Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Report of Family Missions Team

The team left for Mazatlan yesterday morning were they'll spend a couple of days before flying back to Virginia. It was an amazing time. Different because we've never hosted a family team before and it was very encouraging to see everyone ministering; the adults to the adults, youth to youth, and children to children. There was an interesting dynamic with adults who were focused on ministering in other ways besides construction. The children and youth did the dramas and puppets, they did the VBS with the help of a couple adults, and the adults ministered with a Marriage Conference the day before they left. What a time! On top of that, Francesc Castillo from Spain came with his son. Francesc "Paco" is an incredible guitar player and gave a concert after the marriage conference. He also was able to spend about an hour with a few people who are working on their voice skills. He had some great input and the youth are putting it into practice. I will miss Paco. He is a very delightful person to be around. He doesn't have any prejudices, he's very encouraging, and has a warm refleccion of Christ in his life. Thanks Paco!

Paco and I

Rebecka with some youth from the team that she didn't want to see leave.

Enouraging Email

When we were in Arizona working on the truck. We received an encouraging email from Dave Elias, the Missions Director in Cofradia. The problem with the truck was with the rear axle. The email stated:

We are praying for your “rear end!”

What an encouragment!!!! :) Have a great day everyone and laugh a little.

Monday, December 26, 2005

Merry Christmas

It's been a busy past couple of days. We have a team of Families here for Christmas from Virginia. It has been nice to have them here. They are some real quality people, wonderful examples for the community, and an inspiration to all of our staff. Along with them is a father and son from Spain. He is a very talented classical guitarist and singer and is a lot of fun to be with. This morning I had him over for coffee to sit and chat a while, very interesting man. He was led to the Lord by one of team members from Virginia 30 years ago. This is the first time they've met up again in over 20 years. What a story.

Paco getting ready for the outreach in Mojocuautla.

The team has had a couple of outreaches; one in Arrayanes and another in the Inidan village of Mojocuautla. This afternoon I will be interpreting for a Family Life Marriage conference and in the eveing Paco (the Spaniard) will give a concert. The team takes off tomorrow to go to Mazatlan for a couple of days before flying out.

We had a short time as a famliy together yesterday afternoon opening presents. Gena's family is here and it's a joy to have them as well.

Rebecka loved opening presents!

Merry Christmas Everyone!

Saturday, December 24, 2005

Exciting Times for Seahawk fans

Ever since I was a little kid I've always wanted to see the Seahawks do good. I spent most of the afternoon on the internet following their game against the Colts today. It was great to see them win the game in spite of the fact that the Colts were missing three starters and their head coach wasn't able to be there. Anyway, they're 13-2 and I don't think they've been there before. I guess this means home-field advantage (and it will be an advantage) througout the play-offs. It will be exciting to see how they do.

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

They've finished!

The youth that started the discipleship course last January finished everything last night. Five of them made it through, plus Gena and I. It was a lot of fun and I'm impressed with how they kept going through the difficult times. Some of them got discouraged, but they kept on going and I'm really proud of them!

Their next step is to continue practicing what they've learned. Soon our Missionary and Pastoral staff will have a meeting with them, informing them of the different ministries there are and how they can fit in. Then, after praying about it, they will choose what area of ministry they want to work in (ie. children, youth, worship, etc.). I'm excited to see how it will turn out. They will also choose a mentor who will help them in their walk with God, counselling, advising, and encouraging them in what they're doing. It should be a lot of fun!

Julio, Esteban, Gena, Goyo, Ruben, Mili, Sandra


Saturday's Youth Event

This was the biggest youth event we've had so far. We invited a church from Sinaloa to bring their youth. They showed up late Friday night in two small minivans after a 5 hour drive. There were 22 youth, 4 adults, and 4 children...IN TWO SMALL MINIVANS!

Saturday morning we started with games between 6 teams. This was the first time our youth were "leaders" of a team and they really enjoyed it. Each team played three different games against the other five teams; that's 15 games a piece! It took just under two hours and after they were done our youth invited the youth from Sinaloa into their homes to eat lunch. It was a great time of fun fellowship.

In the afternoon, we all got together again at the church for a service along with many youth who weren't able to make it to the games in the morning. The service went great! The excitement and enthusiasm of the youth added to the extraordinary time of worship we had in God's presence. It was pretty powerful. A 16 year old young lady from Sinaloa preached about Joshua and being strong and couragous to take over the land (or town) that God has given the youth. Very good message! We ended with a time of worship and a challenge to allow God to have more of our life than we have already given him. Wish everyone could have been there!

Broom Hockey turned foot hockey. One of the brooms busted, so they used their feet to kick a football into the opponent's goal. The referee would call out a number and if it was yours, you needed to run out, touch the edge of the goal and go kicking. It was a riot because as you know, a football doesn't roll straight.

Random Volleyball was another game they played. The referee would take a piece of paper with a number on it out of a bag and whatever number that was, that's how many times you had to hit the ball before passing it over the net. This was pretty interesting and got everyone involved.

Kleenex Race was probably the funniest and funnest. Each team formed a line and they had to pass the Kleenex in the air without using their hands from one side of the room to the next. Lots of laughs.

Not a good quality picture, but a good picture of what worship was like in the afternoon. Just about everyone was really into blessing God. It was very encouraging to see some youth who haven't expressed themselves in worship in a while do so that afternoon. What a wonderful time and what a blessing!

Just before the Sinaloa team was to leave, many gathered together for a group picture. This will be one of the most memorable evenings for everyone for a long time.

Last Thursday Night

Last Thursday night we finished one of our discipleship classes. The students did really well and are excited about continuing. This class used the first book of the Navigator's 2:7 series and learned the importance of reading the bible, prayer, fellowship, and testifying.

Ana Yadira, Jose Luis, Esteban, Pedro

Thursday, December 15, 2005

Our Trip to the Border

Every six months we need to go to the border to renew car permits and visas. Usually, it is a one week trip, this time it lasted three weeks.


On our way to Arizona, we had been on the road for about an hour and got stuck in a line of traffic waiting for a tow-truck to clear a big tractor trailer off the road that had tipped over. Just ahead is a very dangerous curve that wraps around the hill you see. The wait was only just over a half-an-hour, but this is a common occurance in Mexico. Tractor trailers are always going off the you can see there is no shoulder :)

Right away when we arrived in Arizona I made an appointment for the truck to have it's routine oil change and have them check a leaking differential. You pretty much know the story if you've been able to read some of our past blogs. We needed a different differential and had to wait for it to arrive, an open space at the mechanic's to get it fixed, and Thanksgiving. That was in a way kinda nice because we ended up renting a car and going to Gena's sister's house near L.A.

Rental car--2006 Chevrolet Cobalt. It got 35 miles per gallon! Very economical and it was fun to drive.

Julia, Jessica, Katherine, Rebecka, and Jeanette.

Rebecka had so much fun playing with her cousins! She didn't want to leave.

After we got back to Tucson and returned the rental car, we waited for the truck to get finished. Bob and Dorothy have a playground in their back yard from having babysat for over 25 years as a profession. Rebecka had a lot of fun back their playing.

We are back in Cofradia now and very busy. We have a youth event coming up this weekend, Gena's mom and niece arrived on Monday, and we have a team showing up next week for Christmas.

Getting Ready for Christmas

We put up the tree Tuesday evening (Gena's birthday) and Rebecka was sooo excited! After we got the tree prepared to put decorations on it, we asked her if she would like to decorate it. With her eyes bigger than her head (slight exageration) and excitement beeming from her face, she said, "Let's go find it!" (referring to the decorations). I took her out to the bodega and got the box we had the decorations in and she ran out to tell Gena, "Mommy, mommy, I found it!" She was so excited. We then proceeded to take out decorations, put the lights on, the bulbs and she opened one of her gifts from Dorothy Micher (our host when we go to Tucson, AZ) and was thrilled to see that it was a Hallmark barbie ornament. She proudly put it on the tree and shows everyone who comes over. It was a great night. We put all the presents my parents sent to us under the tree and now Rebecka is anciously awaiting Christmas to be able to open them.


Jose Angel "Chupa" is one of our youth. He didn't have school this morning so he came by to help us do some things. We are tearing down the temporary carport we used for the trailer and will be using some of the scraps for other things. Chupa right as I write is sanding down some boards we used on the old carport so I can secure Rebecka's bed with some railings so she doesn't fall out.

We also have Gena's brother, Hugo, here today working on one section of the front porch floor. Maybe I'll send a picture later??

Friday, December 09, 2005

It's Cold

Woke up this morning and needed a sweater! It seems like everyone is battling colds and trying to keep healthy. However, the cool air is a nice change for here.

We're getting back into normal life; disciplship classes, worship practices, visiting people, etc. It's been nice to have had a rest, and it's nice to be back.

I was talking to one of the youth last night who plays drums for us. He has been kind of stand-offish which is not like him at all. I was concerned that I had offended him or he had done something wrong and expected me to confront him about somthing. After talking last night, come to find out that he is going through what most teenage Christians go through at one point or another. He mentioned that right before we came back, his friends from school were making fun of him and telling him that he shouldn't be hanging out with the Christians..."you cannot go anywhere in life as a Christian," they told him. That hurt his feelings and so he shyed away for a little bit. After our talk last night he was encouraged. The truth is, you can't have life without being a Christian. Please pray for Jose Luis.

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Back in Cofradia

We arrived in Cofradia Saturday evening. The trip went well, and the truck runs great! Sunday service was really good. Pastor Goyo is doing so well with his preaching. The Holy Spirit is speaking through him very's a lot of fun. We've been working on getting back into the swing of things these past couple of days. Lots of stuff to do. This is all for now. We are all doing well.

Thursday, December 01, 2005

Off To Cofradia!

They finished the truck late afternoon and we're ready to go. We'll be heading out early to cross the border and drive as far as we can arriving in Cofradia sometime on Saturday. Looking forward to getting back into the swing of things. Thank you so much for your prayers.

The Differential...$1,162; Other parts and Labor...$689; New Tires...$106; Tie-Rod...$41; Total costs...$1,998; Great customer service from the mechanics and salesmen...priceless!

A special thanks to Mike and Pat at Alignment, Brake and Suspension and Don at Aviation Auto for making this a lot easier than it would have been. They are some of the greatest guys in the business!!!

More Truck stuff

I called the mechanic this morning because I didn't hear anything yesterday after we talked on the phone. He said they got another axle for the truck and all they have to do now is align everything. It should be done this afternoon.