Thursday, November 30, 2023

EL RETO 2023 WEEK TWO

Week two started right away with some bible trivia giving the staff opportunity to get to their locations for the activities. Once the teams answered three questions, they received instructions on how to open a box with a combination padlock attached. Inside the box were instructions to the beginning of EL RETO RACE.

Each team had to make their way to Cofradia's man-made lake following the signs along the way. Mixed in the signs were different signs of the end times written on signs...confused yet?


On their way to the lake, the first stop was for two of their participants to swim out on boogie boards and retrieve two balloons with clues to their next stop.

As they arrived at the first race-pausing destination. The teams all gathered for a couple of relay races...





Upon finishing the two games, each team had to RETURN to the church where they would write out the signs of the end times they saw along the way.

After all the activities, each week we have "El Refugio" (The Refuge) where all the teams get to hang out in our youth room and we have Worship and a Word.
Then, it's off to the voting room to vote for another team to have to do chores...
After reading the votes, everyone is dismissed.

This week involved many different ways of teaching each of us the Love of God. Through our journey of life...not everything is easy, sometimes it feels like you're crawling through mud, we were exposed the "signs of the end times" along the journey, and we learned how to work as a team as each of us have an individual part to play within the body of Christ. 

Blessed time! If you would like to partner with us, please follow the instructions here and indicate that it is for EL RETO. Thank you!

See the report on EL RETO WEEK ONE

Wednesday, November 29, 2023

Kingdom Stories

When we arrived to Cofradia in October, I decided to write a few stories of what God is doing in peoples' lives here. Some are short and small, but big for those who have experienced them. This is a result of your investing in God's Kingdom through prayer and giving. We thank you so much for your partnership!

Monday, November 20, 2023

EL RETO 2023 WEEK ONE

After three years of not having been able to have our annual Student Ministries Outreach, EL RETO (The Challenge), The Return of EL RETO is here!

The Return is the theme this year. As we Return EL RETO, we also focus on The Return of Christ. So, our teaching this year will be focused around Christ's second coming.

Nearly 60 students came out as we started with four teams:


The Raptured
Captain: Angel

The Believers
Captain Luis

The Chosen 
Captain Emma

The Set Apart
Captain Aidé

After each captain presented what their team's name was and the design they made on their flag, they immediately left the church and ran to the Mission Base where some staff had hidden 50 really small jars with a numbered piece of paper inside that indicated how many points they received. 
Leaving the church...

Searching at the base...

There was a variety of different numbers and the results were:

The Raptured    3,250
The Believers    1,700
The Chosen       1,600
The Set Apart       300

From there, they had to RETURN to the church where the rest of the staff were waiting to serve them a meal. Not a normal meal, but the traditional RETO BANQUET! This was the first time we had the Banquet the first week, no one was expecting it.

On the menu was:
"The Beginning" (Gerber baby food)

"The Following Dish" (Cauliflower bathed in Mayonnaise)

"The Flag" (Jalapeño Pepper filled with cream cheese and hot Takis chips covered in hot sauce--The Mexican flag's colors are Green, White, Red)

"Together" (Two cucumbers with two team members)

"Tangled Up" (Pesto cooked in olive oil and basil)

"Dessert" (A real Cupcake with sour cream frosting)

"The Dawning of the Day" (Black Coffee disguised in a small bottle of coke)

Upon finishing the Banquet, we all went up to THE REFUGE. The Refuge is upstairs in the youth room where we all come together as one team. This past year, your donations have allowed us to purchase a Foosball table, Ping Pong table, and a Basketball game.
Ping Pong!

Foosball

Basketball!

Getting ready for Worship!

Caleb and band leading

Pastor Chuy speaking

Caleb led worship, Pastor Chuy preached, and then each team made their way one by one to the voting room where they voted for another team to do chores (setting up chairs for Sunday's service and cleaning up the Youth room after the service).

EL RETO is filled with unreached youth in our town and region. Over ten cities and towns are represented in this event. At minimum, 90% of these kids won't go to church. This is our privileged opportunity to share the gospel with them. During the voting time, I took the opportunity to share with each team, on a more intimate level, a simple message of the gospel. Most of the kids shared a desire to make Jesus their Lord! Praise Jesus!
These are seeds we're planting. Please pray the seeds will fall on good soil. Please pray that seeds will grow. Please pray we will have wisdom on how to love and follow-up on these students.

We do not charge any of the students to come to this event. It is an event that costs us $2,000 US Dollars which goes towards all materials and props, gas and transportation, shirts for staff and captains, drinks and snacks for the students. Please pray about being a partner with EL RETO and help us get the gospel out to these unchurched students! Thank you so much!!




Friday, November 10, 2023

Joven a Joven

"Youth to Youth" is the name of the camp our students went to this month where over 800 bodies gathered from all over Mexico. Fortunately for us, the camp is only a few hours away near Puerto Vallarta in a small beach town called Chapala.


For three days/two nights, our students played games and listened to different speakers throughout the event. One of the girls from our church in Rosamorada made a decision to be baptized. Praise the Lord.

On our way to Riviera, Nayarit, on Friday, we stopped by the camp to say hello to the students and see how they were doing. They were all having a great time and look forward to next year's "Joven a Joven".


Pastor Amado and his family with the girl who was Baptized (middle)

Everyone stayed in tents...hot tents.

A group of students hiked up the mountain both mornings

The ladies standing in the "shade" (look closely)

Sunset in Chacala

Wednesday, November 01, 2023

COMING SOON! EL RETO 2023!


EL RETO (The Challenge) is our annual Student Ministry Outreach. It has been a couple years since we've done this due to COVID and the
passing of Pastor Luis who took over this ministry for me in 2011. It will take place every Saturday of November. 

As EL RETO returns, the theme for this year will be appropriately named, "The Return", with an emphasis on Christ's return for His people. Our annual budget for this outreach is $2,000 which will pay for a snack for the students each week, staff and captain t-shirts, travel expenses, and all the materials needed. The students can attend for free because of your contributions. This is a wide open door for students to hear about God's love for them and give them purpose in life.

This is part of your Investment in the Kingdom. If you would like to contribute to reaching out to students this way, please indicate "RETO" and follow the instructions here.