By Gary Fallesen
April 30, 2005
On March 20, in my weekly Board of Directors’ update, I asked our BOD to lift up Mission: Mexico in prayer and to ask for “measurable success.” I wrote that I felt it was important for this mission to “be a special blessing and show the world (Christian and climbing) what we are about and what we can do.”
God answered this prayer abundantly. He worked through us to help EduVenture Mexico in ways that, prayerfully, will continue to bless the staff, students who go there, and local people on and near Rancho Huapoca, Mexico, for some time to come.
NEWS FLASH: EduVenture Mexico site director (and Climbing For Christ member) Tim Trezise and I agreed at the end of our April 15-26, 2005 mission that this should be an annual trip. Climbing For Christ will again visit the northern Mexico state of Chihuahua and the beautiful Sierra Madre Mountains in 2006 on dates to be determined.
Our work in this inaugural mission was, for the most part, limited to the 18,000-acre ranch and those living in community there. In the future, Tim Trezise feels relationships will be developed enough with the local Pima Indian that Climbing For Christ members can also serve them.
WORK PROJECT: The 12-member Climbing For Christ team helped EduVenture’s staff by ...
... Painting the interior of its community house, where EduVenture staff and students eat and study.
... Building book shelves for the community house.
... Drywalling the rooms where Sergio Rosas resides.
... Sanding and painting the bedroom of Daphne Paul.
... Digging and burying septic lines throughout the ranch.
... Shoveling and tamping two dump-truck loads of gravel/dirt for the foundation of Jill and Paul Inge’s future home.
... Bolting and cleaning three rock-climbing routes on 80-foot upper cliffs above the ranch and bolting and cleaning two routes on the 50-foot campus cliffs.
... Worshiping with and praying for our brothers and sisters in Christ who have been called to a full-time mission in remote Huapoca.
PRAISE REPORT: When we arrived, EduVenture Mexico did not have any students registered for the fall semester. This was an obvious concern. The staff, which worked with seven students during the 14-week fall semester in 2004, was on sabbatical for spring 2005 to improve facilities and grow individually and collectively. We prayed together and alone, boldly asking God to send students to this excellent staff. By the end of our mission, four students had registered. This remains below the number with which EduVenture normally works, but its board approved operating in the fall with four students (although more may be moved by the Spirit to join before September).
“This (board approval) is a huge confirmation from the Lord to trust in Him and know that He purposely chose these four for a very special reason,” Tim Trezise e-mailed. “We have been in this place before – with not having enough students to financially make the semester happen – but He is the One who loves to show His power when backed into a corner. God thrives on the impossible and loves it when people will trust in Him and step out of their comfort zones. We continue to walk (or bushwhack) the narrow road (or canyon goat path) with you all.”
OUR GIFTS: Climbing For Christ members delivered and left many things to be used by EduVenture staff and students, such as ...
... a drill kit, bolts, climbing helmet, dry rope, and canyoneering pack (from Todd Paris).
... a dynamic rope, 120 feet of webbing and cordage (from Jason Bewick).
... a bouldering pad (from Cheryl and Chip Esper).
... $780 in medical supplies (from Dr. Chip).
HELPING HANDS: One encounter with local people was especially memorable. It occurred on our first night in-country, as Tim Trezise was driving us on the winding 25-mile dirt road from Madera to the ranch. It was late in the evening when we came upon a truck stalled on a bridge. The driver of the truck and his two passengers were stranded, having run out of gas. It would have been a long, cold night in the truck if we hadn’t been placed in their path. After giving them gas, our group helped them start their truck and sent them on their way. Prayerfully, we showed them the love of Christ. You can read about this and other experiences we shared on the DISPATCHES page.
NOT ALL WORK: OK, our team also had a good measure of fun, too. From horseback riding, rock climbing and canyoneering on the ranch to canyoneering in Basaseachi Falls National Park. The EduVenture staff scouted two canyoneering routes for future use as part of the program’s adventure curriculum – and Climbing For Christ members were given their first taste of “amphibious mountaineering,” as Tim Trezise calls it. (CLICK HERE to read the story about our canyoneering experience.) The Mission: Mexico team and Tim Trezise also visited Hueco Tanks, Texas to boulder on the legendary rocks on North Mountain before heading home.
BLESSINGS RETURNED: We were touched by the hospitality and love shown us by the EduVenture staff. As Cheryl Esper noted after our 11 very full days together: "It is truly amazing how God can take 17 different people from across the country and weave their lives together through a common experience and truly show us that we are indeed a family through Christ – brothers and sisters climbing for HIS GLORY!"