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.