the flu goes on

So I thought this flu business was winding down. After all, it seems CNN has stopped talking about it. But we just found out that the schools will remained closed until the 18th of May. Until two days ago, they were saying there were no reported cases in the state of Jalisco. (Guadalajara is in Jalisco.) But just recently they've said that there are 15 cases plus 11 more under observation. Four of those cases were reported to be grave. Sadly, three have died. I think that's influenced the decision to keep the schools closed.


Rush Family Update

One Crazy Summer

April has been a crazy month. The two weeks of Spring Break were a lot of fun. We got to do out-of-the-ordinary things and spend time with people that are not in our regular schedule. Grandma Kay came for 10 days and that was a blast.

She went camping with us and was a great trooper. She made camping a lot easier. Now, two weeks after the kids returned to school, everything has been shut down because of the Swine Flu scare.

Teaching English in Jocotan

Closing out 08’ we began realizing that we were being given the opportunity to plant a new church. This would mean not getting to spend every Sunday in Jocotan. With this in mind, we wanted to find more times during the week that we could be in Jocotan; both with our church family as well as the community. We’ve shared in the past about studying the Holy Spirit together on Friday nights and teaching Math two hours a week in a school for those trying to graduate from junior high.

In January we began teaching English for an hour each Thursday night. The church had the idea of inviting their neighbors into their home and offering this free class as a service. We generally have 5-10 students, half of which are not Christians. Three of our AIM students have been helping out, which allows us to break up into small groups and practice our pronunciation or grammar lesson as well as enhance personal relationships.

Camping Under the


Over Spring Break, we went with a group of about 15 to camp under the Volcano of Colima. A friend from the kids’ school is beginning to farm the land and planned the 4 day, 3 night excursion. The trip was a perfect microcosm of mission work.

It was a once in a lifetime experience filled with culture-shock, out of the ordinary living conditions, hard work, and a lot of hurry-up and wait moments all wrapped with just a taste of danger.

The dad who invited us, Gerardo, is a very spiritual man who describes himself as catholic-christian. He spent 11 years studying to be a priest but is now married and has a son just a year older than Quincy.

Being Easter weekend, we were expecting the opportunity to share our faith, and even worship together. A few of the others who joined the group, however, were not the least bit spiritual and weren’t too thrilled when they found out we are missionaries. (That is always an uncomfortable moment.)

So our course changed. Instead of opening our Bibles together and spending time singing, we tried to love people who at times were very difficult to love. It put a fresh perspective in our hearts about our ministry. Living side by side and working with people who are just getting to know God (or do not know him at all) is not the same as spending time with Jesus people.

We should not be so surprised to not see God’s fruit in their lives when our very purpose in ministry is to take the essence of Jesus to places that need Him. We also tried to encourage Gerardo, who seemed to be disappointed as we believe he was also hoping for some sort of a “spiritual” weekend as well.

Swine Flu

So life is again out of the ordinary because of the swine flu outbreak. On Monday our school opted to have all students and staff wear surgical masks. Later that day, all schools were closed until at least the 6th of May. The Government has asked everyone to avoid public gatherings and (without alarm) take necessary steps to prevent further outbreak. Since we were with a sister on Sunday who was ill and on Monday was afraid she might have it, we’ve pretty much stayed at home the last four days. Our sister went to the doctor Tuesday and has been cleared.

Guadalajara has not had any confirmed cases, only some people in observation. No one else that we know is sick at this time. However, we have canceled our group activities, including the all-church gathering for this Sunday. Thank you for your prayers. We feel good about the way the government and health officials are handling this outbreak.

Making the Most of it

Kim’s taken advantage of the time to get a head start on packing up the house. She’s also spent time doing school work with the kids. We keep in contact with people mostly through phone calls. I’ve gotten a lot of reading done and have even been inspired by Kim to pack up a bit of my office.

Since I haven’t been able to go to the gym, I’ve been having “exercise class” with the kids. It is quite different, but still a workout and so much more fun. Doing lunges at the gym is one of my least favorite things. However, Karsyn likes to hold hands when we do them together at home, and it actually makes them easier. When I try to touch my toes, the kids are trying (and achieving) touching their knees with their noses. Quincy can really pump out the push-ups and Karsyn kills on the chin-ups, though she still thinks they are called hick-ups. Clark, well, Clark giggles. A LOT! Yesterday, after I put them through a good workout, I let each child take a turn leading. It was sort of a follow the leader workout program. It was the first time I’ve done somersaults (Clark leading) since I was 5. Now I’ve got a whole new kind of post-workout soreness.

Working with


Since last May we’ve had the privilege of working with a team of 6 AIM students. Cory and Toni Burns have coordinated their time here and have done an excellent job. Kim and I have enjoyed the role of “fun aunt/uncle”. By that I mean we get to have fun with them without being responsible for them.

Cory and I have been teaching the book of Ephesians to the AIMers and, as mentioned earlier, 3 of the AIMers have been helping teach English in Jocotan once a week.

We’re about to enter an interesting time of transition as 3 new AIMers will be arriving shortly while our current team of 6 begin returning home. (There is no set return date so they will be leaving between July and November.) Please keep these young people in your prayers.


Happy Cinco de Mayo.

It still strikes me as odd that Cinco de Mayo is not celebrated in Mexico as much as in the U.S. I don’t know why. But have a happy 5th of May anyway.

The school closings in Mexico have been extended until the 11th of May. People are still supposed to remain at home as much as possible, but I don’t think that is really happening. The kids haven’t left the house since coming home from school last Monday. They are doing surprisingly well though. Kim’s keeping them occupied and all are surviving well.

We did have friends from the kids’ school over on Sunday and had a blast with them. We worshipped, studied and took the Lord’s Supper together. Then we made sushi, colored shrinky-dinks and even roasted tiny marshmallows over candles.