12.09.2008

hungering for righteousness

I was thinking this morning about Jesus’ words, “Blessed are those that hunger and thirst for righteousness for they shall be satisfied.” It struck me that there is a great difference between hungering and thirsting for righteousness and hungering and thirsting to be right. One will be satisfied. The other… not so much.

11.03.2008

November Update

News from Jocotan
The last few months we’ve seen highs and lows in our ministry in Jocotan. Omar, our strongest leader, has struggled a lot with his past life. As we’ve mentioned, he spends the week working a few hours from home but usually comes back to Guadalajara for the weekend. He went through a period where Satan was filling his head with lies. He could feel himself becoming more and more violent. He even broke his hand punching a wall. We think he’s turned the corner and is aware of Satan’s scheming, but we still worry for his safety and the safety of his family. The pull and damage of his past addictions has been a constant struggle. Please pray for God to be his constant strength and for the church (including ourselves) to rest in and put trust in God’s power.

Omar’s wife, Lupe, has been regularly reading her Bible and sharing what she’s learning with her family. They have been passing through a time of stress and crisis, and keep asking her what God has to say about their situation. They’ve even begun calling her “the Priest”. They say it jokingly, but also respectfully. She is pretty quiet about it,
but you can tell that she’s very excited about the direction Jesus is taking her and even more so to see her family responding as well. If you remember, she has seemed afraid to make the decision to be baptized because of the strong Catholic tradition in her family. But now, her family is excited that she is getting to know God in such a personal way. This is a great praise, and we expect God to do something amazing with the whole family. We pray that when Lupe is baptized, her family will be there.

Lilian and her husband, Julian, are continuing to share their faith with Julian’s family. If they are not together with us on a given Sunday it is because they’ve gone to be with Julian’s family to read the Bible together with his mother and brothers. His mom, Felipa even attended the Ladies’ Retreat with Lilian and Kim. They have also recently begun sharing their faith with another family in Jocotan, (Gameliel and Dominga). They are beginning to pray in a new and excited way that God will grow His church in their neighborhood.

Independence Day
The churches came together on the day before Mexico’s Independence Day to worship and celebrate together. Everyone met at the entrance to the forest, just outside of Guadalajara, and drove a few miles to a clearing where we had

space to assemble, eat and play together.

Omar and I were in charge of directing the Lord’s Supper. Omar began sharing about the struggles he’s been encountering lately.
He shared about his real need for communion with Christ and his body today. It was wonderful watching how the body responded to him in his pain and hurt. We are blessed to be a part of something much larger here in Guadalajara. God ministered to Omar through his family. And we believe that his family ministered to each other even as they were focusing on Omar.

Weekly Study in Jocotan
In September we began studying the Holy Spirit each Thursday evening in Jocotan. Together we’ve been encouraged to see the Holy Spirit’s role in renewing our inner selves. The study has helped us grow in our awareness of God’s work in our lives. The study is helping us make sense of the struggles and pain we go through as the Spirit has to throw out some of our old “furniture” before bringing in the new.

Ladies’ Retreat
For the first time in five years, our ladies planned an over-night retreat that was attended by over 30 women. As many had never had a similar experience, it was very exciting and spiritually nutritious.
Kim says the best part was getting to watch Liliana and Felipa (her mother-in-law) enjoying the time so much, sharing laughter and tears with the other ladies. Since we meet regularly in smaller
gatherings, the time together as a larger group gives our younger believers more opportunity to grow with more mature Christians. Plus, it was just fun for the ladies to get out of the city for a night away.

Robbery
On Sunday, the 19th of October, our house was robbed. We were less than a block away, playing in a small park with our kids and another family for a couple of hours when it happened. We returned home to find the doors opened and quite a mess inside. They honestly didn’t take that much. They left everything that wouldn’t fit into my backpack. That’s right, they loaded up MY backpack with the goodies. But they did abscond with my laptop, wedding and engagement rings, video camera and a few other pricey items.
On the bright side… we’ve been trying to reach out to the family we were playing with at the park. They walked through our ransacked house with us and began telling us about when they were robbed a year or so ago. They each got a bit teary when the husband told about their kids’ Christmas presents being stolen. Going through this together, we’ve felt like our relationship quickly moved into a new zone. In the moment, I kept thinking, this is a God-moment, but how can we minister to them right now? Looking back, I think God used us by allowing us to be ministered to by them. Kind of weird, but it deepened the relationship.

Kid’s School
All three kids are in school this year. Quincy is in the second grade and Karsyn and Clark are in the first year of kindergarten. (They have 3 years of kindergarten in Mexico.)
Now it seems that our schedule is full of birthday parties and school events. Kim goes to school each Tuesday and helps out with the English classes. I attend a bi-monthly parents’ class.
Quincy has started soccer this year so that gives us two more afternoons a week to rub elbows with other moms and dads as we watch the kids play. It has been fun connecting with some of the parents and developing deeper friendships. Sometimes though, it is tempting to stick with the ones we know; the ones we are comfortable with. You can be praying for our vision and our boldness. It is incredible to think that at each gathering God is aware of the one hurting and in need of comfort.
Some of our conversations head toward how God makes life good, and we want to be talking more about that and less about the weather.
We pray that we keep our eyes open so that we’ll be aware of the brokenness around us, and the grace to speak what God wants to say in the moment.

10.27.2008

Something you might like to hear

I haven't listened to this sermon yet but have it on my ipod. I was going to wait until going to the gym tomorrow, but I don't think I'm going to make it that long.

For those of you that know Craig Hicks but haven't heard that he is back on staff at Memorial, I thought you might like to hear this sermon. He and dad preached together yesterday. I think it is going to be a great story of real church... Christ's family loving one another and blessing one another with mercy.

You can click on the following link:

http://www.workshopmultimedia.com/memorial_drive/

And then look for the title:

Sunday 10 26 2008 AM Memorial Drive Craig Hicks And Terry Rush A New Beginning 32kbps

and enjoy.

10.20.2008

When Your Underwear Is No Longer Safe

A few months ago Kim wondered if maybe the hiding place for our monthly money wasn’t a good one. “Might this be the first place someone would look?” she pondered aloud.

Well, I don’t know if it was the first place or not, but the thieves that broke in yesterday certainly left no pair of underwear unturned. (I’m wondering if they didn’t try on a couple of pairs out of spite.) But they didn’t discover our new hiding place. So I say, Kim, good job. Still, they did pack some of our treasured belonging into my own backpack and, thankfully, were gone before we returned home.

Funny moments:

Clark came into our room holding one Spiderman slipper saying, “Oh no, I can’t find the other one!”

Karsyn kept following us around asking if she could play with the gifts (supposed to be future Christmas presents) she found lying at the bottom of our closet. Sorry grandma.

Quincy told me I need not worry about the mess in his room. That was already there when we left for the park. (This was especially comical as it was almost word for word what I said to my dad 30 years ago when we were robbed in Tulsa.)

Good News:

Our dog was with us. Otherwise she’d have probably made new friends and left with them.

Most things can be replaced. Some things, like Kim’s engagement ring, held sentimental value, but tucking our children into bed, we knew the most precious gifts were safe.

Sad News:

They didn’t take my ipod. You read that right, DIDN’T! It is sooo old, I was hoping for an excuse to replace it. Seriously, it was on the bed with everything else they left behind. They moved it but didn’t want it. How about that… discriminating thieves.

But they did take my cell phone. The phone needed to be replaced anyway, but now I have to reprogram all the numbers. Agh!

For Prayers:

Ok, seriously now… We would appreciate your prayers for our safety and that of our team here in Guadalajara. In the last few months, we’ve had many discussions about crime and particularly violence in Mexico. It is a sad trend that seems to be on the rise.

10.10.2008

Must See Video

One of my friends here, Brian, made a short video to send back to Sunset in Lubbock for a presentation on Guadalajara. It was so good I sent it on to all our supporters.

I thought I'd also post the link here for anyone that might be interested in seeing what's going on in GDL.

After Brian interviewed me for the video, I realized that everything I said started with, "Well, I thought this was a bad idea, but..." Reminds me that God is a bit smarter than me. I'm glad he's leading, even if I'm slow to understand his direction.

Click on the link below to view the video.

http://www.facebook.com/l.php?u=http%3A%2F%2Fvideo.google.com%2Fvideoplay%3Fdocid%3D-5011269188132084610%26hl%3Den&h=06214520099c047b9383daa0929fe111

Also, notice that in the first few seconds, on the left hand side, Quincy tackles Josiah Burns and then just walks away.

9.23.2008

Missionary in Need

Since many of you who read this are involved in missions around the globe, I thought I’d share with you the need of a missionary that has been one of my heroes for the last 15 years.

Belinda Moore is a missionary in Lazaro Cardenas, Michoacan. Many factors have recently come together which have necessitated Belinda’s move back to the states. (Among other things, Belinda is the grandmother of Noah Henderson, the baby with Tay-Sachs I wrote about previously.)

Have you ever wondered how missionaries move back to the states? Churches and individuals are bombarded with requests from many great works. So which of them want to donate to a missionary coming home? …a bit of a quandary eh.

Still, Belinda will need to raise about $5,000 to move her home back to the states. And I just happen to know of a fun way you could help her out. Belinda is a great artist and is selling her work to help cover this cost.

So I want to encourage you to check out her blog (link below) to learn more about her. From her blog you can click on Shell Seeker Gallery to view some of her paintings.

When you hang your new painting all your friends will want to know where in the world you got it. “Why, Lazaro Cardanas, Mochoacan, of course”, you’ll reply. I happen to have a Belinda original, that’s been hanging in my living room for 10 years, of which I’m quite proud. So give it a look-see.


http://www.shellseeker1.blogspot.com/

9.08.2008

Pictures of the kids

My how they grow up so fast. Quincy turned 7 two days after this picture when we were celebrating the twins birthday.
Clark and Karsyn just turned 4. There are 4 candles but it's turned sideways so you only see two.

What a little cuttie.
Looks like someone is ready to do some roller blading! But oops, did I forget my pants?



Our kids absolutely love the AIMers. Brian doesn't mind at all that Karsyn is trying to comb his goat-tee.
Karsyn is playing with Jane's hair. She thinks she's making it pretty. ...I'm not really sure about that.
Karsyn is eating a fruit called Pitahaya. It is quite cool looking with its hot pink outer peal and white, yummy, kiwi-like fruit.






9.01.2008

A Great Idea

I want to share with you something my brother-in-law, Eli, does with some in his church in the Sacramento area. I don't know what he calls it, but it's something like an Art Retreat.

They go away together for a night or two and do Art. Before hand, Eli picks a theme, and the theme could be anything really... Mercy, Redemption, Sin, Love, Joy... and each person creates some sort of art that is inspired by that theme. (I think many stay up all night working.) Then each person presents his masterpiece and explains how it ties in to the particular theme. In this way, there isn't a teacher and many students... all teach when it is their turn and all are students. Sounds like a lot of fun to me and I'm not very art-savy.

Another cool thing about this... it isn't a youth retreat or a young singles or men's or whatever retreat. It's a combination that spans the congregation. I think it would be fun to witness as the 16 year old and the 59 year old actually connect and learn from each other.

8.15.2008

Would Christianity Like Me?

In Donald Miller’s Blue Like Jazz, he tells of the conversion process of Penny, a very insecure college student. When she was getting to know a fellow student who practiced her Christianity in a whole new way, Don writes:

“Penny began to wonder if Christianity, were it a person,
might in fact
like her” p. 46).

That quote has stopped me in my tracks. I’m surrounded by a hurting and insecure world. There are people all around that would just like to be liked. In their own misery, I doubt they’ve even considered that there might be more to Jesus than an empty religious ceremony. If he were here, he’d like them!

And the good news is, he is here! Now, how to show them that he really, really likes them?

8.05.2008

Welcome to One Crazy Summer ’08 Version
I’m sure we’re not at all unusual to be enjoying a crazy-hectic summer. (Do they make them any other way?)

For as long as we live here, I can’t imagine we’ll ever grow accustomed to the short summers. Quincy’s last day of school was the 27th of June. (That is just too late if you ask me.) The day before, the 26th, we received a campaign group from Grass Valley, CA.

After the group left, so did Kim and the kids for two weeks. They returned a week ago and that leaves us with two more weeks until school starts.

24 from Grass Valley, California joined us for one week.
The group from Grass Valley originally planned to go to Hawaii, but those plans changed when their airline went under. Since they couldn’t afford other tickets, the group of 24 quickly made plans to join us for a week of service and fun. (Eight of the 24 were actually relatives! Kim’s sister’s family as well as her mom and cousin were a part of the group.)

We painted a school, and also the home of one of our Christian sisters, visited sick kids in a children’s hospital and fed hundreds who were visiting family members in the hospital. We helped with a Kid’s Club put on by the church in Jardines del Valle, and helped the church in Jocotan provide a kid’s day in their back yard (with plenty of face painting). And we still had time to make a day trip to the beach.

After the group left Kim’s family stayed a few extra days so that we could have a little time alone with them. Then Kim, kids and grandma Kay flew back to
California together. Kim along with her two sisters helped her brother move from San Diego to New York. While they were driving across the country, grandma Kay and papa B. kept all seven grandkids.

Last year we proposed to Jocotan that we serve their community with a campaign group. They were not open to the idea. This year, however, they organized two service projects.
We feel like it shows a shift in their desire to reach out to their own neighbors


Follow Up
Between the group from Grass Valley and the groups from Texas and New Mexico that joined our team earlier in the summer, the church has sown seed throughout Guadalajara. We expect that God will bring fruit that we might never even know about. But we are encouraged by some of the open doors that we are beginning to see in our own neighborhoods.

The groups from Texas and New Mexico worked together to clean up the colonia where the Shroeders, Burns and AIMers live. They worked for a day cleaning up the streets from fallen trees (normal after summer storms) and trash. Since then, the AIMers have been constantly approached by people in their colonia asking if they were a part of the group that helped clean up their streets. They continually express their gratitude that these young people would care about their neighborhood.

One night we took our group to a taco stand that we’ve just recently discovered. With a group of over 30, we practically took the place over. I’ve returned a couple of times since the group left and they keep asking about the youth that were with us. Two high school boys that wait on tables continue to ask about specific guys that were here and tell about specific conversations they had.

We’re anxious to reconnect with the teachers who helped us paint their school as well as some of the families that brought their kids to our Kid’s Day events. One dad called last night and invited our family to join them for a family outing in the coming week. We’ll see how it goes.

Thank you in advance for your prayers. We know that our job is to plant the seed and allow God to cause growth. So we covet your prayers, begging God to bring fruit to Guadalajara.

Jocotan Leading us into Ministry
Months ago a friend of Omar’s, Jose de Jesus, joined the assembly in Jocotan. It was one of those neat church moments when we were able to minister together to Jose, who feels all alone. After his mother passed away he was left alone in the house with his father who is basically a very angry man. I think I mentioned at the time that in our effort to encourage Jose, we as a body were encouraged by all that was being shared.

This past Sunday Omar (pictured to the left, helping out at the kid's day) told me that Jose’s dad had a stroke and now it’s up to Jose to take care of him. Omar has been visiting them and spending time praying with them. So before I left, we walked around the corner to Jose’s house and prayed together. Because of his sudden frailty, Jose’s dad is softening. How wonderful to see Omar noticing open doors and having the courage to walk through them.

After telling this story to Kim last night, she informed me that Jose’s sister was actually at the Kid’s Club in Jocotan when the guys from Grass Valley were here. She’s recently moved out of Jocotan into a nearby colonia. She expressed to Kim that she wants us to remember her and invite her to events in the future.

Visiting the Church in Cerro del Cuatro
While the family was away, I had lunch with the AIMers along with Gerardo and Martin from the church in Jardines del Valle. Martin planted the church in Cerro del Cuatro and he studies with them each Wednesday night. He invited me to join them later that evening for the study.

I don’t know why, but I feel like we’ve got a special connection with Cerro del Cuatro. For some reason, every time we’re with them we walk away encouraged.

We had a wonderful study on Acts 5. We discussed the apostles being thrown into jail and even beaten and told not to tell about Jesus. It was fun to see these new Christians find applications to their own lives. Martin asked them if they are good Christian people, might others still find reason to dislike them, and even mistreat them. Serafin answered that no, if they are Christ-followers all people will like them. So Martin invited them to look at the text again. I just watched as the Bible reformed their ideas about Christian living. Their eyes were being opened to the fact that suffering at the hands of others isn’t out of place in the Christian’s life. Instead, it was actually a place the apostles found intimacy with their savior.

On another note:

In May, (Memorial Day to be exact) we celebrated 5 years in Mexico. It sure doesn’t feel like 5 years, but at the same time, it feels like Amherst was really just a dream. To celebrate, we all took parasite treatments!


Hi Mom

video

This is a test.

7.30.2008

Random Blog

I haven’t blogged in awhile, so thought I’d do a random post.

First, Kim and kids got back last Thursday. OOOH, how good it is to have them home. I went through culture shock the first few days… these kids are LOUD! … but totally worth it to have them home again. I’m reminded that I’m more than blessed by such a wonderful wife and three great kids.

I’m reading Blue Like Jazz. I’m probably the last minister to read it. And I am enjoying it, even though it has a quirky style. Does anyone else think it’s odd that the cover is purple instead of blue? (I’m also reading Sacred Rhythms which is an absolute favorite of Kim’s.)

Did you know that Lorena Ochoa is from Guadalajara? (Do you know who Lorena Ochoa is?)

I saw Batman last week before the family got back. I loved the first hour and a half. Sadly, its two and a half hours long.

Anyone watching Pushing Daisies? Kim and I love that show.

Last thing… when I was at the Cardinal game a few months back with dad and Dusty, we noticed something funny about the music they played before each batter stepped to the plate. The batters (for the home team) get to pick whatever song they want to be played, I’m assuming for motivational purposes, as they approach the batter’s box. One guy, Barton, who looks like Crab Man, had a love song played which sounded like Barry White. It was really an odd choice.

But it got Dusty and I to thinking… what if preachers did the same? So what music would your preacher approach the pulpit to? And why haven’t we started doing this?

7.16.2008

Road Trip Anyone?

Kim's brother Chris is moving from San Diego, California to Syracuse, New York. He planned with his little sister, Kara, to make a cross country road trip so he could have his car with him. Big sister Kelcy heard them making plans and thought maybe she'd like to go. Thus, they thought it wouldn't be right not to include middle sister Kimmy.

So they left from Ridgecrest, Ca yesterday morning. At the moment, they are somewhere West of Denver. If you'd like to follow along on their little journey, check out Kara's blog. Sounds like WAY too much fun!

http://ericandkara.blogspot.com/

I think Grandma Kay ought to be blogging her experience as well. She's watching all SEVEN grandkids for the week!

7.14.2008

Happy 31!


Tuesday, July 15th marks my dad’s 31st anniversary with Memorial Drive in Tulsa.

I think that says a lot about my dad, as well as the Memorial Drive Church of Christ. Congratulations to you both.

On dad’s blog he’s listed 31 things he’s learned in those 31 years. I thought I’d list two things I’ve learned from his 31 years.

1. Walk by faith.
2. Walking by faith is a whole lot of fun!

6.23.2008

A Special Prayer Request

Host unlimited photos at slide.com for FREE!This is Adah and Noah Henderson, the children of Jacob and Amanda Henderson (Missionaries in Mexico City). As many of you know, Noah has been undergoing tests for Tay-Sachs. The tests came back positive today.

Please pray for a miracle.

If you'd like to leave a note of encouragement, you could do it on Grandma Belinda's blog. http://www.shellseeker1.blogspot.com/




6.10.2008

Everywhere Psalm

The following was written by Kim as we traveled across Mexico last March. It was inspired by Clark’s constant reminder to us that God is “ev-we-weaw”. This has been reproduced without permission. (Shhh… don’t tell Kim.)

Everywhere Psalm

In the sun on my back and the classics:
smiles of my kids, the tears of a friend,
my marriage and how two have become a family.

the vast stretch of space and a cocoon;
a seed and a tree, possibilities and promise;
my past, present and future.

my nervous stomach? well, move in here.
my thoughts, words, decisions. move in here.
my self. Here.

The cattle on a thousand hills.
The drivers of a thousand cars?
in millions of plants and each distinct flower;
Humanity, Hearts. Here. my Hope.

more of You, move in Here;
to the familiar of home, realms unknown
and beyond the scope of imagination.

From the mouth of a three year old boy,
“God is ev-we-weaw.”

5.30.2008

He who has ears to hear…

I’ve always thought of the above phrase simply as Jesus’ way of getting the Pharisee’s attention. Then I read Psalms 115. Now, I think Jesus is communicating something very specific.

Starting in verse 4…
“But their idols are silver and gold, made by the hands of men. They have mouths, but cannot speak, eyes, but they cannot see; they have ears, but cannot hear, noses, but they cannot smell; they have hands, but cannot feel, feet, but they cannot walk; nor can they utter a sound with their throats. Those who make them will be like them, and so will all who trust in them.”

It appears that Jesus is leveling quite the accusation. It sounds like he’s calling them either idol worshippers or idol creators… or both! It is easy for us to see, 2,000 years after the fact, that the Pharisees were bowing down to the idol of tradition. And because of that, though they did in fact have ears, they couldn’t hear.

But what of us today? What if we replace the word “tradition” with the word “heritage”? Does that strike a chord with any of us?

I need to ask myself, do I do what I do (how I worship, evangelize, experience God…) because God has led me to this point? Or am I simply allowing what my heritage has always done to dictate how I continue on? And I think Jesus is quite clear on this point. Doesn’t he warn us to never put our hand to the plow and then look back? I can’t look for God today if I’m constantly looking over my shoulder to see if the history of my heritage approves.

Sadly, if your heritage has become your idol, you won’t be able to hear what’s being said.

5.27.2008

Psalm 147

Praise the Lord.
How good it is to sing praises to our God,
How pleasant and fitting to praise him!

Don’t know why, but it struck me today… that phrase, “it is fitting to praise him.” So I ask, what song are you singing today?

5.20.2008

Family Update for May 08

May 20,
We had a wonderful time getting see so many of you during our month of travels through Oklahoma and Texas. We were constantly reminded that God has blessed us with bonus family. Thank you, thank you, thank you for all of your love, care and support.


Church in the Park
Just after we arrived back from our furlough, the church in the northern part of Guadalajara hosted all of the churches for an assembly in the park. More than 80 of us met under the shade trees to celebrate God together. We sang, ate, studied and played together. Writing this now, a month later, I don’t remember which songs we sang, nor what was preached. But I remember the smiles and the connection of hearts. God was worshipped and he encouraged us all.

Power of Prayer
Lilian, our sister in Jocotan, has been reaching out to one of her co-workers, Anna. Anna recently told Lilian that her son-in-law had been arrested and wouldn’t be released unless her family paid an absurd bribe. Lilian, a new Christian, told Anna about how loving and caring her church was... how they help the poor and would love to help her. So Lilian invited Anna to our assembly in the park where all the churches would be together and she could ask them all for money. (Let us go ahead and say, we are so grateful this happened on a Sunday where all the churches would be together and there would be many wise Mexican brothers that could help us navigate these waters.)
Our teammates Gerardo and Carola Garcia took charge of the situation. They didn’t want to do anything that would hurt Lilian or even embarrass her. Still they didn’t feel like they should give Anna money at this time. Instead, they offered to pray together for Anna’s family. So we all gathered around and placed hands on Anna and prayed for justice to be done. Anna cried. Lilian told us later that she thought it was exactly what Anna needed.
The next day Lilian called us all to inform us that Anna’s son-in-law had been released from jail without any bribe being paid. It was incredible to see how this encouraged the church. Though none knew the young man, they had prayed. And God answered in a powerful way. We were all left looking for another opportunity to pray for God’s power.


Omar’s Growth
Though Omar is an amazing Christian, he is quite timid and feels like he has nothing to offer. He’s ashamed of his tattoos and how they speak of his past life. But in the last month, we’ve seen Omar draw from his past experiences to minister to others.
One of he Christians in La Piedad, a couple of hours outside of town, recently fell back into his addictions to drugs and alcohol. Omar has connected in the past with this man, Martin. So he took it upon himself to take the bus trip to his home and, quite frankly, chew him out... in love. Omar shared with us later what he told Martin and it was evident that God was using Omar to speak truth in this horrible situation. Because of Omar and other Christian brothers who also spoke truth, Martin has stopped drinking and doing drugs. Omar even arranged for Martin and his son to find work with him.
All-Church Retreat
On mothers’ day weekend, the churches retreated to our favorite retreat spot, just outside of town. It wasn’t the best weekend to get away and many were missed. Still, there were between 80 and 90 in attendance.

We spent the weekend together, singing, playing and studying God’s word together. Joe Pruett prepared 4 lessons that encouraged the church to delve deeper and commit to spiritual disciplines. We spent a lot of time divided up into groups discussing what was being taught. I (Tim) was especially encouraged to hear from some of the youth what they were learning and what they were taking home from the retreat. They spoke of a renewed commitment to take time to seek God out.
Many came prepared to do skits, or puppet shows or even share testimonies. The church was greatly encouraged by all that was shared.
We closed the retreat with the baptisms of Manuela and Rosa from Cerro del Cuatro.
Baptisms
Three years ago, at the same retreat place, Jose Luis and Julianita were baptized into Christ. One of their co-workers shared Jesus with them and has since planted a church in their home.
Through this new church Jose Luis and Julianita have reached out to their family and neighbors. And so, at the retreat, Jose Luis’s mom and sister-in-law were immersed into Christ. It is exciting to see that God isn’t done yet with this family.
Visiting Cerro del Cuatro
Both Jose Luis and Julinaita have taken interest in the past in Omar. I think they’ve seen a bit of themselves in him and so have taken care to encourage him every chance they get. This past Sunday they invited our church to come be with them to worship together. Thirteen of us traveled together on Sunday to Cerro del Cuatro, which is located on the south western edge of town. Our two new sisters in Christ were there as well, with their families and a couple of neighbors.


The AIMers Have Arrived
On Thursday, the 15th, 6 AIMers arrived to intern with our mission team. We are all very excited about what they have to offer the work here. I’ve been reminded that God used past AIMers in a pretty powerful way to plant the church in Jocotan. I don’t even know how much those AIMers are aware of God’s power through their efforts. They planted the seeds and began watering the soil. Two years later, one of those AIMers introduced the family to Kim and I and we just happen to be blessed to see the growth. But we’re reminded that God uses his whole body for his purpose.

New Pics

This is one of my new favorite pictures. Clark is singing with his good friend Gerardo. While I'm at it, maybe I'll share a few other favorites.
Quincy with his cousin Campbell in Tulsa. Campbell just turned 3, by the way.

Our favorite mode of transportation.


Look ma, no tooth!


Karsyn's bonus cousin, Kira, teaches her how to color eggs.




I think Clark's eyes were a little bigger than his belly.





5.13.2008

Tim and Noe


Tim is traveling right now with his dad and brother. I imagine Wendy is sad to not get to be there to complete the sibling set and see grandma. This has been a busy season for us and so Tim’s blog has gone MIA for awhile. I thought I would just send out a note as a surprise for his return on Friday.

Tim is a great dad and I have almost never had to do all the school runs, meals, baths, tucking ins, etc. I feel very blessed in that aspect (really more like spoiled.) Because of our schedule of life here, we get to share in the parenting tasks and in our ministry. Most of all I love to listen in on his talks with the kids, the funny ones and the ones that leave our three excited about some big or deep idea. They love to have all his attention and when he makes a big deal about something they did well, they all really light up.

At our church retreat this weekend he made a little friend named Noe (Noah.) It was so cute to watch that little guy follow him around and reach up to take his hand. It reminded me of the blessing our kids have in Tim and really proud to see him loving this other little guy whose life has already been so much harder. This picture makes me think also about Dusty’s recent thoughts about the children and Jesus, how they had little to offer and could not “receive” teaching from the great Master. But how great for us that Jesus just wants to let us bask in His attention and make our hearts lighter.

4.25.2008

In case you were interested...

In case you were interested...
-  We are actually back in Guadalajara.  We returned two weeks ago yesterday.
-  Kim's mom arrived the next day and her dad a week later.  (They both left this morning.)
-  Kim turned 31 while they were here (the 15th).
-  Really fun stuff is going on with the work here... but it'll have to wait for the newsletter.
-  My folks celebrated 40 years of marriage last Saturday.  It is rumored that my mom thanked my dad for 35 great years.
-  3 years ago yesterday (the 24th), my nieces Campbell and Ana were born.
-  I'm sitting in a coffee shop right now, while a movie is being filmed to my right.  How can I get into this film, I wonder.

3.13.2008

We leave on furlough tomorrow so I thought I'd post some pictues before we go.

Here, Quincy is modeling his swim wear. All but the pijamas are required for his Friday swim class at school.

It looks like a couple of kids found the rubber stamps.

Karsyn looks pretty angelic here. The scream coming from her brother's mouth at this very instant tells me she is NOT.
Quincy and his best friend, Juan Pablo. Juan Pablo's a good kid. Which reminds me, my best friend in the 1st grade was not! I think 1st grade was when my dad's hair first started turning grey. Seriously, Dad ordered me, more than once to stop playing with Johnny.
Buzz, Sleeping Beauty and Buzz. We often find Sleeping Beauty passed out somewhere waiting for her prince to come kiss her. She can be pretty patient too. (Thanks to the grandparents for keeping us stocked with dress-up outfits.)
Ceci, Abby and Karsyn just hanging out together after visiting the butterfly reserve. They were in heaven.