Wednesday, July 25, 2007

A Friend's Thoughts

Jeremy Dyck who works in the Alternative Missions head office in Phoenix shared some funny thoughts this week and I thought it was worth posting...

1. Cows
2. The Constitution
3. The Ten Commandments

Is it just me, or does anyone else find it amazing that our government can track a single cow born in Canada almost three years ago, right to the stall where she sleeps in the state of Washington? And they tracked her calves to their stalls. But they are unable to locate 11 million illegal aliens wandering around our country. Maybe we should give each of them a cow.

The Constitution
They keep talking about drafting a Constitution for Iraq . Why don't we just give them ours? It was written by a lot of really smart guys, it has worked for over 200 years, and we're not using it anymore.

The Ten Commandments
The real reason that we can't have the Ten Commandments posted in a courthouse is this: You cannot post "Thou Shalt Not Steal, "Thou Shalt Not commit Adultery", and "Thou Shall Not Lie" in a building full of lawyers, judges and politicians. It creates a hostile work environment.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Tournament Pictures

Here are some pictures of the soccer tournament in the order of the report in the last post.

All four teams together

Los Correcaminos (The Roadrunners)

Los Arremangadores (Those Who Wipe Out Everything)

Los Pequeñines (The Little Ones)

Los Vencedores (The Overcomers)

Ruben--Hospitality Oscar Award

Ana-Hospitality and Service Medal

Pedro-Hospitality and Reaching Out Medal

Carlos-Most Goals (28)

Jose Luis-Best Goalie

Los Correcaminos-CHAMPIONS

Martin-Best Sportsmanlike Conduct Trophy

Monday, July 23, 2007

Summer Youth Soccer Tournament Report


This was our second official Soccer Tournament for the youth. Tuesday through Saturday four teams of five guys played their hearts out. Unfortunately, this time the teams were pretty uneven and you could see who was going to win the Championship game from the start, but that didn’t stop the runners up from putting the Championship game into overtime. Just like last Christmas, the tournament ended with huge excitement and the underdogs almost won.

The four teams each had a captain who is either a student leader or a very good soccer player that can lead a team. We emphasize to them that they are “mentors” to their team and have freedom to pastor them spiritually. They all take this serious and have a lot of fun. It’s a great experience for the captains to gain more leadership experience and skills. One team did not win any game, however, the team captain was voted by the participants to receive the Best Sportsmanlike Conduct Award because of his positive attitude and encouragement to others.

Saturday evening we had a LIFE NIGHT and Award’s Ceremony. We gave away a number of Awards:

**Hospitality Oscar Award for showing Hospitality to the American groups that come for Short-Term Missions. That Award went to Rubén.

**We gave out two Medals to students who we wanted to recognize for their help with the Short-Term Missions teams: Ana received an award for helping set up before the teams came but was unable to greet the teams because it was late when they arrived. Pedro received an award for being hospitable to youth from other towns; having a missionary attitude by making friends with them on outreaches instead of hanging out with his own friends or “comfortable” crowd.

**We also gave out awards for the three best goalies and the three highest scorers: José Luís was the best goalie with the highest percentage of saves and Carlos was the highest scorer with 28 goals, breaking the last tournament’s record of 26.

**The Championship team Los Correcaminos (The Roadrunners) won every game they played sweeping the competition. They did a great job and are great players.

**Finally, the Best Sportsmanlike Conduct Trophy was awarded to Martín, the captain of Los Vencedores (The Overcomers) who did not win any games, but made it to the last day by overcoming discouragement. Martín, a Student Leader, did a phenomenal job of keeping the team unified and from not giving up. We focused on attitudes all week and how we need to have the attitude of Christ…humbleness, not thinking of ourselves first, but others first and serving one another.

The tournament was successful in bringing towns together and students making new friends which opens up the door for evangelism. After the message at the Life Night, we had people raise their hands who wanted to receive Christ into their life for the first time. Two students raised their hands and we prayed all together. It was the first time ever that one of those students had been to a church event with us. Please pray for Carlos and Aidé for a continued desire to know Christ and an understanding of their New Identity.

EXTRA NOTE: After the Championship game, Los Jefes (“The Chiefs” or “The Bosses”) played a game against the winning team. Los Jefes consisted of: Pastor Gollo; Missionary and Director of Alternative Missions—Cofradía Dave Elías; Missionary and Director of the Indigenous Ministry Jay TenBrink; Missionary and Director of Student Ministries (myself); and Missionary Intern Jonothan Green. Basically, the “old” guys (the youth's words) against a very tired Championship team and the “old” guys WON, 9-7!

Friday, July 20, 2007

Youth Soccer Tournament

Just to let you know that we're really busy with a Soccer Tournament right now. Today was the last day; tomorrow will be the play-offs and finals followed by a LIFE NIGHT meeting in the Arrayanes Sanctuary. It's been a fun week. It's neet to see the students from Arrayanes and Cofradia come together with this and it's really interesing to see how God is working in the leadership of the Captains (students). There are four teams and five guys on each team. I hope to have an update by Monday of the Tournament. Stay tuned...

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Youth Day Camp

Our four student leaders took the new students coming out of 6th grade on a Day Camp yesterday. We got to Tepic, Nayarit in the morning and they had a number of get-to-know-you games and other team building games. As they were doing some small group application time, we (Amber, Gena, and I) got their lunch ready and we all ate together. After lunch, Martin shared a short devotional they followed that up with each of them (the four leaders) giving some testimonies of how they felt when they first came in to the youth group. After that there was some free time; we just hung out, played games, and went to see the mini-zoo that's in the park. Here are some photos...
A fun "rolling the toilet paper with your nose" game.
Devotional time
Martin sharing

Rebecka's Speach

Last Friday Rebecka gave her fare-well speach to the Kindergarteners who were graduating. She did a great job and received a number of compliments. I was videotaping so we didn't get any pictures...bummer! But, we got video! We also have some pictures of the younger kindergarteners (Rebecka's class) doing "The Dance of the Clowns" for entertainment. It was a lot of fun.

Luis (cousin); Rebecka; Aylin (friend)

The Dance

Thursday, July 05, 2007

Nehemiah Speaks

God is still speaking to me through the book of Nehemiah. We studied it a month ago and I just didn't want to put it on the shelf; there is so much in it!

Last week I was reading chapter two and stopped when I reached the point when Nehemiah was talking with the King (which is right at the beginning) and asked permission to go back to Jerusalem. It was interesting putting myself in the King’s “shoes” and wondering what he was thinking. Nehemiah had to have been trustworthy in order to be a cupbearer, he was very important to the King. So I was thinking about how I would feel if one of my most trustworthy students came to me and asked permission to go somewhere and study or whatever (basically leaving a “position” of leadership in the youth group). I was impressed with the King’s response by allowing Nehemiah to go. It doesn’t say anything about the King’s trust in the Lord in that situation; it just says that his wife was at his side (maybe to talk it over with her??). Anyway, for me it would be a trust issue in order to find a “replacement” for a “position.” We have lots going on this summer and especially in September so I will need lots of help and staff (student leaders too). One of the student leaders, Jesus Alberto, is someone who will be helping, however, yesterday I learned he might be wanting to go to a Bible school or something like that soon. So, I thought about the issue with Nehemiah and the King again. I will trust in the Lord, no student is “mine.”

Worship Matters

Worship Matters is a web-site that a friend and Worship Leader from Bellingham, Washington, Mike Weston, started. He has some great thoughts on Worship. I have put a link to his site at the right, take some time and check it out.


We just sent out an email to most of you updating you about this past month. If you do not receive our emails and would like to, please click here.

Hello friends,

This past month has been very busy starting with the Student Leadership Retreat followed some visitors from Texas and 2 short-term mission teams. This week is Graduation week for the kindergarten, elementary school and Junior High. It’s been a great month of ministry!

The Student Leadership Retreat’s wake is still strong. The four leaders have prepared a day camp for the new students who will be entering the youth group this summer and are taking on leadership roles in and out of church amongst the youth. We are so proud of them, the chemistry is incredible. We had a movie night with the leaders (a part of the retreat that we didn’t do) a couple days ago watching and discussing the film, Remembering the Titans. What an inspirational movie about team unity and leadership!

We also had some visitors from Houston, Texas come down to hang out during their Senior Trip! Yes, for their Senior Trip they wanted to come to Cofradía! These are some friends from Cy-Fair Christian Church who have been very instrumental in building relationships with the people of this area, mainly the youth. They were down in March as a Short-Term Mission team as they have done for the past four years and came down again this June for “vacation.” It was a lot of fun and our youth really enjoy it when they come.

We only had two Short-term Mission teams this summer. The first one was a group of adults and a few students from Colorado who are really interested in the outreach to the Cora Indians that live close to us in the hills. They worked very closely with missionary Jay TenBrink as he heads up that ministry. One of the villages they visited to hand out care packages was Agua Aceda, a village I used to go to weekly. It was great to see some old friends and I was really impressed to see that some were still walking with the Lord, reading their Bibles and praying! The little kids that always gathered around me as we sang songs are now the youth in that village and a number of them have expressed interest in being part of the youth group and going to camp. It’s interesting how God works; I never realized how our efforts of 10 years ago could have an impact today.

The second team was from Washington who comes down every two years. They went around to different villages to do Evangelistic outreaches in the centers of towns. I did my best to hang in there, but I was not feeling well the whole time they were here. Thanks to Jay, he covered for me on Friday night, I just could not sing because of a sore throat and bad head-ache. The report from our students was very good on how they were able to make friends with the Americans on the team.

As for our family, we have not done so well with our health this month. As I mentioned, I wasn’t feeling well for a week, really, I’ve been extremely tired physically and needed a couple days rest. Rebecka has had a cough for a couple of weeks and Emma was not feeling well either running a very high temperature. Geña has been doing very well and hasn’t been sick at all and has been very busy with a number of different things. At the moment she’s making a costume for Rebecka for the Kindergarten Graduation which will be on Friday the 6th. In Mexico, Kindergarten is two years. This is Rebecka’s first year, she still has one more year left and will be giving the farewell speech to the students who will be graduating.

Thank you for continuing to pray for our family and ministry. Prayer is SO IMPORTANT! Please pray for…

· Rebecka to not be shy or afraid to give her farewell speech (July 6)
· Julio and Mili who will be at a Bible Camp for five weeks (July 9-August 11)
· The Day Camp that the student leaders are putting together for the new students (July 11)
· A FOR YOUTH night which will be the first youth event with the new students. For Youth is just a hang out fun night with games, activities, food and making new friends (July 13).
· A youth soccer tournament that reaches out to unreached students, helps others in the leadership roles, and brings different towns together (July 17-21)
· Our youth band who has been invited to do worship at a youth rally in another town (July 28)
· Youth Summer Camp (July 31-August 4)
· The preparation of some evangelistic outreaches our youth will do in other towns (August)
· Finances for Jose Luis and Ricardo who will be going to a YWAM DTS in September, they need a minimum of $2500 each and have not received any donations yet.

Blessings to you all!
The Silbermans