Psalm 146:2 "I will praise the LORD all my life; I will sing praise to my God as long as I live."

Saturday, December 31, 2011

Happy New Year Everyone!

HAPPY
NEW
YEAR
EVERYONE!

I am looking forward to sharing with YOU all that GOD will do in
2012!!!!!!

Thanks for being a part of my life and ministry thru your prayers this past year!

Friday, December 23, 2011

Update On My Trip to Chihuahua

Hi Everyone,

Here is an update of my ministry trip to Chihuahua with a short video and pictures. We were up in the mountains on the west side of the state of Chihuahua. One thing that I thought was so neat was that the pastor and his family that we were working with were Mexicans--that had been reaching out to the Tarhumara for many years.

Basically my responsibilities were to help with the children's ministry part, hand out gifts (more on that later), washing dishes, serving food, and a variety of other things where and as needed.

Here we are in a team effort making Mexican hot chocolate for the children over fire.

I tried to get a picture of us all pouring the milk at once because I thought it would look cool---but by the time the camera took the picture, most people's milk had poured out!

Here I am with others getting ready to serve food to the people that attended.
I don't have many pictures of myself working--we were all just sooo busy!

Here are the women in their traditional dress.
Here are the children

The highlight of my trip was seeing these boxes

And being in awe and humbled by the fact that God was going to use my hands along with others to distribute Operation Christmas Child Shoebox gift boxes to the children! I think I was almost more excited to give the boxes to the children than they were to receive the gifts! I have filled boxes in the past (which is so much fun!) but was praying that God would one day let me give out shoe boxes to children. I want to be able to participate in all aspects of the process of boxes being sent out. All that is left in the process is to one day be able to volunteer and help check boxes at one of the processing centers!

So here are the photos you are waiting for!!!!
The pastor had all of the children wait and open the boxes all at once. It was really hard to get good pictures of them opening the boxes because they were obviously "in action" so much.
I woke up for several nights in the early hours of the morning with tears in my eyes from an overflowing heart of joy--thinking "God, You are awesome! I had no idea this was a part of this trip! Thank you for using my hands to give the boxes to the children---and at the same time giving me a true desire of my heart!"

Here are some of the children singing the "Head and Shoulder's Knees and Toes" song in their dialect--pretty cool!

video
The scenery while being driven the eight hours up and back was amazing!
I got to see things that I hadn't seen for awhile:

spruce trees
A touch of snow
A train
video

And there were other surprises

A beautiful sunset


Rock formations that looked sort of like elephants
And apparently I have a "house" in Mexico :) After all--the translation is "House of Cristal" :)
God is good--and it was a blessing to serve Him with others! Thanks for your prayers!

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Heading To Chihuahua

Hi Everyone,

I praise God for the day that I had today! I went over to Maria's (the lady that I bought the birds from). It was really encouraging. I found out that her and I even have more in common. What an amazing blessing!

Tomorrow I go to Mexico City on the 3:15 am bus to catch my flight to Chihuahua where I will be working with n ethnic group called the Tahrumara. After arriving at the airport in Chihuahua we have an eight hour drive to the mountains. Pray for our safety as we are ministering and traveling. Upon arriving at the final destination, with the others that are going (one couple and four of us singles), we will join other believers that are carrying out an evangelistic Christmas event. There are different days aimed towards sharing the gospel with children and adults. As to what I will be doing? possibly helping with food preparation but wil find out more when I get there.

I return on December 23rd and will update you more with photos and all upon my return.

Thanks for your prayers!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Answered Prayer

Hi Everyone,

Above is another picture of the youth last Saturday.

My big praise report is that yesterday I was able to pic up my new "Visa" or migratory form! This means that I can stay for a year without going to the border and renew it up to four times! Praise God for fast processing!

Thank you for your prayers! God is definitely at work and I am delighted to be here!

Sunday, December 11, 2011

A Brief Update

Hi Everyone,

Last night at youth group was great! We went to hang out at one of the youth's homes and actually had a nice devotional time together outside. It was refreshing to be outside of the city a little bit. We were enjoying hamburgers cooked on the grill when all of the sudden we realized that the ground was like seriously shaking. Turns out there was a 6.5 earthquake with the epicenter in Guerrero. (I had never felt one that big before--I wasn't scared though) Amazingly it sounds like there wasn't much damage, but three people were killed. Do pray that God would use these natural events like earthquakes to bring people to Himself, not only in Mexico, but all over the world.

As a youth group we were in charge of leading the Sunday church service this morning. It went well-we assigned tasks last night as we were eating together. Hopefully next time we can put more creative touches into the service--this time we just didn't have the time to do that. It really is neat seeing everyone serve together. They really are great kids!

December 12th is when many Mexicans celebrate "The virgin of Guadalupe." Pray that the truth of Jesus Christ would shine into people's hearts and lives that they may come to know Him as their Lord and Savior----for there is only one mediator between man and God and that is Jesus Christ. He is the only one worthy of our worship and praise.

Anyways it is literally almost midnight here and I am getting up early tomorrow. Thank you for your continued prayers. I just wanted to take a moment to let you know that I am still here----just busy but doing well.

Blessings to you all!

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Potpouri-A Whole Mix Of Things

Hi Everyone,

It has been a week since I updated again. I first of all wanted to thank you for your prayers for my change of migratory status. I was able to pick up the paper I needed in Mexico City on Thursday and was able to turn in my paperwork to immigration on Friday. So my "visa" is officially in process! THANK YOU FOR YOUR PRAYERS! Keep praying that I would obtain my new migratory status quickly.

On Sunday I was able to attend a missions conference at different church! It was so neat to see how they did it! They had different countries represented by different tables decorated with items from the specific country and different foods to try as well. I helped with the table for Nicaragua. It was fun to talk with some people from the church. It was fun to see Mexicans getting more exposed to missions also.

Keep praying for my friend Conchita. There have been some challenges lately in her life.

Thank you for your prayers!

Monday, November 28, 2011

Praise Report

Hi Everyone,

I would just like to add a little praise report that I went to Religious Affairs in Mexico City this morning and came out with the joy of having my paperwork submitted! Next will be the step of going back for a piece of paper in a few days when it is ready and then going on to Immigration. Thanks for your prayers on all of this everyone!

I want to get back into blogging more regular. I feel like i have neglected my blog this month just due to a variety of things on my plate so to speak and such

Anyways, THANK YOU for your prayers and I will try to write more soon.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Thankful For You

Hi Everyone,

Tomorrow is American Thanksgiving and I will be working in the morning and then going to the family of one of my team members who have so graciously invited me.

This Thanksgiving I am so thankful for all of you who have enabled me to be serving here in Mexico with your encouragement and prayers. Thank you for all you do!

Have a blessed day with thankful hearts towards the Lord today, tomorrow, and always!

Monday, November 21, 2011

Thoughts On Ministering To Others

Hi Everyone,

At several times in our lives we are going to find ourselves coming alongside someone that is struggling and possibly even at a point of crisis. As we spend time with them, truly listen, get involved in their lives, and try to offer Biblical guidance, it is important to remember that we are not "their savior" and many times it isn't our role to "fix" their situation. God knows what the individual needs much better than we do.

Sometimes people make choices at points of crisis that break our hearts---but it is that individual's responsibility before God for the decisions that they make.

We have to be careful when helping people in delicate situations remembering that we are there to listen, pray, be a friend, and offer Godly advice and mentoring where that is appropriate, However, we can't get so involved in their life and situation that we start trying to completely carry it on our shoulders and allow that person's difficulties to rob us of our own joy of life and walking with God. At the end of the day we have to give it all to God---because He is more than big enough to handle it all.

These are just some thoughts I have been learning from experience lately.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Say Goodbye To "What If? And "If Only!"

Hi Everyone,

I have all kinds of posts to try to get up in the next few days about various things. One thing I am thinking of lately is a saying we have here in Mexico. In Spanish it is "Hubiera no existe" which translates to 'What if does not exist."

I really like that saying because there is some truth to it. Sometimes when something hard happens or we fail in some way, we can start thinking. "If only I would have done such and such," or we can easily get into that regret mindset of "What if the situation wouldn't have happened?" etc.

The truth reflected in the Spanish saying is that walking down the "if only" road leads us to what a dear friend of mine calls "stinking thinking." It simply is not helpful, productive, or beneficial to us. If we keep continually thinking that way, we go down a road of discouragement thinking of what might have been instead of dealing with life in the present as it is and seeking what God wants to teach us through it. Thinking "if only" robs us of the joy that God wants us to experience in Him TODAY. We can't change the past--but we have been given the gift of today.

Everybody has things they either prefer wouldn't have happened or sins and failures that can give them a temptation to think "if only." But instead of thinking, "if only" we have to give them to God.

I also find in my life that I don't need to say,"if only" getting stuck in a world of regret because I have seen a glimpse of how God has taken sins, other things that I am not proud of, and even some things that maybe I wouldn't have preferred to have happen---and God has turned them into good. There isn't room to regret because God is working it into something beautiful.

So trust that God is working it all together for good according to His purposes---and all means ALL THINGS. He has promised that to those who love Him. And say goodbye to "if only."

Monday, November 14, 2011

My Short Vacation

Hi Everyone,
Olga and I took off for a vacation for two days and one night. It was fun to actually be together for a change. Usually our schedules conflict so we are rarely at the house at the same time.

We went to a city called Taxco about two hours away. The buildings are all white with orange roofs and it looks kind of cool. Here are some pictures.





The city is known for it's silver mines and for an outdoor market held on Saturday mornings where people come from all over mexico to buy silver jewelry and typically sell it in other places. Olga and I found a cheap fairly nice place to stay which will serve for me when I take future vacation breaks.

It was short--but very fun!

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Taking Time Off!

Hi Everyone,
Here is the awesome cactus flower I took a picture of this morning! Isn't this neat?
I realized that I had only taken five days of my allotted vacation this year so far. ....and am sensing a need for a serious break. So Olga and I are going to escape to a town that is two hours away and leave early Saturday morning, stay the night and return early Sunday evening! tomorrow (Friday) I am taking off to do some things that have needed attention such as disenfect the bird cage, do Christmas cards, write my prayer letter, etc.

The exciting thing is that I also got a free movie ticket for Wednesday, so on the 16th I am hoping there is a good fun movie worth watching. Oh and I have found a few safe escape places for next year so hopefully I actually take some time off in a decent fashion at different points during the year.

It is just neat seeing God provide little ways to take a much needed break!

So I will see you all Monday when I get back to "internet land!"

Monday, November 7, 2011

Pretty Birds!

Hi Everyone,

Today on my day off, I escaped to my friend Maria's house, where I bought my two cockatiels from three weeks ago. It was a fun day seeing all of the birds, helping clean the aviary, talking to Maria, and meeting her children. Not to mention, I am learning a lot of things about birds too!

I have all kinds of pictures of the birds I saw today! ENJOY!

Babies! (of various types)


The words "pretty bird" fall way short for this next one! I love the rainbow colors!

Parakeets!
Quaker parakeet! I've heard they can be really sweet when they are hand-fed!
Finches of various types!
Cockatiels galore (some of the ones she uses to breed)
And I can't forget the parrot!
He was so funny! Here is a video! All he could do was whistle and say was "soccorro!" That means HELP in Spanish! Can you imagine having a bird live for 80 years saying "Help! Help!" all day? Notice the almost florescent green tail!
video

Me with a cute bird!
Here is the close-up of him because I also thought he was beautiful!
And to top it all off, I had the best sunset ever on the way back to the bus station to catch the bus for the 45 minute ride home! The pictures don't even come close! (Thanks God! :) )
So that was my day today--encouraging my friend Maria, and enjoying God's creation!
Thanks for your prayers!