Buenos Dias, mis Amigos (Good Day, my Friends)
Hope your week was as blessed and fulfilling as mine!
I think I forgot to mention one of the blessings I had on Jan 27. There are a number of English-speaking women missionaries in Pachuca. Some of us got together at my house for a luncheon and decided to meet regularly to minister to each other in prayer, encourage each other, enjoy fellowship, play games, anything that gives us some respite from the stress and strain of ministry. There were 5 of us that day and there are at least 5 more. We decided to meet in a different woman’s house every 3 weeks. I know it will be a blessing for me, especially helpful with loneliness. There is one other who is single. She wasn’t able to come this time, but will come in the future. Please pray for our fellowship, that God will use us to help meet the needs of each other and will give us strong friendships while we are serving Him here in Pachuca.
Last Friday through Sunday we had our bi-annual Mexican Field Team meeting in Puebla. The last one was in September 2011. There are 11 of us–Todd and Tonja from Puebla (they have 3 children), Kay (our team leader) and Steve Carpenter from Mexico City, Pam and Vic deLeon from Mexico City, Casey and Teri Hancock (Casey is Todd’s brother and they have 3 children) from a different area in Mexico City, Greg and Vicki Syverson–they have 2 children (and me) from Pachuca. On Friday, we got together at the home of Todd and Tonja Hancock and ate dinner, fellowshipped, played games, and did Wii dances (even me, though I am miserably uncoordinated). It was a great time to get to know each other and families. Since we don’t live in the same area, it is hard to get to know each other and be able to function effectively as a team. I am so blessed to have such godly and committed team mates. Please pray for each of my teammates and their families to continues being obedient to His call.
Our meeting lasted all day Saturday and it was quite intense, but, with the help of God, we made some good decisions regarding our ministries. It is so good to see God working in each area of our ministries and working and blessing the lives of our teammates. Saturday night we ate dinner at Todd and Tonja’s again and then on Sunday we went to the new church that T & T have recently planted in conjunction with Global Scope (CMF campus ministry) in Puebla. The name of the church is Comunidad Cristiana Mosaico. (Mosaic Christian Community) A Mosaic is made up of several pieces of broken glass, clay, pottery etc put together to make a work of art. All of us are broken people, some with sharp edges and so on, but God is making us into His beautiful work of art. Because the focus was university with the diversity of Mexico, Germany, USA, Australia, etc. (the university is an international university) and since they are targeting all age groups, it seemed to fit well. It was a wonderful experience and I was amazed at the gifts God has given those young college students and the older people he has sent there to be a part of that body. It was great to be able to hear Todd preach and see the positive reaction from the people there. Please pray for El Pozo Christian Church, that God will grow them and bless them.
After church we all went to lunch together along with people from Global Scope. What a great time for fellowship! Then Greg, Vicki, their 2 sons and I came back to Pachuca.
Please pray that God will continue to bless our team to do His ministry for His glory.
Our TIC (CHE) trainers are busy working on their projects. They still have a lot to accomplish, but are enthusiastic about evangelizing and helping the people of LaRaza. Please pray for Adriana, Lola, Vicenta, and Norma for strength, wisdom and courage to complete projects and share His love.
Today we had test for our team meeting together for short meetings on the internet (Go To Meeting and Skype) It was different, but I think when we get used to it, it will be good for short meetings and emergency meetings. I was much more impressed with Skype, as we could use video to see each other. For some reason, the audio and video with Go To Meeting was less than desirable. This will be much cheaper than meeting together at some place in Mexico and even people who are on furlough can join in. We will still meet together 2 x a year and on other occasions, but this will be a good option. Please pray that we will be able to conduct team business in the most economical way.
I hope you all have a wonderful week and that God will bless you greatly. Thank you for your interest in my ministry. Thank you for your prayers–they have been extremely effective!! Remember that I am praying for you as well.continue reading
Hope you all are starting out with a blessed 2012!
After Christmas, we had a period of time with not much going on. It always takes time to get back in the rhythm of ministry after 1 month of vacation (I didn’t take a month , but that is what most people do here in December). Then, all of a sudden, we got busy–PTL!
Pam deLeon and I went to 2 places in another city–Puebla (about 2 hours from Mexico City) to talk with people there about CHE. Chere, a woman who used to work at Niños de Mexico, and her husband, Luis, live in a little town outside Puebla called Nazarín (not sure of the spelling because I couldn’t find it on the map). It is a rural area with farming as the main activity. We met with about 9 people, whom Luis and Chere meet with for Bible study. We read the Bible together to discover that Jesus ministered to both physical and spiritual needs, then we showed a video of CHE working in rural areas in Mexico and Africa. They seemed to receive the information very well, though it would be unusual for them not to receive information from North Americans well. After our presentation, they fed us tamales and olla (absolutely delicious Mexican coffee). They will contact us if they want to pursue the program with a community wide vision seminar. please pray for God to show them His vision for that area.
We stayed the night with Chere and Luis. Then Luis drove us about an hour to their church in Puebla. We talked with the pastor there about CHE and starting a program there. About 30-35 people attend their church. CHE would be a way to help the people in that area of Puebla and increase their membeship. He will also contact us if he wants to start a TIC (CHE) program there. (Sorry, I didn’t get any pictures of that church). please pray for this pastor to discern God’s will for his church.
Then Pam and I came back to Pachuca on the bus so we could meet with our TIC trainers to encourage them to pursue their projects that need to be completed before we can start the next phase of the training. Not much has been done since our first phase (we finished in October and one of the trainers has had major family problems and then there was — December!) They have to do a school screening, a base survey, a detained map of the area, and what we call a “seed project”, which is a small project to call the community’s attention to TIC. They are planning a praise concert, involving all the churches in LaRaza in April. After that, we will start phase 2 of the training, which will prepare them to have a vision seminar for the community, train a committee and TIC volunteers. They have complied the survey and some of the youth will help them conduct it and also help them make the maps. Please pray for the 4 trainers, that they will not lose the vision they had and will be committed to implementing TIC and continuing their training.
Saturday we had a women’s breakfast. We hadn’t had one in quite a while. There were a number of women who do not attend our church there, so it was a great outreach. Vicki gave the program on “Who are you in God’s eyes”? It was very good. The breakfast was good too!
Monday, Pam d and I went to an area in the north of Mexico City called Huehuetoca (waywaytoka) where Casey and Teri, 2 of our teammates, have planted a church called Rey de Reyes (King of Kings). We spoke to 5 women at their Bible study. They seemed very enthusiastic about TIC. They will pray about it and let us know also. One woman wants to plant a church in a poor area nearby and is interested in using TIC for that purpose. (Sorry, didn’t get pictures there) As you can see, God is blessing our ministry and giving us opportunities to reach more and more people in Mexico. Please pray for us, our strength, wisdom, and guidance in staying in His will.
Yesterday, Vicki called to ask me if I wanted to go with Greg and 3 other church members, Claudia and Lazaro, and Aurelia who brought her granddaughter, Jessica (Aurelia is the mother of Serenia, who died of cancer last year and Jessica is her daughter) who were going to visit Marina, one of our members, who is staying with her daughter in El Chico, a national forest area near Pachuca (about 45 minutes drive). It is an amazingly beautiful area. If you come visit me, we will go there! Marina has had many health problems, especially recently, and was staying with her daughter, Brenda, so Brenda could take care of her. I have visited Marina in her home in LaRaza and talked with her frequently at church. She has had major surgery on her pancreas, so therefore has blood sugar problems. Of course I wanted to go. Evidently Marina had an urinary tract infection and was very ill. She is on medication now and is physically better, but has lost a lot of weight and is very depressed. We prayed for her and tried to encourage her. Brenda and her husband are not Christians, so I pray that they will see the love of God working in her mother and through us. Please pray for Marina, that God will comfort and lift her spirits and for Brenda and her husband and 3 children to find the love of Jesus for themselves.
Yesterday afternoon, I went to buy propane gas for my heater. I stopped at the supermarket and just as I was leaving, we had a huge hail storm. I had to wait until most of the storm was finished. It does not snow here, but it sure looked like snow on the ground. It was the longest hail storm I have ever experienced. I passed 3 major accidents as I was going home. PTL that I was in the store and not on the road when the storm hit! Thank you all for your prayers for me. I can see how God is answering them every day! Without your back up in prayer and support, I could not be here. You all all such blessings to me! God bless you all real good. More to come next week after our team meeting in Puebla.
Hi Loved Ones,
I am excited to tell you about exciting things happening in Pachuca. 2 Sundays ago we had 8 baptisms–PTL, including one young man I have been praying for. His name is David, but they call him Tigre (Tiger). Also part of the family of Sirena, the woman who died of cancer that I told you about (I am sure she was rejoicing with the angels) and the son of Adriana, one of our CHE team. It was a very special day. Of course we had a wonderful potluck afterward. Please pray for these new brothers and sisters, that they will grow in Christ and be used for His glory to share His love with their families and neighbors.
Wed, Dec. 7, Pam deLeon and I had a meeting with our CHE team to encourage them in the projects they have to complete before we have more training. They are going to do surveys, make a comprehensive map of LaRaza, do a school screening, and have a youth concert. They are going to be busy doing and learning. They are still very excited about what God is going to do through them. Please pray for Adriana, Norma, Vicenta, and Lola, that God will give them boldness and wisdom as they continue in His ministry.
Thursday, Dec 8, I received a call from my cousin in Atlanta that my aunt went to be with the Lord. Her name was Wilma Anderson and she was very special to me and also to everyone who knew her. She and her husband, Itys, did not have children, so I became like her’s, and she spoiled me rotten. She also showered all my cousins with her love. She contributed to my ministry in Africa and also here in Mexico and prayed for me every day. She had become ill a couple of weeks before and was in the hospital, but doing well and ready to go home–actually waiting for the wheel chair to discharge her –when she had a massive stroke. After that she developed a bad lung infection and, in God’s mercy, was taken to her heavenly home. I left the next day for Springfield, MO, where she was to be buried next to Itys. The funeral was Tuesday (her body had to be flown from Atlanta). I stayed with my sister, Christie, who lives in Springfield. It was good to be able to see her, her husband Keith, her son Josh and his new fiancee, Nancy. The funeral was a wonderful tribute to my aunt and how God worked in her life. My daughter and son came to the funeral from St. Louis, so I came back to St. Louis with them to spend Christmas with 2 of my grandkids, family and friends. I am so thankful to be with them now. I plan to return to Mexico Dec. 29. I will post pictures of our Christmas. Please pray for my aunt Imogene, who has been living with my aunt Wilma (her sister) for the past 19 years. Her life will definitely be changing. She is 86 (Aunt Wilma was 93) She is going to live with Susan, her daughter.
I am praying for you all that you will be blessed as we celebrate the birth of our Lord and Savior.
I was privileged to be able to visit the boarding high school of CMF partner Missions of Hope. Janice Lemke and I traveled 2 hours on horrible roads to the rural area. We had to wait to go there all morning because it had rained and the roads were impassible. I was very impressed with the school. They were building more permanent buildings, but were already teaching the students (most from Methare) in temporary tin buildings. Janice went there to teach a class in creative writing. Janice is an amazing writer. These are the photos I took:
We thought we were going to be able to see the vegetable garden they were using to help feed the students, but rain was coming and John, or driver, said if it rained we would have to stay because the roads would not be passable. Please pray for Missions of Hope, the teachers, and the students. These students are so important for the future of Methare. Pray that God will use them to share Christ with their families and neighbors.
I left Kenya on Friday. The Lemkes and I shared the flight to Paris. I left the Mennonite Guest House at 1:45 p.m. and met the Lemkes at Missions of Hope. We left Missions of Hope at 2:30 and went to a Mall fairly close to the airport to kill time because the traffic on the road close to the airport is so bad on Friday evening. We ate at the Mall and then headed for the airport. It took us 1 1/2 hours to get there because of some traffic problem. John said it was very unusual for it to be that bad on that road. We arrived at the airport at 7:30. When we checked in we were told that our flight was delayed until 3 a.m. because Paris was too foggy. John had already left, so we had to stay in the airport until then. One thing I learned–Nairobi Airport is very uncomfortable! We did leave at 3 and arrived in time for my flight to Mexico City (which was delayed an hour), but Cory and Janice missed their flight to Seattle. At first they thought they would have to stay until Monday (it is now Saturday), but PTL they were able to get a flight to New York and then on to Seattle. I was so thankful that God arranged companions for that difficult part of my trip. It was great to get to know Janice and Cory better. They are very special people. Please pray for their ministry in Coaching Ministries International (CMI) where they coach missionaries and national church planters around the world. They also represent CMF in US churches on the West Coast. They were missionaries in the Ukraine for a number of years.
I arrived home in Pachuca about 11 p.m. Nov 19, safe and sound but, boy was I tired! I am enjoying being in my own bed and have finally recovered from jet lag. I was still jetlagging on Thanksgiving, which I was blessed to spend with the deLeons and the Carpenters, who had just arrived from their week in the UK. Good food and good fellowship (even though 3 of us were jetlagging). I went back home that evening. I hope you all had a wonderful Dia de Gracias (Day of Thanking). I was thanking God for you and for your partnership in our ministry in Mexico. You are such a blessing!
Continuing the Africa Adventure: On Wednesday, Nov 16 we went on a day safari at Nairobi Game Park. Compared to my safaris at the Masaai Mara, I was a little disappointed because we couldn’t really drive close to the animals, but it was fun to see everyone else enjoy what animals we did see. We saw many giraffes, buffalo, rhinos at a distance too far to get a picture, types of gazelle, and different birds.
After the safari, we went to the nearby Baby Elephant orphanage. The babies are found with their dead mothers, who had been killed by poacher looking for ivory, or died from the drought. They raise them then slowly release them into the wild. Very interesting and they were so cute and funny!
Hope you enjoyed these pics as much as I enjoyed taking them! On Thursday, I went to the boarding high school of Missions of Hope. I related that adventure and post pictures on the next post.
Continuing my time in Africa . . .the next Monday we went back to Nairobi. PTL I was feeling good except for a little sleep deprivation! We stayed again at the Mennonite guest house. Monday night 7 of us went to an Ethiopian restaurant. Wow, I hadn’t realized how much I had missed Eritrean food. The food in Ethiopia and Eritrea is very similar (Eritrean is better!)
On Tuesday we went to see a CMF partner CHE program called Mission of Hope Partnership in one of the worst slums in Nairobi (Methare). It was a very difficult to see the slums, but gave me such a great feeling to see what God is doing there. People are beginning to live much better lives, albeit still in Methare. They are learning skills that enable them to live in better housing, feed their kids, have health care and know the Lord Jesus Christ. They used some great microenterprise techniques that I hope to use in Pachuca. They have learned the best ways to enable people to help themselves and help their children get an education. Nothing is given to them, they contribute and earn whatever they have. You could see the pride on their faces when they showed us their work. Please pray for Mission of Hope Partnership as they minister to some of the poorest people on earth, showing them the love of Christ and respecting them enough to help them help themselves.
After we visited Methare, we went to another slum that a new Mission of Hope was being started. The CHE program had enabled the people to build a toilet and people were realizing the health benefits of using a toilet. Mission of Hope was building a 4-story school and was using the almost finished 2 lower levels for school while the 2 upper levels were still under construction. I was really impressed by the speed that the building was being built.
Please pray for the new mission and for the lives of the many people that will be impacted by the love of God.
One the way back, we had a bus adventure. Our bus got stuck under an overpass and it was amazing how we got out! PTL about 15 men volunteered to help lift the bus onto rocks to be able to back up and then drive out.
That was the adventures for Tuesday. Stay tuned for the Adventures of Wednesday!
I’ve finally recovered from jet lag and overeating at Thanksgiving . I have so much to tell you, I have been procrastinating because I was trying to figure out how to get it all in one blog. I have decided I will break it up into more than one. Hope it will work for you.
I left for Kenya with Kay and Steve Carpenter Friday, Nov 4 at 9:35 p.m. For those of you who don’t have a clue why I went to Africa–I went for a CMF Church Planting Forum for all CMF missionaries. We arrived in Nairobi on Sunday, Nov. 6 at 7 a.m. (keeping in mind that Nairobi is 9 hours ahead of Mexico). We spent 5 1/2 hours at the very nice airport in Amsterdam. Both of our flights were night flights, which should have been conducive to sleep. I slept about 2 1/2 hours, so was very tired when we arrived in Nairobi. We all rested at the Mennonite Guest House (a wonderful, very inexpensive place for missionaries) where I have stayed many times) most of Sunday, and went to the Nairobi Java house for dinner–one of my favorite places. They had Ethiopian Coffee!!!!
We all flew to Malindi and the Turtle Bay Resort on Monday morning to spend 2 days before the forum. I was so excited about going because I had been there before and it is a great place to snorkel. Unfortunately, I started feeling really bad–sore throat, cough, and congestion. I thought it was probably a virus and had to wait it out. I went to the Turtle Bay doctor on Wednesday and got some cough medicine. Though it helped the cough, I was getting worse. Finally on Saturday, I went back to the doctor and got an antibiotic, which was what I needed and I was feeling much better by Monday, when we went back to Nairobi.
Thank God, I was still able to attend the Forum and I am so grateful to have learned so much from my fellow missionaries about CHE and was able to share my experiences with them. I just wasn’t able to snorkel or enjoy the resort as much. I was so thankful to see friends whom I haven’t seen for a long time. I am so happy to bring back some CHE strategies that we can use in Pachuca. Most of the missionaries there were, of course, serving in Africa, but Kay, Steve, and I came from Mexico and Tammy and Tim Aho came from England. I wish all the CMF missionaries could have been there. It was well worth the effort to go. Please pray for all CMF missionaries, especially the ones in Ivory Coast, who are now dealing with meningitis especially with their HIV + patients. Check out the next blogs for more exciting stories and pictures! Love you all.
Hi Friends, hope you all had a Happy Halloween! We don’t really celebrate it here much because it is actually Dia Del Muerte, (Day of the dead). It is a day of the worship of St. Death. As Christians, we celebrate LIFE and know that Jesus DEFEATED death on the cross, Halleluia! But some of us missionaries got together to celebrate life and let the kids dress up in costumes. They didn’t go trick or treating, but got some candy at our own celebration. Please pray for all the missionaries in Pachuca. We each have our own challenges, but we have the same vision–to claim Pachuca for Christ. It is great to be able to work together with them.
Sorry it has been so long, but my hard drive died : ( It took a while, but PTL I have a new one and, since my computer was under warranty, I didn’t cost me anything but time.
So much has happened since my last blog, but I will just tell you about the most recent (or this would be a book).
It was such a blessing to go back to the US the end of August through Sept 14. What a joy to see many of you and to be with my family. For the first time in 4 years, all my kids and grandkids were together. I was so happy to be able to spend time with all of them together and we even got a family picture taken! I was so excited to be able to hug and kiss my daughter Tami (in red) and granddaughter Kai (bottom right). For 3 years I could just see and talk with them on skype (they live in Alaska). I am very grateful for skype, but it sure was good to get hugs and kisses from them and the whole family. I am so grateful to the Lord from taking care of them. I thank God for his travel mercies–for me and for my daughter and granddaughter. I also was able to go to Springfield, MO and visit my sister, her husband and my nephew. What a blessing! Please pray for my family to stay close to the Lord and especially for my daughter in Alaska, who is far away from family.
While I was visiting in the US, I was privileged to share about the work here with an adult Sunday School class at my home church, First Christian Church of Florissant and also in two of the church services. I also met people interested in coming on a mission trip to Pachuca. We discussed possibilities of how they could contribute physically to the ministry. I am very excited about people from my church doing hands on ministry here. I thank God every day for the faithfulness of my brothers and sisters in financial and prayer support. They are as important to this ministry as I am. Please pray for God to bring people from my church and others to become involved in this ministry. The fields are white for harvest, but the workers are few.
I was pretty busy while I was in the US. I also went to Indianapolis to get some help from Mike and Miranda at CMF for this blog and some problems with my laptop (little did I know that the hard drive was on its way out). On the way back to St. Louis, I stopped at Bloomington, IN to visit and consult with Judy Fish, who is a CMF expert on CHE. I had a great time with Judy, had dinner, spent the night, and got some wonderful advice on training our trainers in Pachuca.
After I got back to Pachuca on Wednesday, Sept 14, we (Pam deLeon and I) had another training session with our 4 trainers, on Saturday. I was so surprised that they gave me a birthday cake. (My birthday was Sept 12) I am so proud of these 4 very strong, dedicated and compassionate women. I know God will use them in a mighty way to shine light in the darkness of La Raza and other areas in Pachuca. Please pray for Adriana, Norma, Lola and Vicenta to remain faithful to God’s call and for favor in the eyes of the government people and others they have to deal with
The next Friday we had to go to Mexico City for our semi-annual Mexico Field Team meeting. It started of Friday night with a get-together and games. On Saturday, we had the team meeting and PTL, we accomplished a lot of business.
On Sunday we attended church at the newest church plant in north Mexico City, a place called Huehuetoca (pronounced Way Way Toka). Rey de Reyes (King of Kings) Church is held in a park in the middle of a new housing project. Our teammates, Casey and Teri Hancock, are facilitating this ministry. I was so delighted that one of the men in the new church preached. They average about 30 in attendance every week and have small groups during the week. God is really working in this area. Please pray for Casey and Teri and the beautiful people in Rey de Reyes Christian Church.
The next week a young man (Brad Chapman) came from the US to visit the work of CMF in Mexico. He is seeking God’s will in ministry. He has a heart for Mexico and also for CHE. He spent 4 days in Pachuca and we had a great time sharing the ministry here with him.
Saturday, Oct 15 was our last TOT (training of trainers) I. There are 2 more TOTs, but this one involves the most time. It was about 45 hours of training for our trainers. Between now and the next TOT (II) they have a lot of homework to accomplish. They are planning a Christian youth concert mid December in LaRaza. They have to contact many groups and churches there; make a map of LaRaza including all businesses, organizations, government installations, and schools; do a school health screening; and make a calendar of major events and important times in the area. Whew! Please pray for their strength, wisdom and time to get these things accomplished. The next TOT will start in February.
Sunday, Oct 16, our trainers were recognized in the church service, they were presented with certificates and each gave an overview of their vision and what they have learned. It was a wonderful time for them.
Thank you all so much for your prayers and support. Please know that you are also in my prayers and I know God is answering all our prayers because He is faithful.
Until next time, God bless you all.
P.S. How ‘bout those Cardinals???? I am so happy I get to watch the games here. I know you all aren’t Cardinal fans, but I forgive you.
WOW! How blessed are we? At Nueva Vida church we expected around 100 kids for VBS (Courso Verano). We had 150 and 40 helpers! It was held July 25-29 from 9 am -1 pm. We put a huge tent over the basketball court and parking area in case of rain, but God was merciful and we didn’t have rain during the time we were doing VBS. We want to put a permanent cover over the court because we are growing out of the church area we have. What a wonderful, fun, tiring time! The CMF interns, youth and adults from the church were helpers and thank God for them! 8 women, including myself made a lunch for everyone. I learned so much! The first day we made hot dogs and guava. The hot dogs had mayonnaise, ketchup and pickled jalapeños. I learned that mayonnaise is put on EVERYTHING here, including pizza. I know . . .yuk! The 2nd day we made molletes, which are hard rolls cut in 1/2 and spread with . . . you guessed it . . . mayonnaise and refried beans then topped with cheese and toasted in the oven. Yum!! (actually I prefer it without mayo) We served that with cantaloupe. The third day we made chicken taquitos, the fourth day–cheese quesadillas and the last day–tortas (sandwiches with refried beans, ham, cheese and . . . yep–Mayo!) and cookies. The kids had classes in art, music, memory verses, English, Bible stories, and games. They had a blast! We had fun, but 8 women making a meal (not just snack) for 190 people in a very small kitchen took a lot of planning, organization and grace! I was so thankful to be able to get to know the other women much better. They were very patient with my Spanish and helpful in correcting me. The biggest clink in the works was the water pump went out one whole day, but after a lot of frustrating attempts, Greg got it going. PTL! On Sunday, the families were invited to the close of the VBS, just like in the US, to see their kids perform by singing and saying memory verses. We all wore our T-shirts. The 3 beautiful women who came from the US donated money for the T-Shirts. What generous women they are, with time and money! Enrique gave a short sermon on being godly parents. Then they were provided a meal of Pozole—my personal favorite. I don’t know the exact count of people who came but at least 250 people. Most are not church members anywhere or are Catholics. There are a lot of pictures. Hope you enjoy. The kids are beautiful!! Please pray that God will water and make fruitful the seeds that were planted. Sorry but have had problems publishing this. That is why it is so late.continue reading