Friday, February 19, 2010

House Dedication

Tom Hackett has started a ministry within Alternative Missions that is dedicated to building homes for people who don't have one. It is called Dwellings.

The first family to receive a house in Cofradía is Lauro and Lucy Rodríguez. The team started working on Monday morning; all week long mornings and evenings, the team worked hard to finish the house to a presentable state. The inside needs to be smooth-walled, the bathroom plumbing needs to be finished, and the electric company needs to come out and hook up the electricity. Lauro and Lucy have been recipients of a wonderful gift from God. The house was dedicated to them this afternoon...
Tom addressing the crowd.
Dave is interpreting for Tom with Lauro and Lucy's family.
Lucy unlocks the door to enter into their new home.
The group from Creekside Church in Mountlake Terrace, WA. Great job!

Monday, February 15, 2010

Wedding Flurry

One year ago, our youth put together a "Date Night" for the couples in our church on Valentine's Day. There were 25 couples in attendance and when we finished, some of them were saying, "We should do a wedding next year!" Well, here it is!

Thirteen couples officially "tied the knot" on Valentine's Day this year in the presence of God and these witnesses. Some of them have been together for over 15 years and one couple has a grandchild. Most of them had already been married in a "civil" wedding with the Judge at the county seat. The five couples that had not been married by the state went to do so in preparation for the "religious" wedding. The civil wedding is basically signing papers to be legally married. The religious wedding is most usually where everything is decked out...the dress, the ceremony, the rings, the wedding party, the reception, etc.

This was so exciting! For the past two months we've been planning the details under Geña's leadership along with the assistance of Kathy Elias and everything went really smooth.

As the hour approached, the excitement began to build as the couples arrived with their families and Padrinos (what would be known in our culture as Groomsmen and Bridesmaids). The 37 tables set up in the church sanctuary began to fill and the many photographers began to take pictures of the Brides and Grooms up front. Finally, Geña invited everyone to find their seats as the couples were lining up for the "Grand Entrance."

As Jonathan Elias played the wedding march on his saxophone, the couples began to walk down the by one. Some people were standing and clapping, some were whistling while others shouted, but everyone was captured in the moment. It was unforgettable to see people you've known for such a long time be in the spotlight, each one was important as they walked proud, hand in hand.

Once everyone was seated (on the platform and at the tables), Pastor Gollo welcomed everyone and shared a quick introduction of God's plan for marriage.
Seven couples on stage right being seated.
Six couples on stage left being seated.
Doug and Jan then presented a message to the couples whom most have had the privilege of being under their counsel and in attendance at the marriage seminar's they have held in Cofradía. What a blessing for them to see "fruit of their labor."

Then...the most nervwracking moment...s for the couples. As Pastor Gollo returned to the platform, he called each couple to center stage one by one to make a promise to each other "Si acepto" (I will), exchange vows to one another, give and receive rings, and put on a lasso as a symbol of their union with each other and God (a chord of three strands is uneasily broken).

Each couple had Ring Padrinos who bought rings for them and gave to them on the platform as they reached that part of the ceremony (some couples' Padrinos could not make it). Also, each couple had Lasso Padrinos who bought and put the lasso on them as Pastor Gollo shared the symbolism.

When each couple had finished their 6 minute ceremony, Pastor Gollo announced them "Marido y Mujer" (Husband and Woman). Sounds strange to Americans, but think about what we say, "Man and Wife."

May I present to you Mr. and Mrs....

Angel and Josefina Martínez from Cofradía.
Javier and Fabiola Tapia from Arrayanes. Javier recently received Christ.
Gabriel and Erika Bábara from Arrayanes.
Diego and Carmen González from Cofradía. Both were part of our youth group a few years ago. Diego plays drums in the worship band. Geña and I had the privilege of being their Ring Padrinos.
Roberto and Lidia Vázquez from Santa Fé.
Hugo and Norma Díaz from Cofradía. Hugo is Geña's brother. Geña and I had the privilege of being their Ring Padrinos as well.
Juan and Angelita Ramos from Cofradía. Juan recently received Christ.
Abraham and Graciela Aguilar from Ruíz.
Luis and María Luisa Vázquez from Santa Fé. Luis is our Youth Pastor Intern.
Luciano and Victoria García from Cofradía.
Alfonso and Secundina Vázquez from Santa Fé.
Feliciano and Antonia Orozco from Cofradía.

After about two hours of the message and ceremony, everyone sat at their tables as the birria (a type of barbecue style beef stew--very good!), beans, and macaroni salad was served to about 400 people in attendance. Then the Brides tossed their bouquet's two by two and the Grooms tossed their aprons (another Mexican tradition--in place of the guarder belt used in the states). The dance floor was opened up to the newlyweds and it is amazing to see all of them participating in what looked like a scene from Cinderella as the women's dresses waved back and forth.
After a while, family members and Padrinos came to dance with the couples.

One last group photo was taken...what a night!

Thank you to all of you who prayed over this event and over the lives of these newlyweds as well as a big thank you to those who donated finances to help make this dream come alive.

If you are still interested in helping sponsor this event financially as we spent all we had and a little more, you can make online donations typing "Cofradía Wedding" in the note section here. If you would like to use a different way to donate, click here for other avenues.

If you know any of these couples and would like to bless them, please let us know so we can help you communicate that with them or get to them whatever gift you'd like to send. Email me at:

Blessings everyone!!

...what a night!

Friday, February 05, 2010

House Build for Lauro and Lucy

This morning the floor is being poured for the house that will be built through a ministry of Alternative Missions called Dwellings for Lauro and Lucy. They have been part of our congregation for various years now and they do not have a home. This is an awesome opportunity to bless someone that we would all agree is very deserving. This family NEVER seeks anything for their own gain; these are the kind of people that you really enjoy helping.

From February 13-20, we will have a team here to build their home. You can keep updated as Tom Hackett (the Founder of Alternative Missions and Dwellings) keeps everyone posted at the Dwellings' Blog.

Here are some pics from this morning...
Luis Vazquez is taking the lead for the build. Luis is also the Lead Youth Intern.
Lauro--pouring the bucket, is the recipient of the house. Chuy, another youth intern, is helping Luis level the floor.
We had a number of people out to help...Julio is one of the youth leaders.
Martin, another youth leader, is always willing to help.
Don José, Pastor Horacio's dad, came out to help as well. How many 89 year olds do you know can do this? Yes, that's right, he's 89!
Great turnout.
The floor is just about done.

Blessings to Lauro and Lucy!

Tuesday, February 02, 2010


Greating Everyone! We’ve had a productive month and we are getting ready for a full February. Thank you for praying.

Last month, we asked for your prayers concerning...
  • Cy-Fair Christian Church Women’s Team Our ladies had a very special time with the Women from Houston. More women turned out this year than in years past as they studied the book of Ruth and finished the week with a Drama of the Ruth Story. There was well over 300 people at the service held in the new Church facilities. Here are some pictures and a quick report.
  • A trip to the Mountains. Missionary Jay TenBrink and his family took some friends and 6 students up to the mountains, specifically Cangrejo near La Mesa del Nayar, to hand out boxes from Operation Christmas Child. Everyone said they had a great time; doors are open for continued ministry with the Cora Indians, the people were very friendly and the children were very grateful. Thank you for your prayers! Jay mentioned he was going to report on their time there; I’ll send you a link when it becomes available.
  • Student Leadership Conference. Please continue to pray this weekend as Youth Pastors Dave and Mike from Cy-Fair come to lead a conference with our youth and help prepare for the team of youth they will bring in March.
  • Worship Ministry. We have been blessed with a few students who enjoy worshipping. Luis, Riky, and Mily are three students who have taken big steps in leading. Thank you for your continued prayers.

Are you going to be visiting in Mexico? If you have plans to come to either Mazatlán, Puerto Vallarta, or Guadalajara, let us know. We are within 4 hours of all three of those cities with Mazatlán being the closest (3 hours). We’d love to show you around Cofradía so you can get a taste of this Mexican countryside!

Follow these links for more..
Ricardo’s Testimony
Juan Accepts Christ
Operation Christmas Child in Cofradía
Wedding Announcement
Two More Accept Christ
Latest Hardcopy Newsletter
Facebook—if you’re on Facebook, I’d love to get in touch with you!

This month, would you please pray for...
  • Student Leadership Conference. Each year the youth pastors of Cy-Fair come to lead a conference with our youth and help prepare for the team of youth they will bring in March. We look forward to this time to hear from Pastors Mike and Dave. (Feb. 4-8)
  • Weddings in Cofradía. In the link above you will see that we are excited to announce that 14 couples will be getting married on February 14th in Cofradía! This is a huge event that Geña has taken the lead in coordinating and we expect that the church will be packed. Each couple has their minimal responsibilities (many don’t have money), and the church will be providing the food (a cow), tables, cake, plates, etc. Click on the link for more information on what this is about, who the couples are, and how you can be involved. At this point, we have received $1000 in donations and are asking for $1000 more...and please keep this event as well as the couples in your prayers this month. THANK YOU!! (Feb. 14)
  • House Build. There will be a team coming down from the US for a week to build a house for one of the couples in the church who do not own a home. Please keep Dave Elias in your prayers as he prepares for the team, Luis Vazquez as he will be leading the build from our end. (Feb. 13-20)
  • Worship Ministry. Please pray for a continued maturity in our worship band. I have poured my life into the student ministry and things are going very well. I would like to focus more attention to the band and help the leaders gain confidence and learn to depend on the Lord for leading. I met with one of my helpers who has led worship in other places and he is anxious to serve. Please continue to pray for strong worship leaders. My goal is to have others leading quality true worship. (2010)

Thank you very much for your prayers and continued support.
See how to partner with us and donate here

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

Two More Accept Christ

Javier and Fabiola are one of the 14 couples who have signed up to get married on Valentine's Day. They are from Arrayanes (just north of Cofradía) and have attended church as a couple within the past few months.

On Sunday, they wanted to dedicate their two boys to the Lord (both toddlers) and Javier decided he wanted to accept Christ. As Jay mentioned this and offered for anyone else to receive Christ they were more than welcome. Mari came forward and made a declaration of faith at that moment. We all prayed together and welcomed our two new "siblings" in the Lord.

I do not know Mari's story, but here is what Kathy had to say about her...
"Her road to God is an interesting one. First, she began to play volleyball with us. Then she attended a couple of meetings put on for the ladies by Cy-Fair (STM). She also attended the distribution of the Operation Christmas Child (OCC) shoe boxes where a salvation message was given. At this event, she offered to donate two pinatas for the kids. After OCC, she attended church for the very first time. We invited her to help with a children's program in Pilas every Thursday, and she agreed. Finally, she came forward to accept Christ two days ago. Start to finish, this all happened in the last month or so."
Thank you for your continued prayers for this region.