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Basaseachi Falls

Team work

Dates: April 15-26, 2005.

Members: Kyle Austin, Long Lake, N.Y.; Jason Bewick, Wheaton, Il.; Cheryl, Chip, Brecken, Josiah, Galen and Hansel Esper, Long Lake, N.Y.; Gary and Jesse Fallesen, Rochester, N.Y.; Todd Paris, Pottersville, N.Y., and Joseph Rooks, Wheaton, Il.

Mission: Building project to construct a home and set rock-climbing routes for a Christian camp hosted by EduVenture Mexico. Also, scouting future EduVenture canyoneering adventures in Basaseachi Falls National Park (photo above) in Chihuahua, Mexico. To learn about EduVenture CLICK HERE.

Dispatches

Monday, Apr. 25, 2005, 7:00 p.m., Gary Fallesen reporting:

We returned to the United States this afternoon and spent a couple hours bouldering at Hueco Tanks. Everyone will be starting home on Tuesday. We thank God for blessing us on this trip.

My thought for the day comes from Acts 4:13: "When they saw the courage of Peter and John and realized that they were unschooled, ordinary men, they were astonished and they took note that these men had been with Jesus."

Sunday, Apr. 24, 2005, 3:00 p.m., Gary Fallesen reporting:

We stopped on our way out of the Sierra Madres to pray and say goodbye to some of our EduVenture friends (Paul, Jill, Daphne and Sergio).  Daphne gave thanks for the blessings the Climbing For Christ team has been.  We were overjoyed at the opportunity to serve.

 

Tim will continue on with the 12-member team to the state capital of Chihuahua and then back to Texas, where on Monday we will boulder at Hueco Tanks before all heading home on Tuesday.

Sunday, April 24, 2005, 2:00 p.m., Gary Fallesen reporting:

Audio Dispatch

Sunday, Apr. 24, 2005, 11:30 a.m., Gary Fallesen reporting:

We climbed out of the canyon in less time than it took to descend on Thursday.  “You’ve got your canyon legs,” Daphne told us.  What took us nearly three hours to down climb, we covered in 2 ¼ hours.  Tim, who expected the group to take four hours, was surprised.  We reminded him we are members of CLIMBING For Christ.

At the bottom of the 1,000 vertical feet of switchbacks, Tim told everyone, “Enjoy it.  Not a lot of people are willing to push themselves this hard.”   It was a pleasure.

Saturday, Apr. 23, 2005, 8:00 a.m., Gary Fallesen reporting:

It’s the dry season and Tim had checked the weather forecast before we left. No rain. But then it rained. Kyle, who had been sleeping out, joined Jesse and me in our Eureka K2 tent. Todd went up under a cliff. Joey joined Jason in their tent after having slept out the whole trip. Daphne wrapped herself in a tarp, burrito style. It didn’t rain hard, just sprinkled.

After breakfast and a devotion on creation (Genesis 1) by Jesse and the Esper boys, the EduVenture / Climbing For Christ scout team (Tim, Paul, Jll, Daphne, Sergio, Todd, Joey and Jason) headed up the arroyo across from base camp. They climbed up 1,200 feet in 2.5 kilometers over some of God’s rougher, most spectacular creation.

In the evening, as it rained lightly for the second night, we gathered around the campfire for a worship service. Tim shared from the last three chapters of Job, reminding us how big God is and how small we are—a fact evident in our canyon surroundings. As Job said: "I know that You can do all things; no plan of Yours can be thwarted." (chapter 42, verse 2). We closed our worship by singing the Doxology, holding hands, united as one body.

Tim called Climbing For Christ’s short-term mission here a blessing to EduvEnture Mexico. For that, we give thanks.

Friday, Apr. 22, 2005, 10:00 p.m., Gary Fallesen reporting:

The day began with Tim playing Lord of the Dance on his pennywhistle. During our morning devotion he talked about that “magical hour” (5:30 - 6:30 a.m.) when the birds start singing and praising the Creator. Then the sun comes up and all creation sings to celebrate the new day. We sang Awesome God, Majesty, and Amazing Grace to mark the start of the day.

After breakfast, the canyoneering scouting team headed out toward El Gigante six kilometers away. The group consisted of Tim, Paul, Jill and Sergio of Eduventure and Todd, Joey and Kyle from Climbing For Christ. It took the group about 3 ½ hours over somewhat technical terrain to reach the base of El Gigante, the 2,800-foot wall that is home to the world’s highest sport climb. Tim and Paul then went on for another 1 ½ - 2 kilometers to explore an arroyo (stream). Everyone returned to camp by 5 p.m.

After dinner, the group enjoyed some lighthearted fellowship, making bread on a stick on an open campfire and teasing one another. Then something unusual happened: it started to rain.

Thursday, Apr. 21, 2005, 7:00 p.m., Gary Fallesen reporting:

The canyoneering portion of our trip began after we arrived at Basaseachi Falls National Park. “Whenever you put on a full pack and go into a canyon overnight, it’s considered canyoneering,” says Tim Trezise, our Climbing For Christ member and EduVenture Mexico director who is leading us on a three-day scouting trip. “It’s way harder than backpacking. That’s why I call it ‘backpacking with an attitude.’“

After praying for safety and strength, our group of 17 made a 1,000-foot descent in less than one mile into Candamena Canyon. What followed was one part rugged trail and another part bushwhacking. We made two crossings of the Rio Basaseachi.

The arduous three-mile trek took 2 hours, 56 minutes. We arrived at our home for the next three nights, a base camp on the bank of the river in the depths of the canyon.

Wednesday, April 20, 2005, 8:45 p.m. Gary Fallesen reporting:

We are packing up to go with members of the EduVenture staff (Tim, Paul, Jill, Daphne and Sergio) on a scouting trip to Basaseachi Falls National Park. The goal is to find “future adventure trips for the kids,“ says Tim Trezise, the director of EduVenture Mexico.

We finished as much work as we could do on the “campus,“ a ranch that has been our home since we arrived late last Friday night. The consensus among the 12 members of the Climbing For Christ team is that this is a great place, surrounded by beauty, ruggedness and touched by the Spirit. We believe wholeheartedly in the people working here and in their full-time mission.

After a morning of work (tamping the loads of dirt under Paul and Jill's future home, sanding and painting Daphne's bedroom, drywalling Sergio's residence, building book shelves for the community house), the Climbing For Christ team was given a chance to play in the afternoon. Paul led Todd, Joey, Kyle and Jason on a 3 1/2-hour canyoneering hike. Tim took the Esper family rock climbing to the cliffs where we put in new routes on Monday (Josiah and Brecken made the first ascent on one of the 70-foot-high routes). Daphne took Jesse and me horseback riding for two hours and then Jesse and I went bouldering on the cliffs behind the ranch.

We had a team meeting following dinner to discuss the upcoming canyoneering trip. It's a 7 1/2-hour drive to Basaseachi. We will descend into the canyon and camp for three nights, giving the EduVenture staff two full days of scouting. It will be action-packed adventure capped by a worship service on the canyon floor on Sunday morning.

We are eager to see more of God's amazing creation in northern Mexico and to enjoy more times of fellowship between these two groups of people (the full-time and the short-term missions' participants). This is the halfway point in the trip and the team members here send their love home to family, and to brothers and sisters in Christ who we know are lifting up our work in prayer and praise.

My thought for today is from Philippians 3:14: “I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.“

Tuesday, April 19, 2005, 4 p.m. Gary Fallesen reporting:

The day-late delivery of two dump trucks full of gravel (actually, dirt) for the foundation of Paul and Jill's home gave us work to do. The trucks came from Madera 25 miles away, but it took six hours for them to get here on the winding, rough dirt road.

Jason Bewick and Joey Rooks bolted and cleaned two climbing routes on the 50-foot cliffs behind the EduVenture ranch. Joey then made the first ascent of the top-roped route, which he and Jason rated 5.10+ and dubbed “Over the Flakey Mantle.“

Tuesday, April 19, 2005, 8:40 a.m. Gary Fallesen reporting:

The camp had no water last evening. Paul and Sergio, of EduVenture, were working on the problem at the source, but could not fix it. After dinner, Todd Paris and I went with Paul, Sergio and Rafael, a cowboy who works on the ranch here, to see what could be done. This time, it was Rafael who laid hands on the problem and provided the solution. Water flowed again to the camp. Praise God.

It was another beautiful starry night. A great chance to sit at the feet of God and thank Him for all He has made, all He has done, and to lift up our needs to Him.

Breakfast was spent sharing some of the struggles in our lives. It was clear from watching this group that God had brought us together from our many varied backgrounds and places to minister to one another at this particular time.

Monday, April 18, 2005, 4:20 p.m., Gary Fallesen reporting:

Todd Paris, Tim Trezise and I went up to the cliff on the east side of the ranch and spent the day bolting three beginners’ routes on the 70-foot faces. The routes will range from 5.4 to 5.9.  Potentially, this gives Tim a place to teach his students rock climbing. EduVenture already offers canyoneering, mountain biking and horseback riding to students who spend a semester here learning the life of a missionary and the life of adventure. Todd, a husband and father of five who has been on missions to eight countries, supplied the gear and much of the muscle we used to set the routes. Tim tested the placements by rappelling off of the cliffs. He also cleared the routes as he rapped down.

Meanwhile, back at the ranch, painting continued on the community house, dry walling continued and more work was done on Paul and Jill’s future home.

Monday, April 18, 2005, 7:45 a.m. Gary Fallesen reporting:

We finished Sunday night around a campfire singing praise songs and praying. Overhead, there was a ring around the moon. Paul and Tim prayed for the direction of Climbing For Christ and our leadership, returning us to the thought that started the day — the prayer of Jabez. Tim also asked for our prayers — that God would send students to EduVenture. “We are moving forward with our plans, trusting in the Lord,” Tim said.

As the group gathered for breakfast, Joey Rooks shared about sleeping out last night under a canopy of stars. “There are a lot of stars out here,” said Joey, who lives in light-polluted Chicago. Here, the sky is a black tapestry with an infinite number of pin holes punched through it.

Sunday, Apr. 17, 2005, 7:40 p.m., Gary Fallesen reporting:

It's the Sabbath.  A day of rest.  We praise God for that as we are tired from travel and a hard day's work.

Cheryl shared from 1 Chronicles 4:10, the prayer of Jabez.  She prayed that God would bless Climbing For Christ and EduVenture and enlarge our territories.  We closed the time with the song Be Thou My Vision, which is appropriate as God's vision was what created Climbing For Christ and brought us together with EduVenture.

After breakfast, we went to church at Campento Huapaco, the home of Phil and Amy Roberts and their two children.  (The Roberts own the 18,000 acres on which EduVenture is located.)  Sergio, the acting pastor at Campento Huapaco, led us in a Spanish service.  We sang Amazing Grace (Sublime Gracia).  Sergio encouraged the Americans to sing in English and the Mexicans in Spanish because, he says, “God has brought us together.“  He has indeed.

Sergio's message was on the narrow way and how many people are going the easy (read: wrong) way.  He told us to try to reach the many who are on the wrong path in the U.S. and Mexico.  That's essentially Climbing For Christ's mission statement.

My thought for the day comes from Philippians 3:8 - “I consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord.“

After church, the Roberts hosted the 40 worshipers for dinner to celebrate their son Daniel's ninth birthday.  We ate cheeseburgers made from a cow off the Roberts' cattle ranch.  It was a time of fellowship during which we were entertained by Paul (guitar) and Jill (violin) of EduVenture.  We played volleyball, and then after returning to the EduVenture ranch we rode horses and mountain bikes into the sunset.

Saturday, Apr. 16, 2005, 8:07 p.m., Gary Fallesen reporting:

We started our day singing Great is Thy Faithfulness.  His strong hand then guided us through our first work day.  We spent hours laboring: interior painting by Kyle, Jesse and the Esper boys, drywall hanging by Joey and Todd, and septic tank digging by Jason, Gary and Tim in the hot Mexican sun.  Our day was concluded with a refreshing swim in a slot canyon on the ranch and incredible Mexican food provided by our brothers and sisters at EduVenture.

Saturday, Apr. 16, 2005, 1:30 a.m., Gary Fallesen reporting from Mexico:

We arrived at Rancho Huapoca early this morning, the end to a long travel day. The 12 team members met in El Paso, Texas and were greeted by our EduVenture host, Tim Trezise. The seven and one half hour drive to the ranch in the remote part of the vast state of Chihuahua took more than 10 hours. We had a few mishaps along the way and went through two military checkpoints, but God watched over us. We had a Francis of Assisi moment on the 25-mile drive from Madera to the ranch. It’s a rough dirt road that takes 1½ hours to negotiate. Along the way we encountered a truck stalled, hood opened, in the middle of the road. The driver and his two passengers had run out of gas. We siphoned gas from our vehicles and helped him get started. It required a laying on of hands on the carburetor by Todd Paris. Tim says if we hadn’t come along, they would have been stranded all night.  We reached the ranch an hour later.  Some of us had been traveling for 24 hours.

Tuesday, April 12, 2005 9:43 p.m.

The Esper family – Cheryl, Chip and the four boys (ages 3 to 10) – left Long Lake, N.Y. at 9 a.m. Tuesday morning in their mini-van to begin their 2,400-mile drive to El Paso, Texas, where they will meet the other six members of Mission: Mexico and our host, Tim Trezise. The others are flying Thursday and Friday from Albany, N.Y., Chicago and Rochester, N.Y.

Chip is an emergency room doctor in three hospitals in the North Country of New York. To get time off, he worked 12- and 24-hour shifts, which left him exhausted. The children are homeschooled by Cheryl, who reports has had acute asthmatic attacks for three nights, something she has never experienced before. The family had intended to start their long drive late Sunday night or early Monday morning. “Do you think Satan had anything to do with the delays?” Cheryl wrote in an e-mail. “We persevered with the Lord's strength and left 24 hours behind schedule.”

They had driven 377 miles, stopping at Messiah College in central Pennsylvania to have dinner with their oldest son, Johnathan, who is finishing up his senior year there.

“We certainly have a marathon ahead of us,” Cheryl wrote, “and we need much prayer.”

Inspiration

“It is of no use, my son, to walk anywhere to preach unless we preach everywhere we walk.” – Francis of Assisi

 

Thanks

Our gratitude to Roadpost for providing the satellite phone and service for this mission trip.

 

Roadpost
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