Sunday, June 3


We took a short trip to Los Mochis on Thursday and Friday of last week.  It has been a while since we've been able to visit our friends at the Magdelena Rincon school for the deaf and we were anxious to spend some time with the kids there.

Michelle, the director of the school, planned a tie-dye activity for the afternoon and all the kids were very excited about it.  The last time we did tie-dye with the kids was a huge success.  This time the kids knew more of what to expect and had some great ideas about how to tie and twist their projects to get the coolest designs.  Michelle and I hunted around for every large pot we could find to fill with the various colors of dye we had.  This gave the kids lots of color choices.  The results were spectacular!
Not all of the kids at the school are deaf, but most of them use and understand sign.  Michelle and other teachers generally speak and sign at the same time when teaching the kids.  For those of us who aren't very fluent in Mexican sign language, there are usually kids around who can translate.

Chuy shows his T-shirt which, when it's tied up, looks like a skinny man. 

After the first round of dying, all the rubber bands were taken off and the shirts re-tied to give different designs and color blends.  Then they were put in a second dye pot.

Very cool!!!

Monday, May 21

Teaching Teachers

At the beginning of May, we were able to host a missionary from Tennessee whose job in the states is training children's ministry workers.  What a blessing it was to have Lacynda Biggers stay with us for a few days and hold a training seminar for the children's ministry workers of the Vida Nueva churches.

Students were given 30 minutes to put together a 1 hour children's lesson.  Great practice -- especially that's often all the advance notice a teacher gets (sometimes less!).  The object of the training course was to give the students some tools and guidelines for building a successful Bible lesson.

In this photo Luz demonstrates a very important teacher skill: the ability to write upside down. ;^)

I think Evie had more fun that it looks like she was having in this photo!!!

After working together as a team to build the lesson, the groups then shared their lesson with the rest of the class.

We learned that the most important part of the lesson -- the part we want the children to take home with them and guard in their heart -- is the Bible truth, not the Bible story.  Evie's group used the story of the firey furnace to illustrate the truth of "God Takes Care of Me".

In addition to a class on how to build a successful Bible lesson, Lacynda also shared about the importance of capturing a child's heart...
...and we did some role playing of dealing with discipline issues in the classroom.  In this photo, Hermana Blanca and Hermana Irma make trouble for Teacher Ana.  We definitely had fun and learned a lot during this all-too-short class!

In fact, we enjoyed ourselves so much that we've invited Hermana Lacynda back this weekend for a second class!  This class will be held at Iglesia Betesda in Guasave.  We're hoping that many leaders from many churches will be able to attend!  Pray for a good turn-out!

Saturday, May 19

Monthly Men's Fellowship

Every month men from the Vida Nueva congregations gather for a time of fellowship. April's meeting was held at our house. About 40 men of all ages gathered for a time of food, fellowship and worship.

Having a pool table, foosball table and a basketball hoop are all great draws for youth ministry...and men's ministry, too! Our friend Julio was happy that we got the pool table set up again.

It was great to have some of the youth from Boca del Rio attend the meeting. Several of these young men, including the one playing basketball with Doug, have been hanging out at our house for almost 7 years. We pray that we can make a positive impact on their lives!

Monday, February 13

Samaritan's Purse 2012

One of our main functions here as missionaries is to just "help". Isn't that really everyone's calling? Colossians 3:23 says "Whatever you do, work heartily as for the Lord and not for men."

As part of the Body of Christ, we should look for opportunities to serve and help and encourage the other parts of the body. If you're really looking, it won't take long to find something that needs doing!

The Vida Nueva Children's Christmas party was a great example of the body working together to achieve great things! The church was able to participate in Samaritan's Purse Shoebox Gifts this year. We were very excited to be able to see first-hand how the shoe boxes, packed in the U.S., impact little ones in other parts of the world.

One requirement of Samaritan's Purse is that all the congregations in the area strive to have their "Festiniños" (Kids' Party) on the same day. There are lots of reasons why this is a good idea, but it does make it interesting for pastors who have congregations in several villages or for leadership teams who are accustomed to sharing resources (like sound systems, instruments, even Crayons) with other congregations. This is where having a large family comes in really handy!

Rather than trying to be in 3 places at once, the leadership teams for the churches in Tamazula, Tecomate and Alamito decided to divide the youth into three groups. Yadira quickly snatched Caleb to work with Alamito and Eugenia just as quickly grabbed Sarah. The Petits were claimed for Tecomate and the only thing left to figure out was how to get three groups to three different villages at the same time with only two vehicles. Caleb solved our problem by choosing Andrew to be his only helper -- they rode Andrew's motorcycle to Alamito.

Singing time!
My God is so BIG!

Love God! Love your neighbor! Ya! Ya! Ya!
(Some songs just don't translate to English very well!)

Game time!

Golf ball races

Golf ball relays

More golf ball races...
That's using your head!

Races involving citrus fruit

More races involving citrus fruit --
we missionaries are really good at using what we have on hand!

Story time!

Sarah shared the parable of the talents. The kids were tickled that they got to keep the U.S. pennies that she gave out as visual aids.
Caleb shared the story of Jonah -- complete with rain and thunder
(see the spray bottle in his hand?)

A whole bunch of good listeners!

Gift time!

We were blessed to be able to have boxes for every single child who attended the parties in all three locations. Praise God!

While we realize that the shoe box gifts aren't the most important part of the Festiniños, we also realize that they definitely attract the children. Thank you to everyone in the US who participated in Operation Christmas Child this year. And praise God that we have something to share with these precious little ones that will last longer than a plastic toy!

Psalm 136:1 -- Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good!
His steadfast love endures forever!