Showing posts from July, 2010

Hurricane Carolyn

From Wednesday to Wednesday, July 14-21, a combined group from 2 churches in MI was here. Half of them, from St. Paul Lutheran Church in Caro, stayed at the dorms in Anapra and built two houses there; they are the church that built the new sanctuary for those of you that remember pulling the vans right up underneath the carport and worshipping in that cramped room off to the side. The other half of the group, from Holy Cross Lutheran Church in Flushing, stayed and worked stateside at two sites in Horizon City. Half of them--lots of halving going on here--worked with Chris on a full build for the Garcia family. Check out Chris's blog entitled "Better than raking leaves" for pictures and stories about them; Luz, David, Rafael, Elizabeth, Dora, and Nadia are quickly working their way into all of our hearts. The other half worked with me to finish up the kitchen/BR addition at the "Wildfire house," home of the Olivas family. Oh, I suppose I need to explain the titl

Satan never Quits

In spite of the title of my last blog, or perhaps because of it, Satan never quits trying to prevent us from doing what we do best. I stole the title of this blog from something someone said to me in conversation too--this time it was Becky, YLM's bookkeeper. In case you haven't heard, a car bomb was detonated by gang members in Juarez on Thursday, July 15. The bombing took place somewhere near downtown Juarez, killed 4 people, and injured between 16 and 20 others. On Saturday of that week, police found a graffiti threat allegedly written by the gang that pulled off the car bomb, saying that if the authorities didn't stop "supporting" the rival gang, they would bomb another car in 15 days with 10x as much explosives. That date is this Sunday, August 1. I was actually in Juarez on the Saturday that the threat was found, at Gaby's quince. However, based on the bombing itself and the subsequent threat, we as a mission staff made the decision to keep groups out of

Miracle after Miracle

Pastor Kluzek used that phrase in a conversation with my mom and I last week and I liked it. The purpose of this blog is two-fold: I want to tell you who Pastor Kluzek is and what he does because it is actually really neat and my guess is that not very many people know about it, and I want to tell you how much truth I have seen in those 3 little words in just a couple of weeks. Rev. Mark Kluzek is a pastor from NM who has been coming, on his own or with 1-2 friends, to YLM every summer for something like 7 years now. He always drives, and his vehicle is always loaded to capacity and beyond with donated goods for distribution. He stays at the mission for 3 or 4 days, 2 of which are usually spent evangelizing in Juarez, at San Pedro y San Pablo and San Lucas. He first goes door-to-door inviting people and then later holds a huge gathering which he uses as a time to share the Gospel in a mass setting and give away all his loot. This year, he chose not to cross the border and instead did t

Gaby's Quince

I wasn't just wearing a dress in the previous post for a random photo shoot with my "little" sister that's taller than me; I had just returned from Panchis's daughter Gaby's quinceanera at San Lucas with Chris and Chris's parents, who were the padrinos (sponsors) of the cake. Chris and I were the padrinos of Gaby's dress, which means we paid for it--finding sponsors for various components of the celebration is very common among Hispanic families who can't afford to go all out for the big day. It also meant that we had a special role to play during the ceremony though since the word "padrino" also means "godparent" and bears much more significance in Hispanic culture than in ours. All of us had to process in behind Gaby, the pastors, and her family, we had to sit in the front row, and we were called up along with Gaby's parents during one portion of the service. We told Panchis straight-up when we got there that we had to lea

My "Little" Sister

I mentioned in my last post that my parents and "little" sister Kara were able to come and spend a week visiting me in El Paso. Yes I use the term "little" loosely because she may be 12 but she's taller than me, a fact that she didn't let me or anyone else forget ALL week! She also wears a bigger shoe size than me and the glasses that she just got a couple weeks ago are from the women's section; yes mine are children's. Check it out: We are both barefoot in this picture...she just barely beats me! She doesn't have to wear her glasses all the time, but I think we look a lot more alike when she does. Until next time, blessings!

Bringing the Eastern Shore to West Texas

My two weeks of craziness are almost over! It all started with the arrival of Immanuel Lutheran Church in Easton, MD, on the 10th of this month. Well, actually the night before, since if you recall the list of everything going on from the 10th-24th in one of my previous blogs , my family's visit was on there, and they got in on the 9th. Chris had to entertain them until I got back from building in Juarez, but then we all went out to dinner at Cheddar's. I had this buffalo chicken wrap, which was good but ginormous so I ate it for lunch the next 2 days too! The following day the MD group arrived. They found out about us via the Servant Event Portal on the LCMS website; I was excited about them before I even met them purely because they were from MD--not exactly known for Lutherans. They had never been on any sort of mission trip before, so I was particularly humbled that they chose YLM for their first experience since they skipped out on an awesome sounding Christian campout on