Monday, December 27, 2010

Iglesia Hosanna

Acabo de agregar un vínculo a la derecha para la "Iglesia Hosanna."  Pastor Rafael Gradilla es muy buen amigo mío y le tengo mucho respecto.  Disfruto escuchar sus mensajes.  Él ha viajado a Cofradía varias veces y es un hombre que Dios ha usado grandemente.

I have just added to the right a link to "Iglesia Hosanna."  Pastor Rafael Gradilla is a very good friend of mine and one of my favorite speakers, I have a lot of respect for him.  He has travelled to Cofradía many times and God has used him greatly.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Youth Christmas Party in Cofradía

Enjoy the pics from our Student Ministry's Christmas party in Cofradía.  Click to enlarge.

Thursday, December 09, 2010


Merry Christmas and Happy New Year! We are enjoying our time here in Washington with our friends and family.

Last month, we asked for your prayers concerning...
  • House Thank you for continuing to keep this in mind as we are looking forward to adding a couple of rooms upstairs.
  • Personal Finances Thank you for those of you who have been so generous!
  • Geña’s citizenship The fingerprinting appointment was pretty simple. Her Interview is set for January 11.
  • Time in Washington So far we have really been enjoying our time. The girls were so happy that it snowed the other day and we all got to play in it. Please keep us in your prayers.
Follow these links for more..
1OTH ANNIVERSARY!!--Geña and I celebrated our 10th Anniversary on November 18th with dinner at the Space Needle!
Inauguration—On February 27, 2011, we will be inaugurating the new church and beginning our weekly services there. Come join us!!!
Facebook—if you’re on Facebook, I’d love to get in touch with you!

This month, would you please pray for...
  • Health Insurance We have been advised to acquire Health Insurance. Thank you for praying as we make this decision and that God would guide us to the right plan for us.
  • Monthly Support Because of the added expense for Health Insurance, we are in need of increasing our monthly support $600. Will you help us by donating $20, $50, or $100 a month? If 30 people started donating or increased their donations $20 a month, we could reach our goal. Thank you in advance for your faithfulness and generosity. Together we will make a difference.
  • House Thank you to all who have helped us in this area. We are raising money to add two rooms and a bathroom to the upstairs of our home in order to host visitors and students. If you would like more information, please contact us.
  • Geña’s citizenship Geña’s Naturalization Interview is set for January 11. Thank you for praying for her in her preparation and during the Interview at 8:45AM.
Thank you very much for your prayers and continued support.
As you give, you are investing in the Kingdom of God. This is an opportunity for you to further His Kingdom, thank you so much! Click here to donate

Steve, Geña, Rebecka and Emma Rose Silberman
Missionaries to Mexico
SKYPE: “srsilberman”

Wednesday, December 08, 2010

Cofradía Student Ministry Report--November '10

Here is a report of the latest Youth Event in Cofradía written by Sandy. Scroll down for the English version and photos.

El día 27 de Noviembre tuvimos un concierto con la banda de la iglesia y los cantantes de Rap del grupo de jóvenes; Rubén (NAVY) y Raudel (FR) acompañados de un nuevo cantante! También de nuestro grupo, llamado Cecilio el cual causo mucha impresión ya que este muchacho en particular es muy tímido y nunca había hecho algo así y mucho menos en público. Todos creemos que Dios tiene algo grande preparado para este joven.

Bueno este día empezó un poquito mal ya que planeamos empezar a una hora y lo hicimos mas tarde, decidimos hacer unos juegos antes y no sucedió, y cuando empezamos el concierto había muy pocos jóvenes y esto se debía a que en el pueblo vecino (San Marcos) había un gran baile y los jóvenes simplemente decidieron irse para allá. Pero como nosotros sabemos que Dios hace su voluntad, la mayoria de los jóvenes que conocemos, estaban ahí al final alabando a Dios.

También contamos con la presencia de Max, el estuvo grabando con la cámara que le regalaron al grupo. El estuvo animando a los jóvenes a expresar su gozo por medio de la danza y la alabanza y lo consiguió!

Bueno pues como ya dije, empezamos un poquito mal, pero conforme iba pasando el tiempo Dios iba aumentando la calidad de ese tiempo hasta hacernos sentir su presencia esa noche. Aquí están unas fotos de ese tiempo el cual en lo personal fue muy chido!!!! Disfrútenlas…


On November 27, we had a concert with the church's worship band and the Rap group singers; Rubén (NAVY) y Raudel (FR). A new singer who is also from our group accompanied them named Cecilio. We were all impressed because this particular guy is very shy and he's never done anything like this before, and in public! We all believe that God has something great prepared for this young man.

Well, this day started a little unorganized because we planned to start at a certain hour and ended up starting late. We had planned to do some games, but that didn't happen and when the concert started, there were only a few students. The reason for the low turnout was because there was a huge dance in the neighboring town (San Marcos) and the students just simply decided to head over there. But, as we know that God's Will is done, the majority of the students that we know were there in the end worshipping God.

We also had Max with us, he was recording with the video camera. He successfully encouraged the students to express their joy in dance and praise.

As I mentioned, we started a little unorganized, but as time went on, God increased the quality of the time as we felt His presence that night. Here are some photos of our time which for me personally was really cool!! Enjoy...





Friday, November 26, 2010


It's been a while since the girls have played in snow and we had a fun time throwing snowballs at each other and making snow-angels...

Sunday, November 21, 2010

10th Anniversary!

Geña and I celebrated 10 years of marriage on Thursday, November 18. We had been saving up for this for a while in order to do something without thinking about "how much does this cost?" Instead of going to some exotic place, we went to have a great dinner at the Seattle Space Needle. We were pleased with the service and had a great view LOL! It took a while to get used to the rotating of the restaurant, but it was worth it. The food was great and the best part of the evening was just being together. It was a great afternoon/evening!

November Update

Greetings Everyone! I’m a little late in getting this out, but we are finally in Washington and getting some important things done. It will be great to see many of you! Email us to connect! We also have been given the use of a cell phone...360-265-4545. Looking forward to hearing from you!

Last month, we asked for your prayers concerning...
  • House Thank you for continuing to keep this in mind as we are looking forward to adding a couple of rooms upstairs.
  • Youth Ministry in General We have reorganized the Student Ministry this past month in order to make a better connection with Students. Check out the post on the “New Look” here
  • Washington After 12 days of visiting and driving, we’ve arrived in Washington. We’ll be staying at my parents house as we renew documents and go through the process of citizenship for Geña. We have already sent in the renewal forms for the girls’ passports as well as renewing our Drivers Licenses. Thanks for your prayers as we travelled.

Follow these links for more..
Inauguration—On February 27, 2011, we will be inaugurating the new church and beginning our weekly services there. Come join us!!!
Facebook—if you’re on Facebook, I’d love to get in touch with you!

This month, would you please pray for...
  • House Thank you to all who have helped us in this area. If you would like to invest in our family, this would be a great way!
  • Personal Finances it is always a big hit when we drive up to Washington. We set money aside each month for our “Border Trips”, but it never covers all the costs.
  • Geña’s citizenship She has an appointment for fingerprinting and pictures on December 2. After that, we find out when she goes in for the interview.
  • Time in Washington We always enjoy coming to Washington. Our goal is to get back to Cofradía for Christmas time, however, everything depends on when the citizenship process is complete. I really don’t know exactly when we go back. It will be nice to visit with family and friends while we are here. Thank you for your prayers while we are here.

Thank you very much for your prayers and continued support.
As you give, you are investing in the Kingdom of God. This is an opportunity for you to further His Kingdom, thank you so much! Click here to make a safe donation

Steve, Geña, Rebecka and Emma Rose Silberman
Missionaries to Mexico
SKYPE: “srsilberman”

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

New Look for Student Ministry

In the past month, we have reorganized our Student Ministry.

After EL RETO, we decided that it was time to provide an opportunity for students who have gotten "married" really young and those who have separated from their partner and have children. They range anywhere form 15 years old to early 20s.

We have always had our youth group with all ages all-together (Jr. High, Sr. High, and College age). About four years ago, I began to hand-pick college age students and train them as leaders. That has worked very, very well! This year, we have a few High Schoolers on our Student Leadership Team.

Our Student Ministry is called "VIDA" in spanish which means "LIFE". Our youth night is called Abundant Life and was originally a home group in our house that met on Friday nights. When the High School opened in Cofradía, we started to meet on Saturday nights because the HS held classes in the evenings while JH was in the mornings. Two years ago we moved into a room in the new church because the group outgrew our house.

On October 30, we began a new chapter. We now have three different youth groups; Jr. High, Sr. High, and Young Adults. The Young Adult group is called "MEJOR VIDA" or "BETTER LIFE" to coordinate with the Student Ministry "LIFE". Mejor Vida consists of those who have graduated from High School or are of college age; those who are "married" and are very young, and those who have been separated from their partners. The latter two don't really "fit" in youth group anymore, nor do they "fit" in with the adults (I say that out of observance, they are more than welcome to participate with the adults, but haven't).

We are really excited for this new group. Volunteer Pastor Luis and his wife Mari are heading up this new group that meets during youth group. Everyone meets together for worship, then the three groups disperse and have their meetings in three separate rooms. The High School leaders are Chuy, Jose Luis, and Sandy. I have also asked my brother-in-law, Hugo and his wife Norma to help out. For the Jr. High, we have Mily, Aidé, Pedro, Gollo, and Ruben. I have asked an adult, Magdaleno, to help out with that group.

After the first meeting on October 30, I asked Sandy to send me a report on how it went. Here is what she said...

Our youth group started a good and exciting move! This consisted of separating the youth according to their ages or status. This last Saturday we put into practice what we planned and IT WAS A HUGE SUCCESS!!
  • About 25-30 students (not including the leaders) came.
  • To me, each one showed interest in the games.
  • The leaders have commented on how impressed they were with the result of the change in our group.
  • One specific comment came from the Jr. High. They were almost the whole time shouting, screaming, and enjoying the activities and when asked if they'd like to go back to the old format they said, "No, no we're good like this." So, this confirms to me that this was not a bad idea to change the format.
Here are some photos of the worship time. During this time we struggled a bit because the students were coming and going, but in the end Pastor Luis divided us up to go to our different rooms and each young person stayed with their group.
Here is the Jr. High group. They played games the whole time, they have never enjoyed the games in Abundant Life as much as they did that night.
The High School group was a little more calm, but when they were asked to participate they did very well! They participated even more when they found out that Hugo, who led the games, brought chocolates for prizes!
The Better Life group were having a better life fellowshipping with one another. Even though some are "married" and others aren't, they got along well. I could tell when I saw their smiling faces enjoying this opportunity to have a Better Life with Jesus.

In the end, I didn't get a chance to find out how the small group time went with all the leaders. Personally, for Norma and I, our group went well. We only had two girls, but they opened up and shared their thoughts about the message that Chuy shared.

Thursday, October 07, 2010


This is the final video of EL RETO 2010. Because of the length, the video is divided into parts. Macedonio Diaz helped us out a lot this year including helping each team make a video of the Bible story of their team.







Here are the videos of each team. Aquí están los videos de cada equipo.







Tuesday, October 05, 2010

EL RETO 2010 Sunday Debrief

Sunday we had a "RETO debrief" service. I shared a little of my testimony and my friend Macedonio Diaz shared about what God has been showing him through this time. Macedonio (Max) has been a huge help this year with Audio an Video. He spent many, many hours in front of the computer putting together the staff video, all six videos of the teams, he helped me with some of the videos I've posted on You Tube, and not to mention, the 40 minute final video of the whole RETO! God blessed us in a big way this year through Max.

I also had the captains come forward to share a little bit about their experiences. Some said they learned not to trust in others (other teams to help them), but to ultimately trust in the Lord. Some said it was hard to lead the team and sometimes it made them mad that they wouldn't follow. This is something that we can all learn from. Being a leader isn't easy. The two that said this, didn't give up, they kept going, they didn't quit the Challenge God had given them the opportunity to be apart of. That says a lot! It's not often you'll find 14 year olds leading people older than them, and sticking to it! I was very happy and blessed to hear that they were Overcomers! Finally, when I got to Alfredo, captain of The Explorers, the team that lost the FINAL CHALLENGE. He said he was confident they were going to win and "to our surprise, we didn't!" He said it with a smile! Who can do that? This 14 year old learned that winning wasn't everything. Actually, no one on the team was upset. They were content and accepted their loss. That takes maturity, to be able to say "we lossed" with a smile.

In the end, these captains will remember their experience as leaders and be able to use it when they become Student Leaders. They will not give up when it gets rough and difficult. It will help them in conflicts throughout their trust in the Lord. In school, families, and even in their families when they get married. With a humble heart, they can trust in the Lord and not give up.

As for the rest of the students, they will continue to seek the Lord and learn from their experiences. It was an awesome opportunity to be able to plant seeds in so many students who don't know the Lord.

Also, Pastor Gollo and a few other adults came forward to share their experiences in EL RETO. One of the mothers was very grateful for what the Lord has been doing in the lives of her two sons who participated as well as in her own life. They were three of the 13 people who were baptized two weeks ago.

EL RETO is a means to unify the church; adults, youth, children...FAMILIES!

God says, "For I know the plans I have for you, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart."
Jeremiah 29:11-13

Thank you for your prayers and support for this ministry. If you would like to make a donation to EL RETO in Cofradía you can do so by clicking here.



October 2, 2010

More than two hundred people turned out on Saturday night to be part of EL RETO FINAL 2010! It started out just like any other week with role call and some announcements. About 15 of our youth friends from La Cruz de Elota, Sinaloa came to visit us and a few participated in the event, making the final total for this year 108 participants! It was great to have them with us, they are a real blessing to this ministry.

After Ruben and Alfredo shared their rap song with the theme "In Search Of", we continued with the reading of the votes for 200 points from last week. Five of the six teams received votes leaving one team with two votes...The Explorers.

As we finished with the announcements, we started with worship. It was a great opportunity for all of us to come together and worship the Lord. Many students who participated this year don't know Jesus and they've never had real encounter with God. I was encouraged to see some of them standing and participating in worship.

Our guest speaker this year was Pastor Samuel De La Rosa from San Vicente, Nayarit (about 1/2 hour from Cofradía). He has a daily radio show and many people around here listen to him. It was a privilege to have him with us as he brought about 20 people; mainly students from his congregation who participated in a drama while he spoke. What a message! He did an excellent job hitting the nail on the head with the theme and capturing the attention of the students. In the end, there were numerous students who came forward for prayer, many of which don't come to church. That pleases my heart!
Pastor Samuel De La Rosa
Drama during message.
At the altar.

We finished with one more worship song and headed right into the presentation of the hidden treasures, announcing the winner of the Cents War, and finally the final score of all the teams.

This year we had three hidden treasures: "Christ" is better than "Gold" and "Silver." We even made a video that we gave to each team as they won in "Under The Scope" that explained a little about the treasures. I called up the captain of the team who found the "Silver" Treasure first. When someone found a treasure, they actually found a small rectangle box wrapped in a black bag. Inside the box was a magnifying glass with a message in the handle.

The Silver Treasure was found underneath a big cooking pot used for feeding cows in Hugo's field, it was found by Chuy Orozco, captain of The Detectives, the second week using a clue to a different treasure! This treasure gave them double the points they received in the Cents War. The message leaked out that he had found it and other teams made it a point that they would not benefit from that treasure. You will get negative 250 points if someone puts a 10 peso coin in your Cents War bottle. They got three 10 peso coins last week giving them a total of -286 points. Double that and they got a total of -572 points! Needless to say, with the -286 they were already in last place. There was a two-way tie for the winners of the Cents War between In Love and The Angels.
Chuy with Silver.

The Gold Treasure was found in the ruins near Arrayanes underneath a rock on top of the arches. This one was also found in the second week, but by Alfredo Garzon, captain of The Explorers. This treasure gave them all the points that were spent by all the teams in the RETO Auction for a total of 7,070 points! When I asked him how he found it, he said that the captain of The Angels, Mereida, had loaned him the DVD she won in "Under the Scope." Using clues that the DVD showed, he found it. So, since Mereida gave them points in the auction, I asked Alfredo if he'd like to give Mereida's team points for helping him find the treasure. He said..."one point." So, we added 7,069 points to The Explorers final score and one point to The Angels final score.
Alfredo with Gold.

The Christ Treasure was found the morning after the fifth Saturday. It was the hardest one for them to find. The clues would take them to Beto's field south of Cofradía headed towards Ruiz where they would find a clue buried in his field that would lead them to a field next to Pastor Luis' watermelon field out towards Santa Fe. They never found the clue buried in Beto's field, but with the final clue in the fifth week, many were able to determine where it was. Now, it was just a race to see who got there first. At 6am on Sunday morning, Chuy Orozco, captain of The Detectives, went out to look for the treasure and found it right away buried underneath a tire that was laying in the field. He didn't say anything to anyone and a couple hours later, another captain went out there but didn't find anything. Then, after church, two other teams went out to the field, but came up empty because Chuy had already found it!
Chuy with the Christ Treasure.

This treasure gave them the opportunity to challenge the first place team in one final challenge to determine the winner of EL RETO 2010!

The final score for EL RETO 2010 is as follows:
6th PLACE with 4,390 points...
The Angels (after receiving one extra point from The Explorers).

5th PLACE with 6,994 points...
Those Who Believe

4th PLACE with 7,693 points...
The Detectives

3rd PLACE with 9,480 points...
In Love

2nd PLACE with 11,408 points...
The Disciples

and in 1st PLACE with 14,854 points...
The Explorers (after winning 7,069 points with the Gold Treasure).

This year's RETO FINAL was between The Explorers (for First Place) and The Detectives (for finding Christ Treasure) and was divided into two parts.

The first part of the final challenge was a series of activities they had experienced throughout the month. The score started out with The Explorers leading 5-0 because of the 1st place position. Their first series of activities was to go up to people and ask for Chips. There were a total of 10 people who had chips, The Explorers found 5 and The Detectives found 6. So now the score was 10-6. Then they competed in a series of activities for individuals on the team. In order for it to be a "team" effort, they needed one participant for each activity.

Their first activity was to have one participant translate a message in Spanish to the Chinese font that I found in my computer. Then, another participant had to translate what was written in Chinese into Spanish. The Detectives won two points for finishing first. I have no idea what it says, but each letter had a different figure to it, so we used those figures in all of the clues to the treasures. Now, they needed it for EL RETO FINAL. The font is called, "Wubi Xing" and the phrase "EL RETO" looks like this "有国 的有和为". We gave away letters as they won them and bought them for points. For this event, they got the whole alphabet to use. Now, the score was 10-8 with The Explorers still leading.
Chuy Translating

While the translation was taking place, two members of each team had to chase chickens. The Detectives got the chicken first. Now, it was 10-9, The Explorers.
Catching the Chicken.

One member from each team had to try to make a penalty shot. The Detectives evened up the score 10-10 with making the first penalty shot.

Then they had to search for verses. One member from each team had their bible and raced to search for a verse. Three verses were given; one of them neither participant could find. Again, The Detectives won here and got two more points and now were in the lead 12-10.
George and Alfredo getting ready to search for verses.

Also, they were to have three members participate in a quick rally that took more than a half an hour. They needed to start a fire with magnesium flint and make the flame grow until it broke the string and dropped a bucket with a message in 1.5 font that explained to them where they would find a tiny bottle using a compass.

One member would make fire, another would read the message with a magnifying glass, and final member would search for the bottle using the compass. The winning team would receive three points. Each member needed to do this themselves and not get help from other members of the team, otherwise it would be cheating--the other members had something else to participate in. Neither team could make fire, so we gave them matches which took one point away. The Explorers found the bottle, but unfortunately another member of the team was "helping" and resulted in The Detectives getting the two remaining points. Now, it was 14-10.

Finally, two members of each team had to eat a pig tongue, once they had a clean mouth, the whole team was to drink 10 liters (2 1/2 gallons) of orange juice. The Explorers won two points making the final score 14-12 at halftime!

At the break, we watched the videos the teams made for the team project. Here are the team videos.

The second part of EL RETO FINAL was the same activity we did two years ago for the final. Each team chose 10 squares in a 100 square grid. The score was 14-12 which gave each team that many shots at searching for the other team's chosen squares. We always let the team with the least amount go first. This year, The Explorers went first and with four shots left of their 12, they hit one of their own squares giving one point to The Detectives. With three shots left...nothing. With two shots left...nothing. They had one shot left, if they did not hit a square that The Detectives had chosen, The Detectives would be declared the winners with a score of 1-0. The final shot was taken and...nothing! The Detectives were declared the winners of EL RETO 2010!

Here is a video of this final week.

After naming the Champions, we watched the final video. You can see it here.

Many say that this year was the best RETO so far. I believe that God has a plan in this and teaches each one of us to trust in him and realize that He is in control. He knows best. He sees us Under His Scope and loves us even though we have defects. He sees His children; His creation. He sent His Son in order for us to have fellowship with Him! He is AWESOME!

On Sunday, we had a RETO debrief service and a few people shared their experiences throughout the month. Click here to read about it.

Monday, September 27, 2010

EL RETO 2010 Week Five


WEEK FIVE: September 25, 2010
Three more students...104! In the past, the fifth week has always been "EL RETO FINAL". We have always finished on the fifth week. This year, in order to make the final with less activities, we added a sixth week. We'll see if it helps LOL!

For the first time, we were ready (students and staff) before the start time. That is very rare here in Mexico! After taking roll call, Mily set up the first activity..."The Cinderella Revolution". They had to find someone on the team that would fit into rollerblades and hang on to a rope behind a scooter that would take them around the auditorium. As they were being pulled, they had to grab a strip of the color of their team from various locations. The winning team was the team that grabbed the most (there were other colors with prizes as well). Geña set the example and made the first round...

From there, the last placed team started a final race. Each clue they would get was in a #2 font again that led them to their next activity and destination. In increments of two minutes, the teams left and went to the small lake in Las Pilas (the town we did the Banquet in) to do a water activity--filling up a bucket.

From there, they went to Paso Real (the first town from the highway on your way to Cofradía). In Paso Real, the team had to walk on boards for 10 meters (30+ feet) in sink.

Once they were done, they had to run to the center of town where they were to run back and for down the speed soccer court in a very strange way.

The team to finish the race first, won. After that, we had our traditional RETO AUCTION!
We had thirteen items up for bid and each team had the opportunity to bid whatever they wanted, as long as it wasn't more points than they had. They did not know what any of the items were, we always keep that a secret. Once they're done bidding and a team buys the item, we bring out another box with the next item in it for them to choose which one they'd like. This year, the items were:

1. All the clues to the hidden treasure "SILVER"--along with a cucumber snack (The Angels).
2. All the clues to the hidden treasure "GOLD"--along with some coffee candies snack (The Disciples).
3. A big tub of Ice Cream (The Explorers).
4. A small box of Tic Tacs (The Detectives).
5. 3 Liter bottle of Pepsi (The Angels).
6. 1000 points (The Angels).
7. All the clues to the hidden treasure "CHRIST"--along with some Milky Way candy bars (The Explorers).
8. Chores-washing trucks (The Angels).
9. A big box of cookies (The Detectives).
10. Divide 1000 points between two teams (The Angels-they included themselves in this one).
11. A sorted box of chips (The Angels).
12. Tacos! (The Explorers).
13. A more detailed clue to the hidden treasure "CHRIST"--the one that everyone is saying hasn't been found yet (The Angels).

Here are some auction expressions...
Mereida is pretty excited about that Pepsi!
Alfredo is opening the clues to the Hidden Treasure "Christ".
Ok, cookies.
220 points!
This one?
Tic Tacs!
1000 points!

This year's Auction was a lot of fun and the teams spent a total of 7,070 points all together. When we finished, we sang a Praise song and I shared with Paso Real the reason for EL RETO and the theme verse, Jeremiah 29:13 "You will seek me and you will find me when you seek me with all your heart." It was a great time! The students went around and handed out tracts and as soon as we finished, it started to rain.
Worship in the center of town.

We returned to Cofradía for "Under The Scope." We had the teams come in and vote right away for another team to receive 200 points. After that, we had our Under the Scope final with the "Filipos" and "Punishments." Then, we shared a little of the Word with them and encouraged them to keep seeking the Lord.

Finally, they came in to vote again, this time for a team to do chores along with the team who bought Chores in the Auction, The Angels. They would be immune of the vote since they were already going to be washing trucks.

After they were done voting, we read the votes and gave a prize to In Love who received four votes!

This week, Jazmin and I had a staring contest...she's been the one who really makes it hard to keep a straight face. She is always cracking up!

Next week is EL RETO FINAL! We'll have worship, a message, music, videos, games, and a lot of fun! Please keep this event in your prayers as we see many students and adults this Saturday attend who don't come to church. It is going to be great!