Friday, November 21, 2008

Las Cuevas

Thursday was the Day of the Revolution here in Mexico, so on Monday (the official day off), we went to an area known as Las Cuevas. It was about a 25 minute ride out into the country to the middle of nowhere where there happens to be a sand mine (or processing plant and a cave. The young groups started out to the caves with plans to arrive for the sunrise, but didn't leave on time at all and got out there in time to enjoy the cool wind and a fire.

We journeyed on to the cave and venture deep into the dark depths of the caves. Really only about 75 yards deep.

Here is a picture of the soon to be married Matt and Ruth at the entrance of the cave.

Next we found the big piles of sand. It turns out that it is both fun and slightly dangerous to play in the sand. We spent a significant amount of time filling our clothes with sand as we rolled down the hill and tried to see how far we could jump off the top of the hill. A couple of us ended up will a few bumps and bruises and sore muscles, but we all survived just fine.

Flying isn't easy...for most people.

Landing could be a little rough...

...but climbing was usually worse.

We ended with a late breakfast of tortillas and guisadas (see the picture below). It was very tasty and satisfying. I was even able to practice my tortilla making skills a little. None one was terrible impressed with the gringos' tortilla skills. More on that in a later post.

Here is a picture of the food. It was quite tasty (no, Spencer, Matt, and I didn't make any. we were in charge of the 'safer' things - anything you didn't have to cook.)

It was a realy great time for the young group to be able to have some time together and to get to know each other better. The fellowship is priceless when there seems to me so much going on down here. A day off can make all the difference in the world when it is spent with the right people.


On a very different note. We ask that you pray for the school here. We hope to start a elementary school here next August and we need teachers to be able to continue with the accreditation. So far we have not found any. So we are praying that God would provide, that He would bring licensed, Mexican, primary teachers, that are also Christian. It seems like a long list of prerequisites, but we know that God is in control and He can provide abundantly for us.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

A lot can happen in a month.

So, a lot can happen in a month. Sometimes it feels like nothing has happened besides get ready for class, teach, grace, get ready, etc. It is pretty amazing that I ever had any time in the states. That being said. I feel like I am starting, finally to get the hang of teaching English a little better. (You would think I should know already since I did go to college for that. Of course there is a broad difference between teaching English to seventh graders and teaching English to people who don't speak the language.) If anyone ever tells you that English is an easy language to learn you have my permission to call them a liar to their face. I find that suddenly I don't know the Enlgish language well enough. There are hundreds, I'm pretty sure it will end up being millions, of small intricacies of the English language. I never knew how much count and non-count nouns ruled our lives. (look it up sometime if you don't know what that means, I am not going to explain all the funn things about them here. No one would ever return.

So, you might ask what has actually happened in the past month. Dr. Loren Shrenk came with a group to do eye surgeries. I stayed out of the way and hid in my classroom as normal. It was a fine week and everything went smoothly. Praise God for many lives that could be touched that week.

We also had Peter and Penny Shroeder here with their two kids, Jonah and Jared. Penny spent two years here in Ixtlan several years ago and it was nice to have her and Peter here to visit. We made a lot of memories and even had my first bonfire since leaving the states. Can you believe it Milford folks, I actually went through almost the entire fall season without a bonfire.

There was also an unfortunate incident where I lost the vast majority of my clothes and ended up with, well, not much left. Don't worry. I was able to restock and am getting along just fine. I will say that my hands are kinda cold today. I am in the office so the sun hasn't hit it to warm it up yet. So it's a little chilly. I am going around in a T-shirt today. So, the weather is pretty nice. It warms up quite nicely during the day. Beautiful weather actually.

I will save more information for what will hopefully be another post in the near, a couple of days, future. I will leave you with a couple of things.

First, some pictures from Jovenes, more correctly called Ninos as of late.

Some of the 'older' kids playing volleyball.

Pedro and I. As you can see we get along great.

Here are some of the girls, deceitfully calm

A final note on the last month in Ixtlan. I have discovered, well several things, but they all boil down to this. If you look at Jesus and His teachings in the gospel, He presents a pretty radical message, one that we fight against all the time. I have to think that we spend too much time trying to figure out the right way to do things instead of just living them. We need to live out what the gospel says and do what it teaches. Not sit down and discuss how it should be and then live by a list of guidelines for giving or for solving interpersonal relationships. We need to live the gospel. Not that I can do that.

I challenge you all to read the gospels, a gospel, or the sermon on the mount and see it as anything but radical. If we lived like that, we would be noticed by the world. We would make a difference. There wouldn't be any way that the world could ignore us.

Well, until next time.