Wednesday, February 24, 2010


This past Sunday we held a baptism service and 3 young people were baptized.
We have torn down our baptism tank, so we have been making do with a kiddie pool, but the congregation keeps growing and we thank God for that!
El Calor 3rd and 4th division teams traveled to Chihuahua, Chihuahua last weekend. The 4th division lost, unfortunately, but despite not having their top scorer, a strong wind making it difficult to play, and some questionable refereeing, the 3rd division team managed a 2-1 victory. The 3rd division promotional team played locally and won 8-0. Our 3rd division coach thanks all of you for your prayers and asks that you keep praying for the team. Last week we saw the result of prayer, as the team won in the face of heavy opposition. We thank God for his faithfulness, and you for your prayers!
This week we play locally, on Saturday afternoon at 2pm local time.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Cornerstone of New Church Building

Tonight the cornerstone of our new church building was placed. The hole was dug last week and tonight instead of our weekly cell groups, we gathered to pray over the site and place the first concrete. We had a short song service and then our assistant pastor and youth pastor mixed the cement.

The first load of cement was poured in by Pastor Walt Hollis, who came down especially for this night. After the cement was poured, everyone who came to the service threw a stone into the hole, symbolizing that we are part of this church family and form the foundation of the church to come.

Finally we closed in prayer for the new building, the church leadership, and the continuing ministry of the church. The new building will have room for about 750 people and will serve as a sanctuary, gymnasium, and fellowship hall. I'll be posting more pictures as the construction moves forward.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Another Victory for El Calor

El Calor traveled to Casas Grandes, Chihuahua this weekend, a 9 hour bus trip from San Pedro. Both the 4th division team and the 3rd division pro team were victorious. The game started out badly for the 3rd division team: the opposing team scored at the 9 minute mark, 2 players were penalized and one thrown out at the 35th minute of the first half, and the refereeing was biased toward the home team. However, the team pulled together and in spite of playing the majority of the game one man short, won 7-2. For those soccer fans who read the blog, you will know that players have their individual celebratory rituals after scoring. However, they have to be careful because they can be penalized or thrown out if the referee deems their actions excessive or taunting toward the other team. Several of the boys on the team wear tshirts underneath their jerseys with messages such as, "I belong to Jesus", or "Property of Jesus". After scoring the 6th El Calor goal, one of the boys who lives here on the property and who was wearing one of these shirts, asked the referee if he could lift up his jersey and show the message on his shirt underneath, as a testimony. The same referee, who had previously penalized El Calor and thrown out their lead scorer, replied, "I believe in Jesus - go ahead and show the message. I won't penalize you." After the game the team returned rapidly to the dressing room because they were afraid the crowd of several hundred people would turn violent. As they were changing they heard fists pounding on the dressing room door and ran to block the door against intruders. Instead, they were greeted by supporters of the other team who wanted to take pictures with our players because they admired how well the team had played!

El Calor will be traveling again to Chihuahua this coming Saturday. Please continue to pray for their safety, success, and for more opportunities to share the Gospel.

Friday, February 12, 2010

News from Haiti Team

Here is a letter we received a couple of days ago from the Mexican Christian medical team in Haiti, where two of our young people from Templo Cristiano Libertad are serving.

Greetings from the CIRENE team.Today has been one of the hardest days that we have had here, but it has also been one of the days when we have been most touched by what it is that we have been able to do here. To begin the day today, we separated men from women, the women stayed at the house with the two doctors that are still here with us (Oscar and Luis). The rest of us went to a different part of town where there is a concentration of more than 7000 people, a surprising number. It is difficult sometimes to understand the people here, not so much because of the language barrier, but because of the few actions that they take in the face of the catastrophic event that has just occurred to them.
Today we went to the zone which is said to have been most damaged by the effects of the earthquake. We arrived at a huge building; There was rubble everywhere and the second floor was collapsed, which left the first floor was holding the weight of the entire building. At the beginning, they told us that we were going to be helping remove the rubble from the building, but upon our arrival they wanted us to remove the benches and a few other things that were usable. Out of the Haitians in the area, we only counted two people that had come to help. One of the men that had come with us, along with some of the guys, went inside the building to see if there was anything that we could do, but we were told that there was no reason to try, it was too complicated and could also be dangerous. Apart from this, there sadly were three bodies still trapped in the rubble, one of which was notably visible.
Since we arrived in Haiti, there has been no word of the Haitian people mobilizing to help their own. It is not my intention to criticize because I understand what these people are going through. The majority of them lost everything; many lost family members, parents, children, friends, and the much or little they did own collapsed around them. Apathy is a very strong force in this nation, above all now, in their time of need. It is one of the biggest challenges that we are facing; helping the people help themselves out of the situation. We have much work ahead of us.
In the end, we were able to do nothing, so we returned home. It was a tedious trip and there was a lot of traffic. Upon our arrival at the house we were surprised to find that the doctors who we left behind were inundated with work. People wanting medical consultation filled the patio. The problem was that the majority of the people were not sick, they merely wanted something. There were people that wanted us to look at their children because the sweat a lot, or because their eyes were slightly yellow. Others came because they had the flu, but they didn’t display any symptoms. Despite all of this, we pressed on trying to attend to as many people as possible. In reality, the people who weren’t really sick made our job much more difficult, but we were still enjoying being able to help. The whole event was somewhat striking to me; the whole world was joking around about it, and we were amiably taking care of every person in the place.
Oscar keeps painting his face like a clown, even though he can’t perform for anyone because if he did, the kids wouldn’t understand. Morales and Emmanuel continue to blow up balloons and make little animals out of them so that each child can have at least one. Meanwhile Mike, who is from the North, Edwin, from Guatemala, Isodoro and Will, from Oaxaca, Biso, a guy from San Luis, and myself on occasion, help by putting together the food rations that will be given out during the day. It is a bit tiring because the food rations are in a metal container outside of the house, and you can imagine the heat after being inside for five minutes is almost unbearable. I wish I could say it is helping us lose weight, but that is not the case, because our food here is too delicious. Also, on top of this, we are incredibly careful about hygiene, as we try to avoid everything that could possibly cause some kind of infection.
All of the women here are fundamental for the team to function. Yesica and Anayansin are in charge of efficiently distributing the medicine that we have to each patient that is indeed sick. Cristina and Nydia are in charge of taking the patients’ blood pressure and checking to see if they are truly sick. Paloma and Pati are nurses and they help the doctors immeasurably. Today alone, they had around 60 consultations before noon. Julio, who is also from San Luis, along with Aaron, help in any way they can; when they aren’t working with the food rations, they are working crowd control or working on whatever else is needed. Iveth along with Luckson are the ones who help us translate and there are times when they never stop because of the constant flow of people. Pancho and Pedro, along with Jorge, were in charge of going to the embassy to ask for more help. When we began the day, we were hoping that we would receive more help, but we could have never imagined how much.
Later in the day, after we finished attending to all of the people that had come, we were informed of the enormous amount of help we were going to receive. Luckson took charge of locating three semi trucks to bring all of the goods possible and the three left immediately to the embassy. Around four in the afternoon the first truck arrived. The truck was filled to capacity with food; it took us around three hours to unload it. We had to move some girls sleeping in one room, over to another, where the rest of the women from our team sleep in order to use the room for the food. After we unloaded everything we were able to realize that there was a variety of goods in the truck. There was also the medicine we needed so badly, diapers, powdered milk, and clothes. We were all laughing when we realized that some people had packed thick winter coats to send to a country of such high temperatures, but any and all help is appreciated. We have unloaded a mass amount of Red Cross boxes, along with boxes from many other institutions. Many Haitians are incredibly grateful to the country and people of Mexico, for their generosity.
We had around two hours to arrange everything that we had unloaded and rest a little. Finally the second truck arrived, just as full, if not more so, than the first. The inside of the house is filled with medicine, bottled water, cans of tuna, and so much more. The room where we had started to unload things was filled to capacity, so we even had to begin unloading some things onto the roof. This truck even had huge quantities of blankets; there is no doubt that as Mexicans, we know how to act in solidarity, even in moments of hardship.
Right now we are taking a little break, as we wait on the third truck that Pancho is bringing, which should arrive soon, and we’ve been told that it is filled just as much as the first two. We have all helped; the girls have also put forth a lot of effort. We have received so much today that we don’t even know where we are going to store everything from this next truck. We have done inventory and now know that we have received approximately 35 tons of food. This means that we are ready to hand out more than 1000 food rations per day. This is going to require a great deal of personal strength for each of us on the team, and we ask you to keep us in your thoughts.
Well, I will say goodbye for the moment. I need to rest a little before Pancho arrives with the last truck. I don’t know that time we will be done, but tomorrow we have to get up early enough to be able to make up the food rations and have enough time to be able to hand them all out.
We continue to send greetings and many hugs from everyone on the team. We hope you are all well and we thank you again for all of your support. The CIRENE team.

Monday, February 08, 2010


A couple of news items:

This weekend El Calor played here in San Pedro on Saturday afternoon and won 8-0. The team is undefeated this season and travels this coming weekend to Chihuahua.

Last Tuesday we opened up a Bible-training institute, run by the pastors of Templo Cristiano Libertad, and headed by our youth pastor. The school is on Tuesdays from 6-10 pm and there are almost 30 people enrolled.

Wednesday, February 03, 2010


Good morning!

Here's what's been happening the last little while in San Pedro:

The second half of the soccer season began on Saturday January 23, with El Calor at home facing a team from Chihuahua. The game ended in a 9-0 victory for us.....last Saturday the team traveled to Ciudad Juarez and despite a poor playing field, came out victorious with a 5-1 score.

We have started construction on a new church building, or rather at this point, destruction, as we have had to knock down a wall to make room for the new building. This past Monday was a holiday here so a team of young people and men from the church gathered to finish tearing down the wall and crush the cement blocks for later use.

Finally, this weekend we had an update from the girls the church sent to Haiti. They are part of a group of Christian medical workers and they are hard at work caring for the wounded, distributing food and supplies, and sharing the Gospel. Here are two pictures of the team taken at the airport before flying out last Wednesday. They stopped in Cuba and the Dominican Republic on their way to Haiti, and were able to minister in both places, even though they were there only a short time. Please continue to pray for the entire group as they work to help rebuild Haiti.