Sunday, April 26, 2009

A Quinceañeara in the Village

On Saturday night, our family and Beth and Kent (also family) attended a quinceañeara in the village of La Boca. A quinceañeara is a special celebration for Mexican girls on their 15th birthday. It is a very meaningful occasion as a girl becomes a young lady in this culture, leaving "girlhood" behind. The young lady turning 15 is the granddaughter of our BM pastor en La Boca - her name is Jendy. Many family members and friends turned out for this special occasion.
Jendy's father escorting her down the aisle.
Pastor Dolores praying a prayer of blessing over Jendy.

The receiving line to congratulate Jendy.
Jendy and her family
After the ceremony in the church and Pastor Dolores' message, we went to the cena (the celebration supper; kinda like a reception) It was awesome! Being in the "rancho" (the country), the reception was held in the open air and when I say air - I mean it!! The wind picked up and practically blew us off the rancho. Also as the sun sets, the temperature drops at this elevation. We had all forgotten jackets so we were thoroughly chilled and wind-blown when we left. But what fun! The mariachi band that played for the occasion was fantastic. And Jendy's cake was beautiful. We didn't get to stay to taste it - when we left at 9:30 (we were an hour and 15 minutes from home), the meal was still in full swing with the 4th serving in progress. When there are not enough tables to seat everyone, we eat in shifts. That's just the way it's done.

It was a great cultural experience - one we won't forget. Not to mention the great time with Beth and Kent on the drive out and back. Love y'all!
Sylvia and I setting up her beautiful cake.
Jendy and I at the reception.
The mariachi band was awesome!

The outdoor reception...notice the beautiful mountain scenery in the background. The decorations were beautiful! I'm bending over to fasten Kenya's jacket.... behind Marlene.

Waiting for the cena/supper to be served. We ate carne guisada, rice, charro beans and tortillas. Delish!

Marc pictured here with our pastor's daughter from San Rafael, Perla and her husband to be - they are planning to be married on October 24. He is a pastors' son from Monterrey; his name is Eliezer. They're both great kids - we're excited that they're going to be married.

Having fun with Beth and Sylvia

Acting crazy...playing musical chairs

Scenes from the drive out:

An older Mexican couple making their way from La Boca down to the village of San Rafael. Yes, he's riding and she's walking.....

Logan standing by the gate to the property...waiting on the people to arrive. Notice the huge nopales (cactus) behind him.

Check out this dust devil - very common here in the desert. It had just passed through the church property, almost blowing us away while we were saying hello to the people who were arriving. Love those mountains. :)

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Our Fun Monday

On Monday we went back to the downtown market, ate some tacos, shopped, drove around the city a little, relaxed and enjoyed the sunshine on our back patio and ended up the day with some delicious burritos at Jose and Ana's. It was sad to say goodbye Tuesday morning, but we're looking forward to the time when they can come back to Mexico again!
Tamra and I had so much fun Facebooking...chatting about a million things...just being together.
The view from El Mirador - the Overlook
Shane, Tamra, and kids with Saltillo in the background.
Tamra tried elotes in the market....she didn't like them too much. :)
And there's the pig head...yep, right there in plain view in the market....unappetizing to say the least.
Delicious food with great friends from way back....:)
Cameron and Bryson enjoying sleeping on the family room floor together. :)

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Our Sunday with the Craycrafts

We enjoyed having Shane, Tamra and kids in church with us in Saltillo on Sunday. Love this picture of them in front of our church.

I enjoyed having Bryson in my Sunday School class -he did great, and even said his Bible verse in Spanish.

Nohemi helping Bryson with his workbook page.

Bryson participated with our class when we made our presentation at the end of the service. We sang Jesus Loves Me in Spanish and English as part of our presentation. :)

Gathered around our Sunday dinner table for (of all things) a spaghetti dinner! Believe me, we had eaten Mexican food almost every meal this past week and spaghetti just seemed to be the thing to do. :)

The kids eating on our patio - I love having this extra space to entertain guests. Our pastors' son, Jazhiel, enjoys coming home with us for lunch and spending Sunday afternoon with Logan.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

A Fun Saturday in the Desert

Yesterday we took our friends, the Craycrafts, to the desert. Now, arguably we were already in the desert, but somehow getting out in those remote villages feels more "desert" than in the big city of Saltillo. We had fun seeing the sights and showing them our Bible Methodist Churches in these villages.

Not sure why Logan was trying to climb on top of the "necessary" but looks like he has a following. :)

Notice the dust devils on the valley floor.
Exploring the cemetery.

We ended up at the "slide park" - that's what we call it - because of these huge concrete slides. We had tons of fun - no one wanted to leave.

There goes Bryson - head first. :)

Here comes Shane and Jillian

Love this video of the boys sliding. :)

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Day 5 of the Bible Institute Classes

What a great closing day we had! Each of the classes offered concluded that day: Expositional, Textual, and Topical Preaching, Church Planting, First Aid, Christian Stewardship, Leadership and English. Our pastors and lay people expressed appreciation for each topic covered and we thank God for the wonderful team of visiting professors who came to minister to us during this week of the Bible Institute. As they shared their hearts with us, the Lord's presence was near and our pastors and people were challenged to return to their churches and places of ministry with a fresh vision for the lost around us.
Bro. Redman talking with Pastor Alejandro from Jayacatlan (Oaxaca)

Marc teaching one of his classes on Expository preaching.

Tamra, Beth and I put together the Pastors' Wives Ministry Care Packages with the wonderful items that so many of you donated. You can see pictured here the boxes that arrived with gifts for the pastors' wives...the pastors' wives that were present were so very happy to receive their special package. Their cards included names of 14 of you ladies from the US who chose our pastors' wives to be your Sisters in Ministry - so special. Thanks to those of you who gave money to this project - your contribution made this project possible.
Tamra and Jillian helping to put together the packages.
Writing the cards to the pastors' wives...
The things included in the packages were items like: a Bible study book: Como Llegar Ser una Mujer de Oracion/How to Become a Woman of Prayer, dish towels and dish cloths, Bath and Body Works Lotion, doilies, note pads, journals, sets of note cards, and several other wonderful items! Your response to this project warmed my heart and I know will bless the hearts of our precious pastors' wives. Thank you.
The pastors' wives packages lined up on the pew waiting to be picked up.
Sister Adalia receiving her gift.

Sister Macedonia with her gift

Sister Isela receiving her gift.

Sister Sylvia receiving her package.

One of our new converts from the Cuchicuato church...such a sweet lady.

When the classes concluded, all the students pitched in to help clean the church and property before they headed home.

Thank You....
Special thanks to host Pastors Dolores and Sylvia Hernandez who were in charge of so many details including housing, food prepation/meals, cleaning, table and chair rental...and more.

Special thanks to President and wife Eli and Isela Balderas, in charge of administration of the Bible Institute, class schedule, record keeping for each student, chairing each class session...and more.

Special thanks to Professors Redman and Craycraft for coming and teaching in the Bible Institute - their clear, Biblical teaching was so important for our pastors and lay people.

Special thanks to our coworkers, the Stetlers - to have them sharing the load with us is a special blessing.

Special thanks to each of you who give financially to Student Aid/Mexico Bible Institute, who prayed for us this past week - without your support we could not be ministering to our pastors and lay people in this way. May God bless you.