Monday, August 18, 2008

August Update

So much has happened since my last report!

Family News

The summer break from school has come and gone as the girls began classes again this morning. One of the family highlights of the summer was Morgan’s and Natali’s 15th Birthday Party. As you probably know, an important Mexican family tradition is the quinceaƱera—a special birthday party with family and friends that marks a girl becoming a woman in Mexican culture. In our own adaptation of this, we invited about 30 close friends to celebrate the girls’ 15 years and to encourage and commission them as they enter into a new chapter of their lives. It was a very special evening. We thank God for Morgan and Natali, for God’s grace in their lives and for the special community of friends who are sharing these years with them.

Another “biggie” was a trip to Texas in July/August. We spent time with family and friends and were also able to visit some of our partners in Lubbock, Amherst, Littlefield and Amarillo.

On the way back to Mexico, we also spent a week at the border (Cd. Juarez) finishing up the process of getting Ceci’s Immigrant Visa (Green Card). She is now classified as a permanent resident of the U.S. and can move freely between the two countries. At some point in the future, we will likely apply for her U.S. citizenship—she will qualify to have dual citizenship in both U.S. and Mexico. Of course, we are thankful to God for the gift of Ceci and for God’s grace in the legal process with her.

Summer Campaign Groups

In June and July we hosted youth groups from three churches: Sunset in Lubbock, Clovis, New Mexico and Grass Valley, California. Between these groups, almost 50 workers spent time showing kindness and service to people in and around our city and encouraging the Christians here. Among other things, they participated in youth clubs in two different neighborhoods, handed out food to homeless people, did clean-up and paint work in a Colonia where we live, and handed out literature and Bible DVDs to people on the streets. We thank God for these young people and pray that God causes the seeds of God’s kingdom that were planted in and by them to grow and multiply in the days to come.

Churches and Ministry Opportunities

We’ve only been back in the city a few days but as we are connecting with the church leaders we are hearing stories of God’s work—and of course evidence of the Evil One’s attacks. This past weekend, the men of the Jardines del Valle church hosted a men’s cook-out. There were 20 or so men there representing 3 of the churches. The women are having a overnight retreat this weekend…we are praying that there will be good participation and that God will work for good among the ladies of the churches. There seem to opportunities for a couple of new groups to start--please pray with us to the Lord of the Harvest.

Finally, I am especially encouraged with the Diabetes Foundation that Gerardo and Carola Garcia have been developing over the past few months. They recently hosted their first “Diabetes Camp” with over 30 kids attending. Gerardo tells me that they now have 104 kids with Diabetes registered as members of the foundation. Please continue to pray with us that God will use the Garcia family and others to help families who are in crisis and that seeds of God’s Kingdom will spread!

Thanks so much for your partnership with us in prayer!