We met Tariku and his wife, Buze in Zimbabwe (in video below). He has a wonderful story that exemplifies the work we are doing to train our new staff. You will notice elements of heart for God, forgiveness and ministry fruitfulness.
Click on the video to hear Tariku's story.
Tariku and Buze after they treated us to a typical
Ethiopian dinner at their home!
A wonderful team-building exercise - climbing the Iztaccihuatl volcano with co-workers and friends. We made it to over 16,000 ft elevation through the snow! The physical and emotional challenges caused us to work together in order to reach the goal. The memories will encourage us for a long time! Steve does a great job organizing and guiding the group!
One of the great opportunities available for our children while we have been in Puebla has been the "Spiritual Emphasis Camp", held during Spring Break each year for the Christian School and homeschooled children from Puebla, Oaxaca, and Mexico City. It has been a great growth time for each of our kids - two were baptized at this camp. This year, Esther had special time with all the other seniors who are attending for their las time. This is a picture of all the campers praying for the seniors.
One of our favorite parts of ministry is mentoring/discipling/empowering young leaders! Terry has enjoyed encouraging one of our staff women as she has launched many women's groups in Puebla. Here is a group of special ladies who just finished "The Significant Woman" study - a wonderful discipleship tool for discovering and living God's unique calling. Many of these ladies have already committed to leading others through the study in the future!
The new year began with preparations for our "new" life - our first big yard sale, lots of sorting and packing, and mentoring the new Mexico CCC National Team directors and helping to transition our responsibilities to others. We were also busy with our MA studies and our virtual team work with the New Staff Training Taskforce and the Leadership Development/Human Resources Area Team. We were very busy, but enjoying all that we are learning and being able to invest into others.
We are so grateful for all that God has done this year. We finished our first semester of our MA studies, did well, and learned a ton! We celebrated CHRIST's birth with all our children in Mexico - one last time... it was wonderful! We are excited about what God might have for our future... we'll keep you posted. THANK YOU for all that you do to make this ministry possible. Enjoy the video!
November included Steve and about 15 others climbing the Izta volcano and participating in our local Willow Creek Summit conferrence - great leadership development time. We also hosted dear friends from CO and close to 50 people for a delicious Thanksgiving dinner - last time in Mexico - and a wonderful time to reflect on all the blessings we have received from the Lord.
The Christian EXPO was a lot of work, but also very exciting. We were able to talk with thousands of people about CCC's ministry in Mexico and provide them with materials so that they can be active in evangelism and discipleship. We are excited about future partnerships that will develop and about movements that will be planted as these people step out in faith. It was great to have Student leaders involved side-by-side with our Family Life and Compassion in Action staff - we made a great team! We look forward to hearing more of how God uses these seeds to do a transformational work in many lives! (There are more pictures in the gallery page!)
We had the incredible privilege of starting our M.A. in Global Leadership offered by Azusa Pacific University. We have waited a long time to be able to study together! We are thrilled to be able to study part time and continue ministry in Mexico. We are convinced that our classes will be an excellent way to combine our years of leadership experience with academic knowlege and multi-cultural context in order to be of greater service for the Lord in the future. We really enjoyed our fellow students (from Haiti, Cuba, and Bolivia) and our very challenging and qualified teachers. We will be blogging about what we are learning, so don't forget to subscribe to our blogs in order to hear more!
We had a wonderful time in Albuquerque with Terry's family and visiting current and new ministry partners. We also had the chance to visit with Sarah and Will and long-time friends, Ron and Jeannine Wiley, in Colorado. (There are lots of pictures in our gallery!)
We then attended the CCC Staff Conference in Fort Collins. We enjoyed every moment of worship, teaching and fellowship. You can watch some of the messages on video here! You can also learn all about the new CCC name - Cru!
What a personal challenge and great team experience! We hiked the Ixta volcano outside of Puebla to 15,500+ ft! Steve did an excellent job as a guide, and everyone worked really hard. We so enjoyed the challenge and the time together; many have said they would do it again! We are proud of each one! (You can see more pictures of the climb on Facebook or in the Picture Gallery)
The transition begins! We have greatly enjoyed extra time with Oscar and Silvia Gonzales (center with dauther Eunice in purple) who will be taking over the Church-led Movements (Family Life, Jesus Film: Etnias & Magdalena, Good News/Good Deeds, Community) that we have led the last five years. We are discussing ministry philosophy, strategy, staff care, finances, and many other topics! We will continue to be available to mentor them next year. We believe they will be great leaders. Please pray for Oscar and Silvia as they "learn the ropes".
10 staff and volunteers made a 12 hour rickety van ride to Turicato, Morelia to help a new church plant in that town They offered free medical clinics, haircuts and gifts to the children and their parents; taught about abuse prevention, marriage, ministry, and the GOOD NEWS using the Jesus Film and Magdalena to hundreds in the church and community. Please pray that this trip will cause the church to grow as new people and families come to follow Christ.
It has been a very busy month, and we are very grateful for all that God has done! This is a picture of Steve with the "Vida Estudiantil" students in Merida when he visited that city with our AIA team. Steve enjoyed getting to encourage these students. We continue to love mentoring and empowering young Christian leaders to be and do all they can for the Lord.
A new year... and new excitement!
We had around 500 people attend the Magdalena Premiere that we planned in partnership with the Pastor's Alliance of Puebla. Please check out the pictures on our Prayer Requests page.
Terry also traveled to Miami for a meeting with the Leadership Development/Human Resources team for CCC Latin America. This was an exciting meeting since we have not had a team to care for and development the staff; the team members come from Trinidad and Tobago, Brazil, El Salvador, Mexico and the US. We are working on a data base of all the staff as well as plans for emotional and spiritual health, theological development, regular evaluations, and much more!
Magdalena Premier, Ethnic Ministries training and Church Planting Meetings
December held a few busy weeks! It was a privilege to partner with a local Christian bookstore "La Vid" for a premier showing of the Magdalena movie to women from over 25 different churches here in Puebla. The Pastor's Alliance was so encouraged by the movie that they want to do another premier in January and are renting a theater that holds over 1500 people!
During the same days, our Ethnic ministry held a training in Pachuca for some of our 12 different Ethnic teams!! These dedicated men reach out to Zapoteco, Nahuatl, Tenec, Mazahua, Purapecha peoples and others, often in dangerous circumstances. We are trusting the Lord to bring us more teams for 2011.
Women Today Conference in Panama
This was a wonderful conference for staff women and volunteers - fellowship and training to better equip us for our ministries to other women. You can see more pictures at the Prayer Request page.
EXPO time! Thousands and thousands of people passed by our little booth in the World Trade Center in Mexico City. Our team did a wonderful job of meeting people and sharing the vision and materials of Campus Crusade for Christ - Mexico.
We ran videos all day - Magdalena, Jesus Film for children, the Prize (Athletes in Action soccer outreach), Bursting Your Bubble (training for those who want to reach out to others). We trained people how to use the materials, and we made alliances with others who want to reach Mexico with God's love. It was a great time!
September was a "let's get going" month... school started; there was follow-up to do with the staff after the conference; we helped our new AIA neighbors settle in; and we were preparing like crazy for the upcoming EXPO in Mexico City.
Our Mexico Staff Conference was a special time. God worked in mighty ways as we followed the Holy Spirit, "threw out" the original plan for the day, and spent 4 hours in a time of repentance; asking for and offering forgiveness to one another. We believe that many long-term hurts were healed, and that the ministry will be stronger in the future because of this time!
We also had time to talk about our vision of "Movements Everywhere" and how to make the necessary cultural changes to get us to our dreams. We had opportunities to meet with members of the new Latin America Area team, and we had good fun together. We are very grateful for our staff.
We've been getting opportunities to share what God is doing in Mexico this summer with churches and ministry partners around the country. This is a brief summary of what has happened recently...
When all is said and done and the numbers are in, the real stories of those of changed lives. Thanks for being a part of bringing hope and change to lives of students, to marriages, to communities and cities in Mexico!
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Reaching the children is a great was to reach the family... Project Santiago Xalatzintla was an outreach to help a church planting effort in a small town outside of Puebla. The young pastor and the volunteers offered free haircuts and styling, medical checkups, anti-abuse seminars, and lots of fun and games to the children and the women of the community. They also showed the Jesus film for children and the Magdalena movie. 40+ children indicated decisions for Christ and 20-some returned for Sunday School and church the next weekend. About 10 women also trusted Christ and began the weekly Magdalena Bible Study, "Reflections of Hope". Please pray with us that the new church will grow in that community.