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Mexico Update #18 – Collin’s Wild Night

I’m sad to report that Collin has gone over the dark side. Last night we let a bunch of the guys sleep in the new building, so Collin volunteered. While I initially believed that his motives were pure, I was quickly proved wrong. It turns out that Collin’s real motive was to cuddle up with Itchy!!! That’s right, this morning we found the two of them snuggled up in the same sleeping bag. Despite our many pleadings Collin insists that Itchy has been cured from her fleas and is now a suitable pet. Only time will tell, but I’m worried that I’m going to have to go buy some more flea powder, but this time it will be for Collin.

June 27 2008 | Blog | Comments Off on Mexico Update #18 – Collin’s Wild Night

Mexico Update #17 – Prayer Meeting

Last night was a precious time with the local church here in San Carlos. I was invited to preach by Pastor Ernesto, so I decided to walk the congregation through the first couple of verses of Psalm 1 and talk about the two paths that every person is confronted with (the path of the godly and the path of the ungodly). I even got a couple of amens, but I think they were more due to Kennan’s skill as a translator than anything else. After our time in the word Pastor Ernesto asked the congregation to break into small groups to pray. At first we were going to have all of our students pray in their own groups, so they could understand what was being said but at the last minute I decided to sprinkle them throughout the entire conregation so that they could have the experience of listening to these people pray. Pastor Ernesto asked us to pray for their church and he asked the members of his church to pray for us and our church. I was moved to tears to hear this small body in San Carlos entreating the Lord on our behalf. They were passionate as they begged the Lord to bless our young people and to watch over our church. Many of the students were in tears to here their Mexican brothers and sisters in Christ lift them up to the Father.
Later that night we had a special time of sharing with all of the students where we worshiped and spent some time talking about what the Lord has been teaching us on this trip. I am truly blessed to be the shepherd of such a godly group of young people.

June 27 2008 | Blog | 1 Comment »

Mexico Update #16 – Last Night

Tuesday I asked Pastor Ernesto if he would preach to our students Wednesday night, he happily agreed and asked if he could invite the teenagers from his church to come. After talking some more we decided to have a bon fire and what goes better with a bon fire than smores. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to find grahm crackers for the smores so we ended up using saltines. Matt and Ernesto’s son lead worship for us in spanish and english and Ernesto preached on living a pure life and keeping your eyes on Jesus, it was moving.
While we were singing, one of the little boys (a 4 year old) named Jose stood in front of me, so I put my cowboy hat on him and asked if he wanted to sit on my shoulders. He was really excited and stayed up there for at least 45 minutes. He really enjoyed touching my face and beard and playing with the cowboy hat, it was very cute. I would squeeze his legs and he would rub my face.

June 26 2008 | Blog | Comments Off on Mexico Update #16 – Last Night

Mexico Update #15 – Poor Itchy

When I came to Mexico I didn’t realize that I would be embarking on a humanitarian mission to rid San Carlos of flea riddena animals. After much begging and pleading on the part of the students I broke down last night and bouth Itchy some flea powder. We haven’t put it on him yet (we’re still debating about who’s going to have to touch him), but sometime today we’ll start disinfecting the poor critter.

June 26 2008 | Blog | 2 Comments »

Mexico Update #14 – Wal-Mart

Lately I feel like I practically live at Wal-Mart. I mentioned earlier that Wal-Mart has turned into the bank for our trip, so you would think that I could just go there every once in a while and make large withdrawals, but apparently that’s just not how they role down here. The most money I can take out at a time is $500, which doesn’t add up to much when I’m getting $1,500 construction bills. I’ve actually gotten to know the staff there quite well, which makes sense because for every $500 I pull out I spend at least 30-45 minutes waiting for the paper work and talking to the employees. The first time I made a withdrawal I was able to get $2,000 because of some very special circumstances, but the process for getting that money rivaled any home loan that you’ve ever applied for. I must have talked to 5 different managers before they finally went ahead. I was ushered deep into the bowels of the Ensenada Wal-Mart where Jaime (he’s my supplier) counted out the 20,000 pesos that they owed me. It really felt like a trip to the US Mint, but with socks and underwear just a few aisles over I knew I was still in Mexico.

June 25 2008 | Blog | 1 Comment »

Mexico Update #13 – More Seranaders

Last night we were serenaded again, but this time not by testosterone happy teenage boys but rather by a chorus of flea infested dogs and a maniac rooster who sounds like he’s on deaths’ door step. As the evening wore on with the rooster crowing and the dogs barking in unison, the locals decided to bless us with mariachi music just to make the band complete. Sadly we were too far away to hear the voices of the music, but fear not we were treated to a never-ending baseline that repeated itself like a tuba trying to bust out the lead guitar rip from “Sweet Child O’ Mine”.

June 25 2008 | Blog | Comments Off on Mexico Update #13 – More Seranaders

Mexico Update #12 – Frank

In an earlier post I mentioned a man named Frank who helped us to find the oasis where we got to clean up yesterday. I forgot to mention that Frank owns a lumber yard that happens to be the only place we’ve found that can give us the pieces of lumber that we need. A few days ago I stopped by the yard and put in a pretty large order. When I reached for my credit card to pay for the order I realized that Frank’s yard can only take cash. My problem was that I didn’t have nearly enough cash to pay for the lumber, but I needed it right away. I was shocked when Frank told me that he would just deliver the lumber (which came yesterday) and that I could pay him whenever I get the chance. That’s a lot of faith to place in someone who you just met and it’s a neat example of the family bond that Christians have with one another, even when they live 1,500 miles apart.

June 25 2008 | Blog | Comments Off on Mexico Update #12 – Frank

Mexico Update #11 – Pastor Ernesto’s Computer

Yesterday Pastor Ernesto spent the entire day working on and playing with his computer. I wasn’t able to be with him a whole lot but Kennan said that every few minutes he would begin chuckling and say, “Oh, it does that too” or “Oh, it has that book also”. As they were sitting in the house, the computer’s battery died so Pastor Ernesto plugged it in and just sat there. When Kennan asked him why he didn’t turn it on, Ernesto said that he couldn’t because it was charging. When Kennan showed him that you could work on the laptop while he was exciting, he alsmost jumped up and down for excitement.

June 25 2008 | Blog | Comments Off on Mexico Update #11 – Pastor Ernesto’s Computer

Mexico Update #10 – Pastor Ernesto

Last night Matt and I got to sit down with Ernesto for a while and ask him about ministry here in Mexico. He told us his testimony, which was amazing. He grew up in southern Baja where he lived a pretty wild life of drinking, smoking, swearing, etc. When he was 19 he moved here to Ensenada and met a pastor named Ebert. Ebert was constantly talking about Jesus, which Ernesto did not like. Eventually Ernesto placed his faith in Christ and his life was radically changed. He immediately decided to go to seminary and finished 3 years later. After graduating from seminary, he married his wife Frances and they began the ministry here in San Carlos. When we asked Ernesto what the hardest thing about ministry has been, he said that it was starting up. He and Frances left pretty much everything and came out to San Carlos with virtually no financial support. Even today Ernesto has to work as a handy man in order to pay the bills, because the church can only afford to pay him $10/week. It’s hard to convey his passion through a short blog post like this, but this man loves the Lord and He loves the Lord’s people. I was moved when he looked at Matt and said that he could tell that Matt had a love for the ministry and a sincere faith. It was awesome to have a Pastor from so far away encourage one of my sheep to give his life to the ministry, what a blessing.

June 25 2008 | Blog | Comments Off on Mexico Update #10 – Pastor Ernesto

Mexico Update #9 – Agua

Yesterday I was out getting some lumber with Nick, when we met a man named Frank. Frank owns a lumber yard and is a Christian. As we were talking Frank told me about a site near San Carlos that has several pools that you can swim in and a natural stream that you can use to wash your hair, etc. When I heard the word “wash” I almost jumped out of my skin. I’ve been surrounded by people who have not showered for days on end, myself being one of those people. So this morning I took Jose and we began scouring the country side looking for this place. Our search eventually took us into a deep ravine where we went 4 wheeling with Nick’s truck (ha! ha!, let’s just keep that between us). We drove for at least 20 minuts on a dirt road that was full of rocks, river crossings (ok, they were streams) until we finally arrived in paradise. It was everything that Frank said and more. So, this afternoon I took the rest of the crew our to this location and I’m happy to annouce that we all smell very good right now (that is if you count the smell of river water very good). I would have been a little bit nervous about the water, but I know that everyone got their typhoid shots, so I’m sure that we’re fine…they all did get their typhoid shots right???

In any case, typhoid doesn’t show up for at least a week, so we’ll be back home before there’s a real problem.

Just in case some of you mothers are getting nervous, the water was from a fresh spring and is running water, so I’m confident that it’s safe. And yes, we still have Dr. Riley keeping us on the straight and narrow when it comes to health and safety.

June 25 2008 | Blog | Comments Off on Mexico Update #9 – Agua

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