Tuesday 26 February 2013

Just some things.

An update of sorts!

Tonight we took a break from our normal tuesday night bible study with the youth girls to make some button jewelry. I think they loved it!
Every week they have a memory verse... this will give them time to catch up (because if they know all 12 and all the books of the bible by the end of it, there will be some sort of reward!).

(pics below)

Of course the community center is still up and running. The most popular class this block: kids baking and crafts! They have made cake in a mug, ice cream, valentines, pencil holders...  and so much more to come!

A group from Nebraska will be here next tuesday to hang out, play some sports and see the ministry here in Jesus Maria.

Then starting thursday I have people staying in my house for 10 days! Should be fun!

and on a funny note (no, actually its hilarious!) 
A friend of mine wrote to me after I put a photo on facebook "I don't think I trust the bing translate anymore on facebook" I asked why and she said they translated "jaja" to "eggs" take a look!

Monday 25 February 2013

I can wait.

"Isaac was sixty years old when Rebekah gave birth to them." Genesis 25:26b (NIV)
This morning I began reading about when Isaac's wife Rebekah gave birth to twin sons. One statement caught my eye and I read it a few times.

Genesis 25:26 tells us that Isaac was sixty years old when his boys were born; a simple Bible fact, caught my attention. You see, Isaac had been patient for the Lord to provide the perfect wife; he was forty years old when he married Rebekah. Do the math and you realize Isaac waited twenty years for Rebekah to bear him children! He could have chosen a concubine to bear him a son. But he was a man of great patience who waited on God. Eventually his patient faith was rewarded.

Isaac never gave up hope that his Lord could make the impossible, possible. He had learned that his Lord would provide. So he continued to pray the same desperate prayer for a son, day after day, month after month, year after year. In fact, we learn in Genesis 25:21 that "Isaac pleaded with the Lord" , nothing half hearted about that! He begged. He poured his heart out.

I can see Isaac passionately pleading to God throughout those twenty years, with out-stretched arms and a tear-stained face begging God to answer his prayer.

Isaac was surely tired of the wait, but he never stopped praying or believing that his dreams could come true. And in God's perfect timing, they did.

If Isaac can be patient, so can i!

Psalm 27:14, "Wait for the LORD; be strong and take heart and wait for the LORD."

Sunday 24 February 2013

Monarch Butterflies!

I am not sure how people can deny the fact that God exists when we see Him in nature, everyday. Yesterday four of us took a bus (along with a bunch of old people haha) to see where the monarch butterflies spend their winters. It is crazy cool how every year they fly from canada to mexico every year, hang out here... and then fly back. Not some but MILLIONS AND MILLIONS!

Monday 18 February 2013

A busy weekend!

Phew, made it through the weekend! It was great, even with the lack of sleep!

Friday night the youth had a no sleep pajama party. Well, most of them ended up sleeping a little during the night! It was a good time of playing, devotions, eating, Worship around the campfire.... God is going to do so many things through the youth of this neighborhood!

Saturday after returning.... I took a quick shower, downed a pot of coffee and off to Kids Club. I had 8 kiddos! We learned about Daniel and the lions den and sang some songs. 

That afternoon I napped, cleaned, and the worship team came over for a study.. then off to BED!

Sunday was, of course, a great church service. We learned this lady had accepted Christ!

Then that afternoon we had a Valentines dinner. It was great to see some new people come (that I have never met anyways), some spouses that don't come to church, and of course all the familiar faces! They played some games, listened to some special music performances, Erik Morga came and gave a short (but great) devo, and then ate! What more can you ask for?

A great and busy weekend indeed.... Now today I am going to enjoy some time sitting on my couch, cleaning, organizing for the week, and maybe a nap!

Friday 15 February 2013

Youth overnight!

Tonight is the youth group overnight... that's right, no sleeping. They wanted to do it, I just want to sleep! But, this morning I said goodbye to my bed and sleep for about 35 hours! I can do it. I can do it. I can do it.

So, what are we going to do?
Tonight we leave at 7:30ish (we told them 7!)
8:00-9:00-- eat
9:00-10:00-- bonfire, songs, devotional
10:00-11:30- games
11:30-12:30-- time of prayer for the nations
12:30-2:30-- movie
2:30-3:30-- card games
3:30-5:30-- movie
5:30-6:30-- another time of prayer
6:30-7:00-- personal devos
7:00-7:30-- eat
7:30-8:30--- clean and come back to Jesus Maria

Sounds like fun...  and tiring.

Please pray for this time. that it would not only be fun but also a great time of getting to know each other better. Also that we all get to spend some great time in the Word and great discussions.

If that wasn't enough... I get to come back and teach the kids club at 9am ... then head over to the car wash?

Monday 11 February 2013

Food and Community

So, Rod write a great post last night about something that happened in church yesterday... go check it out!

After church, just like every other week we had youth group. After consuming amazing amounts of lasagna we watched a video by Francis Chan about community. About how God created the church for a whole lot more then saying "hi" on sundays or during bible studies. How we should be living in constant community caring, loving, sharing etc.

After the kids had some great things to say about how we can do community better as a youth group.
But, as I sat watching the video and listening to the kids I was thinking about the concept of community. It has been something I have thought about alot since being here in Mexico. I live in a place where people are packed like sardines and the model of community happens all the time. 

I think about how in church yesterday even in the midst of other projects someone cared enough to buy food for those who don't have much. I think about how people it is not the responsibility of the pastor or the missionaries to raise all the money for our church land, but everyone takes part of the responsibility. I think about late night conversations over coffee.

I know that i can "do" community better. I can give more (of my time, of my resources, of my abundance). Sometimes I have to fight the urge to just want to watch a movie alone in my house. Sometimes I have to resist the want to speak english. Sometimes, it doesn't matter how tired i am when someone needs something, I should be willing and want to help.

Saturday 9 February 2013

Pozole for the church

Phew... even more fundraising has gone on this weekend! Last night the ladies made quesadillas, gorditas, etc PLUS one of my favorites POZOLE! mmmmm yes i know, probably not the best for the diet.... but its for the church! Plus the youth sold the desserts (don't you worry I bought one-- arroz con leche-- and put it in the fridge until tomorrow, our free day!).

Today, more pazole and a "new to me" soup called caldo de gallina-- a chicken soup. mmmmmmm

Anyways, back on track. Even with all the great things the church is selling we still need to raise about 22,000 dollars in the next couple months...

Wanna help?

in case you wondered how wonderful the pozole looked.

Thursday 7 February 2013

Community Center and stuff

Just a quick update on our Community Center... its going GREAT! Please continue to pray for the classes!

Also, if you are interested in giving to our church project --- the one where we are raising money for the land...let me know! It has been fun seeing the ladies and youth and everyone in the church involved in raising 1000 bucks this month!

Wednesday 6 February 2013

Crushed Expectations

Someone recently asked me to explain the last year and a half here in Mexico. Someone who is looking at going on the mission field.

So I have been thinking about it. If I was to summarize it....crushed expectations.

I learned quickly that I was no longer in Nebraska, people didn't typically speak my language or understand my culture... and I didn't understand theirs at first (to be honest things still catch me off guard, so its a constant learning process)

During the first few months you learn so much about the culture. What foods to eat (and what foods not to eat), how to get around on public transportation, how to communicate without knowing the language, getting to know new people, setting up my house (my new home) the way I want it. I had to learn how and where to buy things-- which include how many pounds is a kilo, what a good price for fruit and veggies is (and learning about some new fruits and veggies), and how and where to buy tortillas. Everything is very exciting, very new... a great adventure!

The first couple months there were also a few times of loneliness (even with new friends)... I missed everyone back home. I was overwhelmed by a new language and new experiences. I felt inadequate and tired. I wondered why I was even in Mexico. 
I typically never told anyone when I was feeling like that, but every time something would happen- usually something little that reminded me that I was exactly where God wanted me to be. Sometimes that happened with a letter or note from a friend back home, or a lady from the church stopping by to say hi (and usually a game of pictionary to be able to communicate), or just seeing the sunset over the volcanoes as a reminder of God's great love.

Even with those few times I felt an amazing amount of ease and comfort living in my new environment.

Sometimes the Mexican culture fells so foreign to me.... I was looked at funny or told I was doing something wrong for things that seemed so natural and easy to me! Taking my shoes off when entering a house... no you leave them on here! Instant rice and canned beans seemed easy to me... but they are meant to be cooked slow (with love, one woman said). Going to a grocery store alone... people don't really do that. Living by myself-- people didn't do that either.

I quickly learned that while the people that now surrounded me made very very little money, they overflowed with joy. Some people didn't have jobs or money to feed their children and people in the community helped them. They lived with love and passion... they care for people, for me... and they appreciate the simple gifts in life... hanging out and talking with people, the children, a chance to work (even if that meant commuting 2 hours each way each day), a helping hand.
In my mind some of them had a reason to be worried, sad and downcast, but usually they weren't. I have learned so much from them.

I slowly felt like I was (and am) learning a new way of living. I think God has been changing all my preconceived notions, all the old habits and thoughts that I believed to be normal or right into something new. Living in the states typically means materialism-- you don't think twice about walking into a mall or store and buying what you want (like spending $100 on new clothing) even when it is not needed. But, the reality is... it isn't needed and I understand more fully what $100 can do... like buy 6 wheelchairs for people who don't have one.

I love my new life.

I love my life even if sometimes I miss things from Nebraska. Sometimes I miss sitting and playing games with my friends (from the states) or watching sappy movies and eating ice cream, I miss going to the grocery store and buying the foods that I want, getting in a CAR and driving where I want to go. Sometimes I miss the reliability of water or electricity. I miss being able to drink tap water. I miss heat and sometimes air conditioning. There are even times when I miss the ability to blend in.

But the reality is... when I am in the states, I also miss being here! I miss walking to a friends house-drinking instant coffee and laughing and talking for hours, I miss the taco stands, the love that exudes from people here,  I miss being woken up by the gas man or water man yelling as he is coming down my street, the comical relief my crazy neighbor gives me.
When I am in the states, sometimes I feel like I don't really belong there anymore.

I love that here I am taught by those I teach (sometimes I feel like I have been given more then I give). I love that I have the opportunity to share the love of God in a place that hasn't really experienced it. The want to make someones life better is much more attractive to me then the comforts that i miss.

Monday 4 February 2013

Worship and the Super Bowl!

Yesterday began with our adoration service at church. The first Sunday of every month we spend extra time singing, listening to testimonies, special offerings, share the Lords supper, extra presentations etc. It is a time to give thanks to the LORD for all he has done in all of our lives. I love it. One of the best parts is that over 50 people took part in one way or another in the service (reciting a memory verse, playing a song, singing, giving a testimony, praying etc).

Then of course, since it was super bowl sunday--- the day had to be complete with a party! Thank you Rod for the pictures and the willingness to open your house!


Rod wrote a blog the other day about riding the metro---one of the mexico experiences! Go read it! Now, who wants to come visit???