Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Cy-Fair Team; Construction Project

At the beginning of the week, the local workers had everything prepared for them.

For three days, they tied rebar until it was prepared for the pouring of the roof/floor.

Thursday, after 3 hours of work, lifting 78,000 lbs. of cement, they finished the job. It was a lot of fun having the church come out to help that day!

Cy-Fair Team; Day Six (Mar. 20)

Day five was work in the morning and free time in the afternoon. The girls made crafts for the next day’s events and the guys played speed soccer in Arrayanes. Day six was a HUGE day. This was the final day the team was to be here with us and the work project was to pour the roof—14 cubic meters of cement! We have a cement mixer, but we had to lift the buckets up to the roof for it to be poured. 78,000 lbs. of cement in 3 hours! It was an amazing day!

That evening, there was a banquet/awards night. The awards were for our youth as we recognized them for their achievements in the past year. We only were able to give out 5 awards, and I wish we could have given out more! We have such an awesome youth group! The awards were the following:

Most Improved Band Member: Gregorio “Gollo” Hernández.

Gollo has been a part of the band since the beginning as he learned how to play the bass guitar. Now he’s learned how to play acoustic and electric guitars and drums! We gave him the award for his attitude and willingness to step in at drums when we lacked a drummer. He was willing even though the confidence level was low. He has done an excellent job and by far is one of our best musicians!

Spirit Award: Pedro Salaiza

Pedro has been part of the church since he was a little kid. His mom, Ramona, was one of the first (sometimes only) attendees over 10 years ago. Pedro has grown up in the church and has a willingness to participate in anything. He’s grown a lot in the past year, not only in Spirit, but in leadership as well. What an awesome young man!

Servant Award: Jose Isabel “Cheche” Soto

Cheche has grown a lot this past year. He deserves this servant award because he’s always willing to serve. He doesn’t complain, on the contrary, he’s always asking how he can help and looking for opportunities to serve. His heart for the Lord is revealed in his actions! He’s a gem!

New Generation Award: Aidé Adilene Garzón

This award is new this year because we focused a lot on the new students that entered the youth group from elementary school. Aidé has huge potential to be a great leader in the youth group—we can all see it! Her soft worshipful heart is contagious and encouraging. What a blessing to have in the youth group!

Braveheart Award: Jesús Alberto “Chuy” Hernández

This award is the biggest of them all. It tells you that he has had a courageous heart and has been brave at stepping outside of his comfort zone to serve God. He has taken the biggest steps out of anyone in the youth group this past year. There are too many things to name that he’s accomplished and been a part of to list. He’s been a very good friend to me personally and is such a joy to have around. Chuy is worth bragging about! He wants to go to Bible College in August if the funds come in for him and I can’t say enough about this guy and his sensitive heart for the Lord. He’s VERY shy and doesn’t compromise his faith! WOW, What a guy! Thank you, Lord for allowing me to experience life with Chuy around!

We were also able to recognize the Student Leaders who have helped out so much this year: Chuy, Sandra, Martin, Jose Luis, and Julio. I can’t put into words the joy and excitement of being able to work with these students! Praise God!

Thank you Cy-Fair for your help this week!!!

Cy-Fair Team; Day Four (Mar. 18)

Work project in the morning and the outreach in the afternoon was again, taking the Kingdom of God to someone. This time, it was a town; the town right before you get to Cofradía called Las Pilas. They have a park at the entrance of town that you never see anyone at because it’s all overgrown with weeds and it doesn’t look very good. We went out to clean the park and in two hour we had the whole place cleaned and we burned the garbage. I was personally amazed at how much the students were able to accomplish! I didn’t think we were going to be able to do it! It looks great! Another win!

Here are some pictures...

Everyone worked!
The play structure before (notice the brush to the left).
The play structure after (notice no brush to the left--or right!)
The plaza during clean-up.
The plaza after clean-up.
The group that helped bring the Kingdom of God to Las Pilas.

Cy-Fair Team; Day Three (Mar.17)

Their work project began. They were to tie re-bar all week in preparation for “The Pour” on Thursday morning of 14 cubic meters (a lot!). So, their next three mornings were spent on the roof of part of the education wing tying rebar.

The outreach in the afternoon was an Amazing Race style event. Only, the purpose was much bigger than trying to win. In the end, we decided not to name a winner so that what they just experienced would stay in their minds. Here’s what happened…

There were two guy teams who had a race designated for them, and two girl teams who had a race designated for them. The guys had to work together to figure out the clues that were in mixed Spanish/English language. Once they figured it out, they had to either perform an activity or go somewhere. Their race looked like this: They started at the church in Arrayanes and had to fill up a trash bag with garbage that was on the property and along the streets, and then they had to take that garbage bag to someone’s house, turn it in for a new bag. At the house, they were all to milk a cow and get at least one ounce before the next participant could try. This was definitely a challenge for some, and for others it was old school. Once everyone on their team had milked the cow, they had to run to the river (a five minute drive), go downstream, and fish. They needed to get 10 fish out of a mostly dried up riverbed. Martin, a student leader, is known as a Fish Whisperer now. He told us, “I’m going to corral the fish together to make it easier for the guys, if there isn’t enough fish, I’ll go to another spot to get some and put them in the designated area.” We were amazed! He not only corralled the fish to make it easy, but he did exactly what he said he would, he went to another fishing hole to get more fish. That way, each team caught ten! Then, in order to get the knife to clean the fish, they had to put all of the books of the bible in order (again, mixed Spanish/English). Then, they got a ride back to the Arrayanes church where they had to find a clue that was hidden on the property, make a goal on Pastor Brad, clean/sweep half of the soccer court, then take the fish to their final destination—a family in town who has shown interest in Christ, but have not taken more steps to follow Him.

The girl teams started out cleaning Town Hall, and then they took a picture of their team together at the new well in town. From there, they had to go back to the church to clean the sanctuary or children’s classroom. Once they did that, they had to play the “hip” game asking for the flour to make tortillas. After that, they went to the house where the cow was and each one on the team also milked the same cow, getting at least one ounce of milk. From there, they went to the same house as one of the guys teams and made tortillas and cooked the fish the guys caught at the river.

All of this running around and activity to learn how to work together as a team led to them making a meal for the family. This way they were to bring the “Kingdom of God” to that family, serving them. That is something that both of our youth groups have been talking about—taking the Kingdom of God to others—Loving God, and Loving others! It was a definite win!
Here are some pictures from the RACE...

The girls cleaning Town Hall.

One of the Americans milking the cow.

The guys running to the river to fish.

Aide finding the "hidden clue."

Sandra teaching one of the Americans to make tortillas.

Group Picture from Day Two

Monday, March 24, 2008

Cy-Fair Team; Day Two (Mar. 16)

The morning service was normal with Pastor Gollo preaching and the Cy-Fair team did a great job leading the Children’s Sunday school classes. That evening, we had group games in the new church facilities as they got to get to know each other a little better. We took a group photo which was printed out and put on mattes as a gift from our youth group to theirs. One of the neatest things was Sandra’s idea to make bolis for the group. A boli is usually frozen cool-aid in a little bag—kinda like our homemade pop-cycles—only better. Other flavors include chocolate milk, coke, and any fruit you can get your hands on. Sandra and Amber made 90 bolis for their youth group and ours to enjoy. The flavor was the best one—rum extract (non-alcoholic). Bolis, better known as “God’s teardrops” by the Pastors at Cy-Fair, are VERY good! Great thinking by Sandra!

The Bolis

Some girls from both groups hanging around and enjoying their bolis.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Cy-Fair Team; Day One


The youth decided to invite the Cy-Fair youth short-term mission team to our weekly Abundant LIFE meeting on Saturday night. The team had just arrived from getting into the airport after a late flight from Houston to Mazatlán; our youth went to the mission base to greet them and invite them to a “normal” weekly meeting. There were only two things that were not normal about the meeting: 1) barbecued hot dogs, and 2) having the team. What a great way to start the week!!! We were able to hang out for a while and all the youth (Mexican and American) were conversing back and forth, getting to know one another, reacquainting friendships, it was beautiful!
Hot Dogs for Everyone!
The Girls getting Reacquainted

Just after 6pm, we started with a game. Sandra, a Student Leader, headed up a game that was a conversation between the two youth groups. The Mexicans started by saying “Welcome”; the Americans proceeded with “Thank you …” The game’s twist was that in the competition between guys and girls, the Mexicans spelled out the words in English to the Americans and the Americans spelled out the words in Spanish—using ONLY THEIR HIPS. It was funny!
The HIP Game

Martin, another Student Leader, shared from Corinthians about running the race of life and not giving up when obstacles come our way. Jay helped out with the translation and did a great job!
Martin (in the distance) sharing with Jay interpreting

We had three small groups at the end led by Sandra, Martin, and Chuy (another Student Leader). It was amazing to see the transparency already forming amongst the two nations. What an exciting time as they talked about their daily struggles of “running the race.”
Girls' small group discussion
Guys' small group discussion with Chuy
Guys' small group discussion with Martin


Tuesday, March 18, 2008


The Construction project of the new Centro Cristiano has been moving right along. A lot has been accomplished in the past few months! Here are a few pictures of what it looks like right now before the March short-term Mission teams come through. It's getting really exciting!
The sanctuary walls continue to rise and are almost at their final height!
Our local construction crew working hard to prepare the education wing for our March teams.
Toddler classroom
Classroom #2
Classroom #3
Bathrooms: Women straight ahead; Men to the right.
Men's restroom
Women's restroom
A view of the education wing from the sanctuary platform.

Friday, March 14, 2008

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

February Update

Greetings everyone!!!

We had a full month in February with a lot of activities. The sun has been out every day, but it’s still a little cold getting down into the 50s at night. Our family is doing well, we have had a little experience with colds, but we’re doing better.

Last month, we asked you to pray for…
* Ricardo and Jose Luis. Both Ricardo and Jose Luis have returned to Cofradía and they have expressed that the biggest thing they learned was how to listen to God and spend time alone with him each day. Jose Luis is the first person in our ministry here in Cofradía to be a missionary in a foreign country. His experience in Tunasia, Africa was unique to here because they were not able to openly share their faith; secret police constantly asked them what they were doing there. What they did was walk the streets, talk and make friends with people and take advantage of the open doors God would give them in that Muslim community. He has made a couple of friends that he continues to be in contact with from Africa, so the doors are still open. Great news!

* Student Leadership Conference. Pastors Brad Pembleton and Dave Chavez from Houston, Texas came down on Valentine’s Day and spent the weekend talking to our youth about where the Kingdom of God is and what it looks like. Many of the students were able to identify where it is and what it looks like. On Saturday night it all came alive when we walked through the village and stood in front of certain homes and places talking about how we can show God’s love to the people who are associated with those places. A big one was along the road just past the Jr. and Sr. High school where there was lots of trash that people just throw on the ground (something very common here). Many of them were able to see how they can show love to God’s creation and the town by not throwing garbage anymore or picking up garbage that isn’t theirs. What an impactful time!
* February LIFE NIGHT. This event went really well. I shared about Jonah and will continue to do so in the next couple of months amongst other activities at our weekly meeting Abundant LIFE. Attached are a couple of pictures of the Banana Eating Contest we had. One person had to feed a banana to another, but the one eating had to wear knee-highs on their head—take a look!

Thank you so much for your prayers. Other activities that happened during the month were: a Marriage Conference on February 1-3 with Doug and Jan Taylor. Geña and I were able to help them as Interpreters and it was very good information. We had our friends Jack and Vicki Angus with us for two nights in our home and what a blessing they were! We had some great conversations and unfortunately time flew by. Also, after having their travel trailer in our yard since October, the Klippensteins headed back to their home in Canada. They had a huge impact with teaching some of the students new instruments and helping others get better as well as working daily on the new church building project getting things prepared for teams when they were coming and just helping out wherever needed. Finally, we just finished a Family Conference again with the Taylors this past weekend on Feb. 29 to Mar. 2. You can see the report at this link http://thesilbermans.blogspot.com/2008/03/family-conference.html.

This month, please pray for…
* Dentists who will be coming down this week. Pray that as we meet the physical needs of the people here, their hearts will be open to spiritual matters as well (March 6,7).
* Cy-Fair Christian Church from Houston, Texas will be coming down with their youth group to work with our youth group (March 15-22).
* Doug and Jan Taylor as they return to Canada (March 24).
* March LIFE NIGHT that a youth group from Spokane, Washington will participate in with us (March 29).

Thanks again for your prayers

Steve, Geña, Rebecka, and Emma Silberman

Monday, March 10, 2008

Utility Trailer Adventures

One of the weirdest things that happened on our way down to Cofradia was that our trailer's tongue broke. What's weird about it is WHERE! We had driven around 3,000 miles already with the trailer jam packed. After about 500 miles into Mexico, it decided to snap on us. With the roads so bumpy, it was bound to happen sooner or later. I could see the trailer in my rear-view mirror "nodding" if you can call it that, and decided that I would check on it at the next gas station. Minutes later, the front of the trailer starts to bow down to the back of the truck and all of the sudden there was sound of metal scraping the pavement. I pulled over right away, looked back at the smoldering metal and thought, "I'm so glad this happened here and not earlier on the trip". There is quite a long section of road in the State of Sonora that has NO shoulder. There would have been no where for us to pull over. Where it did happen, the shoulder was unusually wide. Being in Mexico, it was easier to have something like this fixed. I flagged down some private police to tell them what I thought needed to be down (having it welded back together). They went to the next town, found a welder, and came back to wait for him with us. When the welder showed up, I was surprised to see that he was pulling a flatbed trailer with a big generator and weldor attatched to it! I have never seen anyone here have such a thing, it was like he was waiting for this to happen (it could be that stuff like this happens quite a bit). He backed his trailer up to ours and began working. Three hours and $50 dollars later, the trailer was fixed and we were on our way. I was encouraged to see how God looks out for us, this could have been A LOT worse!

Saturday, March 08, 2008

More Later...

I have a few things to get done, but I'll be back later.

Airplane Adventures

My friend, Fabian Gomez, a pilot for United, took me up in a small airplane in December. What a fun time! I had never been in a small airplane before so this was definitely a real treat! We got in the plane in Auburn, Wa. and on our way up to Friday Harbor, we flew over Bremerton, Silverdale, and Poulsbo. It was great to see all of that from the air up close. As we flew over Silverdale, I called Geña on the cell phone and I could hear Rebecka say, "I see you papi, I see you!" That was probably the highlight of the whole trip--hearing Rebecka say that. As we approached the San Juan Islands, Fabian gave me the controls and coached me a little on how to fly the plane. I was flying it!!! That was definitely a lot of fun! In Friday Harbor, we had an early dinner and on our way back to Auburn, we flew over the Puget Sound and we got to see the beautiful Seattle lights at night. What a fun time!! Thanks, Fabian.

Here are some pictures (stills of video) of a few things we saw:

This is Fabian getting the plane ready.

Puget Sound Naval Shipyard

Downtown Silverdale

Downtown Poulsbo

Aireal view of Christ Memorial Church in Poulsbo

Hood Canal Bridge

Friday Harbor Airport getting ready to head back.