Wednesday, December 05, 2007

December Update

We wish you and yours a blessed Christmas and New Year. We believe God has blessed us and moved among us in many ways since our last report. We want to mention a few things for your prayers and thanksgiving.

The Churches – A Kid’s Weekend in La Piedad – Planting Seeds

The fellowship of house churches seems to be doing well right now—each with stories of growth and trials. We pray for the churches in La Piedad, Jocotan, Cerro de Cuatro, Jardines del Valle and Mariano Otero—we pray that each of these groups will grow deeper and stronger in their discipleship—that each will discover opportunities for incarnational mission. We pray that God will open doors for the planting of new churches.

One of the best things about this month was getting to help the Camarena family in their mission in La Piedad, Michoacan. Each of the house churches around us look for ways to flesh out Jesus in their specific neighborhoods. Martin and Rosa have always recognized the many children that live around them and that are connected to their lives in some way or other. They believe their mission involves reaching out and loving these kids. Two weeks ago, we got to help them begin what they hope will be an ongoing mission effort to these kids—25 kids and 7 adults participated in this first weekend. If you want to read more about this weekend and see some photos, you can read this reflection that I wrote earlier. We are thankful for God’s work in the Camarena family. We pray that God will guide and bless them and the other churches as they all seek to live into God’s mission in their neighborhoods.

Missionary Retreat

We were blessed to participate in the Mexico Missionary Retreat in Zihuatanejo early last month. 91 missionaries from across Mexico shared in fellowship, conversation, prayer and fun. We are thankful to the missionary families in Tlalpan for organizing this event. We are also thankful to the Sunset Church of Christ for sending Jay and Sherry Jarboe to share teaching with the group. We pray for the mission works across central Mexico: Mexico City, Tlalpan, Cuernavaca, Toluca, Leon, Guadalajara, Morelia and Lazaro Cardenas.

Upcoming Partners’ Meeting

We want to remind you of the upcoming Guadalajara Multiple Church Planting Project Partners’ Meeting which will take place the weekend of February 8-11, 2008. We continue to pray that it will be a useful time to consider and celebrate our partnership in God’s mission.

You should have already received information regarding this weekend and how to reserve your place. Please remember the deadline for registration is January 15, 2008. Let me know if you have any questions.

Family News – Planning to be in Texas for Christmas

We are excited to spend this Christmas with our family in Texas. With Ceci’s adoption and operations, it has been three years since we were with our family at Christmas. We plan to be there December 23-January 3. Please pray for travel safety. Ceci has never seen snow—you know what she is praying!

I’ll stop for now. As always, we thank God for your partnership in our life and mission.

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

November Update

We trust you are well today. We are blessed—can’t believe it is already November. A lot has happened since our last report. We want to mention a few things for your prayers and thanksgiving.

Family News

The school year seems to be going well for the girls. Morgan and Natali are in their second year on the Lincoln School girls’ volleyball team—they recently won their 1st game (I mean their first game in these 2 years!). Needless to say it was a day of great celebration. Ceci is also doing well—she loves school and is learning so much! She has several friends among our neighbors. She also swims twice each week and can now swim the entire length of the pool without help. We are thankful to God for our girls. We pray for their ongoing health and spiritual formation.

Chadd’s mom, Sandra Schroeder came for a visit a couple of weeks ago. We had a great time—even took a couple of days to travel to the nearby state of Michoacan. We thank God for supportive family!


We thank God for his obvious work among the churches lately. The group in La Piedad seems to have come through a crisis and is doing well again. God has obviously shown his power in delivering Martin and his family from the bondage of addictions again (Thanks for prayers—answered prayers!). They seem to be stronger than ever—committed to the Lord and to one another in a deeper way. They especially desire to minister to children and youth around them…are seeking for their home to be a “safe place” for children who suffer at the hands of their parents who are addicts. Please pray for ongoing transformation in the life of this group of people. Pray for more workers from the harvest around them. Pray for the children and youth around them who have not yet chosen drugs and alcohol. Nancy is working with Martin and Rosa to plan a “kids’ weekend” on November 17-18. We are excited about what God might do during this time. We are also excited about the idea of helping the house churches reach out in simple ways to the kids living around them. Please pray for this time.

We are also thankful to God for his work among the church in Jocotan. Jose Julian and his wife Liliana decided to be immersed into Christ a couple of Sundays ago. Members from a couple of the other churches accompanied them to a waterfall outside of the city for a special time of celebration and sharing of life as they took this new step. Please pray for this couple and the community of faith that is growing deeper and larger in Jocotan.

Missionary Retreat

Missionaries from several of the cities in Mexico are traveling this week to Zihuatenjeo for our annual Mexico Missionary Retreat. Several of our families from Guadalajara will be joining missionaries who work in cities such as Cuernavaca, Mexico City, Morelia, Leon, and Lazaro Cardenas. We expect that it will be a good time for fellowship and renewal. Please pray for travel safety—and for the time we spend together.

Upcoming Partners’ Meeting

Finally, we are praying for the upcoming Guadalajara Multiple Church Planting Project Partners’ Meeting which will take place the weekend of February 8-11, 2008. The theme of this event will be Discovering the Story of God’s Kingdom in Guadalajara. We are praying that it will be a useful time to consider and celebrate our partnership in God’s mission. We pray that God will prepare us for this time together. We pray that there will be a good representation from our supporters.

Also – You are invited to participate with us in this event. The following are some of the specific details that need your attention if you are interested:

Some details we can pass on to you now:
  • The cost for the meeting will be $125 USD per person. This will include 6 meals (Friday night through Sunday lunch), transportation, coffee and snacks, printed material, conference room, etc. It does not include hotel rooms, souvenirs and meals after Sunday lunch.
  • Like the last couple of meetings, housing and group meetings will take place at the Hotel Posada Guadalajara. Rooms with 2 double beds are available for $50 USD per night. The cost is the same for 1-4 people. Your specific cost will depend on how many people you want in your room.
  • We plan for the meetings to begin on Friday evening at 6:00 pm. Arrival time would need to be in the early afternoon on Friday (or earlier). We will plan a “wrap-up” session on Sunday evening followed by a trip to the Tlaquepaque market on Monday morning. Preferably, we would request that you postpone your departure until Monday afternoon. For those who must leave on Sunday, the latest Sunday flight would work but you would miss the evening wrap-up and the time together on Monday. Of course, we would welcome you to arrive a few days early or stay a few days later as well!
  • We would like to hear from you as soon as possible if you are planning to attend. Please let us know two things. Who is planning to come? How many hotel rooms will you need? This news ASAP will help us in our planning.
  • We also ask that by January 15, 2008 you send $125 per person to our team account. The address is: Amherst Church of Christ, 106 West 8th Street, Amherst, Texas, 79312. Please make checks payable to “Amherst Church of Christ” and mark “Partners’ Meeting.” These funds will allow us to make the final plans for the weekend.

    I’ll stop now. As always, we thank God for your partnership in our life and mission.

    Praying to the Lord of the Harvest,

    Chadd, Nancy, Morgan, Natali and Ceci Schroeder

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

September Update

We hope you and yours are well. It has been too long since our last report­much has happened. We want to mention a few things for your thanksgiving and prayers.

Trip to Texas

We recently returned from our summer trip to Texas. It was a great time to spend time with family and friends­to also spend time with some of the congregations that partner with us in our mission in Mexico. We made missions presentations, taught classes and/or preached at Amherst, Crescent Park in Littlefield, Comanche Trail in Amarillo, Petersburg, Greenlawn in Lubbock, and Sunset. We were blessed to eat meals with many of you­to be blessed by your hospitality and with many good conversations. We thank God for good friends and family!

Family News

The girls have all had birthdays in the last couple of months­Ceci turned 6 in June; Morgan and Natali turned 14 in July. Classes began a couple of weeks ago and we are all getting back into the school routine.


Please pray for the fellowship of churches in Guadalajara. It seems that the Evil One has especially been on the prowl in the last few weeks. So many good things have happened in the past months: baptisms, evidence of maturity, growth in leadership, clarity and follow-through with mission projects in each of the churches. However, there have also been many attacks lately: sickness, return to addictions and sinful habits, discouragement, conflict, doubt. We are praying for the churches and their leaders: Mariano Otero, Jardines del Valle, Cerro del Cuatro, Jocotán and La Piedad. We are praying that the Evil One will not have his way with these young churches.

Several of us who focus on church planting plan to go away for a retreat this weekend, September 7-9. We expect it to be an important time for prayer, evaluation and discernment. Please pray for God’s presence and guiding in this time…that this time will be used for good as we seek to move forward.

As always, we thank God for your partnership in our life and mission.

Praying to the Lord of the Harvest,

Chadd, Nancy, Morgan, Natali and Ceci Schroeder

Thursday, June 21, 2007

"Immanuel" in La Piedad, Michoacan

As followers of Jesus we believe that the local church is an expression of the body of Christ—that each community of faith should envision itself as a fresh incarnation of Jesus Christ—an “Immanuel” in a specific locale. It has been especially fun to walk along with one of these local expressions of Jesus Christ in the city of La Piedad, Michoacan.

For most of their lives, Martín and Rosa Camarena—along with their children Martín, Jesús, Luis, Erica and Isaac—experienced the dark side of life in Mexico. They lived the stories of alcohol and drug addiction, abuse, violence, trauma, jail, hunger, fear and hopelessness. Then, they began to recognize the Lord’s presence and activity among them and his desire to save and transform their lives. Through a series of events, God caused our paths to cross and over the past couple of years we have all begun to catch a glimpse of God’s vision to live with and minister to the people of La Piedad through his people there.

Their simple home is being transformed into a safe place of laughter, praise and prayer for dozens of kids, friends, and extended family who live around them. Drawing on their own experience with drugs, alcohol and abuse, Martín and Rosa move among and minister to various recovery groups and dozens of people who desperately need the freedom they have found in Christ. A couple of months back, their older sons Jesús and Luis were baptized into Christ. Though they see God’s work through them in their neighborhood, this small church also lives connected to a larger fellowship of simple bodies of Christ in their region.

Immanuel…God with us…In flesh and blood. May God’s kingdom and presence continue to grow and multiply in our world!

Truama Seminar

This past May 25-27, we spent a great weekend with Hugo and Sandra Monroy. Originally from Columbia, this couple now lives and ministers in New York City. Out of their experience and ministry to trauma victims—refugees, victims of disasters, war zones, abuse, etc.—they have developed an equipping ministry for leaders and workers who are also ministering among those who have experienced high levels of trauma and brokenness.

The time was great for a small group of 25 or so of us—Mexican leaders and missionaries from Guadalajara, La Piedad and Mexico City! It was a great time of fellowship and equipping—hopefully an important time to be drawn more deeply into mission among hurting people.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

May Update

We hope everything is well with you and yours. Much has happened since our last report. We want to mention a few of these things for your thanksgiving and prayers.

Family News

The girls are doing well—the summer break from school doesn’t begin until the last of June—they think they are ready! Ceci is doing swim therapy 3 times a week right now and is becoming quite a swimmer. Several weeks back she won a medal for completing the 1st competence level. She (and us) was very proud! We are thankful for her growth.

Nancy and Ceci continue their “Moms and Kids” English group with some of our neighbors. Although Nancy insists that she is really not an English teacher, the neighbors show up every time—and go on and on about how their children’s English has improved over the past months. We believe God has provided the opportunity and grace to mix with and form friendships with neighbors. We are thankful.
I guess I should mention that I got bit by a dog a couple of weeks ago. About five minutes into an early morning run I met up with a big dog that had a thing for my thumb! Due to the encounter, I spent several hours in the ER, took several stitches and continue to nurse a pretty decent wound! Thankfully, the dog had been vaccinated and there has been no serious infection.


Lots of good things are happening among the churches—of course there are always challenges as well. Please pray specifically for the churches and forming churches in Jardines del Valle, Mariano Otero, Jocotan, Cerro de Cuatro, Cd. Granja, Las Pintas and La Piedad.

We’re especially encouraged to hear of new groups being started and of incarnational outreach into new areas. Gerardo and Carola Garcia continue to move among families in crisis…because of their daughter Meloni’s diabetes, they have many opportunities to minister to other families who are dealing with the recent discovery that their child has this disease. Both Gerardo and Carola regularly teach and give counseling to these families. Gerardo has entered a program through the hospital system to prepare himself to minister to those who have terminal illness (and their families) We are encouraged and hopeful as a growing number among us are discovering paths to incarnate Christ and minister among groups of people for whom God seems to have prepared them. Pray with us that God will increase this number, clarify an incarnational vision and lead us into the harvest.

The last weekend in March there was a retreat for the fellowship of house churches. The church in Mariano Otero was the host and the conversation was focused on “The New Testament and the Formation of Healthy Families of Jesus.” At least six of the groups were represented and it was a great time for fellowship, fun and Bible study. Three men were baptized into Christ: Javier Luna, Jesús Camarena and Luis Camarena. We are praying for the ongoing growth and formation of these three men and for their influence in the communities of people around them.


Please continue to pray for Mexico—for God’s transforming work at all levels. As you’ve surely read and heard, as part of Felipe Calderon’s new presidency, there has been increased pressure by the government on the drug cartels in Mexico. Partly as a result of this, there have been 900+ drug related executions already in 2007. It seems that the cartels are giving a clear message: you better not mess with us. Everyday the headlines tell of police, military and high level leaders being killed. Yet common Mexicans seem to be in favor of Calderon’s strong stance—the polls show Calderon’s popularity at over 70%. We pray for God’s clear intervention…for protection for innocent people. We continue to pray for change.

As always, we thank God for your partnership in our life and mission.

Praying to the Lord of the Harvest,

Chadd, Nancy, Morgan, Natali and Ceci Schroeder

Saturday, March 17, 2007

March Update

We trust you and yours are well. Wow! Time is flying lately. The winter coolness has passed and we are in full spring in Guadalajara. Much has happened since our last report. We want to mention a few things for your thanksgiving and prayers.

Family News

Ceci has recovered well from the surgery in December. God has really blessed us with excellent physical therapy. One of our coworkers, Kim Rush was driving a friend home in a rather poor neighborhood on the outskirts of the city back in January when she unexpectedly came upon a large physical therapy complex. Juntos por un Caminar offers several types of therapy (horse, swimming, conductive, etc). The therapists and doctors are extremely competent—and they are great with Ceci. Her progress has been excellent over the past two months. We thank God for her continued growth and healthiness.

The girls are ready for the Holy Week break in a couple of weeks (2 weeks of break from school). Though we didn’t get to see family over the holidays, we were blessed with a visit from Jason and Kara Schroeder (and the cousins!) in February. The girls took several days off of school—lots of fun!


There is much to be excited about among the churches. In early January, three more were baptized into Christ from the Mariano Otero church and the church in Jocotán. There are exciting things going on in each of the groups—along with challenges of course. Please pray for the ongoing transformation in the lives of Omar, Gerardo and Adriana. Pray for God’s power and direction for each of the churches—pray that we would all follow Jesus.

One of the highlights for us lately has been the growing fellowship between the Mexican leaders of the various house churches. Since October, the emerging leadership of six different groups has been coming together on a Sunday evening each month for fellowship, prayer and study. Next weekend, one of the churches will host an all-church retreat at a site outside of the city. We are praying that it will be a great time for fellowship and unity. We plan to focus our study and conversation on “The New Testament and the Formation of Healthy Families of Jesus.” Please pray for this time together—pray especially for the monthly fellowship of leaders, for their growth and for the communities of faith they care for.


President Felipe Calderon completed his “First 100 Days” of office this past week. You may remember that his margin of victory was razor thin…that he came into office amid chaos and uncertainty on several fronts. Many analysts are pleasantly surprised with his leadership and strong show of force in confronting organized crime—yet they point out that many challenges continue to confront his administration and the Mexican people. We are praying for Mexican leaders. We are praying for healthy change in Mexico.

As always, we thank God for our partnership with you. May God bless us all to know and obey him more fully. May God’s Kingdom come with more fullness and power!

Praying to the Lord of the Harvest,

Chadd, Nancy, Morgan, Natali and Ceci Schroeder

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Nancy is taking a phototography class--this is a Catholic Church in our Colonia that she shot a couple of nights ago. More to come later--maybe!

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