The Latest News
New Equipment (Actually old equipment, but new to us)
December 2, 2008 /By: Dwight
WOW, things can be a hassle!!! I found a great deal on two collators with integrated fold and stapling capabilities on ebay for a really good price. Then came the project of getting it all here. But, some friends came-through for us and we got it to Phoenix. We picked it up with our trailer and, after a mere 3 days at the border and some surprisingly high import duty (they charge import duty on the perceived value of the equipment, not what I paid for it), we got it all the way here.
Since it is older equipment, it took some coaxing and adjusting, but it is working now! This machine will make over 3000 books an hour with one operator. The previous system used 2 machines and 3 people to make 5000 books a day. When you want to make over 300,000 books this year... Woot Woot!! Click on the picture to see a video of it running at its slowest speed.
Jü Tü Nooki Jesucristota Bétana San Juan Jïojtekähui
December 2, 2008 /By: Dwight
I ran 800, and will probably give 600 to the translation team in Villa Juarez.
Thanks to Larry Hagberg and his team for this invaluable work!!
Sep 24, 2008 /By: Dwight
Apparently, the first thing you do is clean out your home, throw everything you obviously can't salvage into a big pile in front of your house. Furniture made of particle board is shot, any furniture with a cushion, luggage, kids toys... Then you shovel out the mud and wash down the floors and walls. Use lots of bleach to sanitize everything. Many of these people have no water yet! Then you start-in on the pile outside. Try and salvage whatever you can and haul off the rest. Then, you treat your mud with Cal (lime) to kill diseases.
Fortunately, this is not my first hand experience (Praise God)
Today, I went for a drive around Huatabampo to see how things were coming. First off, I met a water delivery guy who was extremely busy because much of Huatabampo has no running water.
Next on the hit parade was a tractor pulling a trailer full of wet mattresses headed for the dump. After that, I saw several trailers and dump trucks full of garbage headed for the dump. I cried. This was peoples stuff, the things they had worked hard for years to collect. Some of it, undoubtedly, not paid-off yet.
Just out of town are ad-hoc garbage dumps. People can't afford to take garbage (previously prized possessions) to the dump, so it goes beside the road. I drove past a part of town that had been hit hard and took these pictures and cried some more.
A lot of the businesses in town are closed. Probably hard to find workers with so may people just trying to get back on their feet. But this also means that there are a lot of people out of work, which further enhances the pain of the situation.
On the plus side, it is surprising how many people have come to check on US!!!! And this has been little more than an inconvenience for us! Pastor German, who was hit pretty hard, has had three groups come in from out of town to visit and help clean up. They have worked on their house, the church and many homes of people in their congregation. Pastor Enrique Figueroa, who has a nice ministry campus in Navojoa, was flooded to his neck. Much ministry material was lost including wheel chairs, medical supplies and the lower shelves of their bookstore. A group from farther North rented a tour bus for a trip down to help him clean up. http://figueroas2.spaces.live.com/photos/cns!9DA6B9F0D008E714!3958/
Anyway, I'm pretty melancholy today...
State of Emergency!
Sep 16, 2008 /By: Kristi
Our whole area has been flooded, and the people who were evacuated are starting to pick up the pieces, move back home and clean up the mess. Even though many have gone home, there are still over 20,000 who are waiting to return home from the official rainfall of 300 millimeters (aprox. 12 inches. Portland Oregon floats away with 2 inches in 24 hours). We are thanking God for His protection that our facility was not flooded, but the water did get really close! Our driveway was flooded, so during the worst of it, we couldn’t get out to see the mess, get groceries, or check up on our friends.
The government activated the emergency fund for natural disasters (FONDEN) to give immediate attention to the people who have been in a state of panic since Friday. Huatabampo has 19 shelter stations set up in schools and churches, Etchojoa has 20, and Navajoa has 9. Most all of the pastors that we have been working with here locally have had 80-200 people staying with them in their churches, while they provide for their basic needs. (There was documented over 22,000 people in shelters at one point, apart from those who left to live with family or friends in other cities) In each shelter the government provides the food, one meal a day cooked, and groceries for the other two, as well as toiletry needs, medicine, etc. There are clinics set up around town, offering hepatitis vaccinations and bottles of water disinfectant.
There are still many towns that cannot be reached, except by helicopter, including 'Las Parras' where our good friend Paz and his family live. We also have friends in Poza Dulce, San Pedro, and other towns that are still flooded and have no dry roads to get in or out. Most grocery stores are low on food, mainly the basics, because Huatabampo has been disconnected from the nation from all sides. They are still evacuating people from... El Rodeo, San Pedro Nuevo, Chucárit, colonia Nacozarit, Navolato, El Quinto, Huitchaca, Jitonhueca, El Centenario, Baburo, El Carrizal, La Línea Basconcobe, Las Guayanas y Campanichaca; all towns from the county of Etchojoa. Huatabampo County has its own list of towns, as well as Navojoa.
Lots of people are out and about, sight-seeing the flooding, visiting others, and talking about the amazing tragedy of the flood. We ran into Pastor Juan Carlos at the bridge in Navajoa. After discussing the flood he mentioned that the kids in his cabin from camp still email him and are begging for the next camp! He said that God was in it, and I could sign him up again next year!
The main flooding in Huatabampo came in the middle of the night on Friday in a huge wave, coming down from the mountain and fields. The water canals and river system couldn't contain the 300 million cubic meters of water, and broke down in multiple locations. The government went around waking people up and trying to evacuate the city, but many people were caught off guard. Within 15 minutes, many sections of town were flooded up to the waist with water, giving people little time to escape. Most grabbed their family, maybe one item, and got out. They have returned to find everything wrecked from water damage. The sight today around town is furniture spread outside trying to dry... mattresses, couches, and clothes hanging, and people cleaning up as much as possible. There are still people in all the shelters, with sections of town still underwater. There have also been several more deaths from drowning or electrocution.
I’m gathering this information from 'El Imparcial' a national newspaper that has many articles covering this official disaster zone. One article states that the following towns couldn’t be reached... Sebampo, Baynorillo, El Chórit y Mabejaqui, where the water had reached 1.5 meters high, (aprox. 5 feet high) and had caused many families to take refuge on their roofs!
As we visited pastors, they seemed happy to see us, and we prayed for them when we could. Many had worried how we were, because they couldn’t reach us by phone. One pastor's wife had a total look of shock as she exclaimed, "I thought you'd be long gone by now!" Isn’t that amazing!? Why would we leave them now? We still cannot reach the pastors in those towns mentioned as there is no way out there by vehicle, and we don’t have a helicopter handy. :)
Please continue to pray for the people, that they could get back to their lives, and let go of the fear and panic. Pray for extra strength for the pastors as they minister to hundreds more people in shock, sadness and fear.
Tropical Storm Lowell
Sep 12, 2008 /By: Dwight
We have had rain. Tropical storm Lowell parked over us and petered out. The resulting rain was dramatic.
Our 30” deep pool filled in less than a day with some roof runoff. We probably got 12” in 8 hrs. The drainage canals are full. There are houses under 10’ of water. We are cut-off from Huatabampo as the road is closed. We can get to Etchojoa on the tractor, but I don’t want to try in the van. Whole communities have been evacuated and are under water. Apparently the local supermarket has 4’ of water inside…
This morning, the water was down, but now as water from the mountains gets here, it is going back up.
Apparently it hasn’t been this bad since 1960. One local said in 24 years here, she has seen nothing like it. This is way worse than the hurricane was last year, except for the wind obviously.
There looks to be a good chance the bridge we cross to get to our house will wash out… bummer…
We are fine. Our home sits on a little bit of a high-spot and we have a good drain. I do hope we don’t get more rain for a bit. We have food and water, so I guess we’ll just have to wait it out.
May 29, 2008 /By: Dwight
Come back soon!!
At the beach, part of the team was almost eaten by a...
May 19, 2008 /By: Dwight
Branches Church from Scappoose, OR is sending a group of men here to work! And, work them we will. I hear it is warm in Oregon right now, I bet it is warmer here.
We are looking forward to being blessed with pavers in our quad area, a drop ceiling in the office and paint as well as other projects!We are looking forward to seeing you guys!!!
Spring Tour Nearly Over
May 15, 2008 /By: Dwight
Only one event to go and it feels a little bittersweet. We had a great time and held 19 events for over 500 Sunday school teachers and gave out material for something like 40,000 kids!
One highlight for us was an event in Mazatlan! (Really, it was the next logical large town down the road from the last city) Below is a view from the porch outside our $35 hotel room! Wish we could have stayed at least another day, but we had to get back and get printing for the next event!
It was really gratifying to see the ministry expand this year! A real highlight was Reuben and Paz, two of our regular workers, take a truck load of material to Obregon and hold an event. Reuben works with us in the office producing music and helping with the curriculum writing. Paz started with us as a construction assistant and has grown to a much larger roll.
Kids Camp is Coming!!!
May 15, 2008 /By: Dwight
Probably way sooner than we would like, but comes it does. Gotta get ready!!
I never thought it would be a missionaries job to figure out how to set up the tents we bought used for the camp! We end up doing some weird things!
Baptisms at the The Beach
May 15, 2008 /By: Dwight
An annual event is the Church of God baptism service at the beach. People travel 2 hours or more to get here and share in the fun. Looked like maybe 2000 Christian attended this year. We packed up our little bookstore and set up a somewhat lopsided shade and had a great time visiting with friends and encouraging people. We sell music CD's, tracts, and books at or below our cost. It is the only Christian Bookstore available to a lot of Christians in this area and is way cheaper than anything else available. We had a ball!
Viewing the Fruit
May 7, 2008 /By: Kristi
I have been visiting Sunday School classes that use our material, and it can be a lot of work, but it is a lot of fun too. It's hard to imagine! This year we have given away books for 20,000 kids for 6 months of Sunday School classes. Of coarse it is wonderful to attend classes and see the kids using my books. Can you tell I'm proud??? The hard part is making the teachers sweat! The poor things get sooooo freaked out about me visiting their classes, sometimes they even start shaking! I try to put them at ease and give them lots of positive feedback. I have finished collecting data from 10 classes, and I have made some adjustments for the 2009 curriculum, and the whole office staff is already cranking on the 2009 curriculum. (all 3 of us, and not too soon either) So, thanks to all those teachers who let me drop by and see their classes!!!
It’s been a busy week...
Feb 25, 2008 /By: Kristi
Thursday we video taped the VBS songs with the actions with the whole staff, in hopes to have the songs ready to upload on the new spanish website we are working on. We took all our staff to a marriage conference Thursday and Friday night, Friday in the morning we drove 4 hours south to Mocorito, Sinaloa to deliver 20 boxes of curriculum to the southern speaking team, on Saturday we attended Maribel and German’s first gig, where they gave me some lovely fresh flowers, and I got to participate some. The staff enjoyed running the office all day Friday while we were gone.
Dwight's dad, KO is coming down for a visit and will be arriving on Tuesday. He has experience in a print shop, and is going to jump in and help out his. In fact, we are going to use his help to re-organize the print shop/ work areas on Thursday. One of our worker's daughters is having a Quinseñera party on Monday night. (Gero and Tonita)
On the work front: this week's job is to get all the content done for the Spanish website and get it up and rolling! I am half way thru writing the lessons for UNIT 3 of 2008 and hope to finish those this week. I will have Tonita pack up all the kits for the Church of God VBS packs (120 churches) for the northern territory this week... Ruben will work on video editing, and German will work on writing up the games and activities for UNIT 3, as well as checking my Spanish on the website content. Dwight wants to print one teachers book we are out of, make a new shelf for the workshop, pick up his dad from the bus station in Navajoa, finish designing a roof for a local church, print some large posters on the plotter, and do all the grinding on the Spanish website!
I took an hour this afternoon to take down all the February decorations in the office and put up some spring ones. Tonita and Olga are going to love them, and I re-stocked all the candy dishes which ALL the staff will be thrilled about. :) We are ready for Monday morning! J Hope you all have a great week!
Spring Tour Off With A BANG!!
Feb 2, 2008 /By: Kristi
The 2008 tour has opened with a bang! It went amazingly GREAT!!! We decided that it was our best first event of a season ever. So far, we have always struggled at the first event, not quite ready for the tour to begin. The pressure of training the other teams made us push harder to be ready, and we were pleased with the results! I shall give you the update in bullet-form:
Fun relaxing Sunday
Feb 4, 2008 /By: Kristi
I just finished making a batch of rice crispy treats… Dwight’s favorite, and special since we can’t get rice-crispies down here. We were given them in a gift-box for Christmas from the Gap church and we just enjoyed hearing a sermon from dad.
It’s a calm Sunday before the storm: the opening of the tour this Saturday. To say that I am nervous would be a total understatement. I have done events before, I enjoy the speaking, I enjoy leading the singing, the actions we made up to the new songs will be fun, and I look forward to giving my new curriculum away. All that sounds like fun: work, but it is something I enjoy. The hard part for me is the training of the speaking teams! I can hardly believe that we have signed up 4 other teams who will be putting on our event, and they are all traveling here this weekend for a special training time. They will watch my event, then all come back here to ‘rancho provision’ where I will give them all the training they need to put on more events. Its one thing to be inspired and anointed enough to pass vision on to teachers, but this is one whole step removed. I have to be anointed enough to inspire the speakers who will then speak over the next 4 months in cities all over the place, and they have to be inspired to pass on the vision to the teachers. This JUST HAS TO BE a God thing and can’t be done on my own.
Besides carrying the vision, they need practical tools on how to run the event, how to pull off the huge flame object lesson, and how to take the orders for the curriculum and pass it out. They also need to have memorized the actions to the songs; they need to know how to use the curriculum so that they can answer the teachers’ questions all spring, and they need to know about all the product in the store. Besides all this, I am wearing the hat of production manager because Dwight has been stuck chained to the printing press in order for us to get all the curriculum done on time. This means that I also need to have 4 sets of curriculum ready- one for each team, depending on the amount of cities they will be going to, and the size of those cities. I also have 4 store sets all ready to go, with a range of product from past VBS, Christmas material, Easter material, 8 different CDs (two new CDs that we produced this year), miscellaneous hats and puppets, super hero costumes, and gorgeous color posters that we have printed on our plotter and laminated. This week I hope to add a last-minute product of a wordless book tool for child evangelism.
As far as the writing job for this week, I have two teachers’ books left to finalize for printing this week, which will be the last of the curriculum; and the workshop manual left to write. I have my main speaking topics and some of the notes, but they need to be finalized, translated into Spanish, then the layout into a cute manual. (Something that will be easy for the other 4 speaking teams to use as they give my workshop this spring!) Monday afternoon is practice with 6 people who will learn the actions to the songs for Saturday’s event.
The staff is now up to 10 people working here daily, which is a lot of mouths to feed, and jobs to organize. It was the only way to get all the curriculum done on time, and we are praising God daily because it looks like we are going to make it! He has provided the money for the paper and the staff, as well as the energy for all of us to keep going.
The Mexican culture continues to drive me nuts, more now than at other times, I think because of the amount of people at my home every day. Now we are eating Mexican food for lunch most days and the staff plays the classical Mexican music in the production facility all day long. I get to play an English CD once at least daily, but it is not enough! J
All that to say that Dwight and I are enjoying our rest today, enjoying a break from staff and culture, eating ‘gringo food’, and trying not to work at all. (pretty hard for Dwight) Tomorrow morning we hit the work week hard- with final preparations and cranking out curriculum as fast as possible. (Yesterday the staff made 14 cases of material!!! Probably over 6000 books, in ONE day!) I do love my job, but this week will be a lot of pressure, and I could use everyone’s prayer, especially on Saturday!
Whew, that's a bunch of paper!!!
Feb 1, 2008 /By: Dwight
Saying "Yes, we will give you material in February" in November is a lot easier than actually making it happen. I guess we start with a little paper... 140 cases and counting! Then, we add some friends, 20 boxes of staples and it looks like we will be ready!!!
Where did the Missionaries go????
Feb 1, 2008 /By: Dwight
Sorry about not posting for a while, we've been gone and kinda busy. We went to Oregon and Washington for Christmas and saw family and friends. If we missed you, we are really sorry, you are not alone.
We got back Jan 15 or there abouts with a new(er) van and a whole bunch of re-supply stuff along with another printing press, paper cutter, Risaograph, fire safe, 3 computers, 4 monitors, Christmas presents, trailer, tents for a kids camp (someday) and a whole bunch of other stuff!
It was quite a trip down!
Feels good to be home!!! (Getting here however...)
Feb 1, 2008 /By: Dwight
Some conversation snippets from the trip home
Thanks for the awesome pack job Brian and Andy! Wow, we sure got a late start… We sure had a great time with fam and friends!! Boy, we sure are loaded heavy… Van’s running great! Dark, snowy, tired .. time to quit for the night… Cool .. roads clear, let’s go! Siskyou pass closed?!?!?! Now it’s open…for a while at least… Yes officer, I do have chains (Thanks Uncle Ken)… I need them on the trailer too?!?!?! This is going great! We’ll be over the pass soon! Ahhhhh, dry roads, guess we’re done with the chains!!!!! WHAT!?!?!?! Chains required again!!!! On the trailer too!!!! Wow, what a trip, 90 miles on chains with a trailer!!! Let’s go and see how far we can get today! What a bunch of errands in PHX!!!! Now we are really loaded! Let’s pray for favor at the border. Three hours getting paperwork ain’t bad. Two greens!!!! These tacos in Imuris sure are good! Hola gatitos!!!!
December 10, 2007 /By: Dwight
It is raining, actually a heavy dri
zzle by Northwest standards. And it is in the low 60's. Feels like the Northwest!. A bit of a new experience for me here.
Speaking of feeling like "home" (wherever that is), we leave for Oregon and Washington in a couple of days. Gotta get last-minute printing done and some vehicle maintenance done as well as get Reuben checked out on everything as he will be living here while we are gone. See 'yall soon!!
December 5, 2007 /By: Kristi
Some friends in the Church of God went to a conference on children's ministry in Southern Mexico last week. They paid 50 bucks a head to get in (significant dough). All the territory leaders for the Church of God were there and our friends spoke up for us, saying they got much better training and materials from us! So, now it looks like we have an opening in the Church of God for ALL OF MEXICO (around 1000 churches)!!! A lot of these churches in Southern Mexico are really poor (As opposed to the churches here which merely have nothing). They are interested in both materials and training events.
Please pray for us for wisdom in how to approach this. We don't want to let the opportunity get away, but how can we grow fast enough to take this on? We took the first step of faith yesterday and offered the basic VBS program to ALL the churches! (Without the kids books) Wouldn't it be great to be able to give them the kids books too? (Maybe another 50,000 books?) Please pray with us!
Moving into the new building!!!!!
December 4, 2007 /By: Dwight
This is such an exciting moment for us! Our new 1000 sq ft production facility is on-line! We started this building a year ago, thinking it would be a meeting room. We slowed construction for our material production cycle last year, but we have been plugging away since. There is no insulation or plaster or wiring or windows... but it is very usable space!
We moved most of the production and storage items out of the house and office. it is a little scary seeing how much of the new building this stuff uses. In the picture, you can see remnants of the last two years curriculums. From the looks of it, we will have this space filled up in no-time!
Notice the feline presence with Kristi. We have decided to call this one "Neck." His brother's mane is "Snout", both representative of prominent physical features. They have been a real blessing.
Feels like the Northwest...
December 1, 2007 /By: Dwight
It has been raining lightly for 3 days, a new experience for me here. Now, it is blowing and raining harder. Paz said they have a word for the weather pattern (I'd tell u, but I can't remember what it is) and it could last a week or more. If that happens, we will be living in the middle of a giant mud hole. It's already pretty ookey out there.
It's cold too... probably down to the 60's .. Brrrrrrrrrrr.
Looking forward to going North for Christmas! See 'ya soon!
Books for 2008 rolling off the presses!!
November 30, 2007 /By: Dwight
OK, press... but we have printed nearly 15,000 of the 180,000 books we need for the Spring of 2008. That seems un-doable (or at least really, really, un-believably, mind-blowingly HUGE), but we believe we can get it done with some help from God. OK, maybe a lot of help, but he has given us that kind of help all along.
We are gearing-up to transfer the majority of our resources to book making away from construction.
November 18, 2007 /By: Dwight
When I started going to Mexico regularly, I found my high school Spanish from years before just didn’t cut it. I think about this now because I just had an “almost conversation” with a friend where useful information, beyond basic instructions and desires, was exchanged both ways. (Very exciting)
Learning has been an interesting process as I have not been studying much with all the other things to do. But, I am learning anyway, largely out of necessity (much of it from my construction workers… hmmmm…). For example:
On the move down, I learned “cuota” (toll for the toll road) and “llenalo” (Fill it, with the big trailer, we used a lot of gas) and “carril” (lane, as in “stay in your own lane which is only a foot wider than your trailer with a dropoff immediately to the right of the white line and a huge bus just to your left Arghghhghgh”). When we got here, I learned “pala” (shovel) and “excavar” (to dig).
Soon we started our house and I learned “gravilla” (gravel), “arena” (sand), “cemento”, “varrilla” (rebar) and “piso” (floor). Soon I was learning “bloque” (concrete block), “ladrillo” (brick) and “mortero” (mortar). “Ventanas” (windows) and “puertas” (doors) came soon. Came time for a roof and I learned “techo” (roof), “caceton” (styrofoam insulation) and “cubeta” (5 gallon bucket used to lift concrete up on the roof by hand) as well as honing up my “muchas gracias” for all the "amigos" who came to help.
When the lumber yard repeatedly did not deliver the promised roof supplies I needed for a Saturday work party (50 people were coming to help with a roof I was not ready for), there were a bunch of words I didn’t learn and suspect I am better off not knowing.
The first time it rained, I learned “lluvia” (rain), “mucho” (a lot), “lodo” (mud, often combined with “mucho”), “rio” (river) and “hundirse” (to sink, as it appeared the motorhome might do into the lodo in the rio flowing under the motorhome). From this experience I also learned “gato hydraulico” (hydraulic jack) and “jale” (pull) as well as suspecting there were many more juicy new words I shouldn’t know.
As we started getting settled in, I learned “arbol” (tree), “sombra” (shade), “viento” (wind), “polvo” (dust), "fortuna" (a kind of dirt you can buy and put on your road so your van doesn't sink into the axles when it rains). "Llave" (means key, end wrench, allen wrench, pipe wrench, valve handle, or pretty much anything you use to do something to something else apparently).
Our search for an answer to water has taught me many words including “poza” (well), “agua” (water), “salida” (salty), “tinaca” (large plastic tank), “pipa” (water truck), “pipita” (my little water trailer), "tuercas" (wheel lug nuts which kept breaking off on my water trailer), “bomba” (pump), “manguera” (hose) and “buscar” (to seek).
Recently I overdid it with the “pala” (shovel) and learned, in rapid succession, “dolor” (pain), “espalda” (back), “quiropractica” (chiropractor) and “no hay” (there isn’t one).
Along the way, I have learned some other more-important words that help out. “Bienvenidos” (welcome), “pasele” (come on in), “sientense” (have a seat), “Dios le bendiga” (God bless you, a standard greeting), “como esta?” (how are you?), “que hago?” (what can I do?), “necesita ayuda?” (do you need help?)
2008 Tour Looking Exciting!!!
November 12, 2007 /By: Kristi
Ok... so I’m pretty excited right now. Just got off the phone with one of our team members from up north. Alfonso wants to do 8 cities from Sonoita to Agua Prieta as a part of next year's tour!!
This year Dwight and I did the whole tour ourselves: 8 cities giving away Sunday school material and VBS programs for over 20,000 kids! Next year we have started planning early and have invited 4 other teams to represent us at events. I am writing the speaking notes and planning the games, songs and activities for the event... and we are buying the tools for each team to have a cool display for their events too. (We just got 8 big blow-up penguins... as displays for the 2008 penguin VBS)
Anyway... we were planning on doubling for next year, but the tour is shaping into 24 events in 17 cities!!! (Some cities will get multiple events) It looks like we will triple (for the third year in a row!!!) I talked with three of the teams today, confirming their participation and dates; with only one team left to confirm… and they are driving up 4 hours to meet with us this Friday. (I only have them scheduled at three cities; we’ll have to see about that)
So the talk with Alfonso was exciting to me because it just hit me that they will be really covering all the northern cities (in the state of Sonora) with the material, which means that thousands of kids all over the place up there will be reading Bibles and memorizing verses... with books that we wrote and print, but we don’t even have to go up there to deliver!!! Teachers will be receiving vision and training! We have known for some time that we just need to make sure that we do not become the 'bottle neck' for this operation, but it is harder to put into practice than it is to say. Some teams require more effort to train than others, but more work will be getting done, any way you look at it!
The main tour ("Enchufando la Fe") will be starting on Feb 9th in Huatabampo, with all the speaking teams attending my first gig here. Then we all start doing gigs around the two states of Sonora and Sinaloa and wrapping up on May 31st. All events are on a Saturday, and most Saturdays have two events in two different cities at the same time. Four weekends will have 3 events at the same time!
With that tour done, June jumps into another children's ministry event ("Tu clase completa") with more in-depth 2-day training. That exhausting event I get to do 5 times in June and July, and I hope to develop a small team to travel with me this year, so that I'm not the only speaker for the marathon 9 hours, two days in a row!
Anyway, I feel like I'm in shock at these amazing opportunities and the boldness God has given us to just jump at them... (or maybe it's stupidity) It's going to be easy to reach our goal of 40,000 kids next year with 29 events!!!
All that to say... dang. I better get crankin on writing curriculum! jajaja (a laugh in Spanish message-chat) That's going to be over 500 churches waiting on my curriculum!!!! aaaaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh
Lord, give me strength! Help me develop a solid team to get the job done. Keep the 'brothers' up north praying! Send the cash, send the wisdom and send more staff!!!
They came, they saw, they roofed...
November 4, 2007 /By: Dwight
... and they made books and they made evangelism CD's, and they went to church and they put on a nice outreach and they went to the beach and they ate seafood.. and more!
I'm talking about the team with Lon Smith and The River (not a garage band) from Gardnerville, Nevada. They were here for 5 action-packed days of construction and ministry, barely stopping to sleep.
A mission church in Basconcobe has a new roof (or 92% of one anyway). This is greatly appreciated by pastor Javier Gill and his small congregation who will now be able to meet in dry shade.
Lon and the team have come each fall we have lived here and we have come to cherish their continuing friendship and fellowship.
See more pictures
Life in the mountains...
October 29, 2007 /By: Kristi
Yes, life is tough for those who live up in the mountain by San Bernardo, in the Eastern hills of Sonora, Mexico. It was fun to see the traditional dress of the Guarijio (pronounced Wadihio) Indians, to see sod roofs that looked like homes with crew cuts, and to ‘hang on for dear life’ as Dwight enjoyed driving the van like it was a 4-wheeler along the windy, steep roads. Everyone told us to bring sweaters because the ‘mountains are cold’ but we were grateful that we knew to wear layers! Cold nothing!!! It was smoking hot, and we both got sunburned.
The Church of God had prepared to give out dispense of used clothing, dishes and food; as well as provide a doctors and dentist clinic, hair-cutting, tracts made special in Guarijio (that we got to print!) children’s ministry in the day, and a concert in the evening. They were focused on the Guarijio Indians, a group that has remained separate from ‘normal’ society, keeping their own traditions. Christians from all over the state traveled to be a part of this mission’s trip, and it was a great experience for many to be able to participate in blessing others.
We weren’t left out, and were able to participate by bringing 200 CDs and 100 Cassettes of gospel traditional Mexican music, 300 coloring books on Jonah, and tracts in Spanish and Guarijio. Then we noticed a long line in the hot sun for the dispense, and as the hours passed, we decided to pass out cups of cold water as they waited. It was a totally ‘gringo’ thing to do… but it was hot and the wait was long. No one could leave their place in line so we brought the water to them… and it was fun to do.
We learned some interesting things about the culture. The government has given free land and cows to the Guarijio families and is constantly giving them dispense of food and clothing, so much that most of them do not work at all. The ‘normal’ people (as our young hitchhiking tour guide called himself) are never given dispense, and have to work hard to survive. Therefore everyone is frustrated and has a ‘chip on their shoulder’ regarding the Indians getting all the help. The mission trip only added lemon juice to the wound by calling out for the Guarijios to go ahead of the others, even if the others were in line first and had been waiting for a while. They also made distinction with the children’s ministry and the toy gifts. Our opinion was still that their mission trip was a total success as it gave their church members a chance to get away and serve others. It did also confirm to us, however, that we are happy with the mission that God has given us… focusing on the millions of ‘normal people’ who need a Savior here in Mexico and not on the few up in the hills.
We also learned that the main work for all families up in San Bernardo is farming Marijuana! They make $90 bucks a kilo for it, but once it makes it to Nogales it is sold for $300 bucks a kilo. Then it crosses the border and goes up in price again to $300 for a pound (more than doubling again). All the police are ‘bought’ in every town, each city paid for separately, so that they will ‘look the other way’ to the drugs. If the drugs are caught, they are still confiscated, so they still have to be careful, but the fact is that everyone knows who the main traffickers are, and the police could crack down on them if they didn’t receive a ‘payment’ on time. The national army is also ‘bought’ but they still make trips to watch the whole process. The whole mountain is covered with Marijuana crops, and from the army helicopters, they can see the stage of growth and everything. When we were there, the army flew around for a long time then landed their helicopter (Dwight could tell you what it was…). Our teen "tour-guide" told us that the army had been paid already for crop at the front of the season (3 months ago) but that now it was harvest time, they were due another payment. He had just finished harvesting his field with his dad, and they were going to split the profits. (Just has to wait for the army to leave so they can sell, he said, which they will do as soon as they receive their next payment) This teenager who caught a ride down the mountain with us asked me if I had seen the marijuana before, and I admitted that I had not, so he said he would show me, and began to reach into his pocket! I thought he was going to pull out some drugs!!! Instead he pulled out his cell phone, and I breathed easier, mentioning that he was going to show me a photo. “I can do better than that, I have video!” He showed me his field, his dad, and the plants at harvest, which was pretty amazing to see. Apparently the ‘Salazar de Navajo’ are the mafia in charge at this time, and are the ones who do the major paying so the army looks the other way. The farmers can sell to anyone they want though, and this kid told me that if we had arrived with cash, he could have sold us some today. Isn’t that nice of him???
I guess I should wrap this blog up! We didn’t end up spending the night up there since the outdoor basketball court didn’t look too appealing, especially since it was covered with youth. We headed down the hill where we spent the night in Alamos; a cute, traditional-looking town. We checked out the ‘lookout’ and it was absolutely gorgeous! Then we traveled down the hill another 2 hours to arrive home. It was so nice to feel so comfortable back at home, this place has really become home to us, and our little kittens had really missed us.
We really did feel like we had contributed to the mission with our CDs, cassettes, coloring books and tracts… and we learned a bunch more about this culture where we live. What an adventure! Now, back to the daily adventure of the mission God has assigned to us…
A Fun Sunday for Dwight & Kristi
October 10, 2007 /By: Kristi
This Sunday, after internet LifeChurch, we took a stroll through the local Huatabampo tianguis, enjoying the cultural sights and smells. Naturally we had to take it a step further and try the taco stand. It was totally different than normal tacos de Carne Asada… an ‘order’ contained 4 fried tacitos, with about ½ teaspoon of potato inside, and pickled red onions piled on top. Not quite our favorite, so we split an order as an appetizer and came home for some more ‘gringo’ lunch. After listening to a couple of podcast sermons from Oregon, it was time to take a lovely Sunday afternoon nap. We are trying to learn how to find clothes here in Mexico and reasonable prices, so we tried the used clothing shops at the tianguis and we both came home with a couple of new shirts… and some of them worked! We finished the restful day with a re-run movie and a cuddle with our two new little kittens… ready to hit Monday morning a ’runnin!
A New Roof for Etchajoa
October 10, 2007 /By: Dwight
Some of you might remember, because some of you were there... four Summers ago, a team with Net Works Ministries mixed cement and poured foundations for a church in Etchajoa. This was a huge project as there were 12 or more footings 8 feet square and 8 feet deep. Each got a "shoe" of concrete 1 foot thick and a 1 foot square post up to ground level. This was surprisingly cruel as when that team was done, they had an empty looking lot!
Today, this church got a roof on its second story, forming the floor for the third! This is a wonderful vision for a prominent church right in the middle of town. We did almost nothing on this project recently, but we are excited with the brothers at this church!
The construction methods were a little more advanced than those we used last week.
"We Got Ten!"
October 8, 2007 /By: Kristi
The pastor of ‘Noah’s Ark’ church in Bacobampo walked into the office today and announced to me with a big grin, “We got 10 to stay!”
Eight weeks ago he came into the office and I offered him our VBS curriculum. He couldn’t imagine how he could use it since he had never done a VBS before, and he had a look in his eye like it was too intimidating to even try. So I suggested he use it to teach the children during their big upcoming evangelistic campaign. His eyes just bulged, and he grinned while he decided that was exactly what he would do. I mentioned since his event is only three nights, he could use the last two lessons at church, inviting new kids from the campaign to his church. One goal would be to see how many children he could get to start attending Sunday school.
He took the material that afternoon, and I hadn’t seen him till today when he walked in with a grin and an announcement. (This guy really does grin a lot) They are now up to 39 kids, all between the ages 8-12, and 10 of those they gained from the campaign! He came in today to pick up the next batch of Sunday school material for his group of 39 kids. I was glad that there was one batch left of material (that he hadn’t yet used), and that I had material on the shelf, ready to give him. He will run out of material again for those precious 39 kids in Bacobampo, just about the time we are releasing another batch of new and exciting stuff. Praise the Lord!
Our New Roof!
October 4, 2007 /By: Dwight
Early this morning, we poured a roof! We have been working toward this for some time and are really excited about having more space! See the vid. We hired 20 guys to mix, lift and pour the concrete. In about two weeks, we will be able to remove the form lumber and start the floor!
Whew! Busy Day, but so rewarding!
October 2, 2007 /By: Kristi
What a busy day yesterday, filled with Spanish all day long!!! (I may be fluent in Spanish, but it is tiring after hours and hours of it in a day) The meeting with the pastor’s alliance went great, and they received the evangelism CD project with enthusiasm. We got one order right there in the meeting for 50 CDs, and >>>more
Listo a Colar (Ready to Pour)
October 1, 2007 /By: Dwight
We are on for a roof this Thursday! A church in Etchojoa down the road is putting a roof on this weekend, or it might be next weekend... (we are in Mexico after all)... and we don't want to step on their project, so we are doing mid-week instead of weekend so we don't take workers away from them. It will cost a bit more, but we are afraid if we don't do it early, their project will get delayed and it will push us further back. 80 sacks or so of concrete will be mixed in mixers and lifted up on the roof in 5 gallon buckets by humans.
We are really looking forward to the additional office and production space, we are bursting at the seams many days! (It's a lot of fun)
The River is Coming, The River is Coming!!
Sept 29, 2007 /By: Dwight
The River church from Nevada is coming! We are so looking forward to seeing Lon and the gang here for their third time since we moved! Looking forward to great friends and a great time. They will be doing ministry in the evenings as well as putting a roof on a church in las Parras, a little town to the West. Our worker Paz lives in Las Parras and attends this church.
Sept 29, 2007 /By: Dwight
We have asked permission of various Christian bands in the area if we could use some of their music for an evangelism CD. These songs are interspersed with short commercial-style (20 sec max) encouraging messages by local pastors. This CD will be available for minimal cost with the idea that locals will give one to their friends and invite them to church. We are excited to be releasing this CD this week at the local pastors' alliance meeting.
New Children’s CD
Sept 29, 2007 /By: Dwight
Reuben works with us in the office helping write the materials and serve the pastors. But, he has other skills as well and we have been using him heavily! He has recently finished up two new CD's for children's ministry. We are able to sell these for 2 bucks or less at children's ministry events and they are really appreciated.
Time to SHOUT!!!
Sept 29, 2007 /By: Dwight
September 16 is Mexican Independance day. Everybody gets together in the plaza on the 15th for "the Shout" where they all shout "Viva Mexico" together at midnight. Great authentic costumes and a lot of authentic music. A church in Riito sponsored an event in their town where they had 4 bands play, and sold authentic food with the proceeds going toward buying a lot for a parsonage. We were able to help by loaning some equipment and putting on a nice program for the kids. See the video
Ready for a Roof!
Sept 29, 2007 /By: Dwight
We are ready to pour the concrete roof on the new office! We are pretty excited about this as production spilled over into our living room and beyond last year and we expect to double it this year! This should be happening this coming week! We thank God and our supporters for the blessing of this new building, getting completed just in time for this years printing season!
Sept 29, 2007 /By: Dwight
Well, it was barely a hurricane, but it was enough for me! Lasted all day, amazing winds and rain like I'd never seen. But, we felt like the three little pigs in the brick house! We even had power back the next day! Most of our neighbors fared pretty well. Paz had to tie the roof down on his house and part of a neighbors roof was in our yard. A bunch of trees got knocked down and there was localized flooding. Now, the river has water in it, so people are crossing in boats because there are no bridges and seldom water in the "rio." See the video
First Blog Entry
Sept 29, 2007 /By: Dwight
Welcome to the new Pro-Vision website! (Finally) (Whew) Here, we want to do a better job of communicating with you, our supporters and friends, so that we can all stay better connected.
The flagship of the new format is this blog. We will be updating this, hopefully at least once a week, with new stuff and what is going on with us right now. Some will be ministry and some will be personal, none will be boring!
With the nature of a blog, right now is most important, so the latest entry is at the top. Scroll down for older posts. (Like this one) Thank you for visiting and we hope to see you again soon!