Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Pastor Marc Pearson

This was a note that one of my friends on facebook shared. It is some words that were written and read by Rev. Greg Asimakoupoulos at an awards presentation yesterday. Pastor Marc Pearson was my pastor growing up and helped me make decisions that would eventually form who I am today. A great man of God who has set a great example of God. We are still in contact today and words cannot express how thankful I am for his influential life.

Here is the note...
It was my honor to write and read the following to a cherished colleague in ministry.

Today we honor you, my friend.
A humble man God chose to send
to redefine abundant life
as more than health and wealth.

You've taught us by your life and words
that grace once promised is assured
no matter what a day may bring
or what a doctor says.

In weakness, Marc, God's strength is shown.
And as you've persevered we've grown
to trust the One whose plans for us
aren't always what we'd choose.

You've modeled grace and dignity
while dealing with adversity.
You've shepherded a healthy flock
in spite of being ill.

You've helped us understand Paul's words
that may at first glance seem absurd.
That cracked pots are the means by which
God's glory is revealed.

You've preached the Word transparently
discovering humility
will starve the ego's appetite,
but nourish childlike faith.

Courageously you've faced your test.
And as we honor you be blessed.
Take comfort knowing you have touched
more people than you know.

Just fix your gaze on Jesus' face
and focus on His boundless grace.
The Savior bids you peer, son, peer.
Peer into His soft eyes.

And as you look you'll surely see
reflections of eternity
and glimpses of what yet awaits.
The best is yet to be.

by Rev. Greg Asimakoupoulos

* Marc's dad and my dad were both Assemblies of God ministers in the Northwest District when we were small boys. Our families were friends. In 1973 Marc and I served on staff at Shoreline Community Church (where my uncle Ben Birkeland was pastor). Marc was senior pastor of Christ Memorial Church in Poulsbo, WA for 31 years until his advancing case of A.L.S. forced him to retire last November. (That is the church my maternal great-grandparents helped to start more than 100 years ago.)

You can listen to Marc's final two sermons to a congregation he loves with all his heart. Here is a link to the church website. The two part message was preached on November 15 and 22. It is titled FINAL THOUGHTS. May God speak to your heart like He did to mine.

Marc and I
My mom and Marc
Where does time go?

Coffee Plant

I'm really excited about my coffee plants! I have four plants (which some call trees) and this last year there were 9 cherries on them. This year, three of the plants are already flowering and some already have some cherries. Click here to see an interesting video on the growth process of coffee.
This is a picture of a branch on one of my plants.


There is a cute little hummingbird who has decided to make her home on the tree in our back yard. She started to make the nest a few weeks ago and then laid some eggs. Now they've hatched and there are two little...I mean little! hummingbird babies in the nest. Here are some pics...pretty interesting!

Emma's Birthday

Emma turned 4 years old on April 10. In the midst of a very busy weekend, we had a small fiesta for her with a piñata and hot dogs!

Monday, April 26, 2010

Overcoming Your Fears

Martin is one of our Student Leaders who for the past few years has put together a boys camp for the students. He has done this on his own; by that I mean no one has asked him to do it, NOR has he asked for help with ideas! He says the Lord gives him the ideas and he runs with it. I believe him, because what he is doing in the lives of the youth in his own town is amazing. They all look up to him; someone who before was made fun of, now is respected. God has done and continues to do some amazing things through Martin.

This year's theme was "Venciendo Tus Temores" ("Overcoming Your Fears") as the camp flag below reads with the verse Deuteronomy 28:5-8 cited on it.
Pastor Gollo and I went out on Saturday to see how things were going and I was again impressed with Martin's abilities. Some of the things Martin has put together may not seem very modern :), but it is definitely GENUINE and straight from his surroundings. There was someone else I've read about who used his surroundings to reach the people he was preaching to :).

Here is Martin sharing the rules to a game they were about to start...
This is the main section of the camp with their sleeping area in the middle...
Here's a look inside...
This year's kitchen has a serving area in front...
Here's a closer look inside the kitchen; notice the grill...
This is where the guys were washing dishes when we arrived, the tar papered shack in the back is what many bathrooms look like here, it was not a bathroom, but a changing area.
The bathroom was outside the camp in a distance...
This is where they all met for devotions, bible studies, and other meetings...
Notice the homemade pulpit Martin put together...
There's always time for volleyball...
Here's the group...

Again, Martin has done a great job reaching out to the guys in his community and in the youth group! You can click here to see last year's boys camp.

Martin is hoping to be able to go back to Oaxaca this September for the second year of Bible School. The past few years he's had a desire to go, but because of either finances or unavailable classes, he's not been able to. I've had him as one of our leaders for four years and he is a gem! If you would like to help Martin finish the Bible school, let me know how you would like to help by emailing me at He needs a total of $2,000 usdollars for the year.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Worship Workshop

This is the first time we had a Worship Workshop were there was teaching for the band and a special worship service to follow. Pastor Kevin from Cy-Fair came and shared some thoughts with the band on Thursday through Saturday and that evening we had a Worship Night. It was a great time and the band was blessed by Kevin's teaching as well as the congregation with the opportunity to praise the Lord in the new sanctuary.

Pastor Brad accompanied Kevin and was able to speak with the leaders of the church on Friday night. It is always a blessing to have Pastors from outside help make a difference in not only the lives of the brothers and sisters, but also those the church are trying to reach.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Horseback Riding

Beto and I became friends when I was leading the youth group here 13 years ago. He and his wife Monica (who was also part of the youth group), have two daughters the same ages as our daughters. While on a family bike ride a couple weeks ago, we ran into Beto as he was driving cattle from one pasture to another. He offered to take me out horseback riding sometime so Tuesday I took him up on it. I haven't ridden a horse in a while, but I've always loved it!
He took me out to where he had his cattle and we drove them from there to another place about a mile away (my first cattle drive!LOL). At one point, Beto had to run down the road to get some cattle who had veered off. Once my horse saw Beto running, it wanted to run as well. I was ok with that, but my hat flew off! As I tried to grab it, I lost control and pulled on the reins to stop the horse. Suddenly, he stopped and almost sent me to the ground. It was pretty funny. Too bad no one had a video camera for that one!

After we took the cattle to the other field, we rode around the large pond outside of town. I had never been on the other side before and it was beautiful. We stopped along the way to get some water out of a natural well and sat down to eat some green mangos with lime as we talked about life.

I would do it again in a heartbeat!

Cy-Fair Youth Team

For the seventh year in a row, the Cy-Fair youth have come down to build relationships with our students. It's always a blessing to have them here and this year the relationships continued to strengthen as other new ones were formed.

For the past four years, they have served us at an awards banquet for our students and this year's theme was "Pairs". Each student came paired up with one or more others dressed in various different costumes; here are a few...
Nurse and patients; this was one of the best!
Pastors Mike and Dave dressed up as...yes...Jesus and the Devil.
Soccer players
Little girls
More little girls :)
Punk Rockers
Oh, and us :)

This year Interns Luis and Chuy announced the awards winners. Since the theme was "Pairs", we decided to give two awards for each category. It worked out really well. Here are the winners...

SPIRIT AWARDS: These awards went to the two students that stand out in their enthusiasm and good attitudes.
Gregorio Hernández
Isaiah TenBrink

NEW GENERATION AWARDS: These awards went out to the two students coming out of elementary school who have shown the most potential as leaders and good examples in the youth group.
Jonothan Elias
Karolina Vázquez

SERVANT AWARDS: These awards went to the two students who stand out amongst others with a willingness to serve and help out, not waiting for someone to ask them.
Jazmín Adilene Galicia
Luis Alberto Aguilar

BRAVE HEART AWARDS: These awards went out to the two students who stand out in their growth in the Lord and as leaders. They have taken huge steps this year and were commended for their courageous attitude as well as their willingness to serve.
Jose Luís Gonzalez
Pedro Salaiza

This year we decided to share a drama with the team. After one week of rehearsals, they did a great job. You can click here to see the students perform the popular Lifehouse-Everything Human Video.

The next few days were spent building relationships with each other through a 1/2 day volleyball tournament, an evangelism and garbage clean-up in San Diego (a village about 7 miles towards the mountains), and a free day where the guys played soccer and the girls did manicures and pedicures.
Manicure/Pedicure Day
Soccer Day

The final day together, we went out towards Arrayanes (a village 3 miles north) where there are some ruins to explore as we divided up into four small groups and shared our testimonies with each other with the idea that "these are the ruins in my life, and God has made me a new creature." It was pretty nice.
These are some arches that extend across the creek. It may have been used in an attempt to dam the water in order to find special stones.
This tree raps around a pillar that was part of an old Catholic Church. A lot of the rocks have been taken, but you can still see how the church was laid out as well as an underground room; some say it was the place where they tortured the protestants...I do not know if that is true.

Each team the comes down has the opportunity to get their hands dirty in the mornings with a construction project. This team's project was to begin working on bending, tying, and laying out rebar for the second stories roof of the new church.

It was a great time of encouragement and building new relationships. Our students love it when this team comes down because of the relationships they've built. Thank you Cy-Fair.