Monday, January 29, 2007

VIDA Abundante (Abundant LIFE)

Our Friday night youth home group meeting went pretty well. We had around 12 students and we’re gearing up to a Student Leadership conference in a couple of weeks with the youth pastors from Houston. I’ve been focusing on purpose, leadership, and dedication to serving Christ. The study was from Luke 9:57-62 on Friday when Jesus had a conversation with three different men about following him. Three important things that Jesus mentioned were; Counting the Cost of following Christ (v.58), making Christ the First Priority in life (v.60), and Not Looking Back (v.62). We had a good time talking about what good leaders know how to do…FOLLOW. In this case, FOLLOW CHRIST. We had fun with the game “Follow the Leader” too.


We’ve finally got our little Ford pick-up legalized, licensed and we had a little body work done on it. It had some rust on the floorboard (you could see the ground through it), so a friend of ours welded in some sheet metal and we also had the seat re-upholstered. Everything turned out great and we’re excited about having a “Cofradía” truck. We have been using it a lot to run personal errands and ministry events when the base vehicles are not available. It’s perfect!

Re-uphulstered seat and newly welded floorboard

Nayarit license plate...yeah!!

Today's pics

Rebecka's serious look


Sunday, January 21, 2007

Houston, Texas

I am in Houston, Texas right now with a couple of very good friends from Cy-Fair Christian Church. Cy-Fair has gone down to Cofradia taking youth teams, men's teams, and just a couple of weeks ago they sent a women's team. Student Pastors Brad and Dave have organized an indoor youth retreat called D-NOW (Disciple-Now) and invited me up for the weekend to be the "special guest."

This is the first time I've been to Texas and I really like it here. The people I've met are really friendly. The church is a wonderful church, so if you're ever in the Houston area, I HIGHLY recommend visiting!

There were 85 students involved in D-Now this weekend, split up into 10 different small groups where they talked about sharing your faith as you live your life. Each group stayed at a host home where they spent the whole weekend until Sunday morning service. Brad and Dave and I went around visiting the small groups in their homes on Friday night and Saturday morning as they were working through the material they had with their speakers and sponsors. Saturday night everyone went to a concert at the church with The Afters. That evening they returned to their host homes and had communion. Sunday morning we had youth church where I led worship and shared a little about Cofradia and how the students are doing down there.

It's been a lot of fun! I fly back to Mexico tomorrow morning and I should be in Cofradia by tomorrow night.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Testimonies (Marcelina, Martin, Ruben)

In church on Sunday, we have a time when people come forward to give a testimony. There is a couple from the village of Santa Fe, Luis and Mari, who started to go to the village of San Diego about a month ago to visit and preach the Gospel. For a long time, I went there every week to do Bible studies and visit the bretheren there. On Christmas day when our friends Roger and Hazel Reeh were with us, we went to visit Marcelina.
Marcelina is in her 70s, she doesn't exaclty know how old she is. She is part Cora Indian and her family doesn't visit her that often. She lives in a stick house with no bathroom, she can't walk because of arthritic pain in her knees, she can't see because of a bad case of cateracs, and it hurts her to move her arms around. One thing she does have going for her is that she loves Jesus. When we went to do Bible studies, near the end we would do them in her house because she couldn't go anywhere. Before doing them in her house, we would go to visit her and read the Bible to her. Her favorite book is Phillippians.

Luis and Mari went to visit her last week and she had a testimony of what God has done for her lately....

"I started to pray that God would send the Christian brothers here again to visit me. Two weeks later Esteban (Steve) came to visit me with some of his friends, and now you're here (speaking to Luis). When Esteban was here, they prayed for me and you know what? I can stand up and it doesn't hurt my legs! I can lay down and move my arms all around and it doesn't hurt! I can sit at my bed, look out the door and see who's walking by and recognize who it is!"

God is good. He cares for our every need and he cares for the little old ladies who are hurting in remote areas of the world! Thank you for your prayers!

Two more testimonies are from a couple of students in Arrayanes. I asked them to write out a testimony of how God is using them to share their faith with others...

Ruben's Testimony...

"In my life, I have experienced problems just like any other teenager, but with the Lord’s help, I have been able to continue in my Christian walk.

In the journey of my life, I have experienced wonderful things. I started playing in a worship band, but as I was playing I noticed that worship music didn’t attract the youth of the world. So then, when my brother Martin came back from Bible school in Oaxaca, he talked to me about putting together a Rap music band. We talked to the missionaries about it and they said to go ahead with it.

I’m really excited about this. We started with using the church’s instruments, but we felt like we needed more youth to be involved. So we asked God to provide youth that wouldn’t be embarrassed to play in front of people and little by little, the youth started to show up. Some are just beginning to learn about the Lord and others have known God’s Word for a while.

Before starting everything, we thought of a name for our band and we decided on “Fishers of Youth.” We decided on that name because it's about youth and they can know what a good life is with the Lord.

This is what we’re doing for humanity because Christ loves us and he is Real. We continue to praise God in the good times and the hard times. The guys in our band and their instruments are: Martin-bass; Ruben-voice; Jesus-drums; Gregorio-keyboard; Fredi-voice; and Lorenzo-voice.

By the way, we need instruments for our band.

Ruben Dario Garzon Solis"

Martin's Testimony...

"Hello, my name is Martin; I am about to tell you what God is doing in my life.

First of all, God has made me a man of faith. Also, God has been working in my life as I go to Mojocuautla (an Indian Village) where we are teaching Bible stories. Through these Bible stories, the people are learning about the ministry of Christ here on earth.

Another way in which God is working in my life is to continue with the vision that He gave me. God has a special plan for my life. We’re also forming a Rap band with 6 of our friends. Through this Rap band, some youth are making decisions to follow Christ. Other things we do to reach out to them are climbing mountains--that aren’t too high, going fishing, we go camping down at the river, and we go hunting. Everything I do, I do it with God’s purpose and through these activities, the youth who have recently given their life to Christ can have better fellowship with one another. So then, I will give you a testimony of what happened to six of us when we went hunting.

We went to the woods, while we were there, we waited for nightfall. Before we did anything, we prayed for God’s protection and provision over our lives. We didn’t have any firearms, the only thing we used were dogs. Suddenly, we found an armadillo and the dogs were able to find where he went into his hole. So there we were, digging and digging. The ground was really hard so we decided on a plan—to have one of us put his hand in the hole where the armadillo was. That is what we did, because we couldn’t get the armadillo out. So, one of us put his hand in the hole until he felt the armadillo. He was able to grab the armadillo’s head, but he also felt something farther inside the whole and said, “there must be four armadillos down here!” Someone else said, “well, all we need is two more because there’s six of us!” But the animal we thought was the armadillo inside the hole started to make a sound as if he were mad, we know the sound of an armadillo…buf, buf, buf. Some said it was the armadillo and that he was mad, one of us said, “that doesn’t sound like an armadillo, it sounds like a snake!”

We continued confident there was no problems and we put our hands in to get the armadillo and suddenly, just as one of us thought, a snake came out of the hole! We were all startled! We were able to kill the snake that spooked us and it measured about 6 foot in length and about 3 inches in diameter! God was watching over us!

This is all the testimony that I wanted to share with you about what God is doing in my life.

Thank you and may God bless you.

Your friend,
J. Martin Garzón Solís"

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Latest pics

Just though I'd put up a few pictures so you don't forget what our kids look like:)

Lately, Emma has been tilting her head and smiling. I don't know if this means anything, but it sure is cute! Just a few minutes ago we were playing "I see you, I don't see you" behind a cereal box.

Luis (Rebecka's cousin) came over to play for a little while. Rebecka just took a shower and still has her towel hanging over her head. It's something she likes to do and pretend it's princess hair.

And no, we didn't forget to put a tree up this year. My Aunt Margie gave us her old Christmas tree and it couldn't be better suited for our house. It's tall and skinny. Our ceiling is high so that works well, and the corner it's in is a busy corner, so the skinniness is great! Thanks, Margie!

Monday, January 08, 2007


I haven't had much time nor much to say lately. It's been nice to see that some of the guys from the soccer tournament are still coming to church. Please continue to pray for some of the youth who have been around a while. A few have been making bad choices lately.

The family is doing well. Emma still has a little bit of a cold, but is still doing very well. Rebecka started her first day back to school today after the Christmas break. She's really excited about that!

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Youth Speed Soccer Tournament

Well, the soccer tournament is over and with all the activities of this past weekend; I haven’t had a chance to give you an update.

5 Teams with 5 guys on each team played against each other for 5 days. Our first organized sports tournament was a great success in bringing the two towns of Cofradía and Arrayanes together and opening doors for ministry. Each team had members from both towns and many of them made new friends and strengthened old acquaintances. It was a lot of fun to watch and be a part of.

We started on Tuesday, the day after Christmas and each team played two games a day. Out of the 5 teams, three played on Saturday for the Championship. There was one semi-final game (#2 vs. #3) and the winner played the #1 team in the Championship game. It was exciting! The semi-final game was decided by one goal, while the Championship game went into overtime and was decided by the first goal to be made. The #1 team stayed on top as they were in the whole tournament and won the Championship game.

After the Championship game, we had barbecued hot dogs and went inside the church for the service. One of the students has started a Rap Music band called “Fishers of Men.” They started the service with a couple of songs and they did pretty good. We then had a time of worship and we talked about being part of the “winning team”--God’s team. Many students came forward for prayer, either to receive Christ into their hearts for the first time, to renew their commitments to Him, or for a refreshing of the Spirit of God in their life. In the end we handed out the awards; certificates for the three best goalies and the three best scorers, we gave a brand new soccer ball to the one who scored the most, and we gave out trophies to each member of the winning team. Everyone really enjoyed themselves and not only were the students able to have fun and make new friends, but there were young people involved that the leaders got to meet who had never been to church before. This has created an open door for further witnessing! Great stuff!
Semi-Final Game (Los Cuau[green] vs. Arsenal[white])

Championship Game (Warriors[black] vs. Arsenal [White])
Ricardo Hernandez scored 26 goals and was awarded a new soccer ball
Los Guerreros (the Warriors) are the Champions! (Martin, Jesus, Fredy, Jose, Salvador[not pictured])