Sunday, March 27, 2011

We made it

After a long, exhausting trip, we finally made it home! I'm sure we are happy to see our families and get home. Thank you for all your prayers, they are what got us through the week away from home. We will update you with more stories about the trip later. Thanks again.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Here we are on Friday!!!

What a week! So much was accomplished for the Kingdom of God. We were able to fully complete the work project at the north site, Praise God! Even with the rain that casued the mud delays we were able to complete everything at the south site. Most importantly, our feet were able to be led everyday to visit the homes God would have us go to. We were able to lift up our brothers and sisters in Christ to encourage them, and give them a Bible for their home if they had none. We were also able to visit and bring the word of God to people who may not have heard the gospel before, and pray for God to heal illnesses, their jobs, for their families, and most importantly for them to recieve Christ.

Not only did we get to outreach in that way, we also touched many children's hearts in VBS. Dan had quite a following of young boys in "his soccer team", they looked up to him in many ways including prayer time. Three of which went up at the end of VBS to accept Jesus as their Savior. There were approximately 20 kids at the north site that went up at the altar call. Many hearts were softened towards the gospel this week. At the south site, approximately 15 kids went up and prayed with pastor Paul to accept Jesus into their hearts.

The experiences here are so difficult to put into typed words, the emotions, the laughter, it cannot be conveyed. It has to be felt. We wish we could bring this back to all of you to see, and to feel, or to bring all of you down with us. To look into the eyes of these children and these prayer warriors...words cannot describe what your heart says. If God is calling you in any way to come on a mission trip please do not hesitate, please do not let anything become an excuse to keep you from coming. God will bless you for your obedience, God will bless you for listening.

We are packing today, visiting some other missionaries in the area, and getting ready to head home tomorrow. We will continue the blog, for days to come after we arrive home with stories that are told to us from others that may be interesting for you to hear. We will we be adding pictures and videos today, but for now we leave you with these;

"Nobody cares how much you know, until they know how much you care." -Shirley Baker

As Pastor Paul has been known to say, "Actions speak so loud, I can't hear what you are saying."

See you all soon.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Tuesday- Moving right along...

Well, we were very busy again today. Building, VBS, prayer visitation (again that just really can't be put into words... you will just have to come down here and experience it... or find one of us to tell you in expressionate conversation when we are home.) On the prayer visitation I do think Ian Patt hit on something good, it is humbling. We were a pretty tired group when we all rolled in tonight, so I'm thinking that the beautiful children we played with wore us all out! The girls were going around tonight though striking up conversation with the adults asking how they either proposed or were proposed to. It is so nice to see this group that we have gathered here. We have such a wonderful blend of age groups, and they are all blended well together. There is no "adult table", "teen table", "kids table". We are all mixed in together and being blessed by eachother. We have had some great games of volleyball here at the base, as you can see by the pictures posted. The soccer is fantastic down here, even when we are playing in the lodo! Speaking of which it was a little bit better today. Oh and speaking of things from yesterday I forgot to mention a few things. The poor team to the south that had gotten stuck in the mud, couldn't get to their building site right away, etc. Well, I forgot to say God took care of them. They did get two, yes two lunches! They sacrificed and ate them both with smiles on their faces. Also, Ken had wanted to buy some raisins for the oatmeal so they stopped at a store. He could not remember what the spanish word for raisin was, so he asked the lady for grapes without water. The first clerk looked at him funny, and he tried it several more times before she went and got another lady. So, he tried saying grapes without water to her. After a couple of times she said the spanish word for raisins. Ken was so excited, because he knew it when he heard it, she then replied "Si, raisins." When Ken told us this story we all laughed very hard. Struggling with the language seems like such a huge barrier when you are up in America, but when you get down here it is a source of joy!

Tomorrow we have a very intense busy day. We head out early as usual to the sites. We will do our building/prayer visitation projects, and then a slightly shortened VBS. We will be taking stuff with us because we have church Wednesday nights also with a VBS. The difference at the Wednesday night VBS is there is no craft or snack because they will have just had one. They will still have the puppet show, movie, and testimonies. So, we have to prepare for a long day tomorrow.

So, in advance please forgive us if we do not get a post made to the blog for Wednesday. We will do our best to accomplish it, but we will make no promises. Well, we can not wait to see what great things God holds for us tomorrow. We thank you all for holding us in your prayers, we could not be doing this without them.

Until we can write again.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Monday- Muchos lodos!!!!

Well today we woke to muchos lodos, much mud!! Our day started earlier and with much purpose as we intended on getting loaded and moving off the base by 8:45. This was the plan for both the teams. We have decided that we should come up with more clever names than team south and team north or team 1 and team 2 for our teams. So breakfast was early, then chapel with some really fun worship, then chore time, and we were off! The roads were interesting! When we left you last in our blog we let you know that it was raining. Well, it really rained, and when it rains the roads become really muddy!! Lodos makes everything interesting around here. It makes driving interesting, which the white van found out when they were going to do visitation and got stuck in deep mud. They had made a wrong turn and went down an alley to end up stuck very deep in the mud. The men gallantly got out to help push the van out of the mud. When that was not working Craig decided that the women should all go sit in the back..... to weigh the back down???? Hmmmm did he really go there? When we all were debriefing tonight and talking several of the men offered him a shovel to dig his way out of this one.

The building site for the north team went very well even though there was all the mud. They were able to get three walls up today, and many post holes dug for the fence. They were very blessed to have their Mexican brothers working beside them on the project, which made it go so much faster. It also made it so much more enjoyable and rewarding. The south site was not able to get to their building site at first, but they were able to send a few men to get some cement poured. Some others did a service for the pastor and made a drainage ditch to drain off the water in front of his home.

The white van on the south team did finally get unstuck and make it to their visitations and prayers for their community. The north team broke into two groups to go out and do visitation and prayer teams. All prayer teams had phenomenol experiences. To be able to come down and lift up others in prayer is such an honor. One team was able to pray for a family who had been in an accident, another for a 6 month old baby who is blind, and just to lift up members of the church family. It is an experience that you can't really put into words. We did all come back with a lot more mud, we were thankful that we had no one fall.

Vacation Bible School was amazing for both teams. We had the kids make sock puppets, and we also put on another puppet show for them. We presented them with more testimonies today from our youth, and we will have more youth give their testimonies tomorrow. It rained again during the day, even though we had awakened to the sun. So, it had appeared at first that we would not be able to bring out the play equipment up north. Down south they were able to bring out their play equipment no problema! We were however, able to bring out the bubbles and soccer balls etc. towards the close of VBS. The children loved it. We all ended up with a lot more mud! Ian did right at end, the take a fall into the mud and mud puddle! It was just as we were gathering the balls up to go home.

We are all so excited to see what God has in store for us tomorrow! We are also praying that the rain will go away, so we can have the streets dry out and continue with the building.

Everyone sends love to their families back at home.

Until tomorrow....

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Sunday~ Our First Day of Ministry

Today was our first ministry day. We started out with a delicious breakfast of burritos, oatmeal or cereal. After that, Todd Fink presented culture orentation for both our group and the Canby group that joined us last night. (Canby has the record for coming here to this base for 7 consecutive years!) The main emphasis seemed to be the difference in how we use our time. In the U.S. we are punctual, efficient, and driven. In Mexico however time is unimportant; they seem to put more emphasis on people and relationships. We are trying to keep that in mind as we work together with our Mexican brothers and sisters.

We got our strength and energy up for the upcoming day with a great lunch of fajitas and triple-berry cobbler kindly made ahead for us by Carol. Yum! Condsidering our team's size, we split into two groups. The first group went about 5 miles north to a church on the outskirts of Camalu. While the second group went about 10 miles south to another church in the Leandro Valley. The program at both places involved sharing some of our testimonies, a puppet show, singing the Spanish songs we had learned and doing a VBS. At the south site Shirley and Bob gave thier testimonies for the adults, while Lindsey and I gave them for the children in VBS. At the north site Sarah Patt and Anita gave them for the adults and Gage and Ian gave them for VBS. My favorite part, personally was being with the kids during VBS. They have such great personalities and have such an amazing love for us. Owen said, "My favorite part was after VBS, palying tag with all the kids."

As for mishaps, we did learn that toilet paper does you no good to pack only in the van. You have to remember to take some with you to the bathroom. Yes, you have to pack your own toilet paper here.


Hello All,

You get to hear from more than one of us today. I am writing to tell you a little about the north site. It's a lot like Kirstyn said above. We arrived at the church, and then we broke into groups to do visitation. We went through the neighborhood to invite people to come to the church for the "outdoor" service. The church we are serving is fairly new, so we were reaching out to the community to invite more people. The other team, the south team, they got to do more "prayer time" on their visitation. We will get to do more visitation this week, which I am looking forward too.

We then came back to the church and the services began. We had basically the same schedule as the "south" team, however we did have one distinct difference. At the end of the service both teams were asked to come forward to be "welcomed" by the church. The south team lined up and had each member of the church come by and greet them by hand, or hug, and of course "Dios le Bendiga". What an honor. Carol told me that this doesn't happen everytime, which made me think back to my first trip here at Casa de Luz two years ago, and no it doesn't. Well, at the "north" team we had a similar but different experience. We were called up front to line up, but then asked to make two lines and face eachother. We were then told to hold our hands up to eachother to form a "tunnel" for the church to walk under. Well I have to admit, standing across from Paul holding my hands up to his waiting for the first person to walk through while the music played I felt a bit awkward. I thought to myself, "If I'm feeling awkward, then even the slightly shy must be really feeling weird." Then God did what He always does with those moments if we let Him. I looked down, and saw a tiny woman walking so slowly, trembling....not wanting to miss even a moment of this.... That's when I realized this wasn't so much of a welcoming to us, as a Blessing to them. She didn't want to miss out on a moment of her turn at recieving the blessing there was to recieve of the outpouring of the Spirit. That's when I just started praying....(and down here you don't hesitate to just start praying outloud.) As the music played, as Paul sang because he knew the song, and as each one of those blessed followers walked through I prayed for them, and I praised God that He would chose to send us to come down to be encouragers to them. You see, we aren't that special you and I. We are just people. But in God's hands when we allow Him to use us, He can take an ordinary "London Bridge" type formation and turn it into a spiritual outpouring. He can take awkward and turn it into awesome.

Well, as I sit here writing this to you, I fear Oregon's rain has found us. Hopefully it will be gone by morning. Until then as they say here... Hasta luega!


Darcy~ This is for you...wanted to let you know Emma and Owen are doing really well. Emma is Dan's little "charge".... maybe she's more in charge than he she is on his chore team. She has been blending in with the group well and is being a great socializer. Owen is running around like he's visiting old friends. sorry I didn't send out a note to you earlier but we've been on the run since we arrived. The weather is chilly, the food is abundant and the people are beautiful. Wish you were here! ~Wendy

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Our adventures...

We are so excited to tell you about today, but first let's back up and fill you in on our trip down. All of our vehicles had code names; Darth Vader, Roach Coach, Snow White, Jalepeno, The Queen Mary, Holy Guacamole, and Moby Dick. That gives you an idea of our senses of humor. Although we had radio contact, we managed to get separated several times.

The begining of the drive started out well. We were all laughing and having a good time, when suddenly between Yreka and Shasta City we hit heavy snow. At the time Miranda was driving and mentioned that she had never driven in the snow before. She did great, though! After the snow the only bad weather we had was rain. During our stop in Yreka we filled up on gas and had dinner. While getting gas my mom taught me how to pump it myself. This gas pump however, did not want to fill up our truck. No matter how hard we tried it stopped at five gallons. We finally gave up and let it be considering we weren't that low on gas. At the second stop, I wanted to try my new skill again, but this time I accidently filled it with supreme gas rather than regular. While we were waiting for everyone else to get in the vehicles, Wendy and Savannah jumped in the back seat of our truck with my mom and I. When Ken opened the door to get in they both fell out of the truck screaming and scared Ken. After this it was smooth sailing for the most part. As we hit L.A. some of had to go to the bathroom. We decided on the exit we were going to take to find a gas station with a bathroom and planned on going there. Even though we had planned on an exit we missed it. We then planned on another and missed it also. The third exit we planned on taking we did not miss thankfully and were able to find the bathroom. As those who had to use it got out of the vehicles and rushed for the rest rooms we found that they were "toll bathrooms", we had to pay twenty-five cents to use the bathroom.

Our last challenge was trying to rondevouz with Kathy and Bob at the Home Depot in Ensenada. They had a relaxing four hours waiting for us in the parking lot. Now our team was complete and with no further difficulties we arrived at our mission base before dark.

Today was called our free day, during which we could choose one of several options. Some headed south to Esperanza Medical Clinic, while others explored the beach and market. Those who went to Esperanza had the privilege of meeting and encouraging missionaries Stevito, Teresa, and Bukey. They toured the facility and learned about the Bible school led by Pastor Junior. Rena and Victor, teachers at the school, invited us into their home which was part of an SFC group project two years ago.

The rest of the team enjoyed playing soccer, chasing waves and taking pictures at the beach. We also had an intense hot dog search, but to no avail. The Hall-Riesen-See cooking team lost about eighty hot dogs somewhere, possibly in an abandoned ice chest in the room above the church offices. Other than that we have added fresh oranges, pineapples, strawberries and mangos, which we found at roadside stands. Talking about food is making me hungry and we are about ready for dinner. I will update you tomorrow. We pray tomorrow will be as blessed as today has been. Thank you for your continuous prayers. Adios for now.

Friday, March 18, 2011

We're here!

It was a long journey but we finally made it to Casa de Luz. Thank you for all your prayers, they helped get us through the many miles. We are excited to get started, so we will check back in tomorrow with more details and photos. Adios for now from all of us on the Mexico Team.