Saturday, February 24, 2007

VIDA Abundante (Abundant LIFE)

Last night’s meeting with the youth was a lot of fun. They arrived at 5:30 and are really getting into playing catch with an American Football. I wasn’t playing with them this week because of a sore back, but they developed their own fun game of “keep-away.” It was neat to see all the girls getting involved too. At around 6pm, we had everyone come in and we started the evening’s message. We’re looking at the book, Chazown. It has to do with having vision in your life, or purpose. We focused on the beginning of the first chapter as a review because they’ve heard some of it already. It starts out talking about when we are in our last chapter of life, what will we be doing on our death bed? What will we be thinking about? Will we have no regrets? Some regrets? Or will we be full of regrets? We focused on the verse of Matthew 9:36 where Jesus had a compassion on the people because they were lost and “like sheep without a shepherd.” When we don’t have vision, or a sense of purpose, in our life, we are just like lost sheep without a shepherd. We just “exist” and get from one day to the next. Some of us may not even realize we’re lost.

We finished the evening with a video from Alex Campos. It’s a testimony of a young boy attending a military camp who makes some really good friends. One day while listening to a Veteran of War talk about the opportunity of having a Heavenly Father, he’s reminded of his own father who was very mean, disinterested in his life, and in a fight, killed his mom in front of him. So, he hated his father, “the last thing I want is another father!” Just about everyone received the invitation of having Jesus enter their lives except him. After they graduated, his friends went one direction and he another and felt abandoned once again. He hit rock bottom, looking for freedom and happiness. One day he received a note in the mail calling him to the front lines of the war. As he went met up with the soldiers, there were his two friends that he had made, it was a really special time for him. They shared with him about Jesus, but he never wanted anything to do with him. One day, out on the battle field, one of his friends stepped in front of him guarding his back from enemy fire and took a bullet in the chest, saving his life. He then realized what they always had talked about—the love of Jesus. Just like his friend taking the bullet in his place, Jesus died in our place. He then accepted Christ as his personal savior and was transformed. In the end, he went back to his invalid father and forgave him.

It was an amazing 18 minutes. Silence in the room. And I know that many of these students could relate to the guy in the video and his relationship with his father. We had a very good discussion in the end and had a time of separate guy’s prayer and girl's prayer. It was a great evening!



The Silbermans
Home: 9403 Tracyton Blvd.. NW *Bremerton, WA 98311 * USA * 360-692-2054
Field: APDO #19 * Tuxpan, NAY 63201 * MEXICO * 011-52-319-232-5172
Support: Steven & Efigenia Silberman * Alternative Missions * PO Box 5835 * Goodyear, AZ 85338 * USA

Greetings everyone! We pray that this letter finds you in good health and passionate about Jesus! Geña and I were just talking and it seems like just yesterday that we wrote you last. However, it was in November that we sent out our last newsletter, we are long overdue to tell you what God is doing here.

We are all doing generally well. We’ve had a few colds come through, but we’ve been able to manage. Our trip to Arizona to renew immigration papers was a lot of fun for all of us because my parents drove down from Seattle to Tucson to spend a couple weeks with us. My niece, Trisha also flew in for a week and we had an early family Christmas. Rebecka and Emma really enjoyed themselves with their grandparents and cousin. Then, during the actual day of Christmas we had another treat as our friends Roger and Hazel Reeh came to spend a couple days with us. What a blessing!

In December, five teams with five guys on each team played against each other for five days. Our first organized sports tournament was a great success in bringing the two towns of Cofradía and Arrayanes together. Each team had members from both towns and many of them made new friends and others strengthened old acquaintances, it was a lot of fun to watch and be a part of.

The Speed-Soccer Tournament started on Tuesday, the day after Christmas and each team played two games a day. Saturday was 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 Youth.” 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 who had never been to church before that the leaders got to meet. This has created an open door for further witnessing! Great stuff!

In January, I was flown up to Houston, Texas to be the “special guest” at an indoor youth retreat called Disciple-Now or D-NOW. It was a great experience and I learned a lot. One of the purposes for going was to see if we could do something similar in Cofradía. It may not be exactly the same because of the culture, but it would be nice to implement the ideas developing a greater sense of community within the group.

In February, the same pastors I went to visit in Houston came down to speak at our second annual Student Leadership conference. It was a great time of getting the students to open up and think about their faith. The theme was “Authority.” What is it? What does it look like? It was interesting to see the students’ opinions of authority being a bad thing, but when you realize that we live under God’s authority, that means he loves us, he protects us, and he is always taking care of us. Many were able to see the difference and have a new viewpoint of Authority.

VIDA Abundante (Abundant Life) This Friday night youth meeting has been going very well. It meets in our home and we try to make it a place where everyone is comfortable to be able to share what’s on their heart. We worship, give testimonies, study the Bible, do activities, and have a time of prayer in the end.

Noche de VIDA (LIFE Night) This is our once a month youth event. This event is becoming more of a facilitating role for me rather than leading everything. It’s exciting to see the growth of the youth in their leadership of worship and preaching. We are also getting the adult sponsors more involved in the planning. This is a lot of fun for me because I get to see other people having an opportunity to do what I love doing and it’s great to see their growth.


May the Lord bless you all,

Steve, Geña, Rebecka and Emma Silberman
Missionaries to Mexico
Alternative Missions

Thank you for continuing to be part of our team and supporting our ministry. If you haven’t yet joined our team of supporters, please consider joining.

· Send to:
Alternative MissionsPO Box 5835Goodyear, AZ 85338
· Checks made out to ALTERNATIVE MISSIONS
· Send a note on a separate piece of paper indicating that it is for Cofradía Staff Members: Steve and Efigenia Silberman.
· You can also donate online. There is a link to the right of this page that says, "Donate to the Silbermans online."
· Thanks again for being part of our team!


“It’s truth that sets you free, not the knowledge of error.”
Neil Anderson

Written: February 21, 2007

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Student Leadership Conference

The Student Leadership Conference was GREAT! We started on Thursday night with an introduction meeting over really good tamales. We had 21 youth and 9 adults in our house! A lot more came than we were expecting, but it was a really good time. Pastors Brad and Dave talked about “Authority.” They did a great job of getting the students involved and bringing to light the way the world views authority and contrasting it with God’s authority. They asked the question “Why?” Why do we have authority? And the bottom line is LOVE! We have rules and guidelines we set for our children to live under because we love them. The same way with God, he has given us some guidelines to live by to keep us on the right path.

The next night they elaborated a little more on the whole idea of God’s authority and what that looks like to us, for us and through us. Saturday morning they had a time with the leaders of the church, and in the evening we had a worship experience Monk style. Something called Lectio Divina. This is a reading of the scriptures over and over, meditating on the words or phrases that jump out at you, asking God questions about those words and listening for His input in our life. It was a really neat time that some of the students were able to capture and learn from. The verse that was used was Zephaniah 3:17.

What a great time of speaking into the lives of students and it has given us more open doors to follow up and help the students in their walk with God.

Monday, February 05, 2007

Next Weekend...

We look forward to this weekend having Brad Pembleton and Dave Chavez from Houston to lead us in a Student Leadership Conference. This is the second year we’ve done it and it’s been a great motivator for the youth. The meetings will be Thursday and Friday nights, most of the day Saturday and Brad will preach on Sunday. Please pray for openness and attentiveness with the youth. I’m concerned that many of them don’t really have a “relationship” with Christ. They say they’re Christians, and have accepted Christ into their hearts, but I think back to the last two weeks of our youth home group studies where we’ve talked about the cost of following Christ in Luke 9:57-62 and how they've listened and/or responded (or the lack thereof). Someone once said salvation is free, discipleship is costly. Pray that the youth would cross the line into being a disciple of Christ instead of being saved “by the skin of their teeth” (if that’s possible??). Thank you Lord for your GRACE and MERCY! It's refreshing to know that God looks at our hearts.

Weekend in Review

We’ve had a few late nights this week. Starting with Thursday Night/Friday morning, we gathered about 10 of the youth to serenade one of the youth girls just after mid-night. The next evening after the youth home group, we went to her birthday party and we got to bed a little earlier, but still late. Then on Saturday there were over 20 of us who went to La Fuente in Tepic to a concert. It was really neat at the end when a couple of our youth went forward; one especially whose name is Beto. I went to pray with him and he said it was the first time he has taken a step towards Christ. He has had some identity problems due to being wounded emotionally and I was proud of him for going forward to pray. We got home around 12:30am. I was pretty tired for the Sunday services; Sunday is always a long day for me doing two worship services. Needless to say, I crashed on Sunday night and finally, unwillingly got up this morning around 7:30.

Thursday, February 01, 2007

Noche de VIDA (LIFE Night)

I haven't posted about our Saturday night meeting because I was waiting for some pictures. Here's the report...

Our once-a-month youth event was a lot of fun on Saturday night. We had over 40 students who were there and stayed. Amber put together a video of the Soccer Tournament we had during Christmas time (they always love to see themselves on the big screen); The youth band led worship and did a great job, they even did some new songs that are really hard to do! I was really proud of them. We also had a game called “¿Quién Quiere Quinientos?” or “Who wants five hundred?” Pesos that is. It’s a run-off of “Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?” We had questions about the Bible and ONE participant. As they answered questions, the peso value doubled. We started with one peso and the poor guy that played only got to question #3 and lost everything. He normally doesn’t go to church, but everyone who wanted to play put their name in a hat and Rebecka pulled the name out to see who would play. We gave him a prize for participating though. One of the Americans who is on a construction team here right now brought down a bunch of prizes so we gave those away as well. It was a lot of fun and we’ll probably continue to do that game in the future. The money they win will go to a savings account called LIFE Investment where the youth can individually save up for retreats, camps, and other youth functions. We had another one of our youth, Martin, preach for us. It was the first time we’ve had one of our own youth preach at a LIFE Night. He did a really good job and the youth seemed to pay attention to his message of ”Making Decisions.” During our prayer time, many students came forward with petitions like; “I want Christ to live in me” or “I would like it if God took away my desire to drink (alcohol)”. We even had some students praying for one-another. It was a great evening.
To finish off the night, Ruben and Martin’s Rap band called Fishers of Youth did a couple of songs. It’s hard to understand what they’re saying, but it’s very encouraging to see them stepping out and reaching youth for Jesus. Half of the band is made up of students who have just been going to church for a short time…since our game THE CHALLENGE, the Soccer Tournament, and Martin’s return from Bible school in Oaxaca. Great things are happening and the youth did a great job on Saturday.