Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Nothing short of a miracle

Prayer is an interesting thing. It can sometimes feel so weak, and we doubt its power being result oriented people that we are. I so often pray knowing that I should and knowing that we are told to prayer to communicate with our Father, but I often find it difficult to get past the easier said than done part of prayer. It's easier to talk about its power than to truly believe it, but sometimes God gives us little boosts anyway.

Estela called this morning to give an update on Victor. Victor returned to his house last night. They had done more studies in Guadalajara and couldn't find anything wrong. Victor told Estela already that he has no pain.

As Estela was telling this, I had to think back on all that I had witnessed in Victor last Thursday. He was bleeding from the ears and vomiting blood. An MRI done in La Barca, the first hospital he was at, showed a cranial fracture and fractured vertabraes. My tendancy is to try to write this off as doctor error or something similar, but I know that this is God's work and I can only praise and thank Him for that.

Victor is a miracle. I don't know all the details and maybe I never will, but maybe it should be that way. Thank you for praying and for your passion and compassion on Victor, a boy from Mexico that you don't even know.

I will ask this. Keep praying for Victor and his family. (Father-Jesus, Mother-Monica, Sister-Marisol, Brothers-Alex and Brian). Victor may be healed, but there is still a spiritual battle being waged. Pray that God gets all the glory and not some saint to which they might have prayed. Pray that the power of God would be manifested above all else and that the deafness and muteness of the Catholic saints would be clearly seen through this. Pray for the salvation of Victor's entire family and that they could be a testimony of God's transforming power to their community. The easy part is over, now begins the real battle for their souls.


And thank you all so much!!!

Sunday, December 6, 2009


I don't have any specifics, but the report is that Victor continues to improve little by little and has gone through the critical 72 hours, so our hope is that he will continue to heal. Praise God for His provision and continue to pray for both Victor and his family. They still have a very long way to go. Thanks from all of us here in Ixtlan!

Friday, December 4, 2009

Updates on Victor

After talking with Estela tonight, I have a few more specific details.

First, Victor has a fractured skull as well as several fractured vertabrae. This is apparently what is causing the other issues that he has (bleeding and vomiting). What information Estela has recieved from Guadalajara is that Victor is responding well to treatments so far and possibly improving, but still has some bleeding. After 72 hours they will be able to do more studies with better results.

Please continue praying for Victor's continued healing as well as praising God for the healing He has done so far.


Here is a picture of Victor that I found. Thanks for the prayers.

Thursday, December 3, 2009


Pray for Victor.

Victor is a 13 year old boy, the great-nephew of Estela, one of the sisters in the Ixtlan church. Today while at school (not ours, because I know that some will wonder), Victor climbed into a tree to get a ball that had gotten stuck and fell out.

While I am not sure of the exact injuries, I know that he has fractured vertabrea and possible a fracture in the skull. He also has some internal injuries in his head that is causing some bleeding. His case is still very delicate, and the doctors are transferring him t Guadalajara, a hospital about 2 hours away.

Pray that Victor would heal completel from this injury and that he could return to a normal life quickly. God is the Great Physician and we can trust His diagnosis and treatment more than any man's.

Pray also that this would make Victor think more about Jesus and what he really wants and needs in his life. Victor has come to some church events like Jovenes on Saturday night and he was pretty regular back when we used to play soccer. Pray that through this time God would start greater, spiritual healing in all of Victor's family.

Thanks for all who pray. Prayer is the one thing we can do no matter where we are at and no matter how helpless we feel. It is the single most powerful force of our world. Please pray for Victor, his family and this whole community of Ixtlan and its surrounding towns.

Friday, November 6, 2009


Yes, it is November and it has been way too long since I sat down to blog. Internet Explorer didn't even recognize the web address when I typed it in. I have to sincerely apologize to everyone who has been faithfully checking for updates and to everyone who has given up and just doesn't check anymore. I would promise to do better, but I don't know if that would be letting my yes be yes.

There hasn't been a lot of action in the past couple of months. Mike and Deb Leman were here for a visit in October. It was very good to have them around the guest house some. We always have some very good conversations. The chruch really appreciates Mike because he can speak Spanish and there is no langauge barrier. We look forward to their return sometime in the spring.

Last weekend we had a full guest house. Daniel and Tami Coughlin who are studying Spanish in Morelia were here for the extended weekend (some of us had Monday off). Dwayne and Ann Wulf were also here Saturday and Sunday with their kids, Cassidy, Axel, Zach, Garret, and Marshall. They are studying Spanish in Guadalajara. Both families are planning to go to Magdalena from here. It was a very different environment with four little boys around, but it was a fun change. It sounds like everyone will be back for a Thanksgivng celebration on the 21st. So we will enjoy their presence again soon.

School has been going well. The eight kids in first grade are much more adjusted now and are doing well. They have improved a lot. They just recently learned animals in English as well as some important adjectives like big, little, fast, and slow. They were acting out the animals in class the other day and, wow, it got crazy fast. We've had a lot of fun though and next week they are going to learn some foods, I think. The other classes are going well as well. All the classes exxcept 1st grade are going to end at the end of November, Thanksgiving Day is actually the last day of class. So, I will have a little more time in December to get some more things done before I come home on the 22nd.

Here are some pictures from the bondfire we had last Sunday evening. With the time change it is dark by about 7:00, so there was plenty of time for a bonfire.

It was a very nice evening and the hotdogs tasted pretty good considering I probably haven't had on since I was home in July. Besides bonfires are always good reminders of all the good times I've had back in the states with all my family and friends. Just don't have to much fun at campfires without me (of course, maybe it's getting too cold up there. I haven't heard any reports lately, so I don't know).

Here is a picture of a sunset a couple weeks ago. The sunsets have been pretty lately and you can conveniently see them very well from my bedroom window. I did doctor it up a little to get back the true color so I might have made the contrasts a little strong, but it looks pretty cool.

The past months have been a great challenge to further find my identity nd fulfillment in Christ alone. Living alone in the guest house gives me a lot of alone time whether I want it or not. Solitude can teach you a lot and the past months have been no exception. I understand so much better the journey that is being a follower of Christ. What I thought I once knew turned out to be just the smallest beginning of the truth. What I am learning, while new and deep and challenging tells me that there is so much more to learn. The more I learn the more I understand the difficulty of giving up myself for God, the more I take joy in leaving behind the world and walking with the Spirit. There is an incredile joy in this journey in the world and it only comes from coming into the presence of God. Please join with me and many, many others who are praying for God's powerful name to be heard and accepted by unbelievers in Ixtlan,in Mexico, and in every part of the world so that more can come to know this joy and hope that we have in Jesus Christ.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

To parade or not to parade....

Yes, that was the question this morning.

Today is the 16th of September, the Mexican Independence Day. It is tradition that the schools all gather and parade through the town after a civil presentation in the plaza. So, the kids have been busy learning how to march in formation, learning the different commands, and staying in good order. They have improved a lot actually. Today we all met at the school and went to the plaza, the kids all excited about the parade. But....

The parade was cancelled. Last year in the parade in Morelia, the capital of Michoacan (our state), there were some bombs, or grenades thrown which killed several people. It was the result of fighting drug cartels from what I have understood. So, as a matter of safety, the parades this year were cancelled. So, here in Ixtlan, we just had an Acto Civico, as they are called and then, for the kids, and Lizet, their teacher (who was very sad not to march), we paraded back to the school. The kids did very well and even got some confetti (a parade must around here) thrown on them by the Gonzalezes as we passes their store.

So all in all, it was a good day. And much to your excitement, maybe, I have some pictures for you.

This isn't the parade, just me with the kids.

Here are the kids at the Acto Civico in the plaza. They were a little disinterested, but it all went well.

Here the kids are parading back to the school. It was a little confusing at first because we had to get out of all the people in the plaza.

Here are the kids again, just a little closer so that you can see them better.


Pray for these families. They are being introduced to Jesus and the hope that He gives the world maybe for the first time. They also face a level of persecution form the community about putting their children in a Christian school. Pray that, above all, they respond to the gospel of Jesus.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Back to School

Today was the first official day of school. We have nine students currently enrolled in first grade. We are starting with only first grade and planning on adding further grades as the years go by.

Thank you for all the prayers for the school up to this point. We can really feel them, especially on days like this.

Keep praying for the school and all the kids that are here. Pray that the kids can learn academically, but also spiritually. Pray that they can grow into strong young people who can contribute to their society with wisdom and understanding. Pray that the seed of the gospel would be firmly planted in their lives.

Pray for the staff as well, that we would have understanding about how to teach and help these kids. It is a daunting task that has been taken on here, but God is faithful and has been faithful. Pray that we would continue to see His faithfulness and guidance.

And praise God for the work that he has done so far. Praise Him for his faithfulness and His work here in Ixtlan.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Escuelita 2009

Just so you are aware, there are two new posts. I just couldn't put them in the same post.

It's been several weeks already, but Escuelita 2009 has come and gone. This would be VBS for those who aren't up on the Spanish lingo. It is always a crazy week. It starts at about 9:30 when the first truck leaves to pick up kids and we start at 11:00. We had an average of around 270 kids show up every day. Friday was the day we handed out the prizes and attendence was a little higher that day, probably around 300 kids. We had the theme of the Apostle Paul this year which was good, but a little hard to tell chapters 6-28 of Acts in five days. It was a good year. I taught 10-11 year old boys with Matt which was a lot of fun. We had thrity couple every day. They were a fun bunch.

Here are some pictures of the week, a lot more interesting that anything that I write.

One of the little kid classes in the church.

8-9 year old girls. The school helps out a lot for these big classes.

Matt and I with our boys working on the activity after the lesson.

Here is most of the crew that worked at VBS all week. This was taken Friday afternoon at our little 'celebration' for having survived the week.

Pray that the kids who came will remember the lessons that they heard and that the seeds that were planted during the week would sometime bring forth fruit. We place these kids in God's hands and know that He will work in them to bring up new believers (it's just hard to be patient sometimes).

Every once in a while our hearts break.

It has been a long silence here on La Vida Ixtlan.

I wish that the news wasn't so bitter sweet. Yesterday our brother Roberto went to be with God. He was such an amazing brother in the church and will be missed so much by all of us. I don't know how much I will miss hearing 'doscientos, hermano' when singing in the church. I can't describe his love for the body of Christ. I can't describe his love. We will miss him and his smiling face.

As much as we will miss him, his family will miss him more. His wife Rosa, daughter Ana Rosa (her husband Edgar), his grandchildren Roberto (7 or 8 years old) and Eric (seven months). Rosa has the joy of knowing that she will see him agian in heaven. Pray that she will take comfort and strength in that. The rest of the family doesn't have that hope. Pray that they would be comforted and strengthened, but above all else pray that they would see the light and hope that is in Christ through this. Pray that the veil would be lifted from their faces and that they would come humbly before God in repentence.

It is a bittersweet day. We will miss Roberto, for that we are sad. But, more, we rejoice knowing that he is healed completely through God's amazing grace. What a beautiful hope we have.

Monday, June 15, 2009

The news

So it has been a little while. Oops.


Some who have visited Ixtlan over the years will remember Roberto. Roberto had a hernia surgery a couple of weeks ago and during the surgery they discovered that he really had relatively advanced stomach cancer. The doctors said there was nothing they could do and have given him anywhere from a month to a year.

Roberto is an older brother in the church here with an incredible amount of love and passion for the church. He is always excited to see visitors in church and will always come up to greet them with his wife Sister Rosa following behind. It's always fun to watch him as he welcomes American visitors who often jsut look back smiling without understanding a word, but with complete recogntion of the love behind his words. Roberto can't read, but loves to be in church. Loves singing. Loves the word. Loves Christ. Roberto loves the hymns "Con que Pagaremos" and "Engrandecido Sea Dios", one of which he will call during each service. Roberto is passionate for God and one of the most, if not the most, grateful man I have ever known.

Roberto's response to hearing about the cancer was essentially "Whatever the Lord wants." (I don't know exactly what he said) He immediately placed himself in God's hands and gave God reign in his life. An incredible testimony of faith and confidence in God's goodness and mercy. We pray his faith can be a testimony to the church, his family, and his community in San Cristobal, a nearby town.

We are naturally sad with this information. It is always difficult to loose a loved one and someone so appreciated by the church, but behind the sadness is the joy of knowing that he is going home. Joy of knowing that he is finishing his race, he is finishing the fight in this life, and that he is going to his reward.

Pray for Roberto. Pray for God's hand to be present with him, comforting him and continuing to give him peace. Pray that his faith would continue to strengthen. Pray that his testimony would grow stronger. Pray for God's will to be fulfilled in his life.

Pray for Rosa, Roberto's wife. Pray that she has strength and courage to face the difficult times ahead. Pray that her faith too would grow strong. Pray that she would stand strong by her husband and take joy in knowing his future is in heaven. Pray that she would embrace God's will and be thankful knowing that it is being completed.

Pray for Ana Rosa (his daughter), Robertito (his 7 or 8 year-old grandson), and Eric (his recently born grandson). They need Christ badly and above all our prayer is that this can bring them to him. Pray that Roberto and Rosa's testimony will show the truth of God's love and the hope we have in Him clearly.


On a very different subject. We are pleased to have started a new outreach/church in Mexico. I don't know technically whether it is called a church yet or not, but it's on its way at the very least.

Lalo, he was a minister here in Ixltan for a time, moved to Queretaro with his wife (and now 3 children) about 4 years ago to help his family. Lalo has recently started up church services in his home there on Sundays. We are excited about this new opportunity and the potential outreach that we have. Lalo has many contacts and from all reports are good. There are a couple of families that have been coming as well as a nephew of Lalo's who has given his life to Christ and repented.

It is exciting to know that the ministry here is definitely expanding and that there is need all over Mexico for solid Christian churches. For those that are curious and don't know. Here are our outreach locations in Mexico at this point.

Ixtlan: There is the church, school opening to at least first grade next year and multiple other outreaches in the community.

Magdalena: There is the orphanage, church, and there community outreaches and much more for the future.

Morelia: This is about 2.5 hours from Ixltan and there are three members there and three converts. There are also many American visitors that go through when they study Spanish at the Baden-Powell Institue (a language school).

Queretaro: About 3 hours from Ixtlan. Newly formed. See above.

Barra Vieja: About 30 minutes from Acapulco, or 15 hours form Ixtlan by bus. There are four believers there that are expecting to be baptized in July, Lord willing.

Those are the Apostolic Christian Chruch's ministiries in Mexico. God is definitely working here and is going to do some mighty things in the coming years.

1. See above requests for Roberto

2. Pray for the new ministry in Queretaro and the other ministries here in Mexico.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Beware the roaches...


Yes, this is a story about a cockroach. I didn't give him a name in real life, but perhaps we can call him Roachie.

Cockroaches, while not any sort of threat to life here in Ixtlan, do exist. Ask Jodi. One interrupted our Skype-chat conversation one night when it went crawling across my desk and I had to wage an impromptu war. I won that one. Raid spray is my favorite, then I don't have to deal with crunching exoskeletons and just sweep up the roach a couple of days later.

Anyway. Roachie.

Today I went to plug my iPod into the speakers I have in the classroom. The textbooks we have use quite a bit of audio and so I use my iPod during class. Well, I had a problem. The speakers weren't getting any juice. No matter how many times I pushed in the power button, nothing happened. No power light. No sound. Nothing. This can be frustrating, especially when you need sound. Thankfully I didn't need it today, although it came close.

Anyway. Speakers.

So I had class and went back to trying to figure out what was wrong. After trying different electric outlets and being generally confused, I shook the speaker to see if any parts were loose.

It sounded like a small etch-a-sketch. This made sense. It's been windy lately and dry. I just didn't think that much dust and sand could have gotten in the speaker while being in the school.

'Ah, well' I thought, 'Time to do surgury.' Of course I didn't have the screwdrive that I needed in the house so after borrowing one from Marshall and Jan, I proceeded to commence operations on my speaker. The operation was pretty typical. They put the screws in the deepest holes so you can never really tell what you are doing. You just have to have a long skinny screwdriver. I think the electonics companies are working with Craftsman.

Well, I got the speaker open and the 'sand' started to fall out. It looked familiar. It looked like the aftermath of a roach. By aftermath, I mean fecal matter. Not cool. So, with greater caution and over the trash can, I continue opening the speaker and, there, scared to death (with good reason I would think), staring back at me was Roachie. Roachie had made home amongst all the wires of my speakers. Considering that we haven't had classes for three weeks. I have no clue how long he had been living there.

I proceeded to do the only logical thing. I knocked Roachie out of the speaker and into the trash can and went for the Raid can.

That took care of Roachie, but what about the speakers. Allowing for the fact that I know nothing about the inter workings of electronics, I feel like I gave things a pretty good looking over, but I don't think Roachie like the way things were organized and had done his damage. Thankfully we didn't pay much for those things.

so I swept things up and and am ready to move on now. Excitement for the day is now over. I think, who knows what else may happen.

Here is Roachie on his way out. Poor guy. Wrong place at the wrong time.


1. We started classes again today. We have six more weeks. Pray that these weeks would be productive academically and in relationships. Pray that God would use this year for His glory and that He would do His work. Pray that we could finish strong leave these kids thinking about more than just English.

*By the way, I'm coming home June 29th and will be home until the 20th of July. Woohoo!

**Oh, it rained last Thursday and Friday night. Yea!!

Thursday, May 14, 2009

We had one day of school on Monday before schools, at least what would be elementary and middle schools, were told to shut down again as precautionary measures and to clean the schools. So here I sit again.

I am not blockmaking this week. I have to catch up on some other things. I finished an online course for teaching English and am going to try to get some more things figured out for the next year. Not much going on really.

I will say this. I am looking forward to rain. It's like a game right now. A really bad waiting game. It could rain any day, but you never know when that will be. I miss the peacefulness of a good soft rain and the power in a good storm. So I wait for the rain. Maybe today, maybe not.

Also, Grant Herrmann is coming back for the summer. He will get her the 22 of May, in about a week. So there will be another person around here. The summer will go fast I know and soon I will be teaching again, but that's okay. That's why I am here, no?


1. Pray for the last couple of weeks of English classes and praise God that we have been able to make connections with many kids here in Ixtlan. Pray that we can continue those relationships.

2. Pray for the continued work on the school. We still have a lot of work to do and there are still many things that need to be pulled together. Pray that we would have wisdom as we work through these things.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Swine Flu and blockmaking

So, because of the Swine Flu here in Mexico, schools have been shut down until at least May 6th. Although we are not an official school, that means us too. No classes at the Colegio de las Americas until next Tuesday. So I have this short little vacation. So instead of teaching, I suddenly have all this free time. So...

I am now a bolqueador, a block maker. Mario and Efrain are starting a a block making business. I mean blocks like construction blocks. So today I went and helped them. I officially made several blocks and threw around a lot of sand and concrete. It was a good time and I enjoyed the time with Mario and Efrain. I think that tomorrow I get to play at being a abanil, an mason (bricklayer). It should be fun.

I'll fill you all in later.


1. Keep praying for those suffering throughout the world because of the swine flu. More pray that God calms the fears of people throughout the world.

2. Pray for continued growth here in the church and in each member and new believer. Pray that each one can grow in the word and in prayer.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Maybe that's why they were called unclean...

So, I don't know what you all have heard of the swine flu up there. Probably more than I have. Apparently I am right in the midst of the excitement. Rumor has it that schools in Mexico are all closing until May sixth. I have my suspicions about this though since they already had this Friday and next Monday off, so it might just be a good excuse to have a couple of more days off.

Actually, it isn't really a laughing matter to a lot of people. The last statistic I read said that there are 140 deaths being blamed on the swine flu in Mexico with thousands of suspected cases. We haven't seen anything around here, but people are starting to put on the masks. As far as I know most of the cases are still centered around Mexico City, but I am sure it will be spreading. It brings good reason for prayer.

1. Pray for the people suffering from the sickness. Flu is never fun, especially, I imagine, when it's connected to something of this proportion. Pray for fast recoveries and God's provision for all the care providers out there.

2. Pray for the families of those who have already lost family members to the sickness. Pray that they would feel God's true comfort and come to know him through the pain and loss.

3. Pray for those who are working to stop this. Pray for the scientists and the many who are working to contain and prevent the further spread of this flu.

We know that the world is fallen and because of that things like this happen. We also know that God is in control. God loves us and He is working his wonders and mercy in the midst of this pain and suffering we have brought on ourselves.

It may sound bad, but we are all doing just fine here and look forward to continuing to serve the community here in Ixtlan.

Also, pray for the school. We are being inspected tomorrow. Hopefully this will be the last step for getting the incorporation for the school. Pray that all goes well and that we can move on with the school for next year.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

First, official appologies. Water came back on day 12. That was a long time ago, so if you were still worried about the water. We are doing fine now. (Although it still isn't raining and won't for another couple of months probably.) And while I am at it. Wow. It has been too long since I posted here. A lot has happened. Eye Clinic. Jeff visited. Went to Barra Vieja. Abe came and visited. Classes started up again.

So, first things first. Eyes.

Bryan and Kara Stoller were here with their son Derek for an eye clinic. They brought along their neice, Lynette, as well as Corey and Beth Steffen and three of their kids, Tiffany, Tammy and Ryan. Bryan worked with in the eye clinic all day. The kids helped to give out glasses and did a very good job. There was a lot of help from the church as well since there was a lot to do. Corey did some work in the guest house and Kara and Beth prepared meals for all the help. It was a great week and everything went really well.

Around 250 glasses were given out in the course of 4 days. It was a great opportunity provide for the people in the Ixtlan community. Pray with us that the generosity of Bryan and so many people back in the states that have given glasses would result in people seeing spiritually for the first time here in Ixtlan.

Here are the visitors: (Front: Derek, Lynette, Tammy, Tiffany, Ryan Back: Bryan, Kara, Beth, Corey)

More visitors....

Jeff came on the 30th of March to visit. We left on at about 5:00 in the afternoon on April 2nd for Barra Vieja. There is a small group there of 4 believers that the church has been discipling for some time now. (We are hoping to have some baptisms this summer.) It was about 15 hours by bus to get to Acapulco and then another 45 minutes to get to Barra Vieja. It was great to have a break and to relax a little for a couple of days. It was also great getting to know the believers there and discuss the Easter story with them and the great work of Jesus for us.

Abe Habegger met us in Acapulco and we shared a great week there. For all of you stuck in cold weather. It was VERY warm there, but we survived. Here is a picture looking out at the ocean from the roof of the house that we stayed in.

Here are Jeff and I on the bus on the way back to Ixtlan. Abe really was here, but he didn't leave me any pictures of himself, so I guess you just have to take my word for it.

So we all came back to Ixtlan together and had a nice weekend to finish everything off. Now I am back in the groove of things and ready to tackle the last couple months of classes before summer and a trip home!

1. Pray for God's continued work in the lives of the believers here. Pray especially for the new converts that we have. We had five people start repenting in the past month and a half. Pray for their continued growth and for their sincere desire for a new life with Christ.

2. Pray for God's continued work in the community of Ixtlan. Pray for the many, many people who remain decieved. Pray that they would see the light, that they would be thirsty for the truth and that blind eyes would be opened.

Thursday, March 19, 2009


So, today is day 11 without water. I officially ran out of 'tinaco' water today, so I am relying on buckets. This makes for a very interesting and different lifestyle. I am very spoiled by the 'tinaco' and haven't had to live out of a bucket before, but I think this will be a good experience.

Here is the the funny part. Yesterday they fixed the pump. Today rumor has it that the pump is pulled back out. They are apparently still working on it, so we're now going for the record. Marshall says the longest they have ever been without water is 18 days. That is a week from today.

To make things more interesting, Bryan Stoller is coming tomorrow with a group to do an Eye Clinic here in Ixtlan. That means 9 more people are moving into the house and we will all be living out of buckets. Things will be very interesting.

1. Pray for the Eye Clinic and the work that will be done during the week that Bryan and group are here. We will be working on Saturday (21st) and Monday - Wednesday (23-25). Pray for the people who come for glasses, pray that they will be touched by the spirit in some way while they are here.

2. Pray for each of us here in Ixtlan, that we would take advantage of the next week to get to know more people and to challenge ourselves to reach out to them during this week when we have so many people coming to us.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Water, water (not) everywhere...

Not only has everyone given up hope that I will ever post again on this blog, but I have also failed in my resolution to include a picture of all the visitors that pass through Ixtlan. Sorry to Loren and Besty Shrenck, Julie Haerr, and Mike and Sharice Reinhard. Also, my deep apologies to Mike and Deb Leman.

Loren and group were here for an eye clinic. Loren does examinations on Monday and then does surgeries on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday. I believe he did 13 surgeries this time. I am not sure exactly. He does a great job and has helped a lot of people over the past 6 or 7 years.

It was nice to have people in the house for the week and to get to know them better. They were the last visitors for the month of Febuary. They left the 28th. I am always guaranteed some great treats when they are here (they made some tasty strawberry jam this time which I am enjoying a lot).

I had a couple of days off to regroup and to get used to being alone again and then Mike and Deb came from Denver. Mike is our elder, so we were able to take advantage of the time have Communion. We appreciate his willingness to share with us here in Ixtlan as well as Barra Vieja, Morelia, and Magdalena. Pray for him and his work here in Mexico. It is demanding but so rewarding.

In other news. We have been without water from the city since Monday. That means this is day six without having my little black water holder on top of the roof filled by the city.

I am having company this weekend, so I just decided to climb up and see how much what I have. (Climbing up to the roof is a little more difficult than one may think. Of course, on could get a ladder, but that would take too much work, so I have to literally pull myself up onto the roof.) Anyway, I was pleased, and I am sure Jan will be as well, to find that I have about half a tank left. That should get me to next Friday, but I certainly hope we have water again by then. Here are some pictures from my trip to the roof.

Here is the 'tinaco' as it is called here in Mexico, otherwise know as the 'little black water holder' on top of the roof. Turns about to be about as high as my chin, so 'little' might not be the right word here.

Here is a picture of the inside. You can see all the nice clear water, just waiting to be used up, just not too quickly.

So, hopefully the water comes back soon. Until then we practice a life of conservation. It is probably good practice for me. You would be surprised how little water you actually need for dishes, bathing, brushing your teeth. A little can go a long way. And no, this isn't the water we drink, otherwise there would be some bigger problems.

Enjoy the abundant water up there.

1. Pray for our perseverence here. Pray that we don't let Satan get us down. Pray that we keep our eyes on the cross and that we don't loss track of the reason we are here. Pray for strong purpose in our work and in our lives.

2. Pray for wisdom in seeing how God is working in the the community here in Ixtlan. Pray that we would wouldn't fight against God's work, but be willing to go where he is leading us.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Mom and Dad

So, Mom and Dad have have been gone for about a week so it is probably about time to blog about their time here.

We had a great week and everything went fast. I picked them up at the airport on Friday and we made it back Jovenes crowd because the girls were all off doing their own Valentine's Day thing. We had fun and the kids really liked the pizza.

Sunday Rodrigo and Carmen came to visit. It was fun to have them around and to get to see them again. It has been about four years since they moved back to Mexico, but they seem to be doing really well.

Here are Mom, Dad, Rodrigo and Carmen and their daughter Sofia.

Sunday evening the Young Group came in to make cena and Dad even ate some of the salsa. Mom was kind enough to make Funny Cake for the crowd, so we all had a good laugh over the cake.

Here are Mom and Dad with the girls. They all had a good time trying to speak English or Spanish or some form of the two.

We climbed 'La Mula' a little mountain near Ixtlan on Monday and got thoroughly worn out. We had a great time and were able to relax a lot during the day. We also managed to get really sore and sunburnt, but the cokes we drank on the drive home really hit the spot.

Here we are climbling the mountain. I am kinda hiding, but you can see me there. It is a little dry around here. You don't notice it so much in town, but it's pretty dry.

The rest of the time we just spent in Ixtlan wandering in the plaza and spending time together. It was a great chance to show them what life is really like here.

Here are some lemons as big a my head we picked off on of Marshall's trees. They made some weird tasting juice actually.

1. Pray for the eye clinic that is just wrapping up. (Yeah, should have posted earlier about that) Pray for God's work in the lives of each one of the people that we were able to see and that the operations would be successful and that our lights could shine.

2. Pray for renewed energy for me and for the others down here. Visitor season is a little hard because your schedule gets thrown off. Pray that we can all stay energized and get things done. Pray for our continued strength and focus in the next month.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

As I mentioned several posts ago, I am now in the 'feast' of the visitors here in Ixtlan. Starting it all off was Louis and Ruth Haerr and Dick and Jeanette Graham. They were here for a week and were a blast to have around. It is always fun to have people to eat breakfast with and they were always encouraging. They continued the work on the school and we have now made some significant progress with echo reduction and usability.

Here is a picture of us in front of the church. (Dick, Jeanette, me, Ruth, Louis)

They really showed me what true brotherly love is and how to trust in God no matter what the circumstances. Their lives show the faithfulness of our God. Thank you Haerrs and Grahams for sharing your example and love with the church here in Ixtlan.

1. Pray for energy during the time with a lot of visitors. I sometimes get worn out when every thing adds up. Pray too that I put the time into teaching that I need to and that I don't short-change my students.

2. Pray that the school continues forward and that we can find our places and fill the needs that there are. Pray that we would continue on in God's wisdom and not our own.

3. Pray for continued growth and understanding in the word and in my relationship with God. There seems to be so many lessons that are learned here. I am sometimes completely overwhelmed by it all, but it is good. Real good.

Monday, February 9, 2009


It's been too long since I posted already. Here is an update.

Jovenes: Here are some pictures of Jovenes. The kids made some granola-type snack food heads on sticks (granola, cereal, marshmallow, m & m). See the picture for a better description. Jovenes has been a little smaller lately, but that lets us get things rolling again and rethink what direction we are goin in.

Here are Matt and Jesus showing of some of the creations. Matt's little head is wearing a veil, I think.

Poncho is one of the funnest kids around. He and Jesus (and Freddy, nest to Maggie in the middle picture) are all brothers.

Sunday night supper: Here are more pictures of a supper on one Sunday night. The entertainmetn for the evening was arm wrestling. Nayeli dominated the girls division single-handedly (yes, pun intended).

Here Alvaro and I are having it out. It was honestly not a very even battle. I have a bit of an advantage being older, etc, but it was all good.

This is what the arm wrestling was really like. A lot of laughing and joking not much wrestling.

I have to be honest and say that when I say here on the blog that we cook supper together, this group is who I really mean. Notice who isn't in the picture...yes, yours truly.

Patzcuaro: Monday the 2nd was a government holiday. We didn't have class and neither did most the rest of the country. So we, the young group, went to Patzcuaro, a quaint town about two and half hours away. We spent the day enjoying beautiful weather and the sites in Patzcuaro. It was a very enjoyable, if not long, day.

This is the bag of chips that I force fed to everyone because I didn't want to carry it anymore. Everyone was very kind and kept eating until they were gone. You can see some of what the city is like in the background. It was really pretty neat.

Here is Maggie, Christy Stoller (studying in Guadalajara), and Alvaro (red hat) at the top of the statue on an island in the middle of the lake at Patzcuaro. The island/town is called Janitzio. You have to climb up a bunch of stairs and work your way through surprisingly cramped spaces to reach the top of the statue (the top being the upraised fist of Saint Peter) and then you have to squeeze your head out the little space there at the top to see around. You definitely wouldn't fall out of the statue. Inside it was a slightly different story, but we all made it up and down fine and then waited an extremely long time for quesadillas at what some might consider a 'sub-par' restaurant, but it was all part of the great adventure of the day.

Prayer: I will finish again with some requests.

1. Praise for God's help with the school and an extension on the deadline. Pray that we can still get all the work done and that we can proceed forward with the school and have classes next fall. Pray for teachers. We still need teachers, especailly primary teachers.

2. Pray for the many that are going to be traveling to Ixtlan to visit and to work in the next couple of months. Pray for safety and that God would use each person to change lives here in Ixtlan.

3. Pray for Freddy, Jesus, Poncho and their sisters. Pray that they would listen and respond to what they are hearing as they spend time with us. They have a rough life and desperately need to hope that they can have through Jesus Christ and the salvation that we have through Him. Pray that their hearts would be soft, even now, so that God can work in their lives and build their trust in Him.

Friday, January 30, 2009


A perk of living in Mexico in the winter months is taking advantage of strawberry season. The strawberries supply a large source of employment, as does the mango season. They pick a field of strawberries every other day and water on the off days.

Now, like most things, strawberries are best when fresh picked, something that is altogether common in Indiana, although possible. The thing is these strawberries are big and tasty. They are also extremely plentiful during the season and so very easy to come by. So I thought I would share with you some of the bounty of the land, by picture of course, I can't just send you strawberries, not over the Internest anyway.

So here you are:

Here is my bowl of strawberries, all ready to be eaten and enjoyed. As you can see, I am Regg Beer and I approve of these strawberries.

Just a little picture of the size of these strawberries. No eating these thing in just one bite (although you can try, and I have, which doesn't end up working too well.)

This is what happens when I live by myself and take my own pictures. I still end up making a fool of myself, and posting it on the Internet. I will probably regret this during an interview someday. (at least that's what everyone says)


1. Pray for wisdom as we adjust form having five people doing studies and three. A big difference, especially when one of us is gone. Pray that we would be excited about sharing with others and that our energy and excitement would spread to others. Pray for endurance on our part when it seems like we are going nowhere.

2. Praise for Rosario's visa. Rudy and Rosario are now in Indiana to spend 3-4 months in with Rudy's parents. We will miss them and Nathan here in Ixtlan. We don't have anyone else to scream and make noise through church and Bible studies. Pray that this time could go well for them and that they could make the most of the time that they have with Rudy's family in the next three months.

Friday, January 23, 2009


On Sunday, yeah, almost a week ago already, part of the young group cooked up some cena, supper, after the singing. We had to use whatever I had in the fridge which limited what we could do, but everything seemed to go pretty well. We had quesadillas and fijolillas (I just made the second one up, I don't know what exactly you would call them. Tortillas filled with refried beans and then tossed on the skillet for a little bit). There was also some salsa whipped up that was pretty tasty itself. To top it off we had smoothies which turn out to be pretty easy to make considering all the fresh fruit that exists in the area.

The kitchen was a little full, but that's what makes things fun.

The salsa came out of the blender with some pretty spicy fumes, but it turned out to be pretty good stuff.

Here we are with content and full bellies. Good food... I mean 'Good times'...I mean 'Good times and good food'.

Prayer: (If you haven't noticed, I am trying to be a little more objective in posting prayer requests.)

1. Pray for wisdom for us to use the opportunities in front of us to share the love that God has given us. Pray that we can use the resources that we have to the best of our ability and that we can always be open to the Spirit's guidance here.

2. Praise for the encouragement that God gives, even through the small things.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

School improvements.

I said that I would post some pictures of the school. Here you go. The carpet on the walls seems to have made a difference with the amount of echo in the room which has made a big difference in way that class goes. It also makes the room feel a litte nicer. We even thought it might work to hang student work or other teaching material. Very functional as it turns out.

My room. Not much to look at besides the newly installed carpet. Feels a little more schoolish actually.

The new fancy cabinet to hide the electric box and whatever else ends up going in there.

There isn't much to update about right now. Things are still continuing forward here even without Marshall and Jan which is surprising. (It isn't until they're gone that you figure out what all they get done in a day.)

I just turned around and saw a big ol' stack of books on my bed. Grading. I guess I should get to work.


1. Pray that I, and all of us, can be like Josiah (2 Kings 22-23). Pray that it can be said of me that I "turned to the Lord with all my heart, with all my soul, and with all my might" (2 Kings 23:25). It is amazing to read through 2 Kings and see all the evil that was done. It becomes mind numbing. King after king succombs to the easier way out of doing what everyone else does and not following God. Then, all of a sudden there is a Josiah, tearing out everything that has to do with evil and following the directions of God to a 'T'. That is who I want to be.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Feast and Famine....and Feast

I am in the middle of two extremes right now. We just had a group of visitors down for a week. They left this morning. So did Marshall and Jan.

(Ruth and Keith Herrmann, Grant Herrmann, Brittany Sreitmatter)

You may remember Grant from early, more frequent posts, Grant Herrmann was here this summer to help. He came back to visit with his cousin Brittany Steitmatter and his aunt and uncle Keith and Ruth Herrmann. They spent a lovely week here cooking up some wonderous food (with many leftovers going into the freezer to feed me while Marshall and Jan are gone), working on improving the sound in the classes in the school, mingling with the church members, and enjoying the nice sunny weather. (A couple of side notes: I know that you are all enjoying record levels of cold, so I thought I would let you know that it was a nice sunny 76 degrees today, but then it started raining. The first rain we've had since September. To bad you had to leave so soon, Grant.)

I will have to supply some pictures of the school in the next couple of days. Thing are looking pretty good in there. We definitely appreciate the work that they were all willing to do and the friendships that were started in just a short week.

Marshall and Jan will be gone for the coming 3 weeks visiting their daughter in England. Pray for their safety traveling. They left today at about 9:30 and won't get there until tomorrow afternoon, I believe. This does leave me all alone here at the compound, if I can call it that. It will be a strange couple of weeks. At least Matt and Ruth are around a lot. I am sure the time will go fast, but I will get lonely, I am sure. (This would be the famine I was talkning about in the title.)

The feast comes again in February. Straight visitors from the 7th to the 28th. Should be interesting.


1. Please pray for safety for all those traveling now and in the next months. Especially pray for Marshall and Jan as they will be doing a lot of traveling.

2. Pray for me in the next three weeks. Pray that I don't get too lonely and that I can spend the extra time that I have profitably and get a little extra work done before we get busy in February, March, and April.

3. Pray for the school that we would make progress in the accredidation process and that we can find qualified, Mexican, Christian teachers for the school. Pray that we would have wisdom as we continue making plans and considering the needs that we will face in the next year and a half.

Adios, from the rainy way south.

Monday, January 5, 2009

I'm back

Hopefully I will be able to keep up a little better now. I am equipped and ready to take on the blogging world again. A little break and a chance to see everyone at home gives me the push that I need to get going again with this blogging thing (hopefully).

It was really nice to see family and friends over break. There is so much to catch up on and so many experiences that I missed out on. However, Christmas is over and it is time to look forward and to see just what the year that is coming is all about. It is weird to think that the next time I am in Indiana, there will be no ice, snow, or below zero temperatures. Instead it will be hot, humid, and green. I will say that I came back to a pleasent surprise. It is a pleasent, sunny, and breezy 72 degrees today. :)

I will start out the blog for this year with a request. Pray. Pretty simple, I guess. Pray for mission here in Ixtlan. There are many aspects and we can easily get caught up in this one or that one and we miss where God is leading us. Pray that we would have clarity in our positions here and that we could be open to whatever God drops in our laps.

Feliz Navidad!

(This is a poinsettia for those that are confused. A little bigger here in Mexico.)