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.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Soon to leave

We are packing our bags tomorrow at the church. I'm sure we are all very excited! I know I am. We are praying it all goes well and we get all we need to accomplish done. We are also all very excited and nervous so pray nothing gets overlooked. Also pray we stay safe as we leave and travel Thursday and Friday. We are leaving the church parking lot at 4:00 P.M. and will be arriving at Casa de Luz Friday. After arrival we will start getting settled and will have a short welcome and getting oriented meeting. Around 7:00 to 10:00 P.M. will be a free time. Lights out is at 10:30.
Saturday is our free day. Some of us will go to the Mexican Medical base further south, some will go to the beach ect. Sunday we will have breakfast at 7:30 A.M. to 8:00 A.M. after that we will have chore time until 8:15. From then until 2:00 P.M. we will be preparing for for our ministry which is the VBS and the construction project. At 2:00 we leave for the ministry site. The rest of the week we are in Mexico on the mission trip will look like this or at least similar. Please continue praying for our team to keep our eyes and hearts open to God and his will for us as well as our safety and that we enjoy the time we have serving God.

Monday, February 28, 2011

Pie Auction

The Pie Auction went very well, and was very fun as anyone who went knows. We made over $2,000. There was a $1,000 donation made from an individual, plus $1,000 made from the pies themselves. I have a feeling we will be doing this again in the years to come, because we made so much and because it was such a blast! Thanks to all who came whether you bought anything or not you added to the fun of the night! God bless.

Garage Sale

The Garage Sale went extremely well, we made an amazing $5,300. Thank you to all who contributed! It was not only a bonding experience for those going to Mexico, but also for those who came and checked everything out. I saw many of us chatting with people throughout the weekend, it was just an amazing experience altogether. God blessed everyone who came and also those who were working.
Thanks again to all who contributed.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Meeting 2/13

We are gearing up for the Garage Sale this weekend. A lot of pre-work is being done by pricing, organizing, and bringing in items to sell. We are also preparing for all the other fundraisers as well as preparing for VBS while we are in Mexico. We were blessed by Steve and Jan today as they spoke to us about the culture in Mexico. I would like to thank them from all of us on the mission team.
Please continue to keep us in your prayers as we prepare. Thank you so much.

Support Letters Can Benefit in More Ways Than One

Monday afternoon my mom and I were getting ready to mail out our support letters. We had hand written every address on every envelope that day, so we had spent a lot of time on that. We decided we could finish the rest when we got there and left the house. On the way we wasted a lot of time driving up every street off our road looking for a rental house for some of our friends. We finally got off our road and hesitated which post office to go to. As we past the closest one to our house I spouted off with, "No, no! Not this one!". On that we continued driving to the post office downtown.
We got there around four o' clock and then spent the next half hour in the truck finishing the addressing on our envelopes. Keep in mind the post office closes at five. Getting frustrated and upset about how long it was taking us, we finally addressed the last envelope. We got into the post office and were standing there with all of our envelopes in our hands when a lady behind us says, "Someone's got writer's cramp.". We told her that they were support letters for our mission trip to Mexico coming up in March. She asked questions like, "What are you doing down there?", "How long will you be down there?", and "What church do you go to?". At that, we started to get a little excited seeing how God had used everything that had happened today to get us there in that spot, in that post office, in front of that lady to tell her about our church and encourage her to come. Following what God obviously had in store for us, we told her about SFC and where it was located, how it is nondenominational and not judgmental. All to find out she lived walking distance and said she would try to come Saturday night.
All of this just goes to show you, even though asking people for money through support letters feels uncomfortable God can use it in some very successful ways. So don't refrain from sending them just because you don't feel right asking friends and family to support you, because you never know how God is going to use you.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Meeting 2/6

We had the bake sale this weekend, it went really well. We made $905.05 thanks to everyone who participated by baking something and donating, it made a difference. Next we have babysitting Valentines night next Monday from 5:30 to 8:30. There is a sign-up sheet in the church lobby. There will also be a sign-in sheet there when you drop your kids off. We will have several rooms open with different activities, including a movie in the fellowship hall. We will have lots of games set up for the kids to do as well.
Worship is starting to sound better and better with each meeting. We are starting to get the motions down pretty well too. Pastor Paul is doing a weekly devotional with us now as we prepare to leave on our mission trip. I got the opportunity to speak to the entire group about the blog by myself. I found out no matter how many notes I write on the side of my paper I still say 'like' more than necessary. I think I need to work on that. We did our testimonies again but a little differently this time. Instead of having a few people get up and give their testimonies in front of everyone, we just gave them to the people sitting at our table. The garage sale is coming up after the babysitting night. It will be the 18-19 of this month at the B&D Trailer building. Donations of items to put in the garage sale will be excepted after the 14. We hope you can make it.
Everything seems to be coming together thanks to God and the help of those of you participating in fundraisers and sponsoring team members. Please keep the prayers coming.

Monday, January 31, 2011

Upcoming Events!

We have a lot of fundraisers coming up. Some of you may have heard of them but just to give you more information; February 5 & 6 we are having a bake sale in the church lobby, we will have homemade goodies donated by the mission team for you to buy, but you can also donate to help the funds. On February 14 we are having a Valentines Babysitting so you and your Valentine can have an evening without the kids. Some of the people that have volunteered to babysit are, Teresa Mahoney, Stephanie Mahoney, Carol Vrendenburg, Heather Shafer, and myself. You can sign up for the babysitting in the church lobby, and donations are appreciated. We will have the kids split up into age groups with the older kids upstairs. Finally, we are having the Garage Sale February 18 through 19 at 9 to 4 P.M. It will be at the B&D Trailer Building at 1101 S. Comstock Rd. in Sutherlin. Donations will be accepted after February 14.
I hope you get the chance to check them out!

Meeting 1/30

Yesterdays meeting went really well. So far we have had four meetings. Right now we are working on our testimonies. Sanford, who is assisting us with writing them, has been wonderful in giving ideas for writing good testimonies. He had a few people read theirs to the group and so far everybody's sounding good, but I am not anticipating reading mine. After the meeting a few of us talked about the upcoming events which I will tell you more about later. We also discussed the crafts and games for VBS.

In case some of you didn't know, we will be in the San Quintin Valley just south of Ensenada. We will be staying at Todd and Letsy's base, Casa de Luz, and we will be serving at a church near by. With as many people we have going on the mission trip this year we are looking at splitting up into two teams and each team going to a different church, but both teams will still be staying at the same base.

I think everyone is getting more, and more excited and ready to go with each meeting. I personally cannot wait!

Sunday, January 30, 2011

First Blog!

So, this is my first blog, ever! I am completely clueless as to what to say, but I can start by letting all of you know exactly who I am and why I am doing this. First, my name is Kirstyn and I am a freshman in high school. I have recently felt pulled towards journalism and I am looking for all the opportunities I can to get the experience I need. I also love mission trips to Mexico so when I got the chance to author the blog for our mission trip I had to take it up. I guess I should tell you exactly how I got the amazing opportunity though so.

It started at Mission Connections in Portland this year. I had gone to all of the workshops I planned to go to the night before. Towards the end of the night, our group was tired and ready to go home but a few of our members wanted to go to the last workshop they had planned to go to. I wasn't to excited to go because I was hungry and ready to head home and to a Taco Bell! But since a few people wanted to stay I went to the workshop I had randomly chosen, which was titled, 'Finding Your Calling'. I walked into the workshop late and the room was packed. So I headed toward the back of the room to find a seat. I sat through the lesson listening to what the speaker had to say. He was talking about mixing your calling with your passion. My calling is writing and my passion is Mexico. Through the whole hour, he didn't say anything about journalism, so discouraged I asked, 'What about writing?'. Surprisingly he got extremely excited and told me to take every writing class I could and to try to author a blog or write for a newspaper at my church. Motivated and excited, I left the workshop and searched for my mom to tell her about what I had learned and how excited I was to ask our mission trip leaders about it. One of our leaders, Jan, was standing right next to me talking to Carol so when I got the chance I told them about it. They then told me that Jacob was looking for someone to author the blog. After hearing that I got even more excited that God was putting everything right into place.

On the ride home, I couldn't wait to get home to tell my dad but, I was especially excited for Sunday to roll around so I could talk to Jacob about the blog. When Sunday came we just happened to park right next to him and he was out by his vehicle. I later found out that he was getting ready to come find me to ask me. Between then and now he got me hooked up with the blog and a Gmail account and now I am writing my first blog,(let me know how I do).

I am so excited to continue to write and prepare for Mexico. I am also happy to be part of keeping everyone updated on what is going on. I can't wait to write more and get better because I know I probably have a lot of work to do(:

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Ramping up! Oh the Excitement!

Welcome to our new Sutherlin Family Church Mexico Missions Blog. We are putting this blog together for you to help you feel more a part of this mission and keep up to date from start to finish. We had our first meeting on January 9th, 2011. which was last Sunday of this post. Excitement filled the air as we kicked off the first meeting diving write in with Spanish worship. Oh boy...... Not exactly a choir but we did surprisingly well for the first time. 

I hope to have many follow along with us on this blog. As new information comes we will do our best to keep you informed. We have many fundraiser activities you won't want to miss out on. Dates, times, and places will be posted as soon as they are finalized. For now feel free to get a glimpse of the Casa De luz base we will be staying at as well as some of the projects/activities we will do. Check out there site and learn more. Maybe you do not attend Sutherlin Family Church but are interested in helping your church family gett involved on a short term missions trip. You can Contact Go Missions to Mexico via the link above. Check out the short video below.