Friday, February 02, 2018

FEBRUARY MINISTRY UPDATE

Greetings from Cofradía, Mexico! Another full month has passed.  Upon returning to Cofradía from our two-week visit in California/Arizona, I took off the next day with the Elders of the church on a two-day retreat.  It was tiring, but a blessing.  We then scrambled to prepare for the arrival of the Cy-Fair team who came down to build Florentina’s house which was a tremendous joy to be a part of!  Pastor Luis and I sat down afterwards to fill out a report to the government on our Civil Association activities of 2017 just in time before the January 31st deadline.  We’re moving forward and anticipating an exciting February with more activities.  Thank you so much for your prayers!

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

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

  1. Border Trip. Thank you for your prayers!  We had an exciting time visiting friends and family and (finally) celebrating Rebecka’s 15th birthday at Six Flags.  I’ve posted a quick report here which includes a boat trip in San Diego! 
  2. Elder’s Retreat.  We had a great time with the Elders.  We continue to focus on the Freedom in Christ material as it becomes more and more real to us every time it’s taught.  The Elders team is growing stronger under Pastor Goyo’s leadership and direction. 
  3. Short-Term Missions team from Cy-Fair Christian Church in Houston, Texas.  We had an amazing time.  The house dedication was very delightful as Florentina joyfully began dancing once she opened her door and stepped over the threshold.  Follow this link to read about her story.
  4. Bible School Thank you for your continued prayers as we focus on the 6 students who still need to finish an exam to officially be done with their degrees.

Here are some links to more:

This month, will you please pray for...
  1. Administrative Tasks. I still have a number of administrative tasks to take care of before I get back into the “normal” routine.  Please pray for strength, endurance, and wisdom. 
  2. Cofradía Date Night.  Our annual Date Night will be held next Saturday with our friends Doug and Jan Taylor coming to speak again.  This is an excellent time to reach out to married couples who one or both may not know the Lord.  The Taylors will also be speaking to our leaders on Friday and the congregation on Sunday (January 9-11). 
  3. Short-Term Missions team from Mount Vernon, Washington, will be joining us to help us fix the extremely leaky roof in the education wing of the church (February 17-24). 
  4. Freedom in Christ discipleship course.  We’re going to start a 13 week discipleship course with the Freedom in Christ material.  This will be our first time teaching it in the format in which it was designed.  We expect this to be an excellent, eye-opening time for many as we will be able to take advantage of all the material instead of having to skip over some things.  Please pray for Pastor Goyo, Pastor Luis, and myself as we take turns teaching on Tuesday nights starting February 13. 
  5. Freedom in Christ Seminar.  The pastors who have attended these seminars have been asking us to take this to their churches and places they have mission churches.  This is what we’ll be doing in March with Pastor Abimael from Tuxpan in the town called Guadalupe Victoria, about an hour and a half away (towards San Blas for those of you who are familiar with this area).  Please pray for us as we prepare and teach (March 2-4).

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.



Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Florentina Receives a House

Florentina in front of the house she was staying at.
Florentina Velazquez is a widowed Huichol Indian who, as she describes, is like a bird without a nest, traveling from place to place.  In the past few years, she has lost her husband and son.  She had been staying with family and friends in Cofradia until the Cy-Fair Team came down to build her a house last week.  It was a very exciting time as we handed her the keys to her new home.  She rejoiced with dancing and singing, "Praise the Lord".  If you have Facebook, you will see the very end of her (about 20 second) dance.  It was one of the most joyful house dedications; her charisma was contagious!  She said her daughter never comes to visit because there is nowhere to stay.  She specifically asked for two beds in order for her daughter to come be with her.

Florentina on her property.
Florentina was given a piece of land that was very small, so this house had to be adjusted to fit on her property.  She still received a bedroom, living room, kitchen, bathroom, water cistern, and a covered porch area in the back that will provide her with shade during the day as she plans to sit out there.

Mike and Tina Lucas from Houston, Texas, felt led by the Lord to bless sister Florentina and put together a team from their church to come down and build her a house.  Starting the work on Sunday afternoon, the walls were up to the 2 meter mark all the way around and ready for the bond beam to be poured the next day.  From then on it was a lot of smooth walling, electrical, cleaning, painting doors, and detail work.  The roof went up on Thursday and the dedication was Friday morning.  It only took 5 days to build!

A special thanks to Marion and Loretta Sluys for matching the funds for this project which allowed the Cy-Fair group to only need to raise half the amount.

There are more candidates waiting for houses in our area.  Here is a list of those who are in need.  Come on down and lets change the life of a family together!  Contact Steve for details.

Prenenting the house; getting ready to hand over the keys.

The front of the house.

The back of the house.

The water cistern with washboard and window to bathroom for bucket bathing.



Kitchen

Bedroom.

The Cy-Fair Team



Thursday, January 18, 2018

PASTORS' PERSPECTIVES 17.2

Here are bi-annual updates from our pastors.  They were written in December.

Pastor Gregorio Hernandez is our main lead pastor and oversees all ministries at the church.  In order for him to work full-time as a Pastor, which is very important to us, he needs supplemental income from supporters like you.  Thank you for praying and responding, someone just committed to helping him out for a year.  Please consider how you can help him continue to work full-time.  Click on his name to become a monthly donor.

Here is his report:

At the start of last year we came up with a specific theme that we would incorporate and address over the course of 2017. The theme was “Live Free in Christ.” This really has helped us a lot to get to know the freedom that Christ gives us, and it has helped us to keep our identity, security, and value fixed on Christ.
Without God’s help and the support of so many brothers and sisters in Christ, nothing would be happening that has happened over these last six months. The theme is being applied in practical ways such that it has stimulated many of the successes the ministry is experiencing in both Las Pilas and Arrayanes. In the last weeks, we have had new people attending in Las Pilas who have never attended before; for this reason we hope to establish a central meeting space there by the end of the year. In Arrayanes we began a meeting every Friday evening at 5:00 p.m., and people are attending! We will continue to nurture a culture of weekly attendance there. We have also begun home visits in Arrayanes, and we put on a street evangelism event in which brothers and sisters from both Arrayanes and Cofradía participated.
We want to thank you for your prayer and financial support because it has allowed us to continue sowing the seeds of the Gospel. Thank you for being such an active part of our ministry. May God bless you with every spiritual blessing in Christ.

Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ. (Ephesians 1:3)

Sincerely,

Pastor Gregorio and Maty Hernandez-Espinoza, and family
______________________________________________________________

Pastor Luis Vazquez is our Student Ministries pastor and maintenance director for the church.  He also serves as the Cofradia Dwellings Foreman for building homes for less-fortunate people.  He is very busy and struggles to make ends meat each week.  Thank you for responding in prayer.  Someone has committed to helping hm financially for one year. Consider how you can help him by clicking on his name to become a monthly donor.

Here is his report:

Blessings to you and your family through Christ Jesus.

It is my pleasure to greet you with the highest respect and gratitude I have for you because of the essential part you play in my life and that of my family.

We find ourselves currently in a time of transition with our younger children as they are becoming adolescents, and we are learning together to follow God through this season of moments that stimulate our faith and teach us patience. We have also grown in our marriage through all these things, but thanks be to God we are abundantly blessed by the growth continues to produce fruit in our lives as my wife has taken on more responsibility in the church and our ministry. We find great joy in serving God together as a couple.

In the youth ministry in which we serve, we finished EL RETO after another excellent series of events enjoyed by both our youth and those of nearby churches that visit us frequently. After the event concluded, approximately ten youth from those other churches have continued to attend our gatherings.

We also concluded another New Life discipleship class for our youth, and we began with the second class, which is being co-taught by my wife and daughter. Six young people are participating in this discipleship opportunity, and I will be working with them to identify ways in which they can take on more responsibility in our youth ministry so as to continue training them up in leadership.

Our church hosted the seminar Freedom in Christ. Four pastors participated along with other leaders from their churches and other brothers and sisters from the local church. It was a time of great blessing, as we watched them truly own the freedom they have been given in Christ by believing the truth of God. I and two others helped to lead the seminar, and it loved teaching it and watching it take effect in the lives of those who attended.

We will be working more closely this year with several of our youth as part of our leadership training. Several of them participated in the Freedom in Christ seminar, and it has been a great help to them in understanding their identity in Christ. They will be assigned as team captains in our 2018 EL RETO event and will go through a training seminary for that role over Holy Week this spring.

We built two homes for families that did not have a suitable place to live, and one of those families did not know God at the time. They are attending church with us now, and it is such a blessing to visit them regularly in order to encourage them in faith.

We greet you and thank you for all the support you have poured out on us as a family and on our ministry. Thank you for your prayers and your timely financial support; it has been so helpful in our lives. Words are not sufficient words to express the depth of my gratitude for your generosity.

May you be blessed with all the spiritual blessings in heaven.

Sincerely,

Pastor Luis y Mari, and family
           
______________________________________________________________

Pastor Horacio Garzon leads the indigenous ministry in Mojocuautla and helps facilitate ministry in Arrayanes.

Here is his report:

Dear Brothers and Sister,

It is with great pleasure that I write these lines to you in order, first of all, to wish you well and good health.

We are well, thanks be to God, and we do not tire of thanking you for your generous financial support for my family. Thank you! And thanks be to God who is our great motivation in this life. I give thanks to God for Kenia, who is pursuing her studies with enthusiasm and tenacity. I too have enjoyed training this year through the opportunity to attend two training seminars from Freedom in Christ Ministries.

Brothers and sisters, it gives me great pleasure and fills me with such purpose to see what God is doing in the indigenous Cora community of Las Ajuntas. I am working with and am greatly encouraged by two primary leaders there: Antonio and Cirlio. Both are saved by Christ and have been baptized. I see a great need, and it will be a great blessing when, that God raise them up as a light there. For that reason, my wife and I have been focusing both time and resources on investing in them, which has allowed them to see God’s love in their lives. We pray that God will help them to continue rooted and strong in their relationship with Christ. We hope for a precious congregation there that worships God and grows strong under His guidance.

Thank you, brothers and sisters, for joining your prayers with ours for these petitions, and thank you for your financial support. May God continue to bless you for your generosity. Receive greetings from María, Martí, and the rest of the family. My most sincere thanks to you, and may you have a joyous Christmas and a happy new year.

Thank you,

Pastor Horacio and María, and family.
______________________________________________________________

Pastor Amado Verdin is from Rosamorada and is the lead pastor of Iglesia Hermosa Casa de Oración.  He also is heading up the drug rehab center which he likes to call a Restoration Center.  The center is designed to house interns and help them be restored to good health physically, mentally, and spiritually.  They will also be trained in a trade in order to help them be reinstalled into society once they're finished with the program.  You can read about my explanation of their current financial need here and click on his name to help with his project.

His report was unavailable, but I do have some recent pictures of the place they are renting:






STATESIDE FOR NEW YEARS

The day after Christmas we headed north to renew our vehicle permit for the truck.  After arriving last summer and finding our house had been broken into, we put more protections on the windows, added locks, an alarm, and had someone watching over the place while we were gone...not to mention leaving two ferocious chihuahua guard dogs to make sure things were completely safe. :)

It is always nice to step away for a few days as it gives us a chance to evaluate from afar, retreat from the daily routine, and enjoy family and friends.

Even though it was a quick trip, we were able to do a number of things.  We made it to the border in one day and stayed the night in Nogales, AZ.  On our way to Julia's we stopped in Phoenix with the Dyck family and in Palm Desert with the Harrisons.

Geña had a good time with her sister and the girls had a good time with their cousins.  We arrived at Julia's for her daughter's birthday party and visited her church the next day (New Year's Eve).  During the week, I took the truck in and had the front end worked on and the oil changed.

Wednesday we were able to visit our friend Fabian who owns a boat and has it in the Marriot marina in San Diego.  Our family, Julia and her youngest daughter, Geña's mom, and one of Rebecka's friends, Evelyn, from Cofradia who lives near Julia now, all got to go.  It was a fun day.







Friday we celebrated Rebecka's 15th birthday (which was in August).  Instead of doing a big Quinceañera for her, we decided to take her to a theme park.  Her first choice was Six Flags.  She absolutely loved it!  She brought Evelyn along and they spent the day together riding as many rides as they could.  In the meantime, Geña, Emma, Elsie (Emma's cousin), Mackenzie, and I did some other things at the park.  This was pretty fun and worth doing again some day.

To end our trip, I spoke at Julia's church on Sunday and we left on Tuesday for the border and stayed with our friend Ellen Konopaski.  It took us two days to get to Cofradia.  The border trip went smooth, but it still takes a while to pass.

Thank you for your prayers.  We arrived back home safely and the dogs were sitting at the gate as if they new we were arriving.

Saturday, December 30, 2017

NEW YEAR'S MINISTRY UPDATE

Happy New Year! Thank you so much for being part of our ministry this past year whether you prayed, gave, and/or came down to help.  We are very grateful and appreciate all of you!  2017 was a year a many blessings in the midst of many trials.  The greatest thing of all is that God never changes.  He is our strength and our joy; He is the cornerstone of our faith!

We look forward to another year and appreciate your continued prayer and support for our family and ministry.

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

In our last update, we asked you to please pray for...

  1. Women’s Conference Five women connected to our ministry went to the conference in Mazatlan and came back blessed.  We continue to pray for someone to be raised up as a leader in this area. 
  2. Freedom in Christ Seminar What an excellent time!  Over 30 people representing 6 different churches attended the seminar.  It was a blessing to see how the atmosphere changed as we went along.  Freedom in Christ is a wonderful thing!  Click here for a quick report and pictures.
  3. Restoration Center Thank you for your continued prayers.  There are only a few hours left before the end of the year to donate to the restoration center.  We still have not reached our goal. Click here to make your final year end donation.
  4. Lain & Kelly Grant. The Grants are in New Mexico and have given birth to two tiny little girls: Naya Michelle and Mia Lynnette.  We are excited for them as they continue in their new chapter.  Here is a first look at their new family.
  5. Border Trip. Thank you for your continued prayers.  We are currently with Geña’s sister in Southern California and will be arriving back in Cofradía again around the 10th of January.

Here are some links to more:


This month, will you please pray for...

  1. Border Trip. Please pray for our travelling safety and time to rest (Now through January 10). 
  2. Elder’s Retreat.  Please pray for Wisdom for Pastor Goyo and those who will be helping him lead.  Pray for freshness and a strength in our team as we work together (January 12-13). 
  3. Short-Term Missions team from Cy-Fair Christian Church in Houston, Texas, will be joining us in January to build a home for Florentina, a delightful indigenous woman from our church (January 20-27). 
  4. Bible School We are working on getting those who have invested money in their tuition to be able to finish their degrees through Summit Bible College.  Pray for our future with this as we are running thin on qualified help.  We would really like to see this continue.
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 the 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.




Saturday, December 23, 2017

Freedom in Christ Seminar

We had an excellent time over two days of intense meetings at our Freedom in Christ seminar we held in Cofradia.  Although there was a lot of material to cover, it was well worth it and very important.  Thirty-one people (including those of us who led sessions) participated from six different churches; the place was packed.  We really appreciate your consistent prayers and believe that God is working.  It is always refreshing to do this. After going through the "Seven Steps to Freedom in Christ" by Neil Anderson, there was an amazing change in the atmosphere. People were laughing, joking, having a lot of fun, and they all seemed at peace. It's amazing what happens during these times. We believe YOU HAD A PART IN THIS through your prayers over our family and ministry. THANK YOU VERY, VERY MUCH!

The word is getting out and we have been solicited to help at three more churches next year.  Please continue to pray for Pastor Goyo, Pastor Luis, and myself as we lead the talks that we would be able to explain with clarity and truth.  Also, pray for our protection over us and the meetings against the fiery darts of the enemy.



Help us continue to Raise Up Leaders in Cofradia by making a contribution here.

THANK YOU!!!


Tuesday, December 05, 2017

DECEMBER MINISTRY UPDATE

Greetings from Cofradía, Mexico!  It has been a busy couple of months as we built two homes and hosted a Short-Term Mission team from The Well in Salt Lake City, Utah.  We look forward to more builds in the near future, specifically the house for Florentina, a delightful indigenous lady who attends our church; she always has a smile on her face and is a passionate worshipper of the Lord.  It will be a pleasure to help her!


Thanksgiving was very special this year as we shared it with our Pastors and Associates.  We stayed up for hours intensely playing “Uno” and laughed until our gut hurt.  For Pastor Amado and his family, it was the first time they had a Turkey dinner.

Steve & Geña, Amado & Lourdes, Goyo & Mati, Luis & Mari















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

In our last update, we asked you to please pray for...

  1. Dwellings Build #14 Thank you so much for your prayers as we collaborated with The Well from Salt Lake City, Utah, to build a house for the Perez-Garcia family.  It was the first house with the new design that a team has participated in and we were a little concerned we would not be able to finish within a week as it is almost double the work.  Amazingly, the team along with a few volunteers, got the job done...early!  It was a sweat victory and a very emotional house dedication.  You can read a short report and see photos here.
  2. Restoration Center We are still at the same numbers.  This is an excellent opportunity to make a year-end donation.  Your gift will be matched up to $2,500! We are hoping to be able to get the amount we need for the property as soon as we can in order to take advantage of the Local officials’ promise of helping with the construction.  The team is still working on fixing up the temporary rental as it is still not in the best conditions to be used.  Click here for more information.
  3. La Cofradía United International Thank you for your continued prayers.  Our accountant has been more available for us lately. :) 
  4. Freedom in Christ Seminar Please continue to pray as we prepare for this seminar on December 15,16. 
  5. 17 YEARS! Our 17 year anniversary was one of the best!  Due to a bad experience at a restaurant with our latest team, we decided to take advantage of the small economical car that the Sluys helped us purchase a couple months ago and head to Mazatlan in search of a better restaurant.  Everything fell into place as we watched the sunset at the spot where the Lord spoke to my heart about becoming a missionary 29 years ago!  It has changed quite a bit as they have expanded the small two-table restaurant into a much bigger place that will seat over 100 people.  As soon as it was dark, our table was set in the front to view some fireworks that were lit off by someone on the beach (not really sure of the reason).  It was a very special and nice time together. 

Here are some links to more:


This month, will you please pray for...

  1. Women’s Conference Please pray for the four ladies who will be attending a women’s conference in Mazatlan with the Cosecha Final ministry December 8, 9, and 10. 
  2. Freedom in Christ Seminar Please pray for us as we continue the preparations of our Freedom in Christ Seminar on December 15,16.  Pray the Holy Spirit guides us and continues to move in the hearts of the people who need this.  God will see to it that the one’s He chooses will be able to make it.  Pray for Pastor Goyo, Pastor Luis, and myself as we prepare ourselves and the material we will be using. 
  3. Restoration Center Let’s try to get to the final goal by the end of the year.  We can do this!  There is still the opportunity of matching funds available in the amount of $2,500.  That means, your $2,500 is worth $5,000!  Then, the only amount needed after that is $6,000.  When you consider your year-end non-profit donation this month, please remember that this has been a high-priority need for a long time!  Send your online gift here.  Or, mail a check to the Ferndale address at the end of this message.  Indicate that it is for “Cofradia Restoration”, NOT the Silbermans. 
  4. Lain & Kelly Grant. We are excited for the Grants and the new chapter that is unfolding in their lives.  They are currently in New Mexico with Kelly’s mom awaiting the arrival of their TWINS due in January.  After the twins are born, they will be moving back to Houston, Texas, to live.  Pray for healthy babies, a job for Lain, and a place to live.  You can read their latest update here.
  5. Border Trip. Please pray for safe travels as we head to the border to renew our truck permit on December 26.  This year, 2017, has been loaded with burglaries in Cofradia.  Our missionary staff here has been hit quite a bit as well as many locals who leave town for a few days or months as they find that their place gets broken into.  Drugs are what drive these people (another reason to donate to the Restoration Center!) and the authorities take the bribe instead of taking the thieves to jail.  Please pray for a hedge of protection around our house as we will be gone.  We are working on some security issues and looking into who might be able to stay here.

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
Ministry Website

** 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.  Click here to contribute to the Silberman's Ministry.


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.




Monday, November 20, 2017

The Perez Garcia Family Receives a House

THE PROFILE:

Abimael Perez of Chiapas and Martha Garcia of Mexico City work as pastors in the nearby town of Tuxpan.  They live in a rented house with their two daughters, Olga and Martha. 

The couple moved to Tuxpan as pastors of a church where they have lived for 12 years. During a time when they decided to take some rest, in Mexico City, not only did they lose the original land they had purchased to build a house, but also they did not feel welcomed in Mexico City by churches or the church leaders.  Soon, Abimael felt God calling his family back to Tuxpan, where they returned again to their ministry.  The couple has just paid off a new section of land, but they don’t earn enough money to build a house. 


For this family, having a home would mean so many things.  Not only would it provide them with stability, security and a sense of calmness, but also it would provide them a place to host their church, which they often do.

A big thank you to The Well Church from Salt Lake City as they sponsored and built a house for Pastor Abimael and his family.

This was the first house we built outside of the surrounding areas of Cofradia and the first house of the new design to be built in a week.  Our staff had our doubts as to if we were going to be able to finish since it is almost double the size and work of the previous design.  The Well and some other volunteers completely wiped our doubts away as we not only finished in a week, but we finished before schedule!  

The Well worked hard all week and deserve to be recognized for their persistent drive to finish under the circumstances they were in.  It was abnormally hot all week and there wasn’t much shade at the work site.

What a blessing to be able to help Pastor Abimael.  The day of the dedication, there were many people who shared their experience and appreciation of Abimael and his family.  Some of his congregation and Pastor Samuel were able to step away from their work schedule and join us.  It was a very, very special time!

Thank you to all who gave.  Thank you for allowing God to put Abimael’s family on your heart and change lives.

Join us and be a part of changing another family’s life!  There are more candidates waiting to receive a home.  Contact Steve for more details.


Day one - Getting Started.



The End of Day One.

Day two finishes the walls to two meters, pours the bond beam, and finishes the walls to the desired height.

Day Three - Smoothwall.



Day Four - Details

Ten year old Tanner digs in preparation for the drain pipe.


Day Five - Roof and finish details.

 


DONE!