Sunday, December 29, 2013

Travel between our US home and our Mexican project just became VERY difficult... Dec 29 2013

Sunday Dec 29

SO, it looks like the combined actions of continuous earthquakes (San Andreas fault runs right there into the Pacific ocean) and rains have caused an enormous stretch of Mexican Highway we have depended on for 20 years to crack, crumble and slide into the Pacific Ocean.

Here is a link to the story:

What this means is a 2-6 hour additional travel time down to San Vicente and back. Using the previous route was a 4-5 hour trip; given the 3 mountain ranges, 2 major and 2 minor Mexican city with traffic.
Now we will have to deal with another mountain range that lies between the Border and Ensenada... plus who knows how the loss of this major artery will affect the Baja norte movement of people, traffic and necessary commerce... ??

This should be fun... yeah, this used to be a road, note the edge of the coast on the left

Sunday, December 1, 2013


It’s wonderful to continue to receive invitations to share health classes in the kindergarten in San Vicente. So, one of the teachings from the “Carnival of Health”, the “Nutrition Train” was packed up and taken to six kindergarten classes during November. What a commotion as all the students moved around the classroom during the skit while learning about food groups. Even the shiest ones are drawn into the non-stop activity. I especially like when the teachers reinforce what they are currently teaching the kids. One teacher used the lesson to focus on the beginning letter of each food group while others used the opportunity to strengthen the kids’ knowledge of colors. At the end of the day, it was rewarding to have the principle asking us to bring more educational “FUN” into the school. She suggested several topics that she would like developed and encouraged us to also create lessons that could be presented to the parents.
Pray the “Carnival of Health” educational program remains a way to not only instruct elementary aged kids in healthy behaviors, but to also grow a positive presence in the local. Please pray too, that we can respond to the principle’s request by carving out time to develop new materials that can bless the students and build stronger relationships with the teachers as well as parents.

Over 300 Heads Covered with Handmade Hats

This cute trio are just a few of the over 300 people of San Vicente who received hats during the last few weeks.
+The 150+ kindergarten students and teachers
+Over 75 kids at a local feeding program
+Over 75 sewing class participants and their children.
Thank you to all who knit and crochet all year to bless so many in Mexico during the winter season.

Saturday, November 30, 2013

Learning New Ways to Reach Out by Lori

One goal that Chris and I have is to disciple Christians here in San Vicente in reaching out to their neighbors. With that goal in mind, I gathered several of my Christian sewing students during Nov. to share how the community wide sewing classes could be used as a vehicle to launch new friendships and draw people into God’s kingdom. Each of them expressed that the importance of evangelism is stressed at church, but the specifics of “HOW” has eluded them. So, we spent some time talking about “friendship evangelism” and building new relationships outside of the church setting, being sensitive to the Lord’s leading, and looking for people who God is drawing to himself. I shared how wonderful it is for us to be able to work alongside of our Heavenly Father when He is working in people’s lives.  We closed with a time of prayer for the upcoming classes and asked the Lord to bring new people.

Four ladies accepted the responsibility of assisting me during the next week’s sewing classes with each lady committing to helping for a full day of morning and afternoon classes. Each took a few invites or posters with the task of connecting with new people.  Wow! The Lord answered our prayer with 13 brand new students just on Monday. Then word spread and before week’s end, 24 new students had come to learn how to sew by creating Christmas wreaths, stockings and table runners. Most of the new students had no experience with a sewing machine so it was wonderful to have a “helper” teaching the basics and sharing stories of going from no knowledge of sewing to having their very own sewing businesses. This was an encouragement to those who were struggling at mastering just sewing a straight line. But the real win was seeing my team of shy ladies reaching past their comfort zones in order to connect with new students and begin friendships. They sacrificed working on their own projects so that they could spend time ministering to the community at large. What a blessing they were. I’m looking forward to seeing new fruit during the coming months. Join us in praying that the seeds that were planted will have fallen on fertile soil.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Nighttime sewing projects by Lori

The nights in San Vicente can become quite long especially once fall comes around. There's no T.V. at our home and entertainment in the small community is VERY limited. A couple of evenings a week, there are church services, visiting friends or other ministry opportunities. Often there's prep to do for the following day like creating patterns or sewing up samples. But, sometimes I enjoy kicking back and doing a little sewing for our grandchildren. Hope they like their new treasures.

Friday, August 23, 2013


Siblings, Yazmin and Yoni were all smiles when they finished their bookbags just in time for the new school year. Aug. has become my yearly sewing course focused on creating organizational tools for school including bookbags, backpacks, and pencil cases. It is also a time when I have more newbies in the 10-12 age range. Yazmin, Yoni, and a neighbor that they invited did great with their first projects, started with hair scrunchies then onto their bookbags.

Monday, July 22, 2013

Electricity Support

Machine motors were whirling during my two weeks in Mexico during July. My calendar was filled with ladies coming and going all day to both cut out and sew new projects. Two of the ladies do not have electricity in their homes. So, when I'm in town they make the most of their time and my electricity to move forward on creating products to sell. It gets a little cozy in our house with two tables set up for cutting as well as 2-3 machines for sewing.

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Table of Honor

One never knows what you'll be asked to do. The plan was to sit in the crowd that had gathered to celebrate the graduation of three courses, tailoring, cake decorating, and hair styling. Five of my sewing students had completed their classes and I wanted to cheer their accomplishment. Upon arrival, the government official requested that I sit at the "Table of Honor" to accompany the instructor of the tailoring class being I have invested years of teaching the ladies to sew before they entered into the tailoring course. I thought, guess I can do that. Little did I know that the official, Ramon, would also ask each of the teachers to share in front of the group about their experience and about their students. I'm pretty comfortable speaking Spanish one-on-one or in a small group (if I have time to prep), but, just cold, not so much. Stretched again! It was wonderful to be able to hand out certificates to all the students and congratulate them on their perseverance. Glad I wore a skirt and collared top.

Graduation of Tailoring Class

How exciting to see 5 students from my sewing classes graduating from a first level tailoring class held in San Vicente. Several months ago, I became privy to a government program that taught the basic skills to sew simple clothes without the use of patterns. It has been my desire for the ladies involved in the micro enterprises to learn this but, wasn't in my knowledge base. After talking with the DIF (a program for families) official, I was able to secure spaces for the ladies in the 15 classes. Well, in June the completed their classes and received their certificates with lots of excitement. I'm so proud that they made the commitment and followed through.

Saturday, June 29, 2013

Fathers' Day Gift/ Tool Caddy

Fernando came by the sewing class each day after school to complete this Tool Caddy as a gift for his Dad for Fathers' Day 2013. He has attended several of my classes during the last year and is progressing nicely with his sewing skills. I enjoy having a few teenage boys learning to sew. Most of them do well as they have often learned to drive a car at a very young age. The skill of driving (pedal work) tends to give them a feel for running the sewing machines. Oh, by the way, the caddy pockets were created with discarded blue jeans. Thanks to all who donate their jeans for recycling.


The June sewing class week was an opportunity for the ladies to try their hands at sewing with knit fabrics to make T-shirts of all sizes and colors. Adriana and Reyna choose to sew tops for their husbands in celebration of Fathers' Day.

Others in the class sewed tops for themselves and/or for their children. Over 25 tops were created during the week long class.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Norma's Creativity

It's wonderful to see the creativity that my sewing students exhibit. Norma buys blue jean mini skirts at the local thrift store or swap meets that come weekly to San Vicente. Then she cuts up another skirt and sews it to the bottom of the mini skirt and adds accents with the left over fabric. Norma creates these one-of-a-kind skirts as gifts for family and friends. What a great up cycle.

Monday, April 29, 2013

Sewing Organizers

This past week's sewing  classes focused on sewing items for the bedroom including pillowcases and wall organizers. Most homes are not equipped with closets or other storage places and as such it's difficult to find places to stash one's treasures. Each session (one in the morning & another in the afternoon) had 6-8 students revving the sewing machines' motors creating accents for their bedroom area. I'm always trying to develop projects that are practical for their everyday home life. Feel free to share ideas that you might have.

New Student Excitement

Virginia was invited to join my sewing class this week by her neighbor Azusena. It was so cute to hear how excited she was when she sewed her very first seam on the scrunchie she made. Virginia was bubbling over on how straight her seam was. She expressed that many times she has tried to sew but, that always her seams were very crooked and as such she became discouraged. A few tips from me as well as an indispensable piece of blue tape did the trick and had her clipping along in no time. She was so happy to show off her bedroom organizer and coordinating pillowcases at week's end.

On the Edge of Town

The little house we rent in San Vicente is on the edge of town and overlooks the mostly dried up riverbed. It's wonderful to wake up in the morning to see and hear a large variety of wildlife. Can you see the partridge perched upon the old tree trunk? The valley leading to the riverbed is inundated with low brush in which the small birds love to hide from the circling hawk. There's lots of rabbits and the screech owl usually flies overhead just after dark.

Friday, March 15, 2013

Camelia gets her sewing machine

Camelia  grinned from ear to ear when I brought HER sewing machine to her home this past week. She has been hand sewing bookmarks to sell with the goal to get enough money together to purchase a reconditioned sewing machine complete with carrying case (a must to protect the machine from dust). She is so excited even though her house (made of 4 wooden garage doors) doesn't have electricity. She has trouble shot that issue by talking with her sister and a friend from church about using their homes with power when I'm not in town. The above pic is at our home in SV where I gave Camelia her first lessons on her own machine. This week she'll be sewing aprons on her very own. I'm so proud of all Camelia's efforts.
Sina recently joined the micro enterprise part of my ministry in San Vicente. The funny part is that she was the first person I asked "Would you like to have me help you start your own business with your new sewing skills?" Well, that was three years ago. At that time Sina's answer was "No thanks. I just want to sew for my family." What could I say. Times change. The construction work that her husband does has slowed considerably over the past year. So, Sina approached me about joining the group of ladies who are focused on having their own small sewing businesses. She expressed that she would like to be able to help with the family's expenses. Sina and her husband have three children ages 3-9. They hope to build a home on property that they have purchased on the south end of the town of San Vicente, Mexico. It's exciting to have Sina join the group as she has some accounting experience and she is VERY particular about the quality of products that she sews. She is pictured here with the newest addition to her product line. See the next blog for a closeup and description. 

Sina's purse close up

Thought you might enjoy a close up of Sina's new purse design. The bags are lined, have three pockets inside, a zipper closure and a decorative zipper pull.

Saturday, February 23, 2013

sewing pj pants by Lori

Straw Necklaces

There are lots of challenges that come along with teaching the on-going sewing classes that are open to the community of San Vicente. One of the largest is how to keep all the kids occupied who tag along with their moms or aunts. The box of Spanish children's books, coloring books and crayons keep them somewhat busy. But, each time it's important to be armed with a few extra treasures. This week I cut up colored plastic straws that the little girls to string to make necklaces. They're on their way to learning the first skills of sewing. Won't be long and they will join in on the classes.

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Winter in San Vicente Feb 16

<>SO... our little San Vicente casa is getting thru the winter, but the owners cut the big (big!) mesquite tree in the front. PLUS, we now have multiple new neighbors... 6 new houses went up on the hillside... mostly block houses, but a few 'garage door' shacks...

<>Lori is getting ready to do a full week of sewing classes... check out the cool 'announcement' banner she can now put up to invite the community.
<>Only down side with all the construction in our neighborhood is that we are seeing alot of scorpions... daily... probably had their nests all disturbed...


Saturday, January 12, 2013

Insanity Dec 2012-Jan 2013

Happy New Year, y'all!

Well, happy blog-followers, it's been a very insane and interesting time mid-Dec to mid-Jan:

<>a construction project that has dragged WAY past plans,
<>travel to see (ailing) parents in Michigan
<>travel to see grandkids (well, Chris did, to Texas...)
<>end-of-year ministry book-keeping (you have NO IDEA how much book-keeping work we have to do...)
<>some health issues, and
<>some major storms...

well, not been able to get south to San Vicente.

We will have some stuff posted, more of the 'Annual Celebration Pages' with tons of pics...

Plz keep us in your prayers, many major transitions going on.

your bro, Chris