Saturday 17 December 2016

Looking Forward to 2017

My last post was what happened in a nutshell in 2016 (if you didn't see it, go here!)

There was so much that happened in 2016 and it seems that 2017 will continue in that direction--- new experiences, new ministries, new new new new new....

So, what is in the future...

1. La Cima. La Cima is going to be the organization in which we do everything under. This will include....
- A community center. A place where people can come to learn english, crafts, music etc. While our goal is to reach anyone and everyone in the community, a strong emphasis will be placed on reaching the new universities students who go over an hour away for quality english classes
- Aroma Coffee Shop. This will be a space right next door to the community center. The goal is to allow a place, one of the only places in Amealco that is a place where people can hang out. It will also allow people experience some american style coffee and desserts. It will probably be the first contact that most people have ever had with a Christian as well. Part of this ministry will be a christian book store where they can buy or order bibles and other books.
We are working on getting the money needed currently to make both of these spaces a reality! We are working with Camino Foundation to provide the best services possible. Three of us will also be traveling to Guatemala in February to learn how to run a christian based coffee shop. They will teach us everything from picking coffee beans, roasting, barista training, etc. Hopefully, these two spaces will be up and running by the end of March! 

- Partnering with a local rural school. Starting in January, english classes will be offered at this school. Four mornings a week, there will be classes for preschool, elementary school, junior high and their mommies! We are offering free classes to everyone. The rural schools don't normally get "extras" in their education and this will allow them have something fun and hopefully will allow them to advance a little in their education. Most Universities are requiring english now, and this will give them a head start on that and maybe the ability to GO to the university.
- The money earned from both the community center and the coffee shop will go into another ministry. We are not sure WHAT that ministry will be but it will be community service based. Some options are an after school program, a food bank, etc. We are taking the next several months to pray about what this is going to be!
- There are also plans to build a training center for leaders, this will be an ongoing project that you will hear more about at a later date.

2. Manantial de Vida. This is the church plant in Amealco. It has been going for several years. It has been exciting to see how God has been working in this church!
The house that I am living in, has a separate building that we want to make into somewhere where we can meet as a church, in town. Hopefully a group from Nebraska will be coming down in January to help us with that. This will allow us, to hopefully, be more accessible to the people of the community.

3. Groups and interns. We will be using groups and interns this year to help us get all the ministries up and running from January to August. We are almost booked up for the summer. If you are interested in coming down to help this year, please let us know NOW!

There are some other things in the works, that you'll have to wait to hear about. =) But, until then... know that 2017 is turning out to be busy, and it isn't even here yet!

If you would like to give a year end gift..
1. I am still low on one time and monthly gifts. Your donation would help me not worry about money in 2016. To give to my account, go here! 
2. You can also give to the community center/ coffee shop accounts to help us get all that running. Go here and  put project number 063651

Tuesday 13 December 2016

2016 Year in Review

Well, I would have never guessed a year ago that I would be where I am now. Basically, the only thing that is the same as it was a year ago.... is my right hand puppy dog, maggie!

The beginning of the year was pretty much the norm. I was loving life in Ixtapaluca. Working with church plants there, helping at an orphanage, at an old folks home and with the movement to end human trafficking
Then, however, God called me away from all of that. I decided that I would be moving to Amealco. 

In April, I bought this wonderful van that has allowed me to transport teams and interns and other ministry type things more easily.

The last few months in Ixtapaluca were full of interns, groups and all the other crazy ministry stuff that make summers nuts! 

August 3rd, I moved all my stuff three and a half hours north west. 

I spent the next few months living with the Hower family, while we got my house ready to move into. It was a great time of rest, getting to know who I will be working with, dream about future ministries and playing a ton of board games. 

I also got to visit Nebraska and go to two Husker games!

The house I moved into is a missionary dream. LOTS of room for LOTS of visitors! Plus room for whatever else I want to do there. We are actually hoping that we have the opportunity to buy this land, so you can pray for that. 

I sold my cute little blue city car, and I am in the process of buying a jeep. Something a little tougher in this beast...

I also have two NEW doggies. Hippo and Gerty!

I am slowly but surely getting use to life in a small town instead of the big city! Nearly everything is different, but God is good and things are progressing. 

Check into the next blog for whats next! 

Tuesday 29 November 2016

I am thankful!

There are so many things to be thankful for, this time of year makes everyone think about all the blessings in life!

I am thankful that a bunch of us got together for thanksgiving! It was fun to be able to have an American style thanksgiving with some of our team mates! (thanks Alan for the pic!)

I am thankful that the last few weeks I have finally been able to move in and begin settling into my house here in Amealco! I absolutely LOVE the house and I am excited on how God is going to use this house!

                    I have been getting everything I need to survive the winter here in Amealco! For          
                   example... lots of wood for the fireplace! We went out and loaded it onto the truck, by the  
                   load--- donkey load that is! 

I am super thankful that all three of my dogs are at my house now-- and healthy! Hippo had Parvo virus but is happy, healthy and a growing pit bull now! Maggie is still queen of the house, and she just ignores the very existence of the others. And Gerty is crazy but I am working with her to make her a little more obedient to match her sweet personality! These girls will keep me busy! But they will be the perfect alarm and security system in my house!

I am excited and thankful for the future of the ministries that are, Lord willing, going to be starting in Amealco after the beginning of the year! The market spaces we are renting are nearly done and it is fun to watch the progress! The person we are renting it from is super excited about the ministry that is going to be happening there... so much so that he is giving it to us at a SUPER SUPER low cost. He is also trying his hardest to get it done as fast as possible--- even to the point of selling his wifes car to help with the cost. 

I am also thankful for the opportunity to serve here in Mexico. While change is hard and there are so many things to learn and get use to here in Amealco. God is faithful and it has already proven to be something fun and exciting. We have been able to see God's hand in the details. 
I miss all of my friends and team mates in Ixtapaluca, ALOT! But, I am thankful for the team that I am on now too! It has been a blessing the last few months to get to know the Hower's. We have had a lot of fun getting my house ready, playing lots of board games, planning the next stages of ministry etc. 

Monday 31 October 2016

What is going on?

"Unless there is an element of risk in our exploits for God, 
there is no need for faith" - Hudson Taylor 

I knew going into this fall it would be full of travel and events along with moving and everything else, and I am glad to say that I believe as of today I am done traveling for the fall! Now I can soley focus on things in Amealco for the rest of the year. 

Things are getting up and rolling in Amealco as we prepare for many things that are getting ready to happen. 

- First of all, I get to move into my house (Lord willing) this next weekend! It is dependent on a plumber, the brick people and the door people. But, it is getting to the end of what we can do on our own. I am excited to finally begin settling into Amealco and even more excited to not live in a suit case anymore (its only been 3.5 months!).

- I am picking up my new puppy today! She is a blue pitbull that is named Hippo (because they look like little hippos). I love dogs and that puts me up to having three bundles of joy! Even though I enjoy having dogs and I would have a hundred of them, if i could... Hippo, specifically, is a protection dog. 

-We (as a team here in Amealco) are busy preparing and getting ready for all the really fun ministries that are going to be getting started in the next several months. Our market spaces are being constructed, as you read this, to house the coffee shop and community center. The logos are being made and we are making progress with all the plans. 

- I have had several opportunities open up about an orphanage or other "on the side" ministries that I will check out in the next month. 

It has been amazing to see God work in and through this season of my life. Please continue to be in prayer for this season of setting up new ministries, settling into a new town and getting to know everything all over again. 

Sunday 2 October 2016

What happened to September?

Coffee shop logo

September seemed to fly by with lots of activity. I spent the first two weeks in Nebraska enjoying a few football games, lots of time with friends and family, and speaking a couple times about what God is doing here. 

Last week all the Camino Global missionaries in Mexico got together for our yearly fellowship conference. It is a great time to visit with the missionary family here in Mexico, worship together and play games!

Between those two things, we have been busy here trying to get my house ready to be moved into in Amealco. My house is... rustic, but it is getting there. I hope to move in and begin to call it home in just a few weeks! You can pray specifically for next Sunday when we have a huge workday to get as much plumbing, electrical, cleaning, putting up fence up, etc done as possible. 

There is also a lot of planning and praying for future ministries in Amealco. If you missed the last update (or want to read about it again), You can read about it here.  There is also the financial need for those ministries, if you would like to give, please go to the Camino Global website, and put in Specific designation: project # 063651. You can also shoot me an e-mail for more information.
Please be in prayer as we raise money and start these exciting new ministries. Pray that God would be glorified, many would come to know Him and that it would be fun!

Monday 12 September 2016


Change is something that brings on excitement and hope. But it also comes with a little "oh wow, what the heck did I do?"

The last month has been full of new, full of exciting... full of change.

--- I moved to a new city... in a new state... and sometimes it feels like a new country.
--- I have gone from big city to small town.
--- I have been living with a family- whom I love (until my house is ready)- when I am use to living alone with my dog.
--- I have started going to a new church
--- I have met new people and have to make new friends.
--- I left ministries i LOVED and now faced with the challenge of starting new ministries.
--- I have gone from super busy to not-so-busy yet.
--- I am selling my car to get something more functional in the new town (I am super excited about getting a new car even though i will miss Madam Blueberry).
--- I am getting new dogs and maybe a cow?
--- I went from a place where I was comfortable to a place that I am not. I am relearning where to buy things, who to talk to and how to not get lost!

God's timing is perfect and even though plans changed, He moved me at the exact time that I needed to leave. Being reminded, yet again, that Gods plans and timing are perfect.

Not only do I know that His timing is absolutely perfect, He also provides everything I need to keep going in the direction He wants. Those are evidences of His hand at work. It makes changes and new experiences a little less scary knowing that He is in complete control, I just need to be faithful.

Sunday 11 September 2016

New Ministries!

Aroma Coffee Shop, Bookstore, 
and Amealco Community Center -
Ministries of Iglesia BĂ­blica 
Manantial de Vida (Spring of Life Bible Church) 

Brock and Heather Hower (and their four children), and Tina Barham

Key Verse:
2 Corinthians 2:15 
“For we are to God the pleasing aroma of Christ among those who are being saved and those who are perishing” 

2 Corintios 2:15
“Porque para Dios nosotros somos el aroma de Cristo entre los que se salvan y entre los que se pierden” 

The Gospel has not been in Amealco for long.  It is an old town that is deeply rooted in traditional religions and beliefs and the people in the area have been reticent to embrace the good news of Christ.  God has blessed, however, and the local Bible church has taken root over the last seven years.  As disciples grow and mature in Him, we are excited to see a harvest of believers and we are now planning the expansion of the church’s ministry to extend ever further to the unsaved of this unreached field.  There are two specific ways in which we plan to expand the influence of Christ in Amealco.

The first initiative is that the church has made a deal to purchase a piece of property in town.  Until now, the congregation has met in an extra house out in the country where they have not had to pay any rent or utilities.  This has worked well, but the new property will allow more accessibility and visibility and will enable the church to reach neighbors and friends that can walk to the services. 

The second initiative is to start Aroma: a Coffee Shop, Bookstore, and Community Center rolled into one.  We plan to set up two spaces to accommodate this outreach ministry.  The first space will be a coffee shop that specializes in American style coffee, deserts, and snacks.  Included in this space will be a small book store as an outreach tool and point of contact.  This will add up to be a space where people can come and relax, taste a bit of the U.S., and where they can see Christ’s love displayed.  The second space will be dedicated to the Amealco Community Center.  We plan to promote English classes (especially in the local university), baking classes, guitar classes, and craft classes, just to name a few.     

The long term goal is for these two spaces to eventually raise enough funds to supply the needs of a ministry project to help the most needy in the community.  We have felt led by the Lord to take the next six months to pray and seek His will as to what that future ministry will be.  We will be in that process, and so we covet your prayers. 

In order to make the next phase of ministry (coffee shop, bookstore and community center) a reality, we need your help! Please pray for us as we plan and get things ready. Also, we are in need of about $8,500 to set up both places and pay for rent for six months. After that, we hope to be fully self sustained. Please prayerfully consider giving to this neat ministry that the Lord has opened doors for. There is a detailed list of specific needs and the cost of each need, if you would like to see it shoot me an e-mail!

Specific designation: project # 063651

In Him,

Brock and Heather Hower family Tina Barham

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Tuesday 23 August 2016

A little update!

This last month has been a bit of a whirl wind and I regret not being able to update you on more things- however, there has not been a ton to update you on! =0)

But since moving to Amealco, I have found a house! It is not move in ready yet but hopefully soon. We are actually going to go see the progress this afternoon! It is a beautiful house on probably more than 2 acres of land. Perfect for interns and groups. It also has a separate building for parties and ministry! It is a few blocks from the center of town and the local University. Perfect set up for me. 

Please be praying that the house will be ready sooner rather than later! 

I am also frantically getting ready for my trip to Nebraska in a week and a half! Id love to see you all, if you are around!

I have also spent much time praying, thinking, dreaming and planning for future ministry opportunities here. You will be hearing all about that soon!

For now, continue to pray for housing situation and the future ministries in Amealco!


Saturday 6 August 2016

Made it!

Today is a cold and dreary day in Amealco. I am, however, very glad it was not like this on Wednesday when I got here.

Happy to report that the day I came up here it was great weather! We were able to pack up the truck in less than 2 hours and then on the road. The moving truck got here about two hours after I arrived here and unloaded in a room of the church here. I think they were a little shocked about how far out this place was!

My stuff will remain in that room and my dog and I will be rooming in one of their cabin like areas until we can find a house. Yes, we thought we had one, but it fell through... so back to the drawing board! My guess is that we will have something lined up by the time I get back from Nebraska mid September.

Things have been low key the last couple days, which is exactly what i wanted to happen!

I am enjoying some down time, but can't wait to have a house and actually settle in.

Friday 29 July 2016


Can you believe I have been in Mexico FIVE YEARS?

I can't. In one way it seems like it was just yesterday I moved to Ixtapaluca and in other ways it feels like a whole lot longer! Either way... five years is something to be celebrated!

And five years to the DAY that I moved to Ixtapaluca I will be moving on. Moving to a town called Amealco about 3 1/2 hours north of here. You can read about it here. 

Anyways, every year I have made a book about the year... if you would like to see this years... go here! 

I am thankful for everything that has done in me, through me, and despite me I am also very excited to excited to see what the future holds!

The next blog... will be in a new location! Please pray for the next couple days as I finish up packing, say all my goodbyes, load the truck on Wednesday morning and travel to Amealco.

I will be living with another missionary family for a bit. I do have a house, its just not ready for me to move in yet! But, there is PLENTY of room for all of you that want to visit!

Wednesday 13 July 2016

Vista Fellowship

I had the magnificent privilege of hosting Vista Fellowship for the last two weeks. It was a great time of serving God in many different areas. They served in the orphanage, in the community center, in the shelter, in the church... and even got to visit where i will be living next!

I thank them for investing in what God is doing in Mexico!

Saturday 18 June 2016

So far in June...

It has been a couple weeks since I updated for the summer... but here ya go =)

Since the end of May I received a couple Moody ESL interns. They are doing their Camino Global summer internship for school credit. They are required to teach tons and tons of English. The last two weeks we have been working hard to push through and get hours done.

They are teaching in a local junior high right in front of my house in the mornings and are LOVING it! They come home every day with great stories! Please pray for them as they have the unique opportunity to share the Love of God with hundreds of junior high students! They are also teaching two nights a week at the community center in Palmas and the orphanage.

This last week Rod had a group from Mount Calvary. Every time we have a group we get to do things we can't do on our own... and love every minute. I was sad that I couldn't spend more time with this fabulous group but treasured time spent with them and the conversations that were had.

A highlight of the week were the number of wheelchairs and hearing aids we were able to hand out! I never get tired of seeing the faces of the recipients and their loved ones when they get the gift of mobility or a little freedom from whatever handicap they deal with daily. Of course, they also hear the Gospel and how God is the one that can heal you spiritually which will impact your eternity.

We also had yet another soccer tournament last weekend. Maybe the last one in Palmas because of new rules and regulations that have been put into place that make it hard for us (Christians) to do what we want. However, fun was had by all AND Jonathan told the short version of his testimony of being in jail and what God did through that.

This next week will be tons more english hours before a two week group from Indiana gets here. That group is going to spend a ton of time at the orphanage, teaching classes, seeing the sites and sounds of mexico city, eating tacos and seeing where I will be moving to in August! I am excited for this wonderful group to come on down.

You can pray for us as we continue to have a busy summer and look forward to what God has in store!