Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Happy birthday, Sergio

Sergio turned 15 yesterday. In Mexico the GIRLS usually have a big celebration, but what about the BOYS!? Well, Sergio's family decided to have a small party, inviting his and his parents' special friends! And, I guess I'm one of those! Here's Sergio with his sisters Jasmin and Sarai. Jasmin is in her third year of college, Sarai is in high school.

Yes, young people in Mexico can be just as goofy as kids in the States! While we adults sat in "our corner" telling all our cures for all ills (you probably wouldn't believe some of what I learned! I certainly don't!!), the young people sat in "their corner" enjoying each other's company.

It was a fun party, lasting till almost midnight, when Bethie called to see if I was OK! I guess I was, just didn't realize how late it was!

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Birthdays come and go

On my birthday Bethie, Cameron and I went out for breakfast to a great little restaurant near our house. Chicken chilaquiles and orange juice, along with a cup of luscious hot chocolate was what we ordered.

Here's what Cameron ordered! Isn't every day you can have a milkshake for breakfast! Delicious!

Ivonne and Rosy brought a beautiful and delicious tart to my desk to celebrate my birthday! We all enjoyed it!

Sunday, June 14, 2009


Different churches do communion different. Ours is definitely different. Those beautiful little communion cups that "most" churches use? Well, I'm sure they're available somewhere here in Mexico, but San Juan isn't one of those places! So, we buy little cups at the market, seen above - about 3 M&Ms would fit in the cup. We do have a communion set and use it, all except for the piece for the cups to fit into, because these cups don't fit! And today the "bread" was little crackers, shaped like little canoes, sometimes we have broken crackers, bread, etc. Whatever the person in charge that month was able to get.

And the "wine". No, we don't use real wine. Today we used Delaware Punch! I couldn't find grape juice at the last minute (why do I always wait till the last minute???), so Delaware worked great. It poured really nice - I might use it again when my next turn comes around in about 10 months!

I of course didn't think to take a picture of the communion table, but it shows up here. See the Delaware Punch? I put out extra cups and the Delaware in case we ran out, which we didn't today. I let Odalis and Alejandro, two of the cutest kids in our church, take home the leftover Delaware Punch! They were glad to help me out!

I actually took this picture of our great worship team - they all do such a great job! Today there were no guitars, just our faithful electronic "Gloria."

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

The Healing Quilt

I highly recommend this book which focuses in on breast cancer and the need for a support group of friends and family who truly care and seek to do everything possible to find a cure as well as support their loved ones who suffer this devastating disease. Check it out!


Last weekend I flew from Puerto Vallarta to Puebla. That in itself was quite an adventure! Puebla brought back many wonderful memories of our years living there. I stayed with Lupita Amescua and her daughter Maritha (pronounced Marita) and from my window this is what I saw! The beautiful mountains of Puebla! Popocatepetl - or Popo - and...

Ixtaccihuatl - or Ictzi - - or the Sleeping Lady - I don't know if I spelled it right, but you'll never know, will you??

I do miss those snowcapped mountains - there's nothing like them here in San Juan!

One evening after the Cena de Gala at the seminary celebration, my hostess offered to take a gal home to Cholula. This picture is of the church which is on top of a pyramid. For those who have seen it, it's a beautiful sight - this picture doesn't even do it 1% of justice! I had never before been to Cholula at night . It is a university town and every bar and disco was open and alive and LOUD, young people walking all over the streets ignoring the cars. Even though my hostess is a young person herself (well, 35 is young isn't it??), she didn't enjoy the drive at all! But the lights of the city were beautiful in spite of the obnoxious human traffic.
The celebration in Puebla was two-fold. We were celebrating Puebla Bible Seminary's 50th anniversary as well as what God is doing through FAMEX (the missions agency here in Mexico). We had quite a number of workshops - I wanted to go to ALL of them, but just got in on three! Jack O'Brien spoke on the History of missions and it was excellent and very enlightening. It was SO NICE to see Jack and Julie again!

René Zapata preached twice and both times it was just what we needed! What a challenge, not just to the grads, but to all of us! I've known René for many many years. He's an incredible speaker and writer and God continues using him greatly.

Terry Vanderwerf did an incredible job leading the orchestra and Coro Unido (United Choir). This choir, which will grow to over 200 voices by Christmas, will perform the Christmas Program that mesmerizes the city of Puebla almost every Christmas.

Becky (Baron) Muñoz sang for us during the Cena de Gala. She has a beautiful voice and wonderful presence. She also, along with two other ladies, led one of the workshops which I enjoyed thoroughly.

The worship team (up on the platform) did a beautiful job leading us in worship songs all weekend. What incredible musicians! We enjoyed the orchestra at the Cena de Gala as well as at graduation. There was also a student orchestra at the graduation, which did a beautiful job, all led by Terry and one of his students (at least I'm assuming he's a student of Terry's!).
Some of you will remember Juan. Here he is with his wife. He worked in maintenance at the seminary when we lived in Puebla. Ken helped him with some financial issues in his life. His daughter was in the orchestra on Saturday and Juan was popping his buttons, he was so proud! Oh, well, if he'd HAD buttons they would have been popping!

Carlos Balderas and his wife Elsy (who is a sweetheart!) The three children are theirs - I don't know who the young man is! Carlos received his master's degree in Pastoral snd Leadership studies from the seminary last Saturday. He is the Academic Director at the seminary.

Luis Trujillo and Ethel - another sweetheart! Ethel and Elsy are sisters - can you tell?? Luis received his master's degree in Missionology (is that how you say it?) His many duties at the seminary include teaching.

Teresa - or Tere - is beloved of everyone at the seminary. I spent quite a bit of time with her. It was so much fun to just visit and watch her interaction with EVERYONE - graduates of many years ago, recent grads, present students, professors, missionaries, me! We all love Tere! Her son Felipe was also there - he was in the Coro Unido (United Choir) looking very serious and handsome!


A couple weeks ago Alan and Beth invited me to join them on vacation in Puerto Vallarta. What a fun trip! I'd never been before, so it was all new and exciting! On our way we passed through the town of Tequila! In the center of town was this man chopping at the heart of the agave plants which are used to make the tequila.

Lots of little stores sold - you guessed it! Tequila! And as you can see, it wasn't always commercially bottled! The juice in those jars USED to be apple, but not anymore!

Field after field after field of the agave plants. It was amazing!

We caught sight of a truckload of the hearts of the agave plant - called piña (pineapple). Looks like there's gonna be a lot of tequila somewhere in a few days!

This store was quite impressive with all the "tequila" products! No, we didn't stop!
The waves at the Vallarta beach were nice, not too big, not too little. I got knocked down a couple times as did the rest of the gang, but we survived! I personally prefer the crystal clear water of the pools, but the ocean is fun for a little while!

Those body boards were tons of fun!

Yes, taken from my window! You can't just SWIM on vacation! You've gotta read at least 9 books! Some better than others, but all helping to have a relaxing time!

The beach was beautiful at Vallarta. There were some rocks to aggravate our feet, but it was mostly smooth beautiful sand. And lots of shade in which to read a good book!
This past week we were in Puerto Vallarta. Tons of fun! As you can see by Cameron's expression, the shrimp were delicious too!

I tried the fish tacos, which were very good, but frankly, I wouldn't order them again! Two were good, I was done by the third! They contained grilled fish, chopped cabbage, cilantro, a cucumber sauce (very yummy), and a dark spicy sauce on top which was finger lickiin' good. I'd never heard tell of fish tacos before! Either I'm not in the know, or it's a new invention!! Certainly nothing like the fish soup Ken used to love!

The Mahi Mahi was the best offering on the menu! Wow! Was it good! Accompanied by beans and rice. And of course all the tortillas you could eat! Dayton stuffed himself on tortillas - his all-time favorite!

We stayed in a "Mexican" hotel rather than a "gringo" one. It wasn't five star (2 1/2), but was good enough for us, very comfortable, good breakfast, beautiful pools, very nice beach, a very friendly and helpful staff and the other guests finally spoke to us after they realized that these "gringos' actually spoke Spanish!

The only snapshot with me in it! We took a drive around the beautiful bay - incredible scenery - incredible curves and hills too! Very beautiful.