Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Mexi-Gringo Cris... y trabajo de cemento

Chris here,
I just wanted this on-line.
In my personal journey of 'incarnational ministry', I have worked hard to 'grab ahold' of skills that meld me into Latino-Mexican culture.
One skill that I was told a long time ago that I needed to acquire is how to work well with concrete... hand-mixed, shovel in hand, trowel and all. I was told by many of my culture-informants that 'to be a good Mexican man, you need to know concrete...'
It IS true that, IN Mexico, people do things with concrete that is almost magical... and when they build it in concrete, it STAYS for a long, long time. This is not 'racial profiling', it's sincerely a high compliment...
So, here's the pics... me and concrete repair of a wall, and pouring a security mount...

Soy Mexi-gringo oficial

Community Talk: Ebola in Mexico 2014: The Fear, The Reality and the Opportunity...

Chris here,
Wearing my Zambian-made dress-shirt (yeah, 2009, I was there!) I gave a community-health + public health + Bible-based talk in San Vicente last week. About 75+ adults came out for the well-advertised 1-hour talk by 'Hermano Cris'...  with over 30 minutes of post-Q&A.
The talk came together well...
<>had super-up-to-date info on the REALITY of any Ebola problem in Mexico (like not a problem)...
<>shot down all the mis-information going around about Ebola...
<>outlined the REAL epidemic problem in Mexico... INFLUENZA... and gave solid info on protection against 'la gripa'...
It was a really great time for me...
<>the entire slide-set was written in Spanish, and the entire talk was given strait-up Spanish... language skills >95% all cylinders... yeah!
<>everyone in the room clearly grabbed ahold of what was presented... many sighs of relief... truth setting people free...
<>I connected on the important 'God's perspective' point... "Fear not! I am with you, says Jesus!"
I am grateful for the forward-thinking church leadership in Pastor Jose Luis, his wife Marta and the elders who all encouraged the meeting to happen. I know the congregation and visitors were well-informed and encouraged that night!

Next teaching hurdle: finish writing the Worship book, and teach it in Spanish...

thanks for standing with us for 23 years of Mexico ministry, y'all!

Praying for the Ebola Crisis

What can we do about the Ebola crisis..PRAY
By Lori Bajkiewicz

We pray for the most affected nations, Sierra Leon, Liberia, and Guinea.
We pray for provision of resources to fight Ebola.
We pray for leaders to have wisdom on how to administer the resources that are available.
We pray for the churches to be a light during this time of such darkness. Give them ideas how to minister and the capacity to console many.
We pray for the missionaries that are serving. Guard their health and give them many opportunities to share the Gospel.
We pray for the Christians to be vehicles of Your grace and ready to share Your love and Your salvation.
We pray for the health workers. Give the doctors and nurses supernatural energy and protect their health against Ebola.
We pray for the children who have been left orphans because of Ebola.
We pray for peace in place of fear and hope in place of discouragement.
We pray for those who are searching for new treatments for Ebola.
We pray for a reduction in the transmission of Ebola.
We pray for the scientists to discover new ways to fight Ebola.
We pray for the volunteers who are serving during this crisis.

Celebrating Mexican Independence Day

It's always FUN to be in Mexico for the national holidays. Time to get dressed up and enjoy the local cuisine. The  church held a night filled with festivities that included music, prayer and lots of YUMMY food.

translating for Mime teaching

Enjoyed helping to teach mime (by translating for Rita) to the youth of the church in San Vicente. I find it humbling to speak Spanish in this capacity and it's a stretching experiencing. A Spanish/English dictionary is still a valuable tool that gets utilized. It may be time to purchase a new one as mine has broken into three sections now. At least we know I'm not afraid of looking up new words. What can be frustrating is when I know a word, but can't seem to pull it up on hard drive (brain memory). Time for the age excuse, "Just one minute, I need to move some info off my full hard drive to make room for the new words." I'm looking forward to seeing them minister in this art form. It's energizing to see these young people learning to share "The Message" to their communities.

Friday, August 8, 2014

July 2014 sewing week

Sure wish I could get a photo of all my students and their recent projects. But, sadly that seems impossible with all the comings and goings of the 32 students who participated in the ten sewing classes during July. The room was filled with upwards of 15 students at any given time and of course that doesn't include the kids that come along with  Mom, Grandma, Aunt, neighbor... you get the idea. The classes that precede the beginning of the new school year focus on creating backpacks, book bags, and pencil cases. One of my students shared how her son had requested a new bag this year, not because the one that she made FOUR YEARS AGO was no longer usable, but, because he wanted a new color. The bags just don't seem to wear out because we use upholstery fabric.

Sunday, July 13, 2014

BroAm X, Switchfoot, Stand Up For Kids and Supporting Good THings

As some of you know, I (Chris) have been involved in 'Christian music' for decades. Everything from playing in bands to booking agent to tech to crew, "been there-got another TShirt".
A national-level band+crew I have been friends with for the last 10 years is Switchfoot. Based in San Diego, I've supported their amazing efforts over the years, especially the annual fund-raiser for 'Stand Up For Kids', a group that provides a real home for kids found to be homeless.
Yesterday, the TENTH (X) annual BroAm was held. My seventh year of working 'crew', we were at Moonlight beach Encinitis at dawn to load-in the gear, tech-up the stage, host 4 regional bands and then SWITCHFOOT at 4pm. Over 9,000 people jammed the beach and lot's of support for Stand Up For Kids was gained.
The 'after-party' was pretty awesome for the 400 people in La Paloma theatre Encinitis to watch the Switchfoot (mostly surfing)

movie 'Fading West' and then a 'BareBones' acoustic gig, which was more the guys leading the crowd in 6 familiar SF songs.
This year, I grabbed some pics with the band and crew, 'cuz Lori keeps on saying 'you work hard with those guys, but never get any pics..."
There are few bands that are making a positive social impact on the hearts and minds of the existing generations... Switchfoot is one of those few, and I'm blessed to be a part of the extended SF family, AND the annual BroAm supporting an amazing group working with at-risk kids.
(Just because people ask, 'switchfoot' is a surf term meaning mounting your board on a wave using your non-dominant stance!)

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Creating Thank You Cards for Teachers

Spent a recent morning fellowshipping with Pastor Martha and church leader, Silvia, at our home in San Vicente. I pulled my crafting stash and we created Thank You cards for all those who serve as teachers at the Nazarene Church in celebration of "Teachers' Day". Oh, and Martha shared some yummy homemade cheesecake with us. Mmmmm!

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Young Moms Celebrating Mothers' Day

Our house was filled with young moms and their kids in celebration of Mothers' Day. There were little gifts, snacks, and crafts for the kids. Several are new students from the community wide sewing classes and it was a time to get to know them and their families better. It was a opportunity to further disciple the "Stars" about friendship evangelism while planting seeds. I tasked one of the "Stars" with listening to the Holy Spirit to find an open door which she could use to share the "Good News".  When several of the ladies shared struggles they were having she gently opened the door to share about God's love. Later in the week, a couple of us met with one of the young moms to minister to her more in her home. We can hear the Lord knocking on the door of her heart. Please pray for her and her husband to turn their hearts toward Him.

Monday, May 19, 2014

Mothers' Day in Mexico 2014

Mothers' Day, always May 10th in Mexico, has a different flavor. First one can expect to be awaken in the wee hours of the am by a serenade outside of the home. It's a wonderful blessing to have the young people of the church come by to pay me a tribute as "Mother" although at bit startling to be jolted from a sound sleep at 2:30 am. They traveled to about 30 homes during more than three hours of visiting, where they would sing two or three songs before moving on to the next Mom.
The church in San Vicente distinguishes the Mom with a handmade corsage and many of the moms enjoy a lunch at a local restaurant. Because of tight finances, it usually is only the moms and it is a special gift from their families. Being most guys avoid the kitchen as much as possible it would be very unusual to have dad make a special meal at home for mom. In fact, I heard many of the women state that they needed to prepare a meal for the rest of the family before going out. Does that count as a real day off?

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Door-to-door Blessings

Over 900 handmade hats were given out in San Vicente during the winter months. This year I've been discipling several in "Friendship Evangelism". It was exciting to see how several people caught the vision to reach out to their neighbors in a new way armed with handmade hats and big smiles. Several days were spent wondering the streets with bags and backpacks filled with all sizes of hats. Everyone, from infant to old man, was happy to receive their own head cover. Okay, so there were a few teenage boys who passed, but those were few and far between. Sometimes we were chased down the street by hat seekers who heard about "the gift". Church members came by the house asking for more hats to give out during other outreaches they were participating in until there were only a few baby hats. Thanks for all of you who knit and crochet all year to be a blessing.

Monday, April 14, 2014


Trying to keep up with the ever changing internet and computer stuff.

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Sewing Machine Mantinence class Jan. 2014

There is a never ending stream of ladies bringing their sewing machines to me. Some have picked up an old machine at the swap meet or 2nd hand shop while others have had a machine sitting around for years collecting dust. Being the nearest repair shop is nearly an hour and a half away many ladies Hope I can breathe new life into "their treasure". So, in January I held two different classes on "How to Clean and Oil Your Sewing Machine". Several ladies took advantage of the classes and we had all their machines singing by the end of the week.