Sunday, December 28, 2008

A Day in the Villages

We spent Friday in 3 villages. We had several objectives in mind. First, we wanted to show our family the village part of our work in this geographical area. Second, we had lots of Christmas gifts from the Auburn BM church to give out. Thirdly, we had plans to eat a typical Mexican meal with our pastor and family in San Rafael. And fourth, we just wanted to explore the beautiful Mexican countryside. We accomplished all of those!

First, we visited La Boca where we have a Bible Methodist Church. Then we went to San Joaquin, where our pastor in San Rafael, Hermano Alejandro is reopening the Bible Methodist church there. Then we went back to San Rafael, and enjoyed our afternoon meal. It was delicious!

It was a beautiful day and the desert was just waiting to be explored. Here are my 2 younger boys looking around in a cemetery with Papaw Sankey.

Pastor Alejandro and his wife Minerva who served us the wonderful meal, receiving their bag full of Christmas gifts for their family.

We also had the privilege of seeing our wonderful friends and our Institute President Eli and Isela Balderas and their boys, Ervin and Irving.

Christmas Day

We had a wonderful Christmas Day with Marc's family. We had our family (Marc, me and boys) gift exchange here at our house, and were blessed to have SO many Christmas gifts sent to us from you, our friends in the US. Thank you so much for your generosity and for thinking of us at this special time of the year. Your gifts helped make Christmas so wonderful for us!

Mid morning, we had our gift exchange with all of Marc's family here at our house, then Dad Sankey read the Christmas story to all of us and we sang carols together. Afterwards we enjoyed an absolutely fabulous Christmas dinner at Beth and Steve's.

Christmas Eve Program

We enjoyed attending the Christmas program at our church here in Saltillo. Mary and Joseph were as cute as they could be, and the Christmas choir did a great job!

After the service, treat bags were handed out to everyone and our adult Sunday School class had our gift exchange. I baked some sugar cookies to give to Hermano Raul, whose name I had. I received a beautiful soft cream colored shawl from Hermano Armando who had my name.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Merry Christmas from our Family to Yours!

We wish each of you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

The Market, the Park, and Delicious Mexican Food

Mom and Dad arrived safely on Monday afternoon and we all went to the market that night to shop and eat tacos al pastor in the plaza. It was all decorated for Christmas and was beautiful. There were just crowds of people everywhere waiting on the Coca-Cola parade that takes place every Christmas. We had a great time.

Then yesterday Vonnie, Heidi, Katie and I made chicken enchiladas for all 19 of us. They were delicious!

After eating we went to a city park where they have tons of these huge concrete slides...almost the whole family took a turn sliding down - it was a blast. Such a fun family afternoon!

We asked Jose Luis Correa, one of the young people in the church, to go with us to help us find our way to the park and spend the afternoon with us. He was happy to go and the guys had fun pitching softball and finishing things off with a great game of basketball. Muchas gracias, Jose Luis!

Jose Luis is on the far left in the blue shirt - what a basketball player!

That evening we gathered around the table at the home of Jose and Anna Correa, our friends from way back. They fixed us a fabulous typical Mexican meal. The main dish was called "discada" - it consisted of several kinds of meats, served with frijoles puercos (beans), flour tortillas, guacamole and salsa, etc. Just wonderful!

We enjoyed fellowshipping with the Correa Family in their home. As always, gracious hosts and wonderful friends.

Tonight at 7 pm is our Christmas Eve program at church. I'll be posting about that soon.

Merry Christmas Eve to everyone!

Monday, December 22, 2008

A Great Weekend

We have just had a wonderful weekend with Marc's sisters and families. On Friday we took a nice long drive around Saltillo and drove up on the mountain to see the great view of the city. It was gorgeous! We also went to a place called El Mirador (The Overlook) for more great city views.

The Sankey "kids"
Saltillo city plaza decorated for Christmas

Then on Sunday we enjoyed 2 great services at our Bible Methodist Church here in Saltillo and a delicious lunch prepared by our pastor's wife, Sylvia.
After lunch we presented to them their Christmas gifts, given by the Auburn Bible Methodist Church. They were so happy to receive them and so thankful.

Look at these cute sets of twins - or "cuates" as they call them in Spanish, since neither set is identical. right to left: Kenia and Kristi Hernandez (5) and Taylor and Tyler Bryan (6)

After the morning service we also passed out the family Christmas gift bags to each family, also sent by the Auburn Church. Thank you, Auburn, for being such a blessing to our Mexican brothers and sisters this Christmas.

After the evening service, we had choir practice with a few more "cantantes" joining in - we will be singing the songs we are preparing for our Saltillo church Christmas Eve Program on Wednesday night.

We are having a wonderful time with our family!

Friday, December 19, 2008

They're Here!

Andrew and Vonnie and kids arrived in Monterrey, N.L. Mexico yesterday afternoon. Marc and Logan went to the airport to help them with their rental vehicle and to lead them home to Saltillo in our vehicle. The warm weather they "ordered" has arrived - it's in the mid 80s today - just beautiful.

They were starving when they arrived so the chicken fajitas I had made were just what we needed - here we are digging in!

They unloaded and get somewhat settled in then we took a walk around our beautiful colonia - neighborhood - and watched the kids playing in the park with some Mexican kids.

Beth and Steve arrived back from Laredo from picking up Maria and we all enjoyed sitting in our back yard last night, visiting and just catching up. It was fun. Then we enjoyed leftover fajitas and tried to enjoy a dessert that I'll not even talk about on here. It was a total flop and could have won the award for the Ugliest Dessert Ever. It's only saving virtue was the chocolate chips on top.

We're so glad to have Vonnie and Andrew and kids here. All we lack is Mom and Dad Sankey - they're arriving on Monday!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Youth Convention planning session at our house

Last night, we invited the Correa Family and the Stetlers over for dinner and a Youth Convention Planning Session. The Youth Convention will be held at our Bible Methodist Church in Saltillo on December 28 - 30.

Here's a few pics of our house and everything ready for company. Ignore those hated circles.

a little blurry, but without the circles.

After dinner the girls (Carla and Melisa) and I made Rice Krispie treats. Actually the girls made them - I showed them how; they had never made them before. They really want to learn to make desserts - they love them. They were great learners and even washed up the dinner and dessert making dishes for me!
Beth and I wearing the girls' jackets - they got a kick out of it.

All in all, it was a fun and profitable evening. Thank the Lord for wonderful missionary co-workers and for the privilege of working with our Mexican brothers and sisters, too. We're blessed to link arms with them in ministry - it's a team effort.