Sunday, March 30

Friday, March 28

M.C. Arok

Omar and his wife, Ediith, are a young couple from Guasave. They have been married for almost a year and have hearts to serve the Lord wherever He leads them. Omar's ministry is music -- specifically rap music. He has done concerts and youth events all around the Guasave, Los Mochis and Culiacan area. April 19, he'll be in Culiacan with "Hip-Hop Flavors". Rap and hip-hop are very popular musical forms in our part of Mexico.

Omar and Caleb "hit it off" immediately! I took a great video of the two of them doing an impromptu song, but I held the camera side-ways to get a better shot...and I can't rotate the video. I'm sure someone can, but I'm not that someone! Thought it would be better to NOT make people turn side-ways to watch the video! Just believe me when I say that they make a really good duo!

If you're interested in Spanish Christian rap...or just curious about can take a peek at Omar's web page...and you can watch a video of M.C. Arok (his stage name) right-side up!

Semana Santa -- Beach Outreach

Thousands of people flock to the beaches of Las Glorias and Boca del Rio during Holy WeekQuestion: What does semana santa mean?

Answer: Literally translated, it is “week holy” or Holy Week. It is the week of Good Friday, in which we remember the last week of Jesus Christ’s life and ministry on earth, His crucifixion, death and burial, and we celebrate His resurrection from the dead.

Thursday, Friday and Saturday of Holy Week, Calvary Chapel Boca del Rio went out on the beach to talk to the people there. In years past, the students from the School of Ministry have performed a dramatization of the crucifixion of Christ followed by an invitation to pray. The problem with that has been that in the past we just didn’t have enough team members to talk and pray with everyone who had questions. This year the leaders decided to do something a little different.

We divided into teams of 2 or 3 people and just went walking on the beach. As we met people, we talked to them. Each team had some tracts which we had purchased from Living Waters Ministry. These were great “ice-breakers” and opened the door to talk more in depth. Every person we talked to was different – of course! But they did have one very important thing in common; God loves them and sent His son to die for each one of them in particular.

[Perhaps, if you grew up in a Christian church, you’ve heard the phrase “He sent His son to die for you” so many times that it’s lost its meaning. Maybe you didn’t grow up in church and the phrase makes no sense, or it seems really weird. Either way, let’s look at that sentence again. The verse is found in the book of 1st John chapter 4, verse 10 (written this way: 1 John 4:10) “And this is Love: not that we loved God, but that God loved us, and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins”. It means basically this: It’s not too surprising that we would love God. What’s surprising is that God loved us (each one of us) and was willing to let his only son be killed in order to pay a debt we owed, but couldn’t repay. Does it make a little more sense that way? If you’re curious, pick up your Bible and read. Send us an email and ask questions. There’s no such thing as a dumb question!!!]

The beach outreach was a huge blessing to all. Each of the team members who went out to share was encouraged, and our faith increased as we talked to many people who genuinely desired to hear more about Jesus. By the end of 3 days, more than 40 people had prayed to receive Christ as their personal savior. Wow!!! Pray with us that God would continue to work in their lives as they return to their homes and jobs this week. The Bible says in Philippians 1:6 “Being confident of this very thing: that He who began a good work in you will be faithful to carry it out to completion until the day of Jesus Christ.” What a promise!

Here are some pictures of our team sharing on the beach:

The CC Boca team meets at the church to pray before heading for the beach Team members prayed that God would give them courage to share their hearts and also that He would lead them to the people who needed to hear
Braulio and Omar sharing Jesus

Pastor Ricardo and CalebLadis, Omar, Sergio and Braulio

Ladis and Sergio share with a young couple -- Our eyes can sometimes deceive us!

Luz, Monica and Edith share Jesus with a young man who is selling mangoes on a stick

Left Corner: Pastor Ricardo and Caleb share Jesus with a family camping on the beach; Front and Center: Ladis and Sergio talk with another young coupleSergio talks with a young ladyMavil and Chikis share Christ with some young ladies

Thursday, March 27

And the Band Played On

And the band played on…

…and on, and on. Las Glorias is generally a sleepy little town. By 9 p.m. on a normal night the streets are quiet and windows are dark. Not so during semana santa. By Wednesday afternoon during Holy Week the streets are crowded with vendors and campers and partiers. It’s "Spring Break at the beach”! As soon as the sun begins to set, bands begin to tune up. By 8 p.m. from our house you can hear no less than 3 different types of bands – ranchero, rock and hip-hop – loud and clear; plus various radios and sound-systems all playing at a volume loud enough to drown out the noise made by each respective group’s neighbors.

Doug and I went for a walk one night to see the sights and found a really neat group. I took a short video of their music. Problem is, the video is on the dark-and-under-exposed side because of how little light there was. It just didn't do them justice! I guess you'll just have to use your imagination! Think to yourself, "oom PAH PAH oom PAH PAH oom PAH PAH oom PAH PAH oom PAH PAH PAH PAH PAH oom PAH PAH..." and you'll just about have it.

Very fun music!

Later, back at home, we were listening to another band playing at a neighbor’s house (impossible not to, no matter how many doors and windows you shut). “They’re really good!” I said. Doug replied wryly, “Yeah. Remind me of that at 4 o’clock when they’re still playing, ‘But they’re good, Honey!’

No kidding! The band next door didn’t stop till 5:15 a.m.

At least they were good!!! ;^)

Wordless Wednesday (Thursday Edition!)

Well, not exactly "wordless".

What do you do when you have an upstairs apartment and want to build a deck and put new, nicer pillars under it?
Yes.  This concrete and steel building is being supported by 3 rough-cut 2x4s while they pour new pillars You hammer a couple of good, solid 2x4 studs in there and knock out the old, ugly pillars. Then you can pour new pillars and connect your deck to the house. Would anyone like to venture a guess as to how many pounds are being held up by those three 2x4s? Keep in mind that everything here is constructed with concrete and steel.

I hope the residents are staying with friends till the construction is over!!!

Tuesday, March 25

Tackle it Tuesday -- The Party's Over...

Tackle It Tuesday Meme

The party is over...

…and the year-round residents of Las Glorias and Boca del Rio are left holding the bags: big, black, plastic bags! This “Tackle it Tuesday” is a little different from our usual. For that reason, I posted it on our family’s ministry blog, rather than my Mom-Blog.

Resurrection Sunday officially marked the last day of semana santa. The weekend partiers have left, the all-night ranchero, hip-hop and rock bands are finished, the masses of street vendors and snack shacks have been broken down and carted away. Now the residents can get down to the business of cleaning up the residue from the week-long fiesta. And what residue!!!

Yesterday, I went for a walk on the beach. It was a beautiful overcast, foggy morning – reminiscent of the Oregon coast, but about 40 degrees warmer. I took my camera, just ‘cause, and was glad I did when I got to our friend Eva’s house. Eva is a widow who lives right on the beach. She rents part of her yard as a camping area during the week of semana santa. When her campers left yesterday, they left their trash behind.

(and if you look closely, you’ll notice they left something else!
I nearly didn’t see the man passed out on the scaffold!)

Our Tackle it Tuesday project was to clean Eva’s yard for her. To be honest, this was the boys' project. We just supplied the tools, and they supplied the hands and the hearts!

As I walked home up the beach, I noticed that other people had been working, too. The city workers, a team of 5 men with a big truck and a bunch of trash bags, worked hard most of yesterday to get the beach presentable before high-tide sucked the garbage out to sea. Check out the difference.

While we can’t take credit for this part of the beach, it certainly feels good to be doing things to serve others! Eva was pretty tickled to have her yard cleaned up, too!!! The boys said that she paid them with a grapefruit apiece! "The workman is worthy of his wages", right?

Sunday, March 23

Silent Sunday

Do not store up for yourself treasure on earth, where moth and rust corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal. But lay up for yourself treasure in heaven, where neither moth nor rust corrupt, and where thieves do not break through and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. Matthew 6:19-21

Thursday, March 20

Monday Night Bible Study

On Monday nights, Doug and I meet with our friends, Esteban and Basilia, Lupita and Julio and Pedro and Luci for a Bible study. We've been going through a book of basic Biblical truths and it's been a great study! Everyone shares prayer needs and praises and it's a great time of fellowship, too. Esteban received Christ as his personal savior about a year-and-a-half ago. Basilia, Lupita and Luci all prayed to receive Christ at a Billy Graham crusade which was televised here (and translated to Spanish) last winter. At that time, we wanted to start a weekly Bible study, but it just wouldn't work out. Apparently, it wasn't God's timing.

Last week, after our study, Esteban pulled out a special treat: oysters on the half-shell. Usually these sell for 10 pesos apiece (about a dollar), but in the small village behind our house, Las Pitayas, he found them for 3 pesos (30 cents) each.

Raw oysters are really not my thing, but drenched in lime with! These were really good!!!

Wednesday, March 19

Sunday, March 16

Saturday, March 15

Gloria's Place

One of Doug's ministries to the people of Las Glorias and Boca is helping with "projects". Things like "art projects" in Mexico are a little different than in the States. For instance, in Oregon if we wanted to make a sign for a yard sale, we just go buy a piece of poster board and grab our markers or acrylic paints and paintbrushes and go for it. Here, if the average national wants to make a sign, they will go to the market and buy the poster board (so far, so good) but in order to make the sign, they have to know what colors they want and buy each pen separately. The paper stores sell colored markers for any where from 4 pesos to 14 pesos (40 cents to a buck and a half). Just having a package of assorted markers "lying around the house" is unheard of. We're crazy, artsy Americans, so we have markers, crayons, acrylic paints, brushes and whatever lying around just waiting to be used. Why not use them, eh?

Here is a project that we just finished for a sister in the church. Gloria is the mother of Sergio, who is the director of the School of Ministry. About a year ago, she began a small restaurant "senaduria" at her house. Without a sign, her business has been steady, but a little slow. With Semana Santa coming (Holy Week), we thought a sign would help her out immensely!

Of course, when we delivered her "carton", a neighbor came over and asked if we could fix his sign for him. Looks like we have another project on our list!!!
This is Brother Tito. He makes the best fried fish in the village (I'm biased!). The "sign" literally says, "They Sell Oysters". This is pretty representative of advertisements in this part of Mexico. Find some relatively flat, non-rusty surface and spray paint your notice on it. It works. Hopefully, Gloria's new sign will attract more business!

Saturday, March 1

Be My Valentine

February 14 is St. Valentine's Day in the States, but here in Mexico it is "dia de amistad y amor". Literally, that means day of friendship and love. I actually think the Mexican name conveys the spirit of the holiday better. Whatever you call it, we celebrated it with style!


The ladies of Calvary Chapel Boca del Rio invited the ladies of Tamazula and Alomito, neighboring communities, to come and celebrate this very special day. We began with a teaching on love and friendship given by Ana, one of the students from the School of Ministry.


After the teaching, there was a time of sharing and hilarious games -- and, of course, heart-shaped suckers!


Originally we had planned to prepare tamales for a special supper, but all of the ladies agreed that since we would have to make the tamales, we'd rather have carne asada (basically, BBQ beef -- but better.)


No Mexican party is complete without games! All the ladies participated in some of the most hilarious contests -- but since I was competing, sorry, no photos! ;^) We played Bible charades and races to pass a mandarin orange from one sister to the next using only feet. The ladies of Mexico definitely know how to relax and enjoy themselves -- they play as hard as they work!

Because of some very thoughtful Christian sisters in Oregon, and some very helpful missionaries from Washington, the church able to share gifts with some of the sisters. We put together little gift bags and had a raffle to give them out. It was a lot of fun to see their smiles!


At the end of the afternoon, Sister Yadira from Alomito pulled out her guitar and we began to sing praise songs. It was a wonderful ending to a fabuous day!

Septimo Congreso de Jovenes

7th Annual Youth Conference – CC Boca del Rio
7th Annual Youth Conference

Several pastors taught on the theme: Challenge Yourself – With God, all Things Are Possible. Braulio, who is the administrator and one of the teachers in CC Boca’s School of Ministry, exhorted the youth to stand up for what is right and what the Bible teaches. Even though there may be some really tough things in our lives, God gives us the ability to face those things and overcome them through Him. Matt 14:28-31

Verses of challenge and encouragement were posted all over the walls of the church. Pray that the lives of these kids would be touched and that they would discover the purpose God has for them!


Pastor Tom has been in the States for the past few months helping a church in the Sacramento, California, area. He arrived in Mexico the same day we returned from our short trip to Arizona. In fact, he and the Bible students he brought with him arrived at literally the same hour we did. When we pulled into the parking lot at KM21, Tom’s van was parked there – full of dozing missionaries! While our family had passed through all the checkpoints with no problems, Tom’s team had been sitting at this office for hours battling with paperwork problems. That sometimes happens here. We all finally crossed the border at 11 p.m.

[Bunny Trail: Traveling in Mexico is sometimes very interesting – especially for Americans, since it is very different from anything most of us have ever experienced. The roads have been getting better and better over the past two years, but Mexican road construction is still very different than American road construction. Mexican rest stops and bathrooms, also, are different and of course there are the ever-present, but often poorly-announced topes (pronounced TOH-pays, but usually yelled out frantically as the driver slams on his brakes. It means “speed bump”.) Years ago, traveling in Mexico was more dangerous. Banditos prowled the highways, and especially the side roads, and many policemen were as crooked as the bandits. This too is improving, but once in a while a crooked policeman will pull over some un-suspecting traveler to extort an extra $5 or $10 or $100 tip. It’s generally better to travel during the daytime and not look too “conspicuous”. I think that two white 15 passenger vans with big loads and US plates traveling at 3 in the morning through an otherwise-deserted village came across as conspicuous to a couple of crooked traffic cops in Navajoa, Sinaloa. Doug and the other driver, Sir, were pulled over and the police demanded a $100 “fine”. Doug told him he didn’t have any cash, but we could go to the office and use his Visa. Sir (who speaks almost no Spanish) just kept saying, “I don’t understand. What do you mean?” The incident ended when both drivers (out of earshot of each other) said the word biblia. Sir had pulled out his Bible and the officer asked if it was a dicionario. Sir said, “Biblia!” The officer told him to have a good evening and sent him on his way. Doug had been repeating the words “office” and “Visa” while his officer kept saying (in English, no less), “Give me $100! Give me $100!” When Doug, in frustration blurted out the word “biblia”, the officer threw up his hands and walked off. I guess that if you travel enough in Mexico, you’re going to gather some interesting travel stories. We certainly have our share! End of Bunny Trail.]

What were we talking about? Oh, yeah! Youth conference!!!


Between the teaching sessions and during free time, kids would group up to sing all over the school campus. Caleb found himself in the middle of one group playing (and sharing) his bongos. Sarah was fighting off a nasty cold and didn’t feel much like singing, but she brought her guitar to share and joined in where she could.



The band OACA led worship during Friday, Saturday and Sunday’s sessions. During his free time, Sergio spent time with the young percussionists of the group.

Chow Line


Actually, this was a pretty organized and well-behaved bunch of youth. Meal times were a sight to be seen! A team of ladies and students worked to prepare 3 meals a day for the more than 150 people at the conference.


Hermano Tito shared his expertise and his deep fryer with the school to make fish tacos on Saturday. He has a mesh bag on his head to keep hair out of the food (notice: he has no hair!!!)


Here is the professional tamale-making crew. They could probably have gotten the tamales done without the Americans’ help just as fast, but we certainly had a lot of fun and a great time of fellowship!!!



Enter the amateurs!


Saturday night’s meal was tamales. If you’ve never had an authentic Mexican tamale, you’re missing out on a treat! Chef-Boy-R-Dee just doesn’t do justice to this dish!!! The only drawback to tamales for 150 people is…it’s a lot of work!!! BUT many hands make light work, so all the “grown-ups” pitched in and we gringos learned to wrap and tie tamales. In this photo are Sir, Shane and his wife Angelica (Calvary Chapel Bible students from California), Cheli, Tita, Lina and Victoria (sisters from the church), me (Rebecca) and Carol, a second-year American student from Boca del Rio and CC Sacramento.