Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Clarification re. El Calor

I have had some questions about yesterday's post, specifically about how the El Calor organization works and why there is a debt. All professional soccer in Mexico, from 3rd division (similar to Junior B or Junior A in the US and Canada) up to 1st division (like MLS, NBA, NFL, NHL), is regulated and run by the Mexican Soccer Federation. The Federation oversees each division and organizes the groups of teams, their schedules, and sets participation fees. Every player and team staff member (coaches, assistants, doctors, etc.) has to be registered with the Federation.

Some people who aren't familiar with the organization might hear the word "professional" and think of the equivalent in the US and Canada, where even children's sports have high-quality fields, equipment, transportation, and even municipal support. However, here the teams are paid for by the owners, which sometimes are corporations, and sometimes, as in the case of El Calor, are individuals. Teams do benefit from some corporate sponsorship, but the majority of the expenses - from registration to uniforms to travel to game fees - is the responsibility of the owners. Given that El Calor is only a part of the ministry that takes place here in San Pedro, and given that it is a growing ministry, these expenses have increased steadily.

God is faithful and has provided funds where none seemed to be available - we have never had to cancel a trip or postpone a game for lack of money, but sometimes we have not been able to pay all the expenses associated with the soccer ministry. Thankfully, the Federation has been understanding and has extended payment deadlines, but we don't want to have an outstanding debt.

I hope this clarifies the situation and gives you all a better understanding of the scope of the ministry and the process the teams go through each season. El Calor provides opportunities for many young people who come from very poor economic circumstances. Many live away from home while they play here and are supported by Stephen, Marcela, and the church.

As I mentioned in yesterday's post, please pray for the El Calor ministry - the teams as they play and travel, and everything that must fall into place in order for the ministry to function. If you feel led to give towards this need, you can give through PayPal or through the San Antonio address given below in yesterday's post.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Playoffs: Round 1

Last week was the start of playoffs for all of our El Calor teams. On Wednesday the professional team traveled to Chihuahua and won 8-1. On the return leg here in San Pedro on Saturday, they won 4-0 and are on to the next round. Tomorrow they will travel to the state of Sonora, about a 14h journey, for the first game of the second round.

The promotional team played on Saturday in San Luis Potosi and tied 2-2. Their return game will be here in San Pedro on Saturday.

The 4th division team played two games last week, losing the first 2-0 and winning the second 2-1. With a global score of 3-2 against them, unfortunately they are out of the playoffs.

Please be in prayer for the teams as they travel and play throughout April and May. Each week the trips get longer and more difficult. The promotional team experienced problems with the bus going both to and from San Luis, though they did arrive safely. We also have a financial need of 70,000 pesos (about $6000 USD) for expenses incurred during the season. This debt was going to prevent us from participating in the playoffs, but with God's help we were able to negotiate a temporary agreement with the soccer federation. Please pray that God will provide the funds to cover this debt. If you would like to send an offering to help, you can send it through PayPal (account on this page) or through the following address:

Seedtime and Harvest Ministries
8635 Callaghan Rd
San Antonio, TX 78230

Thank you for your continued prayers and support!

Wednesday, April 07, 2010

Youth Camp 2010 Services

A full church, some actions songs, and a conga line (well, a Christian conga line!). We enjoyed excellent speakers for the 3 nighttime camp services, and we ended each session with an extended praise and worship session.

Youth Camp 2010 Teams and Sports

One of the final competitions, the team pyramid.

Water balloons + 90F = a winning combination.

After-lunch volleyball.

Small-court soccer, boys and girls competitions.

Youth Camp 2010 Activities

Setting up a large tent on the grounds - harder than you'd think!

Day 1 speedwalking race - extra points for style!

Waiting for food!

The camp convenience store, which, as you can tell by the scarcity of actual food, was a big hit.

Youth Camp 2010 Morning Rally

Last week was Youth Camp here in San Pedro, and I think some of us are still recovering! More than 100 young people participated over the 3 1/2 days of activities and services. Above are some pictures from the daily 7:30am obstacle course. As always, I was glad that I only had to watch it!