We celebrated Mexican Independence Day with the Seminary Director’s church. It was a fun night full of Mexican history (we failed miserably at the trivia questions…but so did everyone else), delicious food, music, games, and fun.
Last Saturday we celebrated the 4th graduation of youth ministry students at the Mexican Baptist Theological Seminary. Juan Roman Jacinto graduated with his Bachelor’s degree in youth ministry. He also received a YMI certification, meaning that he has proven that he can put into practice what he has learned in the classroom. Juan will be opening a diploma in youth ministry extension on the coast of Oaxaca starting in August.
We also graduated our first 3 graduates with a diploma in youth ministry. These three have taken 9 youth ministry courses on Saturday mornings and completed the coursework necessary to receive a certificate, or diploma in youth ministry. They are all very active in their local church youth ministries and in the lives of young people throughout the week. This program was started two years ago to satisfy the needs of those who cannot attend Seminary classes full time but need youth ministry training.
The graduation at the Seminary was a great time for our family. We enjoyed being able to participate in the entire thing, now that we live directly on campus. The boys were able to play with their friends and we stayed for the banquet. We are very proud of all the graduates from the Seminary (there were 6 overall bachelor’s degree students). Many of them have taken youth ministry classes as electives and have become our friends. We will be sad to see them go, but we know that God has great things in store for them in their ministries.
On Tuesday, June 14, we woke up early in the morning, got a van from Grace Bible Church to the Tampa airport, and checked our 8 suitcases, baby carseat, and stroller. Then we went through security with everyone and all of our carry on luggage. We looked like a traveling circus! Then we got on the plane to Ft. Lauderdale, and after a brief layover (we had about 10 minutes to get on our plane to Mexico), we were off to Toluca.
We landed in Toluca, and then we had to lug everyone onto a shuttle because the plane didn’t land at an actual gate. After what seemed like forever in the immigration line, we finally were reunited with all of our luggage we had checked (whew). In customs, they asked if all of the clothes we had brought was for us. Janell and I looked at each other and smiled, knowing how many clothes three kids go through in a week. We got the okay to leave, and were very happy to see our friends who were going to pick us up and drive us the hour it takes to get from Toluca to our house.
As we were loading all of our things in the van, Nathan was suddenly nauseous. After doing what he needed to do all over the sidewalk, we were off in the van. After about twenty minutes, we were stopped by a policeman asking us why we had so many bags and what we do in Mexico. While explaining what we do, I had to warn him that Nathan was sick and to be careful not to stand too close. He was satisfied with our answers and didn’t ask for any money or anything, so we continued on. Arriving in Mexico City, we were welcomed by the everyday occurrence of traffic, but we finally made it home.
We topped off the day by eating tacos from our favorite taco place. Nathan wasn’t sick anymore, and we were all happy. Shiloh even liked her first taste of real Mexican tacos.
Thanks for praying for our trip. Please keep praying for us. This Saturday is graduation at the Seminary. We will be celebrating the graduation of 3 diploma students and one bachelor’s degree student. We’ll post pictures next week.
(Photo by xlibber on flickr)
Remember those old commercials for Michelin tires that ended with the phrase, “Because so much is riding on your tires“? It’s true, right? The tires on your car are important for your safety.
Wednesday I drove over 300 miles in our van, and I noticed that it was shaking much more than it should be. Today I decided to really check it out. The rear passenger tire had parts of the steel sticking out of it. It was really bad. I can’t believe I had driven 300 miles on it like that just Wednesday. I even crossed the Skyway bridge. I’m thankful for God’s protection.
I very well could have had a blowout and flipped the van. Thank God that He protects us despite our ignorance. Needless to say we got a new tire today. We’ll be traveling about an hour and a half away on Sunday to preach at First Baptist Church Oxford. Please pray for our family as we travel.
(Photo by Mykl Roventine on flickr)
We’ve been in the USA since June 2010. Our mission organization, Youth Ministry International, likes for us to return to our home culture in order to reconnect with our families and friends. It’s amazing what some time back in your home culture will do to help you in your effectiveness on the mission field.
What are you doing in the USA?
The purpose for our trip was basically four-fold. 1) Shiloh was due in August; 2) Nathan was going to Kindergarten; 3) I needed to finish my last 5 Master’s classes on campus at CIU; 4) We needed to raise the needed support to continue the work in Latin America. Here’s how we’re doing on those goals:
- Shiloh was born. Yay! Our lives have changed once again. A little girl in the house is quite the contrast to the two little boys.
- Nathan is enjoying Kindergarten. He’s learning like crazy. I can’t believe he’s reading and writing as much as he is already.
- I have one last final draft of a project to turn in. I will graduate in May (as long as I pass this last class).
- We have only 38% of the monthly support goal to raise in order to go back.
When will you go back?
Nathan finishes Kindergarten at the end of May, so we would love to be heading back to Mexico by the beginning of June. We’d like to be there during the summer to get re-oriented to the culture before he goes to first grade and classes at the Seminary start again in August.
We still have support to raise, which is a huge job. We are meeting with our friends as much as possible to try to build up our partnership team before we leave to go back to Mexico. Please pray that we will be led to those who want to be a part of reaching the almost half a billion young people in Latin America (maybe you’re one of them…we’ll be in touch).
Three of our graduates in Cuba are beginning to train 7 students from Bolivia and one student from Ecuador in youth ministry. They will be teaching them the youth ministry courses as well as those Cuban students who they have in their classes. The idea is that these students will go back to their countries and train others in youth ministry.
The picture is of Randy and Pancho with the Bolivian students. The girl in the glasses on the right is from Ecuador.
Pancho expresses the idea of the training by saying, “They approached us like the man from Macedonia, saying, ‘Come. Help us’.” So that is what they are doing. A big factor in the decision to train them is their expression of the great need there is in their country for youth ministry training.
I’m excited about what this is going to lead to in the future.