Monday, October 25

Back in the swing of mission trips!

It's been a while since we posted here! No excuses -- just a lack of internet and a lack of time! Now that we're back online, albeit buzzing along at a whopping 52kbps via a dial-up connection, we'll be able to share some of what we are up to now. It might take a while to catch up, but I think it can be done!

Rather than start back in August and then try to get current before the current becomes the past, I thought perhaps I should start with the "now" and then move backwards little by little until I fill in all the gaps. It should work. I mean, after all, this is a virtual scrapbook and you can always jump around in a scrapbook, right? Sure!!!

So here we go...the present!!! This is the end of October. The weather has shifted, and the days are now beautifully warm and the nights have a distinctly "autumnal" feel to them. We have entered into the Wonderful Time of Year, climate-wise, and are enjoying it fully!

Two weeks ago, a mission team from the state of Washington came down. We were invited by the hosting missionaries to tag along as interpreters and also to help with transportation. God worked it out so that our entire week was free to spend time with this team and with the body of believers in Guasave, Tamazula and Alomito. God is so good!

Here are some photos of the team and some of the things we did during the week. Some of the things not pictured are the outreach at the local prison, the pouring of the roof at the pastor's house in Guasave, the picnic afterward, several different excursions to the ocean, a fishing excursion with a bit of excitement, and a trip to the Guasave open-air market, to name a few. With so many hundreds of photos to choose from, one has to make some tough decisions, you know!

Friday night the alliance of churches in Guasave sponsored a youth concert at the church of Betesda. The team shared a powerful drama about mankind's need for a savior.

Saturday morning, the church of Tecumate (another section of the city) hosted a youth conference. Two of the visiting American missionaries were invited to speak and the youth were really encouraged. It was good to see a few new faces at this youth event! Sarah and Caleb joined up with Josh and Becca and another friend to lead the worship.

Sunday, we attended the church in Tamazula, which is where we do weekly parenting classes. Having the American team there for a Sunday service was a real treat -- I think as much for the Americans as for the local church! The Mexican brothers and sisters were encouraged by the team's presence -- that they came down, even though the whole world seemed to be warning them not to -- and by the love they showed. The American team members said that they were touched by the local church's love and acceptance of them and also by their passion for prayer and for the Word. It was a beautiful thing to see the Church working together as one in Christ!

At the end of the church service, the pastor invited anyone who wanted to pray or to be prayed for to come forward. Practically the entire congregation moved.
During the course of the week, we did a lot of running around and ended up exhausted by the end, but it was a very good sort of exhausted -- very fulfilling! We've missed having mission teams come down to work alongside of us. Now that we're back in "Mission Team Season", we're looking forward to being able to connect with more teams from the States.

Sunday night, we made the inevitable trip back to the Tufesa bus station to bid farewell to our brothers and sisters in Christ. That will never be the easy part of mission teams. Fortunately, we know that as Christians, our good byes are never permanent! They're just, "See you later!"