Monday, September 19, 2011


Hey, friends! Chris here, we’re just back from San Vicente, lot’s of good things, lot’s of challenges…

Our ‘2 weeks per month down in San Vicente’ is in full swing… and our resolve to do that really got tested this last trip.

On a good day, the 130-mile trip from our house to the Village takes 3 ½ hours. The big-normal reasons are [1] getting thru Tijuana, then Ensenada/Mandedero and the snarled Mexican traffic, then [2] passing thru 3 mountain ranges, two low-level and one going from sea level to 4000 feet, then down.

Well, Wed the 14th was the ride to test our resolve… almost 6 hours, almost a dozen accidents… I now have a little idea what it felt like for Jacob to wrestle with the Angel in Genesis 32…

Started out with attempting to cross into Mexico at the San Ysidro border. Well, there was a major construction accident RIGHT THAT MOMENT. They closed the border for an hour. Then the snarled attempt to get thru. THEN the high-speed chase of some criminal into Mexico, with 10 San Diego police cruisers blasting by [we were the 10th car in line, the chase went right by us!]. THAT closed the border for another half hour.

Finally, into Mexico, to find the foolish criminal crashed into a road divider, and 50 Mexican cops with a closed ramp. SO into Tijuana proper… to find the major street to go south closed off… re-routed into the south part of the city… FINALLY on our way south, to Rosarito…

Then the stop at the ‘rest rooms’ station… what! Under construction? The next one… same thing… the last one before the long road to Ensenada… closed.

We’re starting to smell a plot here.

Got to Ensenada, found an open bathroom (yes!), got thru Ensenada OK, then up into the mountains towards San Vicente…

Well, the Mex government is doing construction on the ONLY road between Ensenada and Los Cabos (Mex 1). San Vicente sits right on the Mex 1. The construction is a good thing, this has been a narrow, barely-kept road for a long time, and a lot of truck traffic.
[Ref: the San Quintin valley, of which San Vicente sits on the northern rim, is ‘the vegetable basket’ of Mexico. If you are reading this and ever eaten a store-bought strawberry or store-bought strawberry jam in the US, 95% probability it came from the Valley].

Guess where the construction has finally reached? The narrow passes through the mountains. It’s now filled with gravel by-passes winding back-and-forth around the construction bits, up steep inclines, then down-hill. Huge semi-trucks (the ones that bring the vegetables and fruits out for market) riding right up our tail, impatient, 20 of us crunching thru the trails…

It took us SIX hours to get to San Vicente. Lori admitted that if she was driving, she would still be back in Tijuana crying.

Well, we struggled through. “I’m not letting go until YOU bless me, God!!”

We made it by Grace and Mercy and God’s exceptional Presence… and yes, He blessed us. Driving over the hill and seeing the Village… ahhh! Welcome sight!

Thanks for praying with us, you supporters and prayer warriors!!

[ps, the trip back was significantly better… ]

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Some pics

OK, a couple of pics... Lori and I in San Vicente (very nice, traditional Mexican church in background) AND one of the COOL ladies handbags one of Lori's 'women' are making for sale...

Living Mexican again

6Sept Chris here, short report on our last trip to San Vicente.

We've begun to strike out into some new areas of ministry and work with the people of the village. Our HOPE is to have a rented facility in SVF by spring, so we spent some time looking into rental property there. That will probably mean a sparse house in a neighborhood, concrete floor, three running taps into the building (shower, toilet and one spicket) and moderately dependable electricity. There are some prospects...

This trip, we stayed at Iglesia Nazareno de San Vicente. We were blessed to stay in the 'cuna', the nursery. Tile floors, and a flush toilet in the bathroom. We camped out on inflatable mattresses. We ate 'camping meals' from our hotpot and cooler.

Pastor Jose Luis and Pastora Marta had us join them for some meals. Great times of fellowship.

We (me 75%, Lori 25%) gave the Wednesday night message. It was 'mission night', and Pastor asked us at 4pm to share. Big rule of Mexico mission work is you always have to be ready to preach a 30 minute message at ANY church service you attend as a missionary: I have some notes written in the front of my Bible, but that night was alot of 'fresh bread from the Word' I had dug out that morning in my devotions and reading of John Piper's "Let the Nations Be Glad!". Lori only did 25% because she had spent her day dealing with a rat situation (see previous blog)... and yes, all in Spanish!!!

About 75% of our week was totally in Spanish. Makes for easier week, not having to go back-and-forth and stay in one language most of the time.

Saturday, there was a wedding of a couple we know well. What a joy to see these two come together in holy matrimony. The 5pm wedding had the bride walking down the aisle at 615pm, and nobody was flustered. The wedding feast was 'birria de borrego' (goat cooked in a rich tomatoe and chile sause)... ohhhhhhh, what a feast!!

It was hot, so it took awhile to cool off after the sun set. Ahh, the smell of burning garbage as the sun sets in the west...

Lori did alot with her 'sewing women'. I continued to work on helping to build the music ministry and worship group, and had 9 guitar student lessons, and spent a great deal of time encouraging some worship leaders.

Not too many pictures this trip.

Back soon! Chris

Oh, rats! Got poop? Some San Vicente stories

Hey, all! Chris here, just a few funny bits from our last week down in the Village (San Vicente Ferrer).

First, I helping out the Sunday worship band at Iglesia Nazareno San Vicente, playing bass guitar, and could NOT look out at the congregation... why?? Well, there was this kid in the front row, wearing a Tshirt that said "GOT POOP?"... !! It was probably donated from the US and he/his mom does not know what that means (common language-unaware problem)... but I wanted to break out and laugh...

That was the easy one... here's the tough bit.

Shortly after we arrived, Lori went down to the one mission Base to work on her sewing stuff and get ready for her women to come the next day. What does she find in the cabinet?? A dead rat that had been there a few days and was turning... well, it was not pretty! [NO, we did NOT take a picture... too gross...!!]. SO, we spent a bit cleaning that up/disposing of the remains/sorting thru items affected... and Lori spent the rest of the week dealing with the after-math! Many sewing supplies had to be thrown out...

[BTW, don't worry, we used full Bio-hazard techniques to deal with the issue]

We use a happy picture to lighten things up a bit.

You should be glad that SMELLS can't be posted (yet) on Blogs, because Lori thought out loud that y'all should get a whiff, just to know what she had to deal with.

Thought you would all dig that.