Monday, August 27, 2007


“Back to School”

What a night. This month’s LIFE NIGHT had the theme of “Back to School.” The youth leaders did a great job in everything they were responsible for during the service. I get more and more excited every time we get to do something together because they are stepping out in confidence and not afraid of new challenges. It was great to see Martin begin everything and make everyone feel welcome, especially the first time visitors, Sandra led a raffle give-away of a number of different school items, Chuy did the announcements, and Jose Luis led the “Quien Quiere Quinientos” game (a run-off of “Who Wants to be a Millionaire.” A part from that, they all four led a couple other ice-breaker games at the beginning. Mili and the rest of the youth band did a great job in leading worship and I did a great job in stretching a 10 minute message into almost an hour! (oops!). That didn’t stop just about every student coming forward for prayer. It’s amazing to me that each time we have one of these services, the youth flood the altars and are experiencing God! What was really neat about that was seeing youth praying for youth!

It was a real fun night and the message I gave had to do with God doing NEW THINGS in our youth group this next year and in our lives. I’m excited to see what God will do and the surprises he has for us. The next time we have a LIFE NIGHT will be at the end of October and the four student leaders will be organizing everything…I can’t wait to see what happens!

Saturday, August 18, 2007


I do not have words to express the excitement and amazement I feel and have for this group of students. Their growth in the Lord is becoming more and more evident in their lives; they are not the same group they were a year ago! Not to mention a few months ago! We are definitely blessed to have the privilege of working with them. My vision for the youth ministry from the beginning was for me to eventually oversee the ministry while the youth take charge in leading, planning, and following through. We are not to this point, but we are very close and headed in the right direction. That is one of the things which makes me really excited, to see the vision unfolding. PRAISE THE LORD!

This week our youth went to three different villages around Cofradía to hang out with the youth of those towns and do an evangelistic program with choreographies, dramas, worship, testimonies, and the rap band even did a song. They did most everything on their own and we were there to oversee it in order to answer their questions if they had any. I am very proud of what they were to accomplish. Thank you for your prayers!

On Tuesday, they took their program to Agua Aceda, an Indigenous village Cora and Huichol Indians. Ten years ago I did weekly bible studies in this village for about a year. It was great once again to see some familiar faces and meet some more of the children I used to play with who are now the youth in the town. One of those youth is named Colorado, he was only five years old when I used to walk the streets tickling him and his two brothers. Whenever I arrived, the three would point at me and say, “Gringo! Gringo!” I would point back at them and say, “Mexicano! Mexicano!” They loved it and Colorado’s delightful smile that extends from ear to ear has not changed. I got to talk with him a little and he mentioned that he is studying High School in Tepic (the capital of the State of Nayarit) along with his two brothers and a sister who lives there now. He told me that they are Christians and they take him to church when he’s there. What a blessing to hear! He has yet to make a decision for the Lord, but I believe he will very soon.

As for the youth’s program in Agua Aceda, it wasn’t without problems. They divided themselves into groups to go invite people and came back to play games while we set up the sound system and musical instruments. As they were playing games with music in the background, the two small speakers that were not working well to begin with, burned out. I drove back to Cofradía to get a different speaker, hooked it up and we were good to go. They soon began their program and as one of the students was giving his testimony, the power went out. They finished their program with a bullhorn we brought for “just in case.” Afterward, they hung out for a while playing soccer, volleyball, basketball, etc. What a site to see everyone having fun together!

The next day they went to Santa Fe, the village that’s just beyond Cofradía towards the mountains. At this time, we have one Family Group that meets there and a truck that goes to pick them up on Sunday mornings. There weren’t as many youth to come out, but the students were able to pray with most of them that came. This was something that really impressed me. When we told them to go around and pray for them, they didn’t hesitate, they did it! What an opportunity. A few reported that they prayed with some to receive Christ into their hearts for the first time! This is something that our youth will remember and it will strengthen their faith, helping them to be a good witness wherever they are.

Thursday was the final day and the program was held in Las Pilas, the town that you go through just before getting to Cofradía. It’s been a couple years since we’ve been to this town to do an outreach. Our goal was not primarily to preach the word, although we did, but it was to build relationships with the people. This town was the town that most of our students commented on the most during our debriefing time at the end of the three days. Lots of students and lots of adults came into the fenced basketball/speed soccer court to see the program. This place by far was the most open and it was amazing to see our youth again go out and pray with people. A number of people mentioned they would like to go to church on Sunday in Cofradía and have been anxiously awaiting a visit from us. I was greeted by a man that I met who I visited the last time we went; he was excited to see us. As the students went out to pray with the people after the program, Geña took the opportunity to talk with two ladies (a mother and daughter—adults) who were standing with her during the program. She prayed with both of them to receive the Lord and they even opened up their home for bible studies. What an opportunity! There is a church in Las Pilas!

Thanks again for praying for this time. The youth are taking ownership more and more of their group. The Lord is working in their lives, blessing them so they can be a blessing to others. They are definitely a blessing to us!
"Mucha Lucha" a choreography to the story of David and Goliath.
Pedro testifying of how God has been a part of his life.

The rap band "Fishers of Youth" performing in Santa Fe.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Jose Luis and Riki to Mazatlan

Jose Luis and Riki received their official acceptance letter today to YWAM in Mazatlan. They still are short $1500 US dollars each and do not have the resources like others who attend YWAM DTS's such as writing letters to friends and relatives, or having their home church as well as others support them financially. Even though the church in Cofradia is helping to a certain extent, we cannot cover their costs. Please consider how you can help. Click at this link for more information on their testimonies: and click here to donate to them; please specify “Cofradía Youth Scholarship Fund: Jose Luis and Ricardo”:

Rebecka's Birthday

Monday was Rebecka’s fifth birthday. She was so excited to turn five years old that for the past few months she would consistently ask if she was five yet in order to have her birthday party. There were around 15 kids and 10 adults over for barbecued hot dogs, cake, and a piñata. Hugo and Norma loaned us their trampoline which was the life of the party and all the kids had a shot at the piñata…even Emma! It was a fun night.

Julio and Mili

Julio (bottom row; second L to R)
Mili (top row; first L to R)

Last Saturday as we were finishing our short time in Mazatlán, we went up to La Cruz where Julio and Mili were finishing a five week Bible School. They had a graduation ceremony on Saturday night and we left the next morning for Cofradía.

Their time in La Cruz was unforgettable for them. I can testify to the change in their lives as Julio came out of his shell with strangers just like he did in the youth group last year. He made some really good friends and did not want to go home. What a change from when he arrived; alone, quiet, and separating himself from the group. The leaders of the school said that at the beginning, you couldn’t get him to talk, but after a few days, you couldn’t get him to be quiet…even at night!

Mili made friends right away and the change in her was more passionate. Whatever she does, she does it with passion and conviction. Listening to her pray is amazing! While we were at camp, she was on the winning team. Each year the winning team receives $5000 pesos to be divided amongst the team members. This year, the leadership suggested to have them donate the money to a little one year old girl that has leukemia and little hope if she doesn’t get to a doctor. As they were donating the money, Mili prayed over the little girl in front of the 100 plus students, all the staff, and the businesses from La Cruz who sponsor the camp. She did a great job!

As for their general activities, they were both part of dramas, sharing testimonies, leading worship, and preaching. I’m really proud of them and the leadership roles they are already taking in the youth group.


Last week we spent a few days in Mazatlán together for some family time. It was definitely a needed time and we enjoyed ourselves. We had planned this a while back and didn’t realize that hotels were so expensive at this time of year still. All the cheaper ones were full, this is the time of year that the nationals come from all over to vacation. So, we gringoed it the first night and first thing the next morning we went hotel hunting. We found one we had stayed at before and ended up getting one night free for going to one of those time-share thingy’s. It was long, but worth a free night! We were also treated as nationals at the place we went. They had a separate “deal” for the internationals and even a separate building to talk with them in. Either way, even being part of the national program, we were offered what would be equivalent of a new car! I couldn’t believe it! When I told them no, they insisted that we needed itJ. What surprised me even more was that they lowered the price more than three times of what they offered us at first. Still, we had and have no interest. To finish off the day as a national, we went down to the strip where guys jump off a rock into the ocean and ate dinner along side the road where all the vendors were. Between all of us we shared a hot dog, a pancake, a fried banana, chips, rice water, and corn in a cup for dinner.

We got to play in the pool which Rebecka and Emma loved; we played on the beach which Rebecka really loved; spend time together and eat out a couple of times which we all loved; and we even got to see some friends that I had made 18 years ago the first time I came to Mexico on a youth group missions trip! That was really neat! Noé and Martha Espinoza are pastors in Mazatlán and we haven’t seen each other for seven years. They are planting their third church and doing very well. I was a real blessing to see them and eat lunch together.

Here are a few pictures…
Rebecka (showing a shell she found) and Emma posing on the boardwalk.
Family pic at sunset
Dinner: the Hot Dog
Dinner: In front of the corn in the cup place, and Rebecka with her chips
Mommy and a very proud Rebecka with their sandcastle.

Tuesday, August 07, 2007


Last night we had our first planning meeting on our back porch for next week's evangelism outreaches. I still sit in awe as we see these four students take initiative, grabbing hold of the ministry and making it their own. I'm so proud of these students and can't wait to see what God does through them.

Camp Report

We're back in Cofradia and some of us are still recuperating from the late nights and long days at camp. God really touched some of the lives of our students at camp this year. It was the first time that we have had a group of students who are genuinely seeking God and it's so exciting to see them seek Him. It was very warm a couple of days and the bugs were very annoying, but that didn't prevent them from opening themselves up to what God had for them. I have had the chance to only talk to a few of them and they all say that this year was different and they don't want the excitement to fade away.

On our way home, we ran into some problems with our ministry van and Amber ended up driving 11 students back in the pick-up truck that had the luggage in it. We transfered the luggage to the van and Martin waited with me at the van for four hours on the toll road until help arrived. It was a long ride home and we were really happy to arrive back in Cofradia! Thanks for your prayers!

Wednesday, August 01, 2007


Hello friends,

I am having trouble sending this message out by email.

Thank you for your prayers over all the activities in July. It was definitely a full month, yet fulfilling in ministry. God is continuing to move in the lives of the youth and it’s very encouraging to me to see how many of them are taking on leadership responsibilities. I can’t explain to you how excited I am for our youth!

I asked you to pray for…

Rebecka’s speech on July 6. She did a great job! She also was part of The Dance of the Clowns along with her classmates. Here is a link to the post:

Julio and Mili at Bible Camp. Julio and Mili are doing AWESOME! They are with the students who are currently at summer camp right now and they are loving the bible school and learning a lot. You can see the excitement in their eyes and on their faces! Along with the three weeks of a “classroom” setting there are two weeks of application where they got to a certain town and do evangelism. Whether it’s door to door or a program in the center of town. They are learning dramas, sharing testimonies, leading worship time, and preaching. I’m really excited for what God is doing in their lives!

The Day Camp. On July 11 our four student leaders took some of the new students coming out of 6th grade on a Day Camp. They did a great job of organizing the event and leading it! They started out with a number of get-to-know-you games and other team building games. As they were doing some small group application time, we 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. To see photos, click on this link:

A FOR YOUTH night. For Youth is just a hang out fun night with games, activities, food and making new friends. We had 40 students turn out for this event and the students played, laughed, hung out, and ate 80 hot dogs. It was a nice way for the new students to get a “feel” of what it’s like to hang out with the youth group.

Soccer Tournament. This was a week-long event that was a lot of fun to be a part of. It involved 20 guys who played along with a bunch of onlookers from the youth group and town. We finished with a LIFE NIGHT and awards ceremony. It was neat to see the team captains taking on their leadership seriously. For a full report of the soccer tournament click on this link:
For pictures of the tournament click on this link:

A Youth Rally. On July 28 our youth worship band was invited to lead worship at a regional youth rally. They were a little nervous, but did a good job. This youth rally was amazing to me because I got to meet a number of local Christian pastors that are in our area. One of them I learned has a daily radio broadcast and another has a daily Television broadcast. It was really good for me to see how God is working in our surrounding areas that I didn’t know about. I believe God has some interesting plans in our future.

Finances for Jose Luis and Ricardo. Each of them need $1000 in order to participate in the school; they need an additional amount of a least $1500 each for the crusades during the second part of their schooling. Praise the Lord that the $1000 for each of them has come in which will allow them to attend the YWAM (Youth With A Mission) DTS (Discipleship Training School) in September. They still need at least $1500 each.

We also had a drama night on July 27 hosted by an intern that came down from Canada for a month. He teaches drama in a Jr. High School and taught our students some drama games. That was a lot of fun and it was great to see who has is skilled in that area. We now know who will be good for the evangelistic dramas during our outreaches in August!

Thank you for continuing to pray for our family and ministry. Prayer is VERY IMPORTANT! Here are some more things to pray about…

· Youth Summer Camp. Please continue to pray for our 14 students who are at camp right now. Pray that they would have open hearts, eyes, and ears for God’s call on their lives. Also, pray for Amber, Jonathan (Intern) and myself as their leaders (July 31-August 4)
· The preparation of some evangelistic outreaches our youth will do in other towns. (August 14-18)
· LIFE NIGHT “Back to School”. We will have our usual LIFE NIGHT with worship, games, testimonies, a message, and prizes (school supplies) focusing on going back to school. (August 25)
· EL RETO (THE CHALLENGE). It’s that time of year again! Every Saturday of September we’ll have the biggest youth event of the year where leaders refine leadership skills and students reach out to unreached students in a five-week Survivor/Amazing Race/Fear Factor style game. Please pray for the planning and that we would follow God’s lead as he develops our youth individually and as a group. (September)
· Continued inflow of finances for Jose Luis and Ricardo. They need at least $1500 each to finish the DTS. It’s possible depending on where they go for their crusade; they could need up to $3000 each! Please consider how you can help. Click at this link for more information on how to help out: and click here to donate to them; please specify “Cofradía Youth Scholarship Fund: Jose Luis and Ricardo”:
· Cofradía’s youth ministry general fund. God is doing something special in our lives here in Cofradía. Please consider sending a donation to help finance these events. Cofradía is a very small village (1000 pop.) and the church depends on people like you who believe in what God is doing in our lives and the lives of the youth. THE CHALLENGE game alone will need $1000 of support. That will include mostly the materials for the event and transportation; we want to take this into other villages and there will be six teams and they all need a driver (who sacrifices their time and money) for each team. We would love to some day have regular sponsors for this event in order to give students t-shirts. Click on this link to donate to “Cofradía Youth”:

Blessings to you all!
The Silbermans

Youth Camp

We have 14 students at camp this week. We'll be here in La Cruz de Elota, Sinaloa (one hour north of Mazatlan) until Saturday and the youth are doing very well. Three weeks ago we brought Julio and Mili here for a five-week bible school and they are participating at camp with us. It's great to see what God is doing in their lives. They are very excited to be at the school and are learning a lot. Please pray for us these next few days as the Lord speaks to not only our youth, but the other hundred that are from here, Mazatlan, Culiacan, and other places.



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! We are excited for what God has been doing in our lives and ministry. Thank you for being a part of our team and praying for us. May the Lord bless you!

We are all doing very well. Rebecka finished her first year of Kindergarten (2 years in Mexico) and gave the farewell speech to the Kindergarten grads on behalf of her class and participated in The Dance of the Clowns dressed up as a clown along with her classmates (middle of the above picture). She did a great job! Emma is growing and turning into a clown herself; she makes some of the funniest faces! They are such a joy to have and we are very thankful for them!

Pastor Gollo continues to preach on the radio and a number of people he has run into have mentioned they listen to him. This has been a great way to reach out to others who don’t live in Cofradía. The radio reaches way up into the Mountains to the unreached Cora Indians. Please let us know if you would like to participate in this ministry. One ½ hour show is $50 US dollars and Pastor Gollo goes once a week.

We hosted two Short-Term Mission teams in June along with some visitors who came down for their “Senior Trip.” Between the two mission teams, we have been able to finish the foundations of the classrooms and poor a couple of floors. The walls are continuing to grow and things are looking really good. One team focused on outreaches to the Cora Indians going to three different villages handing out carepackages to needy families. It was great for me to return to Agua Aceda and see some of the people who attended Bible Studies with me ten years ago. The little kids who gathered around me to sing songs are now the youth of the town—funny how God works—some of them are open to the gospel because of experiences of ten years ago. One of the believers, Herminia, mentioned she still reads her Bible to her kids and her oldest daughter who is living in the state capital now still prays every day. What a blessing to hear that report!

Another team focused on outreach evangelism in the streets or centers of towns with puppets, music, drama, testimonies, and a message. A number of our youth really got into this and are planning to do their own evangelism outreach the same way the Americans do in August. That will be lots of fun!

If you feel led to help by bringing a team or sending donations, contact us.

There is so much to report about the student minsitry. One of the neatest things happened in June as we took four students on a leadership retreat to study the book of Nehemiah. At the end we gave them homework; to plan a Day Camp for the new 7th grade students coming into the youth group this summer. They did a great job in planning the Day Camp and it was neat to see them starting to believe that they can be leaders too! A week later, we had a Soccer Tournament, the second one we’ve done. This time 20 guys signed up and it was fun all the way to the last goal of the Championship game. This was a great way to bring the youth from Arrayanes and Cofradía together and help them make new friends, especially the new 7th graders. I go more in depth on all the activities online at our internet journal. You can read more about what’s going on and see a number of pictures of the activities at this link: It’s been a lot of fun and a lot of work.


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 at the alternative missions’ website under the “Donate Online” tag as you place the mouse over the “staff” heading.
· Thanks again for being part of our team!


I started to study the book of Obadiah which led me to study the life of Esau and his descendants, the Edomites. Esau had made some poor decisions in his life. He was a man that when he was so hungry he sold his birthright to his younger brother Jacob for a bowl of lentil soup, giving up what God had given him and His blessing. Esau held a grudge against Jacob because Jacob had received the blessing of his father, Isaac. When Esau repented, he repented with such intensity even to the point of tears. It was too late, what had been done was done. He gave up the blessings of God for lentil soup. Many of us can relate to this story as we have blown it sometimes or see others blow it. We have to live with the consequences of our sin. There is forgiveness, thanks to Jesus Christ for obeying his Father and dying on the cross in our place. We are free when we are forgiven! However, the consequences many times are still with us and we have to live with them. Hebrews 12:16,17 gives us a picture of Esau’s sin, “See that no one is sexually immoral, or is godless like Esau, who for a single meal sold his inheritance rights as the oldest son. Afterward, as you know, when he wanted to inherit this blessing, he was rejected. He could bring about no change of mind, though he sought the blessing with tears.” (NIV) What kind of decisions are we making? Do we take for granted what God has given us? Are we willing to give up a life of blessings for “a bowl of soup”?

Written: July 25, 2007