Thank you so much for being part of our team as we work together to RAISE UP LEADERS IN RURAL MEXICO!!!!

Blessings,












Steve, Geña, Rebecka, Emma, and Mackenzie Silberman
Missionaries to Mexico
Alternative Missions
Cofradia Area Director

** JOIN OUR FINANCIAL SUPPORT TEAM **
ONLINE:
Online, you can make a one-time, tax-deductible gift, or set up to make automatic monthly donations to our personal support at this link.


MAIL IN A CHECK: 
Send a check made out to Alternative Missions to Alternative Missions / PO Box 3107 / Ferndale, WA 98248.  Indicate that it is for The Silbermans for our personal support.



Wednesday, February 06, 2019

LADRICU

Our vision is to strengthen the economy in a way that will provide jobs for people, fortify families and create stability in the community. 

Many people in this agricultural area leave town to find work in other places due to lack of jobs during the farming “off” season. A robust economy will allow men to stay “home,” which is essential to a healthy family as we raise up rural leaders for Christ.

We have laid out a plan to get this vision underway. The first phase is “LADRICU” which is “Ladrillos Cofradia United” (Cofradia United Bricks). LADRICU is a brickworks business.  These bricks are made of adobe which are the most common bricks used in these parts for building all kinds of structures.

To commence the work, it requires $2,000 USD of seed money that will have long-term positive outcomes which include:
  1. Immediate work for four men that will support them and their families.
  2. Investing back into the community as the rented land belongs to the town.
  3. Supporting the church who will receive a small portion of the revenue as a tithe.
  4. LADRICU will be self-sustaining in 4 weeks.
  5. Most importantly, it will create more jobs as the revenue from LADRICU will help seed small business initiatives such as a market center with small shops to generate an economy that will encourage economic justice and stability within Cofradia.
The $2,000 USD seed will help meet our needs as we seek to become self-sufficient:
  • One month rent (estimated $40)
  • Land Prep (estimated $80)
  • Tools: molds, picks, shovels, wheelbarrows, etc. (estimated $380)
  • One month of labor for four individuals (estimated $1,500) 
To the right is the land we will rent. It is close to Cofradia’s man-made lake and will have water access year-round.  The ground is prime for brick-making and only needs to be cleared to start the process.

Your generous donation will have immediate and long-term implications on the economy of Cofradia.  This is the beginning of a lasting project that will help strengthen families, the church, and the community.

Make checks out to ALTERNATIVE MISSIONS indicating that it is for “Cofradia Bricks” and send your donation to:  ALTERNATIVE MISSIONS / PO BOX 3107 / FERNDALE, WA 98248.

OR - You can safely donate online directly to “Cofradia Operations” making an annotation for “bricks”.



La Cofradia United Information Page


Clicking on the logo will take you to the information page.






Carrillo Valentin House Build

Fernando Carrillo and Ana Valeria Valentin needed a home.  A few years back they made attempts at building themselves a home, but Fernando's mother became ill with cancer and the funds they were going to use for their house were spent on doctor's appoints, traveling to the capital city, and unfortunately, the eventual passing of his mother.  It as been a few years since her passing and to help them out, we included them as candidates for a home with Dwellings.  They have been living in a borrowed home with their two children: Kevin (5), and Odalis (3).
The original profile picture in front of the borrowed home.
With the help of a matching funds donation by the Sluys from Poulsbo, His Place Church from Burlington, Washington, formed a group and came to build Fernando and Ana a house.  The walls went up the first afternoon and the next four days were spent working on details such as bond beams, electrical, smooth wall, roof, etc.  They were even able to provide some furniture for them as they had absolutely nothing.

Once the house was built, we enjoyed a dinner together and an armadillo feed.  The next morning we dedicated the house to the family and handed them the keys.  This was all done in order to show the love of God and how he cares for the needs of people.  Just like salvation in Christ, it was a free gift.




Cy-Fair Women's Short-Term Missions team

Five women representing Cy-Fair Christian Church in Houston, Texas, came to spend a week with our women's ministry. I have asked Isabel, the women's ministry leaders, and Geña to write a short report about what happened:

This week we had a marvelous visit from our sisters and friends from Texas and it was incredible.  The Spirit of unity that we felt was very unique. It was truly a refreshing time to see all of the women together in Christ. They opened their hearts and shared their needs, even those who came to the meetings for the first time were impacted. Altogether, in all of the places we went, we were able to minister to nearly 120 women. We were encouraged, revived, filled with joy, and relationships were restored.  Thank you for your prayers!