Sunday, November 30, 2008

The Grand Opening

Wednesday afternoon Chay and Norma, a couple here in Santiago had a fire in the back part of their house. I am not sure how it happened but I think some kids were playing with matches or something and burned their beds and a chair, no one was hurt. It also melted some wires on the ceiling. This couple has been coming out to gospel meetings and have been very interested. James and I heard about the fire on Thursday morning. We had planned to work on the burger trailer all day, but we have to allow God to interrupt our plans. They needed someone to come over and do something with their electrical problems.

We went to go and take a look at their house. It is a same two room house about 20' X 30'. The fire was in the back room. We were trying to look at the wires and see what happened but it was so dark we could hardly see. They found a flash light for us. There was a light socket on the wall but someone and done something with the wire at sometime and took out the switch that turned the light on so it wasn't working. So when they needed light they had this light socket with two bare wires that they would push into an extension cord when they needed light. It was a dangerous setup especially for their children. Some of you sent money with me to use specifically to help with some projects here. We had to buy some wire, light sockets and bulbs, Norma gave us a little money to help with some of the cost and then I payed for the rest with some of the money that was sent. We got everything all installed and with switches so no one has to handle bare wires any more. It took us all morning but Chay and Norma were just over joyed that we came and did this for them. That afternoon we put the first coat of paint on the floor of the trailer and put the tin roof on.

The boys all sitting on one of our planks, just enjoying them selves playing with their sticks

Natalia was just having a great time laying in the grass, then Nelly went and picked here up and realized that she had burrs all over here self and they were quite sharp to but they didn't seem to bother her too much.

The new burger trailer had it's Grand Opening last night.

Here's Paco is doing a fine job cooking my burger.

Chay and Pavi are preparing burgers. Chay has the tongs ion the pickles and Pavi has the mustard.

This is Pepe and last night he was in charge of clearing tables. Pepe and Pavi are brothers, Paco is Pavi's brother in law and Chay is Pavi's cousin. They kind of have a family business going here.

This next week now we will be working on the stand that James made a couple of years ago that Pavi has been using up until now. It needs some remodeling we got it all pulled apart yesterday and we are going to do it up much the same as the other trailer. It will make it much easier to keep clean and will stand up to the weather better.

My time is almost half gone, I have been here for one month less three days.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Trip to Guadalajara

Early Friday afternoon we headed for Guadalajara, which is about a 2 and a half hour drive. The main reason we were going was because James ans Nelly had an appointment with the eye doctor there to have all their kids eyes checked on Monday. We were going up on Friday so that we would have some time to help put in a water pressure pump and a water heater for the Thiessens. We were staying with them while we were there in Guadalajara.

On the way to Guadalajara we passed a volcano that had erupted sometime ago and has spread lava boulders for several square kilometers all around it.

Saturday morning James, Paul, Joel, Nicolas and myself all went to work on putting in the pressure pump and water heater and we were done by 2:30pm. Paul figures between Friday evening and Saturday we put in about 40 man hours. Saturday afternoon James, Nelly and I went down town Guadalajara, which is quite the experience. Guadalajara is a city of 5 million give or take a million. We finally made it to the market after about an hour. We had a nice time looking around I bought a leather belt and a nice big hammock. I was also looking for a leather Bible case but wasn't able to find one. After spending about two hours there we met up with Thiessens for supper at a new restaurant that one of the Christian brothers had just opened up.

Here we are enjoy the food.
James, Andrew, Nicolas, Erica, Levi, Joel, Paul and Barb. Nelly was feeding Natalia.

We stayed with the Thiessens till Monday morning and had a very nice time with them. They are originally from Manitoba and they have been working here in Mexico for 12 years. Monday morning we headed over to the doctors office for 9am and they told James to call just to make sure the doctor was free. We call on our way and yes the doctor was in surgery and wouldn't be available for at least two hours. We decided that we would go to another market to pass the time and see if we could find any Bible cases there. Most of the shops we closed when we arrived but as we wondered around they started opening up. I did find a Bible case there. At 12:30pm we made it over to the doctor and he checked all the kids eyes and the check James and Nelly's as well and they saw me sitting in the waiting room and that I had glasses so they wanted to check my eyes too. After being there for about 4 hours we were all done and it seems all is well. After the appointment we were going to drive back here to Santiago, but it was going to be kind of late when we got back and we still had a few things to do in Guadalajara so we just decided we would spend the night at a hotel. James really wanted to find an old hotel right some where in the center of town. We looked around and found one that was just off the square in the middle of the city. It was Hotel Frances built in 1610. It was a nice hotel very reasonably priced and we were able to get two rooms right next to each other. Complete with the old squeaky wooden floors and stairs.

My room, it just didn't seem right to have a color picture of it.

These are a couple pictures from my second story balcony.

This was the hallway right outside our room.

From the first floor looking up under the chandelier.

James and I were hungry so we went out and found a taco stand.

I enjoy trying to take night shots so James and I were out till early morning walking all over taking pictures.

An old building with a bus passing by. In case you are looking for the bus all you can see of it are it's lights.

Some modern art I guess.

The main Catholic Church in the center of town. They are not sure just when it was built but some time late 1500's.

This is a shot with the reflection of this building in the water of the fountain.

Once we were done walk around we were heading back to our hotel and we passed a garbage can and three big rats came out of it. We didn't think that was very cool and then we got to the hotel and we were just starting to walk up the first flight of stairs and this big rat comes running down the stairs and heads for the kitchen. We figured we wouldn't tell Nelly at least until after we left. We also decided that we wouldn't eat breakfast there we thought we might have rat bacon or something. We noticed there was a third flight of stairs, that lead up to the roof. We climbed very carefully watching for rats but never saw anymore. There was a patio on the roof and we could see a fair bit of the city.

A picture from the roof top.

Tuesday morning we went to a third Market and strolled around for a while. Here Andrew and Levi are just tired of walking and just needed to take a break.
We got back here to Santiago around 7pm last night. We were hit a little by the heat as it was about 23 C at that time of night. In Guadalajara it would get down to 13 C and we were thankful for our long sleeve shirts and sweaters there in the evenings and mornings. It is good to be back "Home" in Santiago.

Here are a few verses I enjoyed this morning.
2 Timothy 2:19b-21 The Lord knows those who are his, and Let everyone who names the name of the Lord depart from iniquity. Now in a great house there are vessels of gold and silver but also of wood and clay. Some for honorable use, some for dishonorable. Therefore if anyone cleanses himself from what is dishonorable, he will be a vessel for honorable use, set apart as holy, useful to the master of the house, ready for every good work.

It is clear here that it is my choice what kind of vessel I will be for my master. I can be one of honor if I am willing to continually depart from iniquity. I cannot be content that a year ago I was more Christ like then when I got saved, but am I more Christ like now then I was a week ago. This is a real challenge for me to think like this, but this is a principle we can find over and over in scripture.

1 Thes 4:1 Finally then brothers, we ask and urge you in the Lord Jesus, that as you received from us how you ought to live and to please God just as you are doing, that you do so more and more.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Turkey and Kids

I have been here now for just over two weeks already. The time has been good as we have gotten quite a bit accomplished and God has given us good times of fellowship around His word. He has been showing me that I must come to His word with the attitude that I will be obedient and apply to my life what He shows me then He will continue to reveal more of Himself. His word is alive and applicable to me each and everyday, but will I apply it everyday?

Here are a few verses I read this morning in Colossians 3:1-4 If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on the earth. For you have died and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ who is your life will appear, then you also will appear with Him in glory.

Verse 17 And whatever you do, in word or deed do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him.

On Sunday afternoons they have a meeting with the children from the neighbourhood around the building where they meet on Sundays. They have similar meetings on Wednesdays and Fridays in two other neighbourhoods. They have on average about 40 children and some adults come out. They sing songs, learn a Bible verse and then have a lesson taught to them about the verse. There are so many children and these are the years that will shape the rest of their lives. Please pray that these children will come to a clear understanding of their need of the Saviour and accept Him at an early age and live their lives to the honor of their Heavenly Father.

This picture is from this past Sunday, they are enjoying sing about Bible stories and about the character of the Lord Jesus. They are very enthusiastic when it comes to singing even though they may have a little trouble staying on key, but that doesn't matter.

The conference in Tepic was a blessing to many. There were about 180 in attendance with some good ministry shared. I didn't understand much but others said that is was helpful and profitable for them.

The boys just chillen on the pack and play.
Tuesday Jason and Shelly Wahl had us all over to their house for an early Thanksgiving dinner, as Thanksgiving isn't till next Thursday I think. We all enjoyed an amazing feast of Turkey and potatoes and all the trimmings that goes with them.

James is carving up the turkey.

The amazing buffet.
After the amazing meal we did a little shopping in Tepic before going home. These next few pictures were taken in the Wal Mart parking lot when we had a little time to kill.

Natalia enjoy being able to motor around in this big open space.

I guess that big open space isn't very clean, but boy was it ever fun.

She knew I couldn't resist not taking a picture of here just sitting there on the curb like that.

The work on the burger trailer continues. It hasn't progressed as fast as we thought it might but we are usto that. We have it finally ready for the last coat of paint. We got all the electrical done installing lights and receptacles and put in the water tank and all the plumbing for the sink.

All taped up and ready for paint.

Here you can see the lights, the six inch pipe there is our water tank. The thing at the end of the trailer all taped up is the hood that goes over the BBQ.

It seems James and Nelly have another kid, not another child. One of their goats gave birth last night and they have another one do any day now and it looks like she will be having two kids, because she is very big.

The new kid on the block.
Getting a drink from mother.

The kids playing with the kid.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Why Do I Compare, My self With Others?

Before I became a Christian I would often compare myself with others trying to find someone who seemed to be worse then myself trying to make myself look better. It never works and Paul describes how pointless this is in 2 Cor 10: 12 "Not that we dare to classify or compare ourselves with some of those who are commending themselves. But when they measure themselves by one another and compare themselves with one another they are without understanding." Before I became a Christian I was in the habit of comparing and when I became a Christian this was a habit I did not brake. I would compare myself to other Christians and think that I was just as "spiritual" as they were and thus I was ok, I didn't need to strive any harder to become more like Jesus. I don't know how spiritual someone is but I do know that Jesus has said "Be ye Holy as I am Holy" this is a high calling, I know I am not there yet, but it is something that I must pursue if I am going to take the name Christian.

I have recently watched a message on You Tube and it really challenged me in this area as well as others. I would strongly recommend you taking the time to watch this. It is one hour long but it is definitely worth the hour please watch it. While watching this, the man who was speaking was pointing out how wrong comparing myself with others is. I wanted to look better and more important, but that is the opposite of what Christ wants for me. He wants others to see less of me and more of Him. As John the Apostle would say "I must decrease and He must increase." I must not compare myself to others but to Christ. I am to imitate Him or follow Him, Eph 5:1,2 " Therefore be imitators of God as beloved children. And walk in love as Christ loved us and gave Himself for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God." I cannot compare myself to others in the body of Christ because they have different task and they are going to be different from what Christ wants me to be. As I keep my eyes on Him I will become the person He wants me to be.

It has been another busy week. James and I went up and helped in Tepic from Monday till Thursday. We helped with painting steel doors and walls, plumbing for a sink and pressure pump, installing lights, replacing ceiling tiles and other random jobs. There were about four other men there working as well. As they say many hands make light work.

Here James is replacing a ceiling tile. Our scaffold wasn't high enough so we had to tie a ladder on to the side of the scaffold to get up there. Don't try this at home.

Jason Wahl painting

James painting the largest door and so glad that he finally figured out how to use the sprayer properly so that it doesn't get paint all over.

Here the outside is all freshly painted and finished. This new building is right along side their other building. It is for their kitchen and dinning area.

Nice big kitchen and serving window.

Here James and I are enjoying our work just a little to much. We had to laugh or we would have cried, these light fixtures weren't the best quality which made them quite frustrating to install.

All the lights finally installed

It had been a while since the whole family here had gone out somewhere together just to have fun, so Saturday we all took the afternoon and went for a hike. Back in January and February of this year I was down here and James and I had gone to this water fall a couple of times and Nelly had seen lots of pictures and seen video of this place but had never been there in person and she wanted to see it. So with three adults and four kids we set out. First we drove for about half an hour on these very rough back country "roads" and then once we had driven as far as the van could go we had to walk the last three quarters of a kilometer into the falls. James and I as I said had done it before by ourselves but it proved to be a little more difficult with some little boys on our shoulders. Nelly was carrying Natalia as well and we had to help Levi through many places but he was a real trooper and did a great job.

The beginning of our hike.

Natalia just hanging on for the ride

A break for a family picture Andrew should have been in the picture too, but he was on my shoulders.

A beautiful spot along the way.

Every now and then we had to stop and pass the kids one by one through a difficult part we couldn't climb through with them on us. This was right after one of those places. Andrew, Simon, Levi and Natalia

I am cooling Natalia's feet down. The water was quite cool and little cooler then she preferred

Natalia wasn't quite sure what to think of me when I first arrived, but she is getting usto me and lets me hold here sometimes now, which is nice.

We all made it with no injuries maybe a few scratches though. James and Nelly with their family.

This is the place we set out to see. It is a very nice place tucked away back in the rocks that very few people know about.

The blurr in the middle of the picture is me jumping.

Simon doing a little exploring.

"Um excuse me this is harder then it looks" It seems Natalia and I have something in common, a love for rock climbing.

This was Andrew's perch for the trip he got scared a few times while up on my shoulders but over all he didn't think the hike was all that hard and said he wanted to do it again.

Since I had carried him on my shoulder most of the trip close to the end I told him he had to carry me on his shoulders.

James thought it was only fair if Simon would do the same for him.

James took this picture of me holding Natalia just before we left.

After our hike we were all tired and hungry so we went into Tepic because we had to get a few more supplies that we needed for the burger stand that we are still working on. I will post more pictures of it soon. We went to this nice little Taco place to get rid of our hunger and it worked really well and we enjoy ourselves while doing it.

These are real tacos my friends and a couple quesadillas. No they don't taste like Taco Bell, they taste much better.

There is a conference in Tepic all day tomorrow. We will be going up in the morning and taking many of the Christians and their friends up with us. We are hoping that it will be beneficial for all who attend. I am hoping that I will be able to understand a little of what is said too.

Tuesday all the missionaries are getting together for American Thanksgiving. Boy I am hitting it just right I got to celebrate Canadian Thanksgiving and now I get to enjoy another Turkey dinner here as well. I am blessed.

I would like to ask special prayer for a friend of mine back home. Her name is Daisy she is an elderly widow and God has allowed me to know here and she has been a great encouragement and a really prayer warrior for me. She has been living on here own and here eye site has been getting quite poor lately and a week ago last Saturday she fell down the stairs at her house and broke her pelvis. I just got off the phone from speaking with her. She doesn't think she will be able to go back and live by herself anymore. She is a dear Christian and she said that she would have been just fine if God had taken her home when she fell, but she says that God must still have a work for me to do here. Please pray that she would know what it is that God still has for her to do and that as she recovers some that she would be able to find a nursing home to go to. Thanks so much for your prayers, she says there is nothing that gives her more joy then to know that someone is praying for her.