Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Living skills at the San Vicente house 29Nov

BLOG 29 Nov

Living skills at the San Vicente house

San Vicente 28Nov
Hey! Chris here. Well, I’ve been stuck in our house for a few days… sick, fever, coughing colours, unable to be out in the community.

Lori’s been busy with her women’s groups, doing many different sewing projects and helping to launch ‘front room businesses’ in the homes of women.

Being all stuck ‘at home’, I thought I’d put up a little picture of some of the living skills to be able to ‘make it’ in our San Vicente house.

Actually, it’s a bit like rough-it camping (a necessary missionary skill):

^^Cannot drink the tap water, not purified.
^^Drink only water BOUGHT from a purification plant, blue bottles ‘only’. Water filter purity checked by gov’t monthly (posted results).
^^Water bottle in the corner, on a spicket-stand.
^^Only one sink with (only cold) running water. Wash hands frequently.
^^Toilet flushes to a drain field, no TP to be flushed down. TP in trash. Trash to refuse pit daily to be burned.
^^Two buckets full in shower stall to flush toilets after dark. Village water (comes from well pump) goes out at dark, back at dawn.
^^Shower in the shower house. Warm water only during the day, has a solar panel. May obtain some warm water in evening to help wash dishes.
^^No sink, use dishpans. Dash of bleach in the rinse water (be sure to have apron on! Splashes can make for clothing spots!). Dishes done immediately after meal to reduce critters from coming for the left-overs.
^^Hot water via ‘hotpot’ for coffee/tea. Coffee is ‘instant’… sit down and have a cup!
^^Cooking via two plug-in hot-plate burners. Make sure to ‘power-down’ other lights in the house when cooking, only one electrical circuit!
^^Portable tables and plastic chairs can’t hold too much weight. Fill soup to ¾ level to avoid spills when tables shake.
^^House has 4 electrical outlets, light socket in each room with pull-cord.
^^Close up the windows mid-day to hold in a bit of the heat: plywood ceiling is the roof (rolled tar-paper over that) and it’s going to be a clear night tonight, meaning no clouds to hold in the desert heat, will get close to freezing here in Nov by 2am.
^^Don’t let the door sit open, creatures (four-legged, six-legged, winged, stingers and teeth included) will be glad to visit.
^^Food stored in the pantry (canned), fresh in the portable cooler. We’re deciding about getting a refridge soon, needs to be big enough to detract from being robbed.
^^Break-ins and robberies are a game-sport here in the Village, with zero chance of recovery. Know that everything left in the house when unoccupied is at risk.
^^We’re enjoying the bed-frame/platform constructed for our inflatable Queen mattress. Looking at getting a real mattress down here. Sleeping bag as quilt, it’s cold!
^^Hey! Muddy boots at the door! Yep, walk anywhere outside and they get pretty caked up!
^^No walking off the sidewalks after dark. Lot’s of scorpions and rattle-snakes around.

Lori told me to add that it’s a bit better than rustic camping: we have a flush toilet indoors, so no trekking out into the cold outside for the honeypit house…

[I can see it now… some of you are soooo like“I wanna be there!”… others of you are, “No Way!”]

Gotta go, time for scrubbing up the pots and pans…

Your bro, Chris

Friday, November 25, 2011

Day of Giving Thanks (without Black Friday) in Mexico

25 Nov
We celebrated a Day of Giving Thanks with the Naz church here on Wed nite... 3 1/2 hour service of families getting up and expressing gratitude to GOD for all HE has done in the last year. Then we all shared a turkey and dressing feast.

Yes, I miss the 'usual' Thanksgiving traditions in the US... cornocopea and images of pilgrims and East-coast indians sharing food...
BUT I will say celebrating a 'Day of Giving Thanks' without a million blaring 'Black Friday' ads trying to appeal to my base nature (buy, buy, buy, have, have, have, get, get, get...)...
NOT having any of that here in Mexico is WAY past refreshing!!

I'm glad to trade the Black Friday mud for muddy cow-paths to walk in... besides, scraping shoes has never been so fun!!

AND hearing the 'glory stories' from these grateful people is nothing less than inspiring.

Oh... in case you are wondering, the STUFFING the women of the church came up with may have been one of the top stuffings I have ever had... Lori agreed...

your bro, Chris

MudMudMud... 25Nov

25Nov in San Vicente

OK, it's not as bad as the picture... but regular rain in Baja has meant all the cow-path roads here are mud-chutes... a little rain makes for alot of mud in the Village...

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

OK, WHERE is San Vicente (the Village we're working in)?

Hey, y'all
Just had 2 recent conversations where the folks were having a hard time figuring out where the Village of San Vicente was located...
San Vicente is a village approx 130 miles south of the US-Mex border, directly south of San Diego CA (US) and Tijuana, Mexico.
It takes us about 3 1/2 to 4 hours to travel that distance because of having to drive through 2 major Mexican towns (Tijuana, Ensenada) AND travel over 3 mountain ranges.
San Vicente sits on the northern 'lip' of the San Quintin valley, also known as Mexico's 'vegetable basket'.
More to come...

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Oh, to be living in Mexico again... 9Nov

Hey Y'all, Chris in the Village
Not much time, banging out a quick blog outside the Pastor's house after a stellar time of worship and adoration of our KING here at the Nazarene church. (Don't tell, but this Nazarene church makes most Vineyard churches look like they are asleep...)
We arrived at our new/rented place last night and settled in... YEAH! We're living in MEXICO again!!! My prayer time this morning was off the charts with JOY....

For the last few years, we've done alot of going back-and-forth, staying with alot of very kind people... but now we have a place of our own, and this is going to be a long-term are of relationships and ministry.


Pictures soon
your bro, CHRIS

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Softening the wait

Sometimes communications just get mixed up. During the mobile dental clinic at la Clinica El Buen Pastor in San Vicente in October there was confusion that resulted in patients waiting for hours to be seen. As darkness fell so did the temperature. So, to soften the hearts of those waiting, I pulled out a bag of handmade hats and gloves. The kids received their head covering first and then I made sure there were enough for all the adults in the crowd. Yeah! one extra. Now that is cutting it close. Everyone was so appreciative. Thanks to all my hat makers out there.

A Pillowcase of Many Colors Oct 2011

This young boy was so excited to join the sewing class. He quickly took to the sewing machine, after all he already has conquered the pedal skills by driving a car around town. No he doesn't have a license nor is he old enough to have one. Ni modo. (No bother). He had no problem choosing the fabric to make his first project, a pillowcase. He told me how much he loves the story of Joseph and how the colorful fabric reminded him of Joseph's coat of many colors. So, much fun was had that the next day he returned to sew another pillowcase for a friend.

Oct 2011 sewing blankets

The temps are falling into the 40's during the nights in San Vicente. With the crispness of fall comes the need for more blankets on the beds. Most homes are made of wood or cement block but lack insulation and have no heat source. It's the perfect time of the year to add blanket making to the sewing class. Amelia (pictured with me) was thrilled to show off her new bed covering at the end of the week's class. It won't be long and night time temps will be in the low 30's, sometimes even the 20's. Buuuuurrrrrr! Time to cuddle under the new blankets.


Just a word of thanks to all who came out to the Panera times, those who hosted me, those who fed and watered me (really well... I think I gained a few pounds in MI!)...