Spring Update 2011

Psalm 92: 1-4 It is good to give thanks to the LORD,
to sing praises to your name, O Most High;
to declare your steadfast love in the morning,
and your faithfulness by night,
to the music of the lute and the harp, to the melody of the lyre.
For you, O LORD, have made me glad by your work;
at the works of your hands I sing for joy.

This is the view from our roof looking southwest toward the ocean.

It is good to be home! After a seven week trip to the US, in which we drove just under 7000 miles and just over 120 hours, we are back in Sinaloa, Mexico, and settling into the swing of life and ministry. We had a wonderful time in the States and were able to visit with family, catch up with many old friends and make some new ones. One of the highlights of our time in the US was our first ever Mission Conference held in Winston, Oregon.

Doug shares at the first annual Spring Mission Conference at New Hope Church www.NewHopeFamilyOnline.com.
We pray that God would speak through them and that He would be glorified above all!

Our van ran beautifully all the way north to Port Townsend, Washington, and throughout the return trip through California and Arizona, across the border and through various checkpoints, (at each of which we were inspected quite thoroughly, by the way) until we were about 30 minutes north of Los Mochis…about two hours from home. The long story, with pictures, is over at our family blog. The short story is that God showed Himself powerful, a federal patrol stopped to help and we were on our way with very little inconvenience – and we had opportunities to share Jesus in the meantime!

Read more about our roadside adventures by clicking here.

Arriving home, we jumped back into life with both feet forward. Last Sunday we were blessed to be able to attend a baptism in Boca del Rio. The Vida Nueva church body from Alamito, Tamazula and Tecomate along with folks from Bethel and Calvary Chapel Boca del Rio gathered together at the river’s edge for a baptism.

The mouth of the river is also the place where the local marinos have their base, so access is restricted. You can see in top left of this photo that we had an armed guard in attendance.

After the baptism, everyone headed over to Brother Tito’s house for a fish fry fellowship. In addition to Tito’s amazing fried fish, we were also blessed to deliver to their new owners two guitars which God provided during our time in the States. Here is Sister Chayito playing the Tamazula church’s new guitar with Sister Yadira. She is so excited to be able to play an instrument which holds its tune!

Sister Chayito, left, and Sister Yadira lead some praise songs while we relax before lunch.

We’ve managed to visit with many of our brothers and sisters in Christ since we’ve been home and it’s been good to reconnect. Of course, everyone asks us about Sarah: Is she well? Has she settled into life in Oregon? Are we sad without her? We answer, “Yes!” to all those questions! It is very strange to be here without our oldest daughter, yet we know that she is where God would have her now. Those of you who are interested in keeping tabs on her can click over to her blog or catch her on Facebook from time to time.

As we travel through Mexico, we are encouraged to see crops in the fields. After the hard freeze which hit here in early February and left all the crops lying dead or dying in the fields, we didn’t know what to expect when we returned. The newly-planted corn is beautifully green and healthy. People here are praying for fast growth and a mild summer, since the harvest will be coming right in the middle of hurricane season and the hottest time of the year. Pray with us that God’s will be done, since we know that He is the one who controls the weather and the harvest!

Corn fields outside of Guasave, Sinaloa.

There is much to be done and we continue to trust in God to keep us pointed in the right direction and to provide as we go forward. Please keep us in your prayers and feel free to pass this email on to whomever you think might appreciate it. Below are some of our praises and prayer requests. You can print them out to post on your fridge or workstation!

Praises and Petitions:
  • Praise God for the new believers in the village of El Serrano. An outreach was held in the village while we were gone and many people responded to God’s call on their lives. We continue to help with the music ministry there once a week. Pray that God would grow the Church in El Serrano!
  • Praise God for Julio! On February 25, Doug’s friend Julio (Esteban’s father-in-law) dedicated his life to God. Since then, he’s quit smoking completely and, as his wife says, is a new man! Pray that Julio would continue to grow in knowledge and understanding of God.
  • Continue to pray for the other families in our home fellowship group. Specifically pray for Pedro and Alfredo.
  • Praise God for His provision during our Spring Furlough.
  • Semana Santa (Holy Week) begins Monday. Pray for safety for the thousands of people who will be visiting our beach during the week. Also pray for the Church here. Many different groups will be doing outreaches on the beach throughout the week. Pray that God would be glorified and that many would allow their lives to be changed.
  • Pray that God would give us wisdom and direction as we move forward with plans to construct a youth/multipurpose center behind our house.
  • Pray for wisdom also as we plan our next session of parenting classes and as we look into revising the materials we have been using.
  • Pray for Doug and the kids as they struggle with allergies. We’ve had dust storms off and on since we got back and the guys are really struggling even to breathe at times.
  • Pray for our children as we pick up school once again. After almost 3 months off of classes, it can be difficult to get started again…for the teachers as well as the students!

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