Friday, May 26, 2017

Building Bridges

"Cofradia" means "Brotherhood": A group of people linked together for a common purpose whose goal is religious or charitable.

One of the charitable activities that bring us together is construction projects.  A few weeks ago, an older gentlemen, Mr. Pineda, came to me asking for labor help with a room for his house for which the government provided the material.  The rain is coming soon and he still has a number of vulnerable bags of cement lying around.

After talking it over with our Civil Association leadership team, we decided that it would be a great opportunity to build a bridge for Christ in the town of Las Pilas where Mr. Pineda lives.  We have been doing bible studies in that town for the past few years and like Nehemiah, we want to help people with their physical needs as well.

We gathered some volunteers and went out to pour the floor of the room that will be added on to the man's house.  On our way, our cement mixer's axel froze up and we had to lift it into the back of my Courier.  After about an hour of work, we finished and were able to bless Mr. Pineda.  Pastor Goyo is planning some more trips out there until we finish the project.

Here are some pics of the floor being poured...


We are Raising Up Leaders in Rural Mexico!

We want to see people being raised up as capable leaders who will become great leaders in their families, churches, and communities.  One of the most effective ways we've been able to see results of growth and awareness is through Leadership Retreats.  During these times, people have a chance to participate in ideas, be encouraged by others, learn about teamwork, and be challenged to put their visions into action.  It's been a very helpful tool for us.

Last December, some pastors came to us asking for help with their ministries.  After mentioning that these retreats have been very helpful, they wanted us to do one with them.  So we did.

Some said it was "encouraging and very much needed for their ministry" and others added that "this was a time of refreshing renewal" for them.  They all mentioned that this was an urgent need for their leadership team in their ministries and they needed to do something about it right away.

This was a very fulfilling time for our team as it is our desire to help as much as we can the churches in our region as we also can learn from them.  It's an exciting time of team building and focus as we understand that we are all working for the same Kingdom and know that our congregations are "not ours".  Having that concept helps us build camaraderie with each other.

After everyone was picked up, we made our way to San Blas where we visited the ruins of a naval look-out area and an old church from the 18 century.  We all shared our stories of how God has worked in our lives.  As we left, we were able to leave those "ruins" there and focus on what was ahead.

We arrived at the Bungalow downtown which turned out to be very accessible to our needs.  As Lain prepared lunch for everyone at the barbecue, we talked about the required reading for this trip, John Maxwell's The 21 Most Powerful Minutes in a Leader's Day.

After lunch and an activity, we talked about what characteristics are found in bad teams as opposed to good teams and each ministry chose a few of the positive characteristics to work on.  Then, Pastor Goyo led a session on Nehemiah chapters one and two just before dinner.

During dinner, some of the guys jumped in the pool while we had the movie Invictus projected up on the wall.

The next morning we debriefed the movie and looked at some of the positive characteristics in the way Nelson Mandela brought together his country when he became President.  We moved on to a "Health Report" of our ministries and talked about ways we can do things better in light of all the information we had talked about in the previous 24 hours.  This led us to challenge them to put together a one-day or weekend leadership retreat for their leadership teams in their ministries.

In the end, it was an excellent time and very, very productive.  We were able to relax in the afternoon at the beach for a couple of hours before heading home.

Here are a few pics from the retreat...
A must-need pit-stop at Starbucks before we hit the road.
Sharing each others' stories at the ruins.
Pastor Luis completely engaged during the activity.
Positive qualities of a functional team.
Some of the guys hopped in the pool during the movie.
Planning time for a retreat with their own teams.
Unity in Diversity.
Thank you to all of you who prayed specifically for this retreat.  In general, when you pray and give, you are investing in our ministry and the ministers and ministries in which we have influence.  Your gifts are very much appreciated!

Please make a special one-time donation or become a monthly donor to this ministry; click on this link and follow the instructions.

At that same link, you can send a gift for an upcoming Leadership Course some of our pastors will be attending in Mexico City.  The cost is roughly $265 US Dollars per person.  We have three Pastors signed up and are committed to helping them; we would love to send more!


Tuesday, May 02, 2017


Greetings from Cofradía, Mexico! Thank you so much for remembering us in your prayers this past month!  It was a good month to get caught up on a number of things that have been waiting to get done.  Also, we were able to make time for a couple of trips to catch some waves at the beach.  You will see a number of photos at the link below under the heading, “Emma’s Birthday”.

Last month, we asked you to pray for... 

  1. Rosamorada Outreach: This three-day outreach was held in the public town square.  Each night there was worship music, a message, and prayer.  There were testimonies of how God touched lives and many by-standards stopped to listen.  I have touched on this in a brief report with pictures here.
  2. Emma’s Birthday:  We had a really fun day at the beach as we celebrated Emma’s birthday.  Due to Holy Week, there were a lot of people, but the waves were still the same...and we caught some!  We have lots of pictures here.
  3. 49th Anniversary: Congratulations to Mom and Dad who celebrated their 49th anniversary on April 12!
  4. Pastors’ Retreat: Please continue to lift this up in prayer as we have set the dates for May 12 and 13.  We found an excellent location for a very low price!  We will focus on teamwork and the needs in our ministries.  We are really excited about the opportunity to invest in the pastors from Rosamorada, Las Varas, and Compostela, Nayarit, as they have requested our help in guiding them and we look forward to what we can learn from them as well. 
  5. Our Family: Thank you for your continued prayers.

Here are some links to more:
This month, will you please pray for...
  1. Pastors’ Retreat: Pray for guidance as we plan; open hearts as we teach; and a humble spirit as we learn. 
  2. Las Pilas Church: For a number of years, one of the members of the Cofradía church has been visiting Las Pilas (the town right before you get to Cofradía from the Interstate).  She, Secundina, has adequately discipled one of the locals, Francisca (the wife of Mario the Taco guy), who in turn has been leading bible studies for a couple of years now.  About seven people in town came to her asking her to teach them and lead them.  With the help of Secundina and occasional visits by Pastor Goyo, their meetings have been consistent and they have been growing spiritually.  They currently meet on Thursdays home-group style and will continue to do so, but we’re also praying about a more communal place for them to meet which would include property and a building like we have at the mission base.  Please pray with us for their continued growth and direction for the future of the Las Pilas Church. 
  3. Arrayanes Church: As many of you know we have church property and a building in Arrayanes where we gathered on Sunday evenings a number of years ago.  We eventually started to meet all together in Cofradía on Sundays and held home bible studies in Arrayanes during the week.  Activity in Arrayanes has gradually decreased and is almost non-existent.  The building is no longer being used and the property looks abandoned.  Some of the Arrayanes congregation continues to meet with us in Cofradía on Sundays, but many do not come or have quit coming.  We would like to see something happen during the week to give the opportunity of meeting together for those who do not come or cannot attend.  Pastor Goyo met with them last Friday night to talk to them about starting something up again.  We are praying that the Lord would begin to move once again in this town.  The enemy has taken ground and we want it back.  To give you a better picture, read all of Nehemiah 2 and give attention to verses 17 and 18.  After praying about this for some time, it has really been on our hearts to “rebuild” in Arrayanes.  Pastor Goyo will meet again with them on May 19. 
  4. Our Family: Please continue to pray for our family.  Pray for the Lord’s wisdom, clear communication amongst each other and with others, a considerate and loving heart to hurting people, God’s guidance in leadership, and whatever else the Lord lays on your heart.

Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good; His love endures forever!

Thank you so much for being part of our team as we work together to RAISE UP LEADERS IN RURAL MEXICO!!!!


Steve, Geña, Rebecka, Emma, and Mackenzie Silberman
Missionaries to Mexico
Alternative Missions
Cofradia Area Director


Online, you can make a one-time, tax-deductible gift, or set up to make automatic monthly donations to our personal support at this link.

Send a check made out to Alternative Missions to Alternative Missions / PO Box 3107 / Ferndale, WA 98248.  Indicate that it is for The Silbermans.