Friday, December 19

Operation Christmas Child

Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!!!

To everyone who has prayed and to everyone who has given over the past couple of days to meet this need we send a huge


We've reached our goal and will be able to distribute the gifts to the area children as we had prayed!!! We'll be sure to post lots of pictures here next week so you can see what we're up to!

I'd like to give a special thanks to Miss Jocelyn at A Pondering Heart and the Mom-Team over at 5 Minutes for Mom for their "boost" to this endeaver. (Even though I think they would probably rather not have the credit, I'd still like to say thank you for linking up!)

Once again, Merry Christmas everyone!!!

For the first time in the history of this small fishing village, Samaritan's Purse: Operation Christmas Child is coming!

Pastor Ricardo went to Guamuchil with a group of area pastors yesterday to find out what they needed to do to receive the shoeboxes. He stopped by this morning with a prayer request, which I'm passing on to my loyal blog readers! ;^)

Samaritan's Purse will make the shoeboxes available to the church at a cost of 7 pesos each. We did wonder, as I'm sure you are wondering, why there would be a charge to receive these gifts. The men at the distribution point said that the charge was to cover the transport of the boxes from the port of Mexico City to Guamuchil (20 hours away). At any rate, the cost works out to about $.50 each. Calvary Chapel -- Boca del Rio would like to be able to distribute the boxes to the children of Boca del Rio and Las Glorias and also to the villages of Las Pitayas and Carricitos (villages which suffer extreme poverty and have no Christian church). We've cancelled our children's Christmas party, which was scheduled for today, and are praying for enough funds to purchase 500 boxes. The day of distribution will be January 2, so there is still a week to raise the money needed. That date coincides with the national celebration of Three Kings Day -- which is another gift-giving holiday here.

I know that this time of year, you see someone with their hand out every time you turn around. The Salvation Army is ringing the bell to take your change, there's a homeless person in every parking lot asking for work or food, the youth group is raising money for this, the children's department needs that, and to top it off the kids' Sunday school class expects 2 dozen cookies by tomorrow.

Well, I don't want to add to the chaos and craziness, but if you do happen to have a couple of dollars extra and would like to send a very special gift to one of 500 kids who might not receive any other gift this Christmas, it would be a blessing. We are trusting God to provide the $250 needed.

If you find yourself unable to help financially, will you please pray? We know that the fervent prayers of a righteous man avail much! So pray fervently that God would provide and that the Church would be able to bless these children and that a door would be opened to share the Gospel in Las Pitayas and Carricitos!!!

Merry Christmas, everyone!!!

Friday, December 5

Agape Water War

Our church has been meeting on the first Sunday of each month to celebrate the Lord's supper and share a comida agape (church potluck) since the middle of the summer. It's always a time of good food and great fellowship. At the beginning of November, Brother Tito brought his internationally renowned fish fryer and we had a cookout!

Church dinners here are so different from the potlucks at our home church in Oregon. In the States, a potluck is all about variety. Miss Hazel brings her potato salad and so does Miss Emma, but you should take a spoonful of both, 'cause they're totally different from each other. Miss Julia wows us with her fancy desserts and chocolates, the menfolk get together and make homemade ice get the picture. Something for everyone!

So what do the folks bring to a potluck in Boca del Rio? Fish.

Pastor Ricardo and Cristina wanted to make sure that we had "everything we needed" for the dinner, so we were recounting who was bringing sister was bringing a couple of onions, I had a bunch of tomatoes, another sister had some chilis (peppers), two brothers were buying tortillas, Braulio and Tito were bringing a few kilos of fish. Yep. We had it all covered. Does that seem funny to anyone else?

After church, we started chopping vegetables for the salsa while Tito fired up the fryer. By the time the salsa was done and the tables were cleaned, the fish were ready and the church sat down to lunch.

As usual, good food and great conversation were the order of the day.

At some point, though, the mood of the afternoon began to change. I first noticed it when Brother Aristeo began giving Caleb a hard time about his Coke.

Then I began to notice other people acting a little...silly...

...or maybe they were acting guilty...

...the guy grabbing the bowl is Braulio. What's he doing with that bowl???

He's going to fill it with water and dump it over his wife's head! Happy birthday, Pily!!!

That was all the encouragement the rest of the yahoos needed. It was a water love, of course!

As soon as the buckets came out and the hose turned on, the people scattered. Even the little old ladies of the church were tossing cups of water at each other. What a hoot!!! I had to laugh at Pastor Ricardo, though. He's been on a very strict diet for the past couple of months. He suffered a serious gall stone episode and was hospitalized for a few days while they were on vacation. Since August, Ricardo has not eaten anything fried or greasy, no chili, no soda pop. Those 3 things eliminate about 90% of the normal diet in Boca. Cristina gave him permission to enjoy this one meal with the church body (with soda, even). When the water started flying, Ricardo still hadn't finished his plate. He wouldn't budge for fear that his plate would be taken! He sat at the table being splashed and hosed until he finally finished his food.

Note: A week ago, Ricardo went in for an ultrasound to check his gallbladder. God has completely healed him!!! Aleluia!!! Not even one little stone -- and he hasn't passed them either! The doctors were amazed, but we serve a big God, right???!!!

Goin' on a Snake Hunt

Goin' on a snake hunt.

Gonna catch a snake.

Is he over here? Nope.

Is he over there? Nope.

I don't know where he went, but I mean it, he was this big!