Monday, March 27, 2006

Interesting Quote

Billy Graham's daughter was interviewed on the Early Show and Jane Clayson asked her "How could God let something like this Happen?" (regarding Katrina) Anne Graham gave an extremely profound and insightful response. She said, "I believe God is deeply saddened by this, just as we are, but for years we've been telling God to get out of our schools, to get out of our government and to get out of our lives. And being the gentleman He is, I believe He has calmly backed out. How can we expect God to give us His blessing and His protection if we demand He leave us alone?"

Sunday Speaking

Sunday I had the opportunity to share at the 8 o'clock service at our home church. It's a nice service where we sing traditional songs and have communion each Sunday. I shared about Judas Iscariot's decision to choose his own selfish desires of greed over a continued relationship with Christ. In the end, he killed himself because he realized that what he did was wrong, but he didn't know how to handle his greif. It is interesting to me that he spent all that time with Jesus and never tried to get help for his "addiction." Granted, he was destined to betray Jesus, someone had to do it. But, this is such a picture of me when I give in to my selfish desires. Especially growing up, I used to beat myself into the ground and not forgive myself for my faults. Thank Jesus that we have forgiveness of sins and a hope for new beginnings and eternal life. We don't have to live in our "guilt." Paul says in Romans, "There is therefore, now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus and are called by his name."

The Past Week

Again, it's been real nice to be back with my family. We've had a pretty good week. We're pretty much settled in and starting on some of the projects that await us while we're here. We started working on our taxes and it looks like we'll finish that up this week. We've been doing a lot of things in the house, all couped up, going through mail, calling people and pastors, and we've had a couple of meetings to go to as well. So, on Saturday, we went on a much needed walk just the three of us down to the Bay...just minutes from my partents house. It was a nice walk. Rebecka kept on saying, "Thank you for the walk Papi (Daddy)." We got to the rocky beach and just hung out for a while, throwing rocks in the water and enjoying each other.

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

The Zoo

Yesterday was a nice, relaxing day. We went to the Woodland Park Zoo in Seattle. It was the first time Rebecka had been to the Zoo. She was so excited to see all the animals! "Let's go see the giraffes", "let's go see the elephants", "let's go see the tigers"... She had a wonderful, adventurous time. She was really fun to watch. When we were finished, we got into the car to go to dinner at the Spaghetti Factory, and she fell asleep within minutes. It was a long day for her. Along with us were my parents as well as my niece Trisha. It was a really neat time. We haven't been able to spend that much time with Trisha in a while so it was very special for us.

Two Weeks in Cofradia

I flew in on Saturday afternoon after spending a couple of weeks in Cofradia without Gena and Rebecka. That was pretty hard. The last couple of days were difficult to focus. However, the time there with the youth, staff and the two teams from Texas was great. I have posted already of the first week of activities, and last week we spent the time focusing on reaching out to the friends of those in the youth group. The first night for the second team was filled with games that our youth have already played. It was a lot of fun, and it brought the team and our youth together right away, preparing them for the next night. We played games one night and the next night showed a movie and shared about the spiritual aspect the movie portrayed. Then, we repeated what we had done in Cofradia in Santa Fe. It's nice to be back with my family and I'm looking forward to seeing other family members here in Washington, and our friends as well. If this blog reaches you, drop me a line so we can get together.

Digital Camera

I just got off the phone with the Alaska Airlines Baggage Service and they said they would not be liable for the loss of our digital camera...even though they lost my luggage. That is absolutely rediculous! In the fine print of the agreement we accept by buying a ticket, it says that the only thing they would be liable for are clothes and toiletries. So, we're out a digital camera. This, to say the least, is not the best news of the day.

Thursday, March 16, 2006

This Week's Team

This week has been a continuation of last week, only our youth have been the ones to invite others and bring them to the events. Sunday night was a game night for everyone to just have fun and get to know each other (the second team is a different and older group than the first team). Monday night was a basketball and volleyball hang out time and we had a number of new faces in the crowd. They were invited to a movie night on Tuesday, then after the movie to talk about the spiritual significance of it. Wednesday evening was another basketball and volleyball hang out time, but in Santa Fe. We haven't done much specifically for the youth in Santa Fe so this was new to a lot of the youth in that town. We had a few show up and we will be inviting them to a movie tonight. Tomorrow I travel with the team to Guadalajara where I'll be flying out on Saturday morning. Can't wait to see my family.

Oscar Night

Oscar Night was a very special night for everyone. The Americans did a great job of decorating and serving our youth a great meal. One of our students commented, "It was great to be treated special and made to be felt loved."

Inside the decorated church.

The girls' dinner table.

The guys' dinner table.

At the end of the evening, everyone got in their small groups they had been meeting in all week to have a time of prayer and good-bye's.

Game Night

Here are a few shots of some of the games the students played while getting to know each other and making friends.

Team Building Games: Everyone on the team had to stand on the tarp and flip it over w/o touching the cement.

Team Building Games: Try to see how many people you can get on a peice of carpet. I think there was 10.

Tossing water balloons back and forth with baby oil on your hands. Mexican/American partners.

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Update from Last Week's Team

I have not been real well about blogging these past couple of weeks (as you can see). I get to the computer and cannot find the words to express what has happened the past couple of weeks here in Cofradia. It's been great! Our camera was stolen while Alaska Airlines had lost my luggage on my way down, at first they promised a reimbursement, now they say there won't be. I'm very upset about that. Please pray that I will be able to communicate well and wisely with the director of the baggage center for the airlines. I have downloaded some pictures from other staff members onto the computer so I have a couple to show you.

I wrote last Tuesday just breifly about what the team was doing. Last week was a time to focus on our youth group...the one's involved. It was a great time. The youth from Texas made very good friends with our youth through games, movies, hanging out, and each night we had a small group time. As a youth pastor, I couldn't have asked for a better team. All of our youth were impacted last week and we even had some return to the fold, and others join. On Thursday night we had an "Oscar's Night" handing out 6 prizes to some of our youth who have been very faithful these past couple of years. It was a great evening and in front of everyone I had the privilage of encouraging all the youth that participated with us during the week. The Americans did an excellent job decorating the Arrayanes church for the evening from a red carpet entrance that went all the way to the street and into the church (about 20 yards), candles, christmas lights hanging from the ceiling, a VERY good dinner. Jay did a great job putting together a video of the events of the week, and Amber (a new staff intern) put together a slide show for a fill-in while we ate. It was definatley a night to remember and I can't wait to do it again next year, Lord willing!

...I'm having difficulties uploading pictures onto the blog. I'll try this afternoon.
...Also, I'll have a post about this week's events.
...We are eating in homes for lunch today (at least once a week we take a team into the homes of people in the village to have an authentic mexican meal) I need to go, it's getting close to that time.

Tuesday, March 07, 2006


Things are going very well here. The team showed up late Saturday night, and Sunday evening we had a youth event, played games, and divided up into small groups for the week. Yesterday the team started working on the new church property; taking out trees, digging trenches, hauling rocks. They are working towards putting the foundation in for the wall that will fence the property. In the evening, we got together in the small groups and played a bunch of team building games and had some debreifing time at the end. It's going very well. The team is doing a great job of developing friendships that last and getting to know the locals. When we were finished, the two guys' groups played speed soccer against each other on the new court. I haven't actually done that in a felt good!

Saturday, March 04, 2006

Lost, or...?

I went to get my luggage yesterday at a mail place. I got there the same time the truck did and I was delighted to see my bag. However, I get home and open it up and our digital camera was missing! The little case it was in, was sitting right there...empty. I was pretty disappointed that Alaska Airlines lost my luggage in the first place. Then, to receive it with items missing really upset me. I was very disappointed with the airlines. I called them to let them know our camera was gone and they said they would reimburse us. That's great, but it doesn't replace the photos that were still in the camera. Oh well, it's times like these that you just need to stop and's all gonna burn in the end. So, I'm going to see if I can borrow a camera from someone to take photos and put them on the blog. Looking forward to the team that's coming this afternoon. I had a bunch of the youth at the house last night and we watched Lancelot: First Night. It was a good movie to watch with them.

Thursday, March 02, 2006

Back In Cofradia

I'm back in Cofradia for a couple of weeks. I'll be working with a Short-term Missions Team from Houston who will focus on working with the youth. It should be a very productive and enjoyable time.

Gena and Rebecka are still in Washington and I miss them ALOT!