Tuesday, April 24, 2007


I mentioned in an earlier blog that recently we travelled to Poza de la Becerra, an spring-fed lake in the middle of the desert, about 2 hours away from San Pedro by bus. To get there, you have to drive through a long stretch of desert – rocks, sand, scrubby plants, and mountains. Then, a quick left turn and suddenly…trees. And grass. And a lake! In the most unlikely place imaginable, there is an oasis, actually a series of waterholes fed by an underground spring. Each is home to a species of fish that isn’t found anywhere else in the world – if you stand too long in the shallow water, though, they tend to bite your ankles! Ever since I arrived here, people have been telling me about this place and saying, “You have to go”, but honestly, when the day of the trip finally came, I didn’t want to go. It was two days after youth camp had ended; that weekend we had also gone on an all-day trip Saturday and had a full day of Sunday services. I really just wanted some downtime, not another trip. However, it turned out to be one of the most relaxing, fun days I have had in Mexico. The weather was perfect, there were no crowds to speak of, and for a while we could forget about the work waiting for us at home.

In Matthew 11, Jesus said, "Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light." He knew what it was to be weary and in need of rest, and he offers himself as an oasis for our souls, a place where we can go and be refreshed with living water. A church service, your time alone with God, reading the Bible, prayer – all these things can be oases, springs of life in the middle of whatever desert we are going through. BUT, we do have to make the journey! I could have stayed home and rested, but I would have missed experiencing the poza, something I could only do by making the journey. Sometimes when we’re tired, the last thing we want to do is go to church or read the Bible – but if we don’t, we will miss the chance to have a closer encounter with God. And just like the water in the poza is continually renewed from the underground spring, each time we seek an oasis with God, he will bring something new into our lives and spirits.

They will neither hunger nor thirst,
nor will the desert heat or the sun beat upon them.
He who has compassion on them will guide them
and lead them beside springs of water. (Isaiah 49:10)

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Prayer Request

Please pray for Gerardo, the man who runs our rehab center in Torreon, as well as his family. Last week his daughter, who had been sick with a kidney condition for several years, was hospitalized suddenly and died early on Friday morning. She was a Christian and so we know and are glad that she is in the presence of Jesus and that her suffering is over. It is a difficult time for her family, though, and we ask that you pray for peace and comfort for them.

Saturday, April 14, 2007


We've just reached the end of Easter vacation, although I don't know how relaxing it was - I don't remember being this busy since I arrived! The day after camp finished, we went to Monterrey to visit an amusement park...but it rained the entire day (it was awful, like the worst November day you could imagine), so we headed off to do some shopping, instead. We had our regular services on Sunday, and then Monday we travelled to Cuatrocienegas, about a two hour bus ride away. Just outside the city, in the middle of the desert, there are a series of small lakes, each containing a species of fish unique to that spot. About 20 youth and others from the church went and enjoyed swimming, volleyball, and soccer. We also had some visitors from Tennessee staying with us this week - when they planned their trip, I don't think they expected quite so much activity! Two bus trips, camp, tours of San Pedro and Torreon, and two days of repairing roofs - did I say this was a vacation??

Campa 2007: Wrap-up

So, I didn't quite reach my goal of posting every day of camp...but almost! The final day, Friday, we had an excellent Praise and Worship workshop in the morning - God's presence was very tangible among the young people. After another full day of activities, we wrapped up the camp with an awards ceremony recognizing the best overall group and the king and queen of the camp, as voted on by the campers. After the service 7 people were baptized, all of whom had attended the camp, and some of whom had just accepted Jesus in the Thursday night service. Of these people, one was a soccer player for El Calor, 3 were from the Torreon rehab center, and two were friends of Elisa's from school. I was amazed at how God was able to bring people from different areas of outreach together in this one place and time, and how their hearts were opened to receive him.

Thursday, April 05, 2007

Camp 2007: Day 3

The late nights and early mornings caught up to everyone today as we started almost half an hour late! After running the obstacle course and relay again, we ate and headed to our classes. First, everyone attends an hour-long worship workshop, and then we divide up into teams for the next 3 hours. Each team rotates between 4 40-minute workshops: drama, crafts, team dynamics, and Bible study. After lunch, we have competitions and games. Today, each team had to race the other to fill up a pop bottle with water from a bucket, using only a sponge. They filled the sponge with water, ran to the other side of the yard, and squeezed it into the bottle, which was resting on the forehead of another team member.

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Thanks - updated

A huge thanks to Mark for the sound equipment and instruments that he donated to the church, as well as the soccer balls and other items you brought. You and Jordan were a blessing to us while you were here, and we hope to see you back soon!

Thank you also to Earl Stone for his generous donation of a portable generator. We'll be using it on outreaches and trips around the country.

Camp 2007: Day 2

Day 2 of camp came much too early, as we woke up to the sound of blaring sirens - good morning!! I will never complain about my alarm clock again...we met in the church at 7am, had a brief service, and went right into the day's first activity, the most involved and dirty obstacle course I have ever seen. Each team had to run through tires, crawl under logs, clamber around a nearby playground, and jump off the water tower using a zip line...but I'll let you see for yourselves:

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Camp 2007: Day 1

It's just after 8pm and youth from all over Mexico are arriving for our annual youth camp. Tents are being set up, there's a soccer game going on, and the property has been turned into a gigantic obstacle course, full of people, activities, and games. Check the site daily for updates and pictures, and pray that everyone who comes will have an encounter with God and go home changed.