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Mission: Mexico

Salsa Picante: The hot news mix of EduVenture Mexico
Fall 2006 (Sept. 6, 2006 Report)

Delayed by injuries and illness

Our EVM newsletter, "Salsa" was prepared for being sent on Sunday (Sept. 3), but an accident occurred that same day, putting everything on hold. Julian, one of the students, fell and fractured his elbow. He was hiking above the slot canyon close to campus and was looking for a good spot to take some video and photo footage of Paul and Tim kayaking the creek. Hurricane "Juan" created the opportunity to kayak a creek that is normally not possible. It has been dumping more precipitation in this area than has seen in a long time. The river now is flooded and no longer contained by its banks, but invading villages and taking out bridges. As Julian approached the rim of the canyon he tested a rock for a handhold to stabilize himself for taking pictures. The rock appeared secure, but upon putting his weight on it, gave way causing him to fall over 30 feet into the shallow creek below. He was quickly assessed by Paul and Tim and evacuated to the closest village, Madera, for X-rays which confirmed a fractured ulna in his right arm. Hector, Sergio, and Tim took Julian from Madera to the city of Chihuahua. He was in surgery by 4:00 a.m. Monday. Tim will be able to put his career as an athletic trainer to use with overseeing Julian’s physical therapy at the newly founded sports medicine clinic in la Calandria. Julian is doing extremely well now (having no pain) and was just released from the hospital today and will return with Hector to our campus tomorrow. He will be able to participate in the festivities and good food of our welcome banquet with all the students and the people on the ranch having the chance to get to become acquainted with each other.

There has been an unwelcome member of our community – a "bug." A number of us have been taking turns being a bit under the weather for 24-72 hours. It is a combination of fever and diarrhea. Not fun, but also not uncommon with people coming together from all different locations and having to get used to a new environment and food. People are getting better. Please be praying for restored health for Julian and everyone else.

Eight is great

EduVenture Mexico ended up with eight students after some last minute changes and cancellations by a few students who were unable to attend this semester. EduVenture Fiji was cancelled this fall and EduVenture Indonesia started again with five students.

We are finishing up our second week of the semester here in the Sierra Madres. Just like the beautiful variety of wildflowers accenting the rich greenery of these mountains, we have a mosaic of students blooming new color and life here. It very obvious to us all that God has hand-picked each student for what He has in store this semester. We are thrilled to have our first Mexican student, Liz Irigoyan, from Chihuahua city. She brings an additional element of cross-cultural relationships to the program that is so important in coming alongside another culture and learning and respecting other’s views. She has a fun-loving personality, loves Jesus, and is great at teaching us all the Spanish of this culture. She has taken initiative to post signs of encouragement and cheer throughout the dorm to bring cheer to her sisters. Ashley Wiles, Katie Smith, and David Rucker attend Olivet Nazarene. Ashley has a servant-heart, is hungry to grow in her faith, and loves having fun, especially if it involves a sport of some kind. Katie Smith has a sweet spirit and is full of joy, encouragement, and desire to grow in her love for Christ. David naturally steps into leadership with his wit, sense of humor, and energy, balanced by a heart sensitive to the Lord. J.R. (Julian), from Vanguard University is easy-going, full of adventure, and loves being in Mexico – the country his family is from. Siobhan’s (Hannah) has a sincere desire for truth and holiness and has aided in some good class discussions. Heather Arndt is a good student. She is quiet but full of surprises - she has already excelled in various adventures. Both Heather and Hannah are from Nyack University. Ruth Gossner (Houghton College) grew up in Papua New Guinea with her parents serving as missionaries. Needless to say, she thrives living cross-culturally. With her intellect and her missionary experience, she will have a lot to contribute to our classes and community life. For another great group of students our staff says, "°Gracias a Dios!"

Classes, Caballos, and Canyons

The students have had lessons in Cross Cultural Communications and Spanish, preparing them for the cultural interaction they will be encountering next week in the city of Chihuahua and a number of other experiences throughout the semester. Their first Spiritual Formation class (the cornerstone of our program) was atop "Stone Table" – a large rock mesa (butte) overlooking the campus and the vast expanse of Huapoca Canyon. As a simple breakfast was served, the morning sun scaled the distant ridges, and the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5-7) was recited by Kathy. The students will memorize these rich and life-changing words of Jesus and hopefully have them imprinted on their hearts and minds to be their standard of operation for their lives. Today they recited most of chapter 5 of Matthew. Desiring God, realizing how we are in Christ, and appreciating His love and grace are other topics they all will be digging into in the first half of this course. In the Community Development class, the students have been learning about the needs of our world and the Christian church in countries not as fortunate as ours. They will be taking a close look at poverty and what can effectively be done about it.

The beginning of an EduVenture Mexico semester starts with a lot of time in their Physical Education/Outdoor Education class learning skills foundational for adventures that are spread throughout the semester. The students have only been here a little over a week and they have:

  • climbed the cliffs at our site newly developed (with the help of Climbing For Christ) five minutes from campus,
  • teamed up for a full day of class III-IV white water rafting down a very remote river canyon (before the river flooded)
  • mounted horses for their first lessons and first adventure in riding (cowboy style),
  • swam through a class III rapid and jumped off small cliffs, plunging into deep pools
  • been introduced to the sport of canyoneering in the slot canyon near campus
  • learning outdoor living skills (setting up tarps, making fires, using camp stoves, tying knots, etc.)
  • hiked across steep hills of cactus and over the rocks, boulders, and small waterfalls of streams

Check out the recent pictures of this semester at:

http://pg.photos.yahoo.com/ph/tim_trezise/album?.dir=6d04re2

For to get "the bigger picture" and see all of what happens with EduVenture Mexico check out all the photo albums at:

http://pg.photos.yahoo.com/ph/tim_trezise/my_photos

We all consider it a privilege to be living here and seeing hearts come alive with wonder and desire for the life the Lord wants us to experience. As is so well stated in C.S. Lewis’ final piece of the Chronicles of Narnia, The Last Battle, we are to experience more and more of Christ and all He has done as we travel "further up and further in" to His presence.

Join our team

We are searching for people who will partner with EVM in providing support through prayer. An additional, but less important means, will be financial support to help us fund the addition of Mexican students. We believe God wants to prepare the hearts of this next generation through a truly culturally-integrated educational/discipleship semester which can break down walls of misunderstanding and lack of respect into a closer realization of what Christ so deeply desire – unity of the brethren. We are committed to building this aspect of the program and having a healthy number of Mexican students attend. We are not sure how we will achieve the financial balance needed to run a quality program with the substantially lesser tuition we will be charging them to make it an affordable reality. We welcome people interested in partnering with us to help develop a scholarship program for Mexican students. We are once again trusting God in this venture as He has so faithfully sustained EduVenture over the years.

We are in need of a person to become our intercultural director. This person will need to: be a college graduate (preferably with a Master’s degree), be fluent in both languages, love traveling through Mexico to recruit Mexican students, and be part of this crazy team we have down here. There are also other positions EduVenture is also trying to fill ASAP.: Director of the Fiji Program and Homebase (Tucson, AZ) Office Manager/Recruiter.

If you would like to partner with EduVenture and help us with trying to provide an environment for the Holy Spirit to shape the lives of young Americans and Mexicans please "devote yourself to prayer" (Colossians 4:2). Please pray:

  • for the Lord’s will be done with each student attending this semester
  • for health for some of our students struggling with minor illness and that the rest of us stay healthy in this small community
  • that God would bring the right staff person for us
  • that God provides the right mix of students for the upcoming semesters
  • for our alumni – that they may live intentionally for and dependent on Jesus (though distance separates us, you all continue to be part of the EVM family and are in our thoughts)
  • for Julian, that he will be recover well from his elbow Fx and surgery and be able to participate in as much as possible this semester
  • for Kara Weed, alumnus from last fall, who is fighting the difficult battle of chronic illness – we all love you Kara – your love and joy despite suffering is a light to us all – hang in there!

"God works in those who live daringly, He ceases when people no longer need His aid." — A. W. Tozer

For information on EduVenture Mexico, write to 2870 S. Pantano Rd., Tucson, AZ 85730 or visit www.eduventure.net

"Salsa Picante" is written by Tim Trezise, Site Director for EduVenture Mexico and member of Climbing For Christ.

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