Thursday, June 30, 2005

6th Grade Graduation

Last night we presented ourselves as "Godparents" for America. She is one of our youth in Arrayanes who has been learning the guitar. She graduated from the 6th grade last night. This is a familiar tradition all over Mexico. The student will ask someone special in their life to walk with them to receive their diploma. They have organized dances, recite poems, dramas, etc. In the end, they have a public dance and a meal. Posted by Picasa


Some crazy things going on here lately. It finally rained last night for the first time this season. It rained pretty good, enough to leave a puddle in our bedroom and a lot of our ceiling humid. Looks like we'll be busy with the roof here soon. The team left yesterday morning and the bus forgot about them, everything worked out, we got them a bus finally to get them to Mazatlan where they'll spend two nights. Our internet access is pretty crazy as well. We got our phone disconnected because we didn't pay in time (forgot about that). I went to pay it and found out that they are still charging us monthly for our internet connection even though we payed for the whole year. We got that all worked out and the monthly charge is no longer there, however, we lost our connection and have to sign on with a different name that correlates with the yearly payment...strange. It was hot again yesterday-106, and today got up to 100, but very humid because of the rain early this morning (3am). Gena is doing a great job keeping the house clean and going through our storage shed now that we have cupboards--oh yah, we have kitchen cabinets now (doors and drawers). I'll send a picture when I get a chance. I'm getting some things ready for the youth and trying to keep up with the worship band. They are doing a great job. We have another team coming next week (tuesday). Looking forward to see how we can incorporate our youth with them. It should be a lot of fun.

Tuesday, June 28, 2005


I just checked my thermometer and it showed a high for yesterday at 106 degrees! Nice and warm, the only drawback is that it's very muggy here right now. It hasn't rained yet, the rainy season usually starts at the end of June. If it were a dry heat, it wouldn't be so bad, but the sweat keeps coming and it's sticky. PRAISE THE LORD! Gena and I spent the day yesterday taking the team to the ocean and a Jungle Tour. This is something that almost every team does at their request. It's kinda fun and relaxing. The team got real excited when they saw the aligator on the tour.

Last day of work

The group is on their final day of work and ministry here. At the moment they are working in Arrayanes to finish up pouring the cement floor for the Activity court and this evening they'll do an ourtreach in Arrayanes. They have been doing a great job and we appreciate their presence. This is the youth pastor Josh taking a wheelbarrel full of cement to the court. Posted by Hello

Sunday Service

Bethany Assembly shared their program in both services on Sunday. Cofradia in the morning and Arrayanes in the evening. Here they are singing, "Great Is He." Posted by Hello

Saturday, June 25, 2005

Short-term missions work project

The work project for this team is to pour the floor of an Activity Court on the property of the Arrayanes church. It will soon be used for basketball and speed soccer. Posted by Hello

Mixing cement

Bethany Youth are doing a great job mixing cement for the floor they are pouring. Posted by Hello

Outreach in Mojocuautla

Mojocuautla is a Korah Indian village about 7 miles into the hills from Cofradia. The Arrayanes church has been going there to do Bible studies on Fridays. Last night Bethany Assembly did their outreach with songs and dramas and did an excellent job. Here are some Indian children from the village. Jeff Duchemin and I were able to talk with five teenage girls who confessed faith in Jesus last night. I invited them to the youth events we have in Cofradia. Posted by Hello

Arrayanes Youth Worship Band

The Youth band from Arrayanes played a few songs for worship in Mojocuautla. They are doing very well, I was so proud of them last night because they did an excellent job. Posted by Hello

Friday, June 24, 2005

Outreach in Cofradia

Last night we had an outreach in the center of town in Cofradia. We had a pretty good turnout and many people were prayed for at the end. Our youth band played for worship and Bethany did a kids club; human video; songs; and Jeff Duchemin shared a quick, but excellent message. Posted by Hello

Thursday, June 23, 2005

Short-Term Missions

I spent the past couple of days in Mazatlan getting prepared for the Short Term Missions team that's here right now, Bethany Assembly from Everett. They flew in yesterday and I rode the bus with them to Cofradia. It's great to see Jeff Duchemin again and some of the youth that were here two years ago. They are a great bunch of students and we're excited they are here. At this moment, they are in Arrayanes working on an Activity court that will soon be used for basketball and speed soccer. This afternoon we'll be going to one of the villages we work in to do an evangelism outreach...more on that later.

Sunday, June 19, 2005

Baby Dedication

Laurencio and Lucy are believers in the congregation. A couple of years ago they came over from Veracruz to be close to Lucy's family. We dedicated their baby boy, Esteban Samuel, in church this morning. Gena and I were able to pray over him in the dedication. Posted by Hello

Friday, June 17, 2005

The Cofradia Fair

Last night we went to the center of town to the fair. It's quite commical actually, it seems that the people who come with their rides got their equipment from hand-me-downs from the states...years ago. I personally wouldn't trust many of the things they have running, however, no one seems to get hurt...GOOD. Rebecka chose to ride in a little pick-up. It just so happens that this style of Ford pick-up is grandpa's favorite, +/- 1940. I'm sure grandpa would say she has good taste! The next three pictures are from the fair last night as well. Posted by Hello

Rebecka riding in the truck. Posted by Hello

A Mariachi band had a couple men dressed in the typical clothing for the Huichol Indians in this area. Posted by Hello

We ran into Chago Diaz. His dad is Gena's Uncle Luis that was in the parade...yes, that would make him Gena's cousin. He works in construction and is the one who did most of our floor tile in our house. He did a great job. Posted by Hello

Update on Car Insurance

Thank you for praying...we feel peace about everything. I know that the insurance is valid, what I think is going on is the lady at the Credit Union may have heard of some rumors about Mexican Car Insurance that may not be true. We haven't heard from anyone today, nor have I been able to get ahold of anyone. Maybe this will be resolved next week.

Thursday, June 16, 2005

Car Insurance Problems

I spent most of the morning on the phone to our Loan Agency and our Mexican Car Insurance Company. There is question as to whether or not the Mexican Insurance is "Full Coverage". Well, IT IS. However, the Credit Union is hesitating on accepting it because it's "Mexican." United States Insurance will not cover us anyway in Mexico. It makes no sense to keep the US Insurance and be paying for something that has no value to us or the loan. Please pray that this will be taken care of. Our phone bill is going to be quite high this month because of the calls directly to the US. The easiest thing to do would be to pay off the loan. Does anyone have $16,000 to help pay off the loan?

June 16 Town Parade

These are the townspeople in the parade making their way past the front of the church property in Cofradia. Today is the big town party that happens every year. Every town has a party like this where they honor the town's saint that watches over them, have a parade, dance, rodeo, etc. This is very similar to Viking Fest in Poulsbo or Whaling Days in Silverdale with a Latin American Roman Catholic twist to it.
Posted by Hello

The guy in the middle with the pink shirt is Gena's uncle Luis. Posted by Hello

Tuesday, June 14, 2005


Rebecka loves the water. Posted by Hello

Rebecka enjoying a sunny day in her little pool Posted by Hello

Strategy Meeting

Our strategy meeting this morning went very well. Talking about vision and how to get there excites me a lot. We spent most of our time on four specific topics:

1) Children's Sunday School--we are in need of dividing the toddler through 6th grade Sunday School class and we have decided to make a Toddler class, K-3rd grade class, and 4th-6th grade class. Gena will be teaching the 4th-6th graders for our trial run until the beginning of August. I should be a lot of fun.

2) Construction projects--We are always hosting teams that come down and are excited to help out with construction. Next week Jeff Duchemin's group from Bethany Assembly in Everett, WA will be coming down. After they leave, we have a group from Canyon Hills Church in Bothel, WA coming down. we have three major projects we need to work on: 1) Finishing an all-purpose sports court on the Arrayanes church property, 2) putting up a brick wall on a section of our Cofradia property to give more privacy and avoid distractions, and 3) We want to build an actual Church building here in Cofradia. This sounds like a lot of fun.

3) Discipleship programs--We'll be talking more about this on Friday, but it looks like we'll be using a new believers' program that Hosanna Assembly in Bellevue uses with Pastor Rafael Gradilla, then on to using the 2:7 courses for further discipleship and training courses. This is very exciting to me.

4) Our Resources--We are all planning on making proposal packets for the needs of the church and ministry here for Alternative Missions Cofradia. Things like financing the new church building, Scholarships for student's higher education, and vehicles (a truck for Arrayanes and a passenger vehicle for the ministry as a whole). Can you help with any of these?

Anyway, that sums up our meeting. We had a great time.

Monday, June 13, 2005

Journal of our trip to Cofradia

The next eleven posts are of our trip. They start with the post called "Our trip down to Cofradia." You may want to read them from bottom to top.

Arriving in Cofradia

We finally arrived on Friday, June 10th in Cofradia after a two day off-site staff meeting in Mazatlan. This, I have posted already. Thank you for all of you who prayed for us on our trip. Please continue to pray. We have a strategy staff meeting tomorrow that I'm looking forward to. God bless you all and keep in touch with us. We will continue to post more as the week progresses. Be looking for a newsletter sometime soon.

Crossing the Border

We finally finished with all of our errands Tuesday afternoon and headed to the US/Mexican border one hour south of Tucson. I was a little worried about how full the truck was and the barrell we had strapped to the top of the canopy. I posted this day and asked for your prayers, if you saw it and prayed, thank you! We prayed for a safe crossing and that we would get "green lights." There are two stops you need to make when crossing the border in Nogales. Each time you need to pass through a lane that gives you a random red light or green light. I really didn't want the red light just because I didn't want to have to unload the truck and then load it again. My first experience at this in 1996 was not fun. I ended up paying duty on personal items because the border officials thought I was taking some stuff down to sell. Anyway, that was an odd time, it hasn't been like that since. We got TWO green lights and had no problems all the way to Cofradia. We didn't have to unload the truck until we got home. PRAISE THE LORD!!

The Clarks

Steve and Veronica Clark are friends of mine from college and now live in a suburb of Phoenix. We got to visit with them over dinner at Applebee's. It was great to see them again, it's been just over two years since we visited with them last. It would have been nice to spend more time, but we needed to get to Tucson that night. Posted by Hello

The Rivera Family

We arrived in Perris, CA (just east of LA) late Saturday night, the 4th. We spent all day Sunday with the Rivera Family and left Monday morning for Arizona. This is Gena's other sister with her three daughters (LtoR) Jessica, Jeanette, Julia (Gena's sister), and Katherine. Jorge was in Florida working when we saw them. Julia and her daughters have been followers of Christ for over two years now. We had nice visit with them. Please pray for Julia and her relationship with her husband, Jorge. They have been having some difficult times and Jorge is not a believer. Posted by Hello

The Jimenez Family

That afternoon we headed West to visit a wonderful family in Oxnard. David, Aimee, Frank (Francisco), Teresa, and Daniel. I met Frank nearly 15 years ago in Mazatlan. He was an interpreter for one of our Youth Group's Short-Term Missions trips. Frank also interpreted our wedding. We had a great time visiting the Jimenez's and had barbacued Carne Asada--the best I've had in a loooong time. Thanks Frank and Famiy! Posted by Hello

From Oakland to LA

We left Oakland on Friday night about 7pm with hopes of finding a Motel 6 in Santa Clarita, CA (just north of LA). We arrived in Santa Clarita after 1am and no Motel 6. So we continued on a few more miles to where a friendly gas station attendant told us there was a Motel 6. 8 miles vacancy. The hotel next vacancy. Heading east toward I-210 there was a Super vacancy. So, we back-tracked I don't know how far to a town called Castaic and we stayed at the Castaic Inn--a little more than what we hoped to spend, but it beats sleeping in the truck again. The next morning we visited a good friend of mine from college and his wife, Tom and Michelle Reeves who live in the San Fernando valley adjacent to one of Jack Hayford's Church On The Way campuses. Tom is studying in the King's Seminary there. We had a great visit with them and it was a lot of fun to catch up. Tom and Michelle, you are a blessing to us!

Cofradia friends in Oakland

We also got to see some friends from Cofradia who live in Oakland. This is Juan Pablo and I. Juan took me out to one of his favorite places to have a drink that I introduced him to last year when we visited...Starbucks! Thanks, Juan, for the Grande-Caramal-Frappaccino with extra caramel! Juan is sporting his Burger King business suit. Posted by Hello

The Diaz Family

The next morning we took off for Oakland, CA to visit Gena's brother Luis and his family; Alicia (wife), Leonardo, Christian, and Giselle. We spent a couple of hours with them, had lunch, visited, took pictures, etc. It was a nice visit. Posted by Hello

Mom, Granddaughter, and Daughter

Rufina, Rebecka, Gena in Lincoln, CA Posted by Hello

The Gonzales Family

This is Gena's Family in Lincoln. Rufina (Gena's mother), Esperanza (Gena's sisiter), Alicia, Alfredo, Dallan, Nayeli, and Gena is kneeling. Their dog, Lucky, also is in the photo. Posted by Hello

Our Trip down to Cofradia

Our trip was quick with a lot of driving and visiting. We would have loved to been able to visit more with people and visit more people. However, everything went smoothly and we were blessed on our trip down. We took off around 6pm June 1st from Silverdale, WA with hopes of getting to Sacremento, CA by noon the next day. We drove until we couldn't anymore and slept for a couple of hours at the first rest area we came to in Northern California. We continued on in the morning and we made it to Sacremento by, yes, noon. We stayed that night with Gena's sister Esperanza and her family. This is also were Gena's mother, Rufina, lives. It's actually not Sacremento, but Lincoln, CA. I'll post some pictures...

Saturday, June 11, 2005

Back in Cofradia

We finally made it! It is Saturday morning, 9:30am (MST) and we pulled in last night around 6:30. We spent the last couple of days in an "off-site" staff meeting in Mazatlan with the purpose to review what we've been doing in the past 6 months; what we need to change, what we need to keep doing, and new ideas. We'll talk more about specifics on Tuesday. This was a wonderful way to get back into things. I'm having problems with my host process on the internet, so I'll have to figure this out and write more later. God bless you all.

Tuesday, June 07, 2005

Quick update on trip to Cofradia

We are in Tucson, AZ today. We plan to cross the border and be in Mazatlan by tomorrow early evening. We've got a few things to take care of, ie: car insurance, last minute shopping, etc. We have had a wonderful time with friends and family on this trip. We've got pictures and I'll try to figure out a photo album thing for you all to check out. Things are going very well for us, the truck is doing great, though it's quite loaded down. Please pray for a safe crossing of the border and that we have no complications with our luggage at any of the revision points.

Wednesday, June 01, 2005

We are off!

It's just about 6pm PST and we are off to Cofradia. We will try to make it to Lincoln, CA to visit Gena's family by noon tomorrow, then on to Oakland, Oxnard, LA, Phoenix, Tucson and we should be arriving in Mazatlan by Wednesday the 8th. Please keep us in your prayers as we travel...the truck is loaded.

You Have What It Takes

"You Have What It Takes" is written by John Eldridge. This is a great 52 page, easy read (my kind of book). In this short book, Eldridge hits a couple of key points about "What Every Father Needs to Know." What is the question that your little girl is asking you? What is the question that your little boy is asking you? Only Dad can answer these questions and have the potential to become the most powerful person in his child's life. What are the questions? --Every boy wants to be a hero. He wants to be powerful, he wants to be dangerous, he wants to know...Do I have what it takes? Every girl wants to believe that she is captivating, worth fighting for. She wants to know...Am I lovely? I think that Eldridge has hit the nail on the head here. What happens to boys and girls when these questions aren't answered? I think they automatically assume No. So, they go out and find the answer they need from someone other than their Father. This could lead to some interesting ways of life and some heavy consequences to deal with later. One great thing is that whether or not we grew up without a Father, our Father in Heaven loves us more than we can imagine. He is just waiting for us to say yes to Him. Thanks, Doug, for recommending this book to me. It has been a great help!