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!

Friday, February 10

Master's Bible School

Well, module #1 of Master's Bible School has come to an end. Wow! What an incredible time!!!

Our teacher, Luis Cervantes from Esenada, Mexico, arrived on Saturday and students began to arrive Sunday evening. By 9 a.m. Monday, 45 students were enrolled, and class was ready to start.

Following are some pictures from the 10 days of classes.

This photo was taken during the first class of Inductive Bible Study. To study the Bible we ask three questions:
  • What does the Bible say?
  • What does it mean?
  • How does it apply to my life?
Seven hours a day for 10 days the students received training in Inductive Bible Study, Biblical Principles, False Teachers and Oral Bible. Pictured above are Trini and Brisa, both from Guasave. They were two of 20 students from the five different Vida Nueva congregations who participated in the school.

After the classes came the homework. Dago, Ramon, Tino and Amado were only a few who studied through their afternoon break and sometimes stayed up until midnight or later to finish homework and prepare for the next day's class.

Evie was in charge of childcare during the week. We didn't make this service available to everyone for obvious reasons, but the kids who did stay had a great time and so did Evie. (Until she got sick, which is another story, but one which turned out fine in the end!)

While Doug and our four older kids were involved in the school, Andrew became the campus handy-man (which he usually is anyway). Here he is hanging curtains on the outside of the conference center windows to keep the blaring sun out of people's eyes. Andrew was also up every morning at 6 a.m. to drive to Boca on his motorcycle to pick up tortillas.

Classes started every morning with a time of prayer and worship. Sarah, Caleb, Eliu, Doug and Luis (and probably more I don't know about!) all pitched in to lead the music. It was a great time to refocus and recharge and get ready to start the day.

On the final day of classes, the students presented dramatic enactments of Bible stories as their final exam in the Oral Bible class. This team presented the story of "The Rich Man and Lazarus", which is found in the book of Luke, chapter 16.

Here are the 45 students enrolled in Escuela Bíblica del Maestro 2012. Glory to God!!!

Module #2 will be held at the end of October. We're very excited and are already planning toward this event! If you're interested in helping in any way, send us an email!