Monday, February 27, 2006

Still Alive

Yes, we're still alive. Not much to blog about. This week was full of getting settled, resting, making appointments for doctors, planning for the next few weeks in Cofradia.

Gena will be seeing the doctor on the 8th, we went in for an ultrasound last week and the doctor's still say it's a girl. We've been tossing up a few different names, once the baby is born, we'll be sure to post it.

I leave for Cofradia on Wednesday for a couple of weeks. There is a team from Texas going down that will be working with our youth. They're a great team. It'll be nice to see everyone again, however, I'm going to HATE being away from Gena and Rebecka!

Looking forward to a busy week.

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Back In Washington

We made it to Washington after a loooong trip up. We drove at least 8 hours every day, up to 18 on Friday. It was nice to see friends and family on the way. In Tucson, we stayed the night at Bob and Dorothy Micher's place; on our way to Perris we visited Tom Hackett and his wife in Phoenix for a couple of minutes, then we stayed with Gena's sister in Perris, CA. We made our way up to Tracy, CA to stay with Gena's brother, Luis. While we were there, I was able to visit with a good friend from college, Adam Dalhed. It was so nice to see him again, it's been a long time. As soon as I get the picture of us, I'll put in on. The final day of our trip we left before 4am to avoid traffic in Sacramento and try to make it through the passes without snow. We managed to make it through Sacramento at 5am with no traffic. After breakfast in Redding, we purchased some chains because there was supposed to be a snow storm coming in. I think we got just the beginning of it, because it was snowing pretty hard on Mount Shasta, but the roads weren't too bad yet...just slushy. I never went back online to see pictures of the pass after we crossed, it would have been interesting. We pulled in to my parents' home on Friday night around 10pm and man were we tired! We spent Saturday just resting and kind of situating ourselves which was nice. Sunday's message at church was great! Pastor Marc is talking about 7 Choices That Please The Lord. Great stuff!! We did some more situating yesterday, we weren't able to get ahold of the doctor's because of the holiday, so we called one answered so we're waiting for a phone call. That's all for now. Looking forward to seeing friends and family while we're in Washington.

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

On the Road

We're in Tucson. We pulled in late last night after crossing the border into the US. We had some problems bringing my mother-in-law in, there are new rules, new paperwork she has to have with her (her passport and visa are not enough), and because she didn't have that paperwork with her and there was no way to get it by fax, we had to put her on a bus back to Cofradia. We're all doing fine, we're off to Perris, California to spend the evening with Gena's sister, Julia.

Sunday, February 12, 2006

Off To Washington

We leave tomorrow morning (Monday) for Washington. Our itinerary looks something like this: Cross the border on Tuesday and stay the night in Tucson, Arizona; Pass through Phoenix, meet with Tom Hackett in the morning and head out to L.A. to stay with Gena's sister on Wednesday night; Thursday we'll go to Tracy, California to stay with Gena's brother and drop off her mother who will be traveling with us; Friday and Saturday we'll be driving up I-5 going over the passes which I just checked out...snow is being forecasted for Friday and Saturday in Northern California and Southern Oregon. Hmmm. I might need to purchase some chains on the way. Thank you for your prayers, I'll try to keep in touch this week while we're on the road. Looking forward to seeing everyone!!!!

Minibus For Cofradia

We have posted on our Alternative Missions website a special need for Cofradia. Please consider how you may help. We would really like to get a bus down here, it would help out a lot with the youth and the groups that come down. Thanks.

WOW!! What A Great Time With The Students!

WOW!! What a great time with the students! Youth Pastors Brad and Dave from Houston, Texas came and led a three day Student Leadership conference for the youth of Cofradía and Arrayanes. It was a great way to give them a boost for the time that we’ll be gone, and the material is so applicable to this group right now that when we come back I plan to review these things with the youth as we “re-group.” I am so excited for the future of our youth group.

On Thursday night, we had dinner at Pastor Goyo’s house with 10 students and four of us adults as Brad and Dave shared with the youth the importance of being a servant to others if we want to be a leader. Just as Jesus demonstrated service to his disciples on the Thursday before he died at the last supper, Brad and Dave re-enacted history as they washed our disciple’s feet. It was a little awkward for some of the students, but they were all willing to take of their shoes and sandals and allow Brad and Dave to wash their fungus filled feet….(just kidding!!!) most of them had clean feet. After the foot washing we ate dinner and talked for a while, then we had communion. It was a great start to a great three days.

Friday evening we had another meeting in our house. This time we had 12 students and 6 adults. Unfortunately, Pastor Brad hadn’t been feeling well all day, so he stayed in bed to rest. Meanwhile, Pastor Dave shared with the students about Spiritual Warfare. He touched on some important issues like knowing who your enemy is, how he comes at you, how to defeat him, and what we have for armor. This meeting started a little cold with minimal participation by the students. Dave decided to take a quick 5 minute break to hang out a bit, and after that, the students started to share. Not all of them, but more than before. They were more comfortable. I was excited about this time because Dave mentioned a few things that tied in perfectly with our “Love Waits” conference a couple of weeks ago. As the evening was coming to a close, we decided to put on the movie, Island and focused on the point that many of the people were deceived into believing a lie that they thought was true, just as the enemy does in our own life. What a great night!

Saturday morning’s Leadership classes were postponed until the afternoon because now Pastor Dave was sick. Praise God! He knows the reasons for all these “miss-haps” and turns them into something good. We started in the afternoon at the church in Arrayanes and talked about Team Building, Personal Disciplines, and having an Accountability Partner. Excellent material that ties is so much to what we’ve been teaching them here. The icing on the cake was after the classes: a Worship Experience. With the room filled with candles and the lights dimly lit, we gathered in close to worship God. This was the first time we’ve had worship time with the youth with just me singing and playing on the guitar. It wasn’t about being in the band, it wasn’t about trying to hit the right notes, and it wasn’t about showing people what you can do. It was all about God, and singing praises to him. After about 15-20 minutes, the students went around to different “stations” to experience God in different ways. There were various different things to do: there was a place to write a letter to God, whether it was a love letter or just wanting to share with him your heart; there was a place to write down your prayer requests on a big piece of paper hanging on the wall; there was a place to write out your sins in the sand, then wipe them away…what an awesome example of what Christ does; there was a place to draw and paint pictures; and a place to make sculptures out of play-dough. I was so mad at myself for forgetting my camera. There was some really neat things going on and I wish a had an image to share with you…not just to share with you, but to remember better of our time with God. The talent in our group surprises me, the sculptures were phenomenal! One of them made a sculpture of Jesus on the throne holding two little kids sitting on his lap. Another sculpted a hand and letters in it saying, “You hold me in your hand.” I wish that you all could have seen it. It was an incredible night and the youth had a genuine experience with God. This is something I’ve been praying for, for a long time. I pray that it continues. We will do this again when we return to Cofradía this summer.

WOW!! What a great time with the students!

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Sunday Worship Update

The students did a great job on Sunday. Chupa led worship in Cofradia and as the band accompanied him, they did wonderful!! I was very impressed with how they did. Mili did a great job in Arrayanes as well. The band could use a lot more practice. They played some songs they haven't played for a long time. Keep praying for these youth, they are very young.



Monday, February 06, 2006

More Half Day of Prayer Pictures

Everyone went spread out and went to be alone with God. Here are some pics of their time.



Jose Angel (Chupa)

Jose Luis (Fursio)

Seahawks' Defeat?

I was happy to be able to watch the second half. I walked into the local restaurant to see Seattle miss a feild goal, then looked at the score and was disheartened. It was fun to be able to watch "my" team play in the Super Bowl, it would have been nice to see them win. I didn't see the whole game so I don't have much of an opinion on whether or not Seattle should have won, nor do I know much of how the teams played. I came across an article (which may be old news to everyone who watched the game) about how the refs weren't so Super in the Super Bowl. Here is an article from the point of view of a columnist who predicted the Steelers to win it. It was kind of encouraging to me, but the Seahawks still lost. Instead of looking at their defeat, the are the NFC CHAMPS!!! Click here to check out what this guy says about the game.


Rebecka got into mommy's purse! She is so fascinated with lipstick right now.

A New Health Drink

Here's some interesting information about health issues concerning coffee. The article, "Coffee: The Latest Health Drink?" says that the health benefits of drinking coffee far outweigh the risks. Given you keep yourself disciplined in not drinking too much. At the end of the article are some pointers of what kinds of coffee to drink and not drink, and what kind of stuff to put in or not put in it. So, I'm looking forward to my health drink tomorrow morning.

The Smith Family Blog

Jeff Smith is a very good friend from college. He is one of the neatest guys I know. Check out his blog here. He is the one who helped me get this blog going (thanks, Jeff). For those of you who know him, I put a link on the right hand side of the page so you can check his blog out in the future as well.

The Blogger

I have a few pictures I want to show you, but I have been unable to put any on the blog since the 1/2 day of Prayer. I've been informed that they're having some technical difficulties in bloggerland. As soon as I can, I want to post some more 1/2 day of prayer pics and a funny picture of Rebecka. Thanks for praying for the youth who were leading worship yesterday. More info and pictures of them later.

Saturday, February 04, 2006

GO SEAHAWKS!!!!!!!!!!!!

A little bummed I won't be able to watch the game. We have a church service tomorrow evening. Hopefully I'll catch the tail end of the game on the internet. It would be so fun to join in on all the excitement. Anyway, hope they do well.

Half Day Of Prayer Agenda

Here's the agenda, I hope the format doesn't confuse you.

Half Day of Prayer

9am Meeting together for general information.
· The Agenda
· Jot down on a notepad the promises of God for you that you find during this time.

9:10 Individual Meditation:
1. Waiting on the Lord (Read: Isaiah 40:31; Psalm 27:14; Psalm 62:5)
a. To feel His presence (Read Psalm 139 [Think about His presence with each verse])
b. For your cleansing
i. Read Psalm 139:23, 24 and ask God to examine your heart just as these verses suggest. Examining our own heart can bring us to undue imaginations, unhealthy introspection, or anything else the enemy would like to put in front of us. But, when the Holy Spirit does the examining, he shows us what we need to confess and have cleansed.
ii. Read Psalm 51 and 32 (prayers and confessions of King David).
iii. *VERY IMPORTANT: If you find that you’ve sinned against one of your brothers in Christ, write it down so that you will not forget to reconcile the situation. If you do not, it will prevent you from having a clear mind the rest of the day. Do not continue until you decide when you will meet with that person.
c. For praise and adoration to God
i. Psalm 103, 111, and 145
ii. Revelations 4 and 5
iii. Sing songs of praise and adoration
iv. Spontaneously express your gratitude to God.

**If you have a concern or an important decision to make, now is the time to ask for that—before praying for others.

2. Praying for Others.
a. For specific things.
i. Friends
ii. Family
iii. Missionaries
iv. Pastors
v. Neighbors
vi. Fellow Christians
vii. Government Leaders
b. Use the Apostle Paul’s prayer
i. Philippians 1
ii. Colossians 1
iii. Ephesians 1 and 3
c. Ask for others what you would ask for yourself. Pray for them as if you were in their shoes.
3. Pray for yourself At this time, your attitude should be, “Lord, what is your opinion on how I live?”
a. Meditate on Psalm 119:18
b. Review all the scriptures you have learned applying them to your life.
c. Read a whole book of the Bible, applying it to your life.
d. Pray 1 Chronicles 4:10
e. Think about your activities. Do they glorify God? Do you take God with you wherever you go?
f. Jot down what God thinks of your activities.

*Write a summary of what God has taught you this day.

12:30 Return with the group for a time of sharing and have lunch.

Blogger Problems

For some reason I'm able to post right now. It's not letting me send any more pictures, so I'll send more later of our Half Day of Prayer.

Half Day of Prayer

This morning we took some youth who are attending one of the discipleship classes on a Half Day of Prayer retreat. It was a very nice time to get away and spend some time with God. The youth enjoyed it as well. Some said they really enjoyed being in the presence of God, others mentioned they realized they needed to forgive those that hurt them, and others noted that we need to be unified and love one another. That was pretty weird, because as I was praying for the group, my prayer was that the group would be unified and that we would learn to love one another just as Christ desires for us. Another young man who was not part of the discipleship class wanted to come along to pray also. He was a member of the last class that did this, I had no problems allowing him to participate in something I think we all can benefit from. I was encouraged when he mentioned what impacted him the most during that time was in Isaiah 40:31 where it says we will be given new strength when we wait on the Lord. That, too, was something that impacted me during this time. So many times I get weary or tired, sometimes I even get frustrated to the point of wishing I didn’t have to work with a bunch of rebellious teenagers (that may seem harsh, but it’s true). I realized that even though I read my Bible and pray regularly, I need to spend some genuine “away” time with God. I need to rest in Him, wait on Him, and trust in Him. He is the holder of my hope. In no one else will I find peace.

I really enjoyed this time. I will post a guide we used for you to use yourself. Try it. Get away from the business of life and spend some time with God. That is what HE desires.

The group: Chupa, Pedro, Fursio, Ana, Esteban, Gena.

Ana Yadira


Friday, February 03, 2006

Coffee Addiction

Pastor Marc from my home church in Poulsbo sends out an encouraging word each week in an email called "Just-a-Byte." I really enjoy it, it helps me to stay connected to home and know what's going on. Ocasionally, he'll put some jokes in, brain teasers, or some interesting thoughts within the content. This week he sent this...

You know you’re addicted to coffee if:
o You have to watch videos in fast-forward.
o You chew on other people’s fingernails.
o You can type sixty words per minute with your feet.
o You can jump-start your car without cables.
o You walk twenty miles on your treadmill before you realize it’s not plugged in.

Coffee, that sounds good!

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Worship Leaders

Please remember to pray for Chupa and Mili as they will be leading worship this Sunday. I will be sitting down to observe to see how I can help them. This is a big step for them, pray for confidence and passion to Worship God.