Friday, October 05, 2007

EL RETO FULL REPORT OF WEEK #5 (scroll down to see previous week's reports)

SEPTEMBER 29, 2007 (Cofradía Basketball Court)

EL RETO FINAL—The Final Challenge! It has been an event full of learning opportunities. After a busy week of planning, Saturday’s RETO FINAL went well. A number of things slipped through the planning cracks, but we were able to pull it off with the Lord’s help.

We had a late start out at the basketball court to start with the last leg of the race which led them to the mission base where we had a complete service with worship, skits, testimonies, preaching, prayer time, a final challenge, and a video of the past four weeks.

After taking roll call, the students had their final devotional time with their teams and soon began the last leg of the race.

They were to hop on these little bouncy-ball things for children from one end of the court to the other, then trade with one of their teammates. Six players had to participate, then they got a message that sent them to one of the staff houses. Here are a few great shots of the students bouncing around...
From there, they found a balloon of the color of their team with a note inside giving them directions all over town to finally arrive at another staff house. From there, they found the same thing, but the directions were very direct, sending them to the base for their final destination. In each clue, there were individual letters. With those letters, they had to form a certain word with one letter missing “S-I-?-U-E-L-O”. It was actually pretty easy—SIGUELO “Follow-Him,” was the theme for the event. It has a meaning of continuing on in the race of Christian life no matter what comes your way. It will be hard at times, but be encouraged to continue and “Follow Him.”
Once all the teams were at the base, we grouped together with a worship song, and then each team began to present their skits. They were very good this year and I was impressed with their creativity and ability to make the story of their name funny. All but one had proven that they spent a lot of time on this in preparation. Here are a few pictures of the skits...
The Crucified Ones' story was about Abraham taking his son Isaac up to the mountain to crucify him as God had told him to.


This was really hilarious when, instead of a lamb, God provided a cat to take Isaac's place. NOTE: Nothing bad was done to the cat!
The Persecuted Ones' story was when Pharoah's Army persued Moses and the Isrealites. This is a picture of when God parted the Red Sea.
The Wise One's story was about King Solomon. This is a clip of when two women who have babies come to the King. One of the babies was dead and it's mother stole the live baby. King Solomon said, "cut him in half" to find out who really was the mother. As soon as he said that, the real mother pleaded to let the other have it.

We continued with sharing some testimonies about good attitudes we saw in others during the whole month. Then, we went to the Word. I invited a pastor/friend from Mazatlán, Noe Espinoza, whose wife, Martha, I met the very first time I came to Mexico in 1989. It was so good to see them again and Noe shared his testimony of when he was a teenager and how God really turned his life around. It was so appropriate for our youth and when he was done, many of them came forward for prayer and were touched by the Lord.
Pastor Noe Espinoza

In the end, we had the RETO FINAL and then a 10 minute video of the whole month. I was unprepared for how the final challenge was to be played out. I remembered that I wanted to do it different from the questions we did last year because it all ended so suddenly. So we did it differently, but it still ended suddenly…no suspense to see who won. I’ve already got ideas for next year’s RETO FINAL and I think it will be better.

Two teams were very close in the end; Los Crucificados, and La Visión. Los Crucificados (The Crucified Ones) led by Martin won with just over 300 points more than La Visión (The Vision) led by the very young leader, Pedro. I was very proud of Pedro for doing such a fine job with his team. He has huge potential for being a phenomenal leader. The other four teams were at least 3,000 points behind both of these teams and didn’t have much of a chance in the Final Challenge.

One of the neatest things through all of this was being able to see the youth group coming together in unison. Many of them made friends with new students, no matter what team they were on. It was great to see four of the 12 students we picked up in Santa Fe and Las Pilas during the month continue to participate. One of them never missed a week and started to come to church on Sunday. He was the one I had mentioned before about who received Christ into his life!

Thank you so much for your prayers. This year’s event was successful in many ways. We are ready to be done and put these activities on the shelf until next year. It’s time to work on some debriefing of leadership skills, challenges we’ve faced, build upon the good and bad experiences, and regroup for the weekly Home Group meetings. It will be an exciting year!


  1. Sounds SO GREAT! I can't wait to be back there with all yall! Did you get videos of the skits this year?

  2. Sounds like a great week! I wish I was down there with you guys...but am glad that technology helps us to stay in touch.