Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Road Trippin

The month of July for me was a whirlwind of traveling, and connecting with friends and family.  YWAM San Diego Baja gave me the opportunity to travel with the “Mobile Team,”  this team consisted of two representatives from three different bases, San Diego Baja, Denver, and Lausanne Switzerland.  This six member team traveled across the country following Christian Music festivals.  At each festival we set up a table and shared about our mission organization, but more importantly we were there to hear people’s stories and pray for them.  Both vendors and patrons of the festival came and spoke with us about their lives and struggles and asked for prayer.  Over and over again we were able to pray with people, and see people experience God.  I met up with the team in Harrisburg Pennsylvania and road tripped with them from there to Denver Colorado.  I was able to see some family and friends as we traveled which for me was something that was unexpected and a blessing.  

I arrived in Texas a week or so ago and have been visiting friends and family here as well.  It is always great to come back Texas, I love it here, but I am excited to be moving more permanently to Mexico.  I hope to continue to send you good news from Mexico, and to see what God continues to do in your life.  

When I get back it looks like I will have two main responsibilities.  One will be to help get ready for the next bible school that I will staff.  We will be looking at the curriculum and our grading system.  I am especially excited to look at these things because I will be able to use some of the skills I acquired during my four years of college.  The other area that I will be working a lot in is the kitchen.  Our base has a lot of short term volunteers that come to help support our ministries, which creates a ministry of hospitality on base that I think is very important.    

It is funny to see how God works even though I am not working as a Coach/Teacher I will be using my education degree to help teach people the bible, and my three years working with the Mustang Island Conference Center has prepared me to help manage a kitchen!
If you are close to Brownsville I would love to see you, and if not I would love to hear from you.  I hope your summer has been a good one. 

Prayer Requests
Please continue to pray for me and my work.  I am still required to raise my own support in YWAM even though I am committing to be a part of the staff.  My living costs look to be about 700 dollars a month and right now I have 300 dollars in monthly support.
Pray for the CSBS staff that we can prepare for the upcoming school
Pray for the students that are thinking about coming that God will open the doors that they need opened if they are to attend

Monday, July 2, 2012

Changing it up

Hey Everyone, 

I have gone from spending most of my time trying to finish studying the bible to traveling in a van following Christian music festivals across the country.  I was outside of Harrisburg Pennsylvania this last weekend at Creation festival North East and I am writing to you from Illinois.  I am traveling with 5 other people, two from Denver and two from the base in Switzerland.  Our goal is to talk and explain what Youth With a Mission does as well as talk and pray with people about the possibility of doing missions.  

Creation was my first festival, but the mobile team has already been traveling for three weeks.  We are using a 15 passenger van from Denver and driving cross country.  We are now just outside of Chicago, IL waiting for our next festival, Cornerstone, which starts on the 3rd.  After Cornerstone we will be going to Minnesota.  I am especially excited to be in MN.  It looks like we will have a few days off and I am hoping to see as much of the family there as I can.  So family, friends if you are around the twin cities from the 8th – 11th please let me know I would love to see you!  I did not think I was going to make it to the twin cities this summer so I am pumped to have this time.  The 12-15 is Sonshine in Wilmar MN.  This festival will be our last stop. 
Main Stage at Creation day one
I get done with this outreach on July 18th and then I will be headed home for a few weeks.  I know that it is coming quick and before I know it I will be headed back to Mexico.  I am grateful for this time, but I am also excited to get back to Mexico.  There is a lot happening there and I am so excited to be working with the Bible School in Tijuana. We have a strong team of staff including 5 new staff members who were students in the last school.  This is something that seems to be kind of rare, usually in YWAM there are a lot of new people every year, but here with this school we have a chance to work as a team after spending nine months as students.  I need to figure out how I am going to get all my stuff out there, but it will work and before I know it I will be back in Mexico and applying for my residency!  

As always I would love to hear from you guys.  How the summer is going and especially if we have the chance to meet up this summer let me know.  I will be in MN from the 8-14 and then flying into San Antonio and then working my way down to Brownsville.  I am looking at leaving somewhere around the 9th of August to go back to Mexico.  Take care guys God Bless! 

Monday, June 4, 2012

It has been an exciting month.  Our base has been really busy, and our school is now only weeks away from finishing.  In regards to the base, just last week between our Ensenada Campus and our Tijuana Campus we constructed 13 houses.  It was nothing short of amazing to watch this take place before my eyes.  We see a lot of need in this world, but often we cannot get to the point where our conviction brings us to a point where we can help.  As impressive as this is it expands beyond this.  Because of the houses we build we are known in the community.  Youth With a Mission has created a repoire with the community.  That relationship is allowing us to intentionally engage with these people.  Out of the foundation that has been created through homes of hope there are ministries growing on our base.  We have ministries that work with preschool kids, adolescent boys, and some of the mothers.  We try and raise education and prepare equip them so they can raise their quality of life through education.  We also are working and disciplining people so they can grow in their faith.  I have had a chance to work with the preschool and the youth groups.  They are exciting programs and they are ready to explode, but the need more help. 

I have been praying for a long time about what to do next.  When I came here I thought I would be done traveling, I was ready to get to work, ready to finally find a job.  I have been praying and looking since Christmas intentionally trying to understand where God wanted me to take up a leadership position.  As I began to look I found a lot of internships within the Churches, some part times job but nothing full time.  I felt like I needed to step into a full time position, but could not find one.  The discussion came up with the leaders here about me staying on as staff.  After prayers and discussions with many family and friends I realized this was my place to take on that full time position.  This place is ready for people to come and take on leadership roles; they want people to commit so they can move forward.  

YWAM San Diego Baja has a vision, that this place will become a place a where we can teach and train young people to be an influence in the world, that our base can help raise up Mexican nationals, and more Latin American Missionaries, and to continue to impact the communities we work in not just through the homes we build, but in all the ministries that come out of that.  I believe that the bible school is something that can bring all of things together.  We need to teach people to read! How can we expect all these things to happen if they are not grounded in the word, if they cannot look at the bible for themselves and understand how to study these truths? They will have a hard time growing.  Reading is fundamental for education just as learning to read the Bible is just as fundamental.  

I will graduate bible school on the 23rd of June and fly out on the 25th to join with a few other bases of YWAM in the states.  We will be traveling in a van following a concert series, and then I will be trying to visit family.  I am hoping to spend some time in Minnesota at the end of the summer and then off to Texas for a week or so.  After this craziness I will be coming back to Tijuana to start working with the bible school.  

I am so excited to be able to step into a leadership role here in YWAM, and work with this bible school.  Please come visit, come see what life is like, on the other side, (this is what they call the United States here).  If you can’t make it out please let me know what is going on, stay in contact. 
Continue to pray for YWAM San Diego Baja that we can continue to walk where God has called us.  Pray that I can find a role here, and step into that when I come back in the fall.  Stay tuned there is more coming soon!!!!

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

I had a chance to help with a field trip this last week.  We took 40 kids from our after school program (Circulo Andante) and went to the zoo in Tijuana.  I was in charge of three kids for just over four hours.  The zoo was only partially open so I don’t think we were able to see the whole zoo, but we pretty much had the place to ourselves.  I ran around trying to understand 1st grade Spanish and make sure my kids did not end up in the duck pond or trying to pet the crocodile.  Children are a blessing and as tired as I was after that I was so excited to be able to help expand their perspective.  Our world view changes the way we act and think.  I remember taking my middle school kids into Corpus Christi from Kingsville where I was teaching.  Some of these kids had never been over a bridge before or gone to an aquarium.  Yesterday when I was on this trip I wondered how many kids had been to the zoo before.  Was this something rare for them?  I am sure for some of them it was.  

Beyond my ministries with the kids I have also been studying a lot of Paul’s letters in the last month.  I loved the book of Romans.  We looked at his message and how he wanted to bring the Greek and Jewish church together.  To see God use someone so specifically and intentionally is something special.  In Romans Paul writes to both the Jews and the Greeks and wants to expand perspective.  He wants them to take a step back so they can see more of the big picture.  That all men and women have sinned and failed, but because of one man, Jesus, they have all been saved.  When we look back our perspective is broadened as well.  I know in the last few years my perspective changed.  

Please pray for me intentionally; in the near future I will need to commit to my next step.  The last few months have been a process of looking and praying for a place to begin working.  Pray for our school, it has been a quick 7 months and we have covered a lot of ground in the bible.  The prayer is to finish what we started here last September and really take advantage of the last two months of our school, as we finish studying the New Testament.  I am not the only one looking and preparing for next year so please pray for guidance and wisdom and support for my class mates.  
Summer is close now, and I am glad to see more sunny days.  At the very least this will give me more days where I can go to the beach and get into the cold water.  As always I hope life is good, and can’t wait to hear how you are.  God Bless

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Getting my feet wet

I am back in Mexico after a short trip home and we are in the last semester of our school.  It is great to be studying the story of Jesus at the same time as Easter.  This week with my school we will have communion to remember the last supper and then there will be some activities on Easter Sunday to remember what Jesus did for us. 

The last month was a month of transition, I was able to go home for a week and spend time in Corpus Christi.  The discipleship training schools on the base left for their outreach to Panama, and another training school is set to start today.  This constant change is part of the YWAM culture, saying good bye to old friends and getting to know new ones.  Transition also seems to define my life these last two years as well.  I had no idea that when I left for my DTS in 2009 that it would lead to a season of traveling.  Now I feel this season coming to an end.   I have talked with several people while I was home and people here in YWAM about options for my future.  I am faithfully waiting for God to show me what is next, and while I am anxious to see where I will land I know God has a place for me. 

Here on the base we are just a short walk to the beach.  The waves here are much bigger than in Texas and of course the water is also colder.  I have been interested in surfing since my time working on Mustang Islands, but was not sure about the cold water out here.  Finally last week I decided to get a wet suit and a board.  I paid less than 200 dollars for both which made this investment possible.  I share this with you because yesterday in the water I realized how much surfing out here relates with my present situation.  I did not grow up surfing like many of the people in the Baja.  The waves, size of my board and water temperature are things that I need to adapt to in order to surf.  Fear of these new conditions made me hesitant to engage and get in the water.  Now that I am in I am glad to have the opportunity to try and surf my last month’s here.  In this next year I feel I will be going into unfamiliar water.  My job and responsibilities will hopefully change, and I will be trying to move into a leadership role rather than that of a student.   I have caught only a handful of waves in my life, but those few successes keep me motivated to go out and continue with this hobby.  In the same way I have only really desired to follow God in the last few years of my life, but these years I can say have been the best yet.  I am so glad to have the opportunity to try and surf the last few months I am here, and I cannot wait to see what God has for me after this. 

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Enjoying the present and getting ready for the future

A busy first month has led into a quick month of February where we are wrapping up the Old Testament and getting ready to start the last semester of the school.  We have spent six months working through the OT and now we are getting close to Jesus.  Apart from getting ready to start the New Testament our school also built a house for a family in one of the local communities.  This base has a strong call to help the people in the area, and one of the ways they do this is by building homes.  The ministry is called Homes of Hope, there is more information at http://ywamsandiegobaja.org/homes-of-hope.  Our school built just one of 17 homes that are going to be built in the month of March.  The homes we build will give us opportunities in the community to minister to the people as a mission base. 

As with all short term commitments as soon as I am comfortable in one place I have to start looking for the next project, school, job, place to live.  At Christmas I thought that I was headed to China with one of the outreach teams from my school.  We have two teams going on outreach.  One team will be staying in Mexico and the other is headed to China.  The Mexico team will be going into churches and bible studies to assist in teaching the bible and the method we use to study the bible.  The China team will be traveling as tourists talking with people and learning about eastern culture.  Through these discussions the hope is to be able to share our world view and answer questions about our beliefs.  These teams are preparing, studying and raising support to make these trips possible. 

I was originally planning on going to China, but I feel God calling me to stay in Latin America.  I want to go to a language school back in Chile that starts at the end of July.  This is a four month school and it will allow me to work on my grammar as well as increase my vocabulary.  I am ready to start working, but I have realized that in order to effectively teach and translate I need formal training in Spanish.  Since 2010 I have thought about returning to Chile and it seems that I have an opportunity to do that here. 

Finally I want to let everyone know that I get to return to Texas for Spring Break.  The Diocese of West Texas has given me to the opportunity to fly back and work on Mustang Island for Spring Break Family Camp.  I will be flying in the 8th and coming back to Mexico the 19th of this month.  I should be in San Antonio for the first few days and then in Corpus Christi for the rest of the time.  I can’t wait to be back in Texas! 

Monday, February 6, 2012

Finals are over!!!

The first month back has felt like studying for finals.  We covered six books of the bible, three of them being Isaiah, Ezekiel, and Jeremiah.  All of them are good books, but man to take all that in, in just a month is craziness.  This week we are studying Daniel! Finally we have a book that has less than 30 chapters.  Daniel is a 12 chapter book, and while there is a lot to understand I feel like this task is more manageable than the other books.  Class continues to encourage me and give me things to think about, today as we started our lectures for Daniel our professor used Daniels life to exemplify how we need to be faithful in the little things.  To see Daniel and his friends as young men impact such a strong kingdom is to say the least encouraging, but also challenging.  Am I faithful with the little things?  Studying the bible often times leaves me with more questions, but it is great to see examples of Godly men and women ready to walk in faith. 

The life on the base continues to move along there are two new schools here.  One of them is the Discipleship training school (DTS); it is a bilingual school and it has eight students.  The school reminds me a lot of the DTS I did in Chile.  The other school is called the Children at Risk School.  New schools always seem to bring new energy and personality to a YWAM base so it is has been an exciting month.  I am hoping that in the coming two months I can spend more time with them.  In just a few months these schools will end and we will have another shift on the base. 
Our class was asked today if any of us thought about giving up and going home, some raised their hands.  I know this school can be taxing, but I know this is where I want to be.  I am grateful for this season of my life, and the opportunity I have in front of me.  The chance to study and serve, the sunset over the pacific, cool breeze and clear days are just a few reminders of how blessed I am here.

I hope this year has started well for you.  My time at home was too short and I was not able to see all of the people I would have liked to reconnect with.  Please let me know how you are doing.  It is always good to hear from you.  God Bless and Take Care