Wednesday, April 30, 2008

A Needed Break

This past weekend we went to visit some friends who are leaving back to the states soon. This was the only opportunity we had to see them, so we took off on Saturday to Mazatlan and came back on Monday. It was a great break; we wish it could have been at least one day longer, but we sure enjoyed our time with Roger and Hazel. Rebecka did not want to get out of the pool at all, she has such a fun time swimming and playing in the water. We also went out to the ocean and rode some waves, walked along the beach, and enjoyed one another's company. Thank you Roger and Hazel for time well spent.

Last week was a hard week. After the Missionary Care Team left, I realized that I was a candidate for burnout. I have felt fine for the past year, but really tired. It may have been psychological, but last week I felt like I couldn't go on; I was so tired that I lost the joy of the ministry. Taking a couple days off really helped. Amber took care of the youth meeting and Dave who was already on the schedule to lead worship, led on Sunday. We have an event with the youth this weekend and some visitors from Sinaloa coming, but I feel energized and am excited about this weekend. This week has been good. Thank you for your prayers.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

The Beach

Yesterday, we went out to the beach with Geña’s brother’s family and her mom. It was a very nice day, but the “no-see’-em” bugs ate me up! I counted over 30 bites on each arm from my elbow down.

We had a really good time with the family. We go there at lunchtime and ordered fish while Rebecka and Luis played at the water’s edge. Emma stayed close by in the shade, playing in the nice soft, cool sand. The restaurant we parked at rented boogie boards for just over $2 an hour, so we rented three and went out to catch some waves. Rebecka even caught a few of the waves as they were trickling up to the shore. After a while, Hugo and I tried out the two poles my dad gave me back in January. They worked just fine, but the bait didn’t. We saw a couple fish jump as we were wading about waist high, but they didn’t like what we had to offer them.

What a great time! It was a nice way to get out and relax a bit.

Friday, April 18, 2008

Missionary Care Team (MCT)

This year Alternative Missions has started something new called "Missionary Care". The dynamics of working together as a team with various personalities in a foreign country can be taxing at times. We have an awesome team and I have seen huge healthy growth in past couple of years. Having this time was very helpful and it brought back a number of memories as part of the Resident Life Staff in College. Some of the activities of self-disclosure were very similar and helpful as a team. What a week!

Here is a link to the site where you can get more information on what it's purpose is and see some pictures:

Blessings everyone!

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Emma's Birthday

Emma turned two years old on Thurdsay, April 10. If you ask her in spanish how old she is, she'll hold up two little fingers and say, "do" for "dos" (two). We invited a few youngsters over for the pinata, hamburgers, and cake. It was a lot of fun and we have some great video. I was unable upload the video because it's too big a file. However, we have some pictures as well.

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Correction in March Update

My parents will be celebrating 40 years in marriage this Saturday, not 39! Thanks for the great example Mom and Dad!

Monday, April 07, 2008


Greetings everyone! We pray that all are well and that Christ is continuing to make himself real in your lives. We have lots to share with you.

In February, we had two family conferences directed by missionaries Doug and Jan Taylor. The first one was specifically for married couples while the second one was directed towards youth and also parenting. They did a great job and many of our youth commented on how the message spoke to them. A message on how we tend to believe the lies of the enemy instead of what God’s Word says about us.

We also had a Student Leadership Conference with some pastors from Texas. This was the third year for this conference and the message was focusing on what the Kingdom of God is, where it is, and how we can tangibly share it with others. It was very good and made an impact when we walked through the streets brainstorming. At one place we stopped in front of the Jr. High/High School where there was garbage strung out everyone; it was very messy. What message are we telling God about his creation by littering the streets? What message are we communicating to the townspeople by littering the streets? What message would we be sharing if we picked up the garbage and stopped littering? Interesting topic and it’s something that hit home.

In March, those same pastors brought their students to work alongside our students in an effort to take the Kingdom of God to others. We had an Amazing Race style event where they were to run all over town to gather items for their final challenge—making a meal for a needy family. In this event, they cleaned town hall, milked a cow, went fishing with a net in a semi-dry river, and a few other “fun” things. It was a great way to experience working together as a team, experience new things, and serve a family in the process.
Making tortillas for the family.

The next day they served a town by cleaning up the park. When we got there, the park was completely overgrown and in two hours, the place was clean and all the brush was burned. They were able to make a difference by meeting the need of a town. Two nations working together to serve; it was great!

The clean park in Las Pilas.
Construction on the new church facilities has been rapidly progressing. With the last two short-term mission teams, the whole roof of the first story has been poured. That will allow progress on the second story.

We have all been doing very well. Some friends of ours who were vacationing in Puerto Vallarta came to stay at our house for a couple of days in February. It is always such a blessing to have friends and family from home come to visit! We want to encourage all of you to come and let you know that our doors are open for visitors! If you have plans on vacationing in Puerto Vallarta, Mazatlan, or Guadalajara, please let us know; those cities are anywhere from 3 to 4 hours from us and we’d love to have you. It is a special time for us to have an opportunity to get to know you more and you can have a first hand experience of what our ministry is like. Sometimes it can really be hard to explain on paper or describe in a visit at home with pictures. Come live it with us! Thanks for coming down Jack and Vicki!

We also want to encourage you to pray about how you can support us. We have been low on finances lately and would like to invite you to become part of our support team if you are not already. See the box below on how to send financial gifts. If a tax-deduction is not an issue for you, feel free to send it directley to our “home” address in the letterhead. Thank you so much!


May the Lord bless you all,

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

Written: April 4, 2008

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 Missions
PO Box 5835
Goodyear, 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 have been teaching a series on Jonah to the youth. In our last newsletter, I shared about the final verses of the book and how my life related to Jonah’s selfishness. There have been so many things that I have seen in Jonah that I haven’t heard many preach about. Take a moment when you get a chance and re-read Jonah and ask yourself some questions. Why did Jonah go in the opposite direction? What was the issue? Was he just scared? What kind of picture does chapter one paint for us about the consequences of sin; how it affects us as well as others? Was Jonah really repentant in chapter two, or was it a prayer of thanksgiving? Did he willingly go with a changed heart to Nineveh in chapter three? What is the main theme of the book? I was a little surprised at some of the things I’ve learned as opposed to what I thought I knew. What do you think?

March Monthly Update

Greetings everyone!!!

Once again, we have the opportunity to share with you what God is doing in the lives of the young people here. We really appreciate your prayers; these students are making a difference!

Last month, we asked you to pray for…
* Dentists. We had a number of dentists come to visit and spend a couple of days pulling and filling people’s teeth. This is always a huge opportunity for us to meet the needs of the town of Cofradía and many others in the surrounding area. This year, there were two teams of dentists. One team stayed here at our dental clinic on the mission base while the other went up to the indigenous community of Mojocuautla for the first time. Praise the Lord for the seeds that were planted and the needs that were met. The Founder of Alternative Missions was here with the dentists and wrote a report with pictures on his blog:
* Cy-Fair Christian Church. In the middle of March, this team from Houston, Texas came down to work alongside our youth in various different activities. Lately, in both youth groups, we’ve been talking about how we can bring the Kingdom of God to people who don’t know Christ in order for us to show them God’s love.
As soon as this team arrived in Cofradía, they came down to our house as guests to our weekly Abundant LIFE youth group meeting. We had a pretty normal meeting and the added barbecued hotdogs were great! Martin shared about running the race and not giving up or letting obstacles that get in your way make you want to quit. You can read more about that evening on our blog:
The first activity working together was through an Amazing Race style event, they were to gather supplies and at the end, cook and serve a meal to a family in need of God’s love in the town of Arrayanes. It was amazing and you can read more here:
The next day we went to clean the park of the town of Pilas. It was completely overgrown and the job looked like more than we could handle at first. To my own personal surprise, we completely cleaned the place in two hours! And left the park and town looking like a better place. See pictures and more comments here:
Finally, we had a student awards night that Cy-Fair started with us three years ago. Our students really enjoy this and it has encouraged them grow closer to the Lord and change some of their perspectives on life. We gave out five awards this year:
· Most improved Band Member
· Spirit-Enthusiasm
· Servant
· New Generation
· Braveheart
It was a very special night. You can see pictures and find out who received awards on our blog.
* Doug and Jan Taylor left on March 24 for the six month stay back in Canada. We will all miss them.
* March LIFE NIGHT. A lot of fun and great to see the two nations coming together here. This was the first time that this specific team has had a chance to spend time with our youth. Click here to read about it:
Thank you so much for your prayers. Other activities that happened during the month were: Jack and Marianne Elias (Dave’s parents) arrived this month and will be here for a couple more months. They are a huge blessing and spend all of their time serving in hands on projects such as painting, fixing things, building various items like benches, etc. We’re glad they’re here. Also, I had the opportunity to preach on Easter Sunday and it went really well. I have shared the idea in other places of making a decision today to change who you will be in one year from now. I used our five students as well as the five leaders as examples of who they were a year ago and who they are now. At the end, we had the five student leaders pray for people as they came forward at the altar. It was exciting!

This month, would you please pray for…

* Emma Rose as she has her second birthday! (April 10)
* My Parents as they celebrate 39 years of marriage! (April 12)
* Missionary Care Week. We will have some visitors who are coming down to share with us ideas on how to deal with certain stresses of being a missionary. This is the first time for something like this and we’re expecting a great week. (April 14-19)
* April LIFE Night. We have invited some friends/youth groups from Sinaloa to come and join us for our next LIFE Night. (May 3)

Thanks again for your prayers

Steve, Geña, Rebecka, and Emma Silberman

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

March LIFE Night

This month we had visitors at our monthly LIFE Night meeting with the youth. We all went to Arrayanes and we broke up into two guys groups and two girl groups. Unfortunately, many of our girls were unable to come for whatever reason and we had 6 of our girls to our visitors' 20. We combined Mexican and Americans on teams in order for them to get to know one another. This was the first time this team has had an opportunity to do something with our youth in the five years they've been coming. I really didn't know what to expect, but I saw a number of our students doing their best to get to know the Americans. I was proud of them. I think everything went as smooth as it could have.

We began the evening with some get-to-know you games, then moved to have them work together as a team and on to competing as a team against the other team. One of the team activities was Tic-Tac-Toe...

we would call out a number and if it was your number, then you had to run and choose a chair to sit on. We had nine chairs lined up as a Tic-Tac-Toe game. It was a lot of fun.

Another game was the Coca Cola race that we have done a number of times with our youth already. One of our youth even mentioned, "this game is becoming a classic!" What they had to do was have two people carry one other teammate about 50 feet and have someone give them some coke.
They could not drink it, but had to return it to the rest of their team where the leader had a cup for them to pour (spit) the coke into. The first team to fill the cup won.

Later on that evening, we all went inside for worship and Jose Luis shared a little bit with everyone about his time at YWAM and how the Lord really changed his life in regards to his relationship with him. He is growing quite a bit and it's great to see!

New Generation Discipleship

Last Saturday was the last week of level one of the discipleship class "Milk and Honey." The Student Leaders led the whole level, taking turns between the four of them. They all enjoyed it and were able to develop a good relationship with the new students. Just like most discipleship groups, they started with over ten students and five finished. They did a great job!

Back (L to R): Martin (leader), Chuy, Fransicso, Julio (leader), Chuy (leader)
Front (L to R): Diana, Gaby, Aide
Not pictured: Sandra (leader).