Last weekend I was invited to Tuxtla, Gutierrez, in Chiapas, a state in the Southern part of Mexico. I went to teach a class at a Missions School and also to speak at a youth camp. It was a fun experience. I had never been to Chiapas before, so I enjoyed learning a lot about this region of Mexico.
I had a chance to meet Julio, a youth pastor who writes about youth ministry on his blog “Monologos de Julito.” I have been following his blog for a while now since I started ministeriojuvenil.com, and he is one of the few who publishes regularly on youth ministry in Spanish.
I had a great time speaking to his youth group about how they need to be God’s representatives in their local school. I shared about Esther and her decision to do what she was supposed to do even though it wasn’t easy, and the result was important for all of history.
I was off the grid for most of last week, enjoying nature and bugs in a cabin in a place called “La Reforma” in Southern Mexico.
Juan, one of the graduates from the Bachelor’s program in Mexico City, invited me to speak at the youth camp for his local church. It was in a very mountainous region of Oaxaca an hour and a half down the curviest dirt and rock path I’ve ever been on.
The view from the cabins (above) and the waterfall were worth the ride, and the time I spent with the youth group from the youth group “H2O” was well worth the investment of time and energy for the trip.
I spoke everyday in the morning session about the importance of sharing their faith with their friends, and I taught them how to share their faith in a workshop as well. The afternoons were filled with trips to the waterfall and other fun activities.
This weekend Dennis took a trip to Coatzacoalcos, Veracruz, to teach the day long seminary “El Gran Viaje.” This is the same conference that he taught in Veracruz earlier this month. It was a quick trip from Friday to Sunday, and he used all of his time there to talk about youth ministry.
On Friday evening, we invited the local church pastors to a meeting to talk about what is happening with the young people of the region. They talked about many issues, and it was a great time of talking about what the church can do to better minister to young people and their families. Many of these pastors came on Saturday to the training.
I took a quick trip to Oaxaca this past weekend to teach the final class in the certificate program there. I left early Friday morning, taught that evening, all day on Saturday, quickly visited the zocalo (downtown square), and then came back to Mexico City.
I had a great time with the students there. We finished up their year long program and are planning to have a graduation ceremony something in August or September (after they turn in their final homework).
We have an informal one day youth ministry training seminar called “El Gran Viaje.” We had been invited to teach it last week in Veracruz, Mexico, which is about 5 hours from Mexico City.
Since Veracruz is situated on the Gulf of Mexico, we decided to go as a family. Janell and Nathan and I had been there about 7 years ago, so it was time to go back.
We had a great turnout for the conference on Saturday in which I taught the Biblical philosophy of youth ministry that we use at Youth Ministry International. It was a great time of teaching and fellowship with youth leaders from all over the State of Veracruz.
The couple who invited us to Veracruz, Misael and Cindy, are feeling called to study youth ministry at the Seminary in Mexico City, so it was good to spend time with them and talk about what God is doing in their lives.
After the conference on Saturday, we used Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday for vacation. We visited the beach, the aquarium (which is the largest in Latin America), and the pool. The kids loved it. It’s really fun to get to minister and spend time together as a family.
Ever since last July when Josue and Kareny graduated, we have been thinking and praying and planning about opening a Certificate level course in Monterrey. Since they are from this city with 4 million inhabitants, we thought it would be a great fit, and they have been working tirelessly to help us partner with the Baptist Institute that is there. They even taught an informal training seminar there last December.
Everything seems to be in place. After a few months of negotiating, we have reached an agreement with the Institute, and it appears that classes will start in April of this year.
Please pray that registration will go well and many of the youth leaders in Monterrey will be able to receive the training they are seeking in order to better serve the families of this important Mexican region.d