Salsa Picante: Hot Sauce of EduVenture Mexico
December 2006 Report
By Tim Trezise
EduVenture Mexico site director/Climbing For Chirst member
Greetings from the mountains of northern Mexico. Temperatures have been dropping — we actually need to wear a jacket during the day now. Not long before snow may be frosting the upper elevations.
We have less than one week remaining this semester. This week is the most jammed-packed week of the semester with wrapping up classes, final assignments being due, several debriefing sessions, the farewell banquet for the ranch community, packing, cleaning and, of course, some fun events planned — all to prepare the students for their transition back home. The students have made it past the stresses and rich experiences of both the trek and their home stays in Madera. We are all reunited back on campus for the last hoorah!
Much has happening since the last Salsa. Juan Carlos, our good friend and pastor of a church in Madera, brought his church to Rancho Huapoca for their bi-annual baptismal service. Julian decided with the prompting of the Holy Spirit to be baptized. It was a beautiful and emotional experience to see this further step of growth and his dedication to the Lord. God has been very active this semester with the transformations we have been seeing in our students. Thanks for your prayers. It is a privilege to watch the Holy Spirit work and the glory of God shining through Julian and others. They all may not have glowing faces like Moses after his encounter with God, but it is as if veils have been removed for us to see God shining through.
Some other big news involving a veil that has developed is that Siobhan (Hannah) Hillman and her fiancé, Ryan, have decided to get married instead of wait until the summer. The timing of this event is quite interesting as it will be less than three hours after our arrival to Tucson on the last day of the semester (Monday, Dec. 4). The happy couple has chosen this time because it is very important for Hannah to include the students from this semester in her wedding because they have grown so close over only 3½ months. Everybody will have their part to play in this joyous and, yes, crazy occasion. The wedding is to be hosted by the Rieds (missionary pilot) at their home and I have been asked to give the message.
Not By Sight
Walking by faith — not by numbers, or what we know, or what we see — has been a recurring theme God has been teaching our EVM staff. We have made the decision to run the spring semester despite only have five American students signed up. It is not financially possible to make EduVenture run on low numbers with our ever-increasing staff. We currently do not have any Mexican students who have applied for next semester. We believe God is calling us to once again trust His ways and not lean on logic or common sense. Our God is not common and many times His ways may not make sense to our limited understanding. We move forward in hope that He will be glorified when we act on the faith He gives us, at the same time desiring for Him to not be disappointed by our foolishness. That is really a fine line at times, but a common arena God displays His ability to do the impossible.
Hector Martinez has been hired to be the cultural coordinator and recruiter of Mexican students to help us jump-start this program. Jen, Hec’s wife, will share part of his load in teaching for us and assisting in other means. They plan on helping EVM for at least another six months.
In a frenzied, bush-shaking attempt to spread the word about EduVenture and to find some Mexican students for the spring, Hec and I recently returned from a blitz-week of visiting six different churches in the cities of Chihuahua and Juarez, designing a display then using it at a youth rally, getting some TV visibility, and an hour of radio airtime. We are waiting to see what direction this will all take in God’s will for EVM. Please join us in praying for more students for the spring and trust that God will bring just the right amount and the right brew of American and Mexican students.
The following accounts of the trek are written by the two students mentioned at the beginning of this newsletter.
Image of the Invisible
By Julian Macias, Vanguard University
Recently, we (Paul, Jill and the students) embarked on a journey that yielded more fruit than I ever imagined, so much in fact that it is difficult to put simply in words. However, I am compelled to share a little with you.
Our journey began with strapping 30-to-40-pound packs on our backs, our boots laced up tight, and us staring in awe at the terrain that we were about to explore. We walked away from the Calandria campus not knowing what to expect, but having the confidence that we, individually, could conquer any challenge that would present itself. In hindsight, I realize how naive I was for this journey demanded more from us than we had ever expected to give.
In the rocky arroyos and steep mountaintops we bled together, cried together, stunk of sweat together. We experienced fears we never had, but even faced those together. We left Calandria as individuals embarking on individual journeys, but we returned as a team who looked fear in the eyes and conquered the challenges set before us. We lifted each other up in times of strife and struggle. We are a team that bound together when times got tough. This is when I saw the image of the invisible God. I didn’t see God like Moses saw God, but He did reveal Himself to me. I had this epiphany on our last day, when I was sitting on a sandy beach staring at the merciless, yet gentile terrain that we just spent the last eight exhausting days exploring. In this time I looked back and realized that we saw the character of God. We saw His beauty in the streams and the Sycamore trees. We saw His greatness in the mountains that we hiked up. We saw His compassion in the wildlife He cares for. We saw His fierceness in the cliffs and slopes that we traversed. And we saw His body in how we came together to carry each other’s burdens.
It is true that we worship the invisible God, who is in fact devoid of shape (except for Jesus), but His image manifests itself in the world He created and the brotherhood of man. The image of God doesn’t have to be invisible. Just spend eight days or so in the wilderness and His face and personality will be revealed. So what is the image of the invisible? Well, for me, it is all around us. We just need to have eyes to see it.
By Siobhan Hillman, Nyack College
We’re back from the trek! I can’t believe it is already over. Those were some of the best eight days of my life. Being able to see the face of our awesome God was incredible. Also, being able to really focus on Him through prayer and His creation were honestly — AWESOME! Never in my life have I been pushed to perform what I have been taught in such awesome ways. The challenges that were before us, whether it was having to swim through a freezing cold pool or traversing a steep slope (of which is slipped down only to be caught by Julian). Our faithful and most powerful God was right there with me guiding me, pushing me on, and keeping me safe. We can and should all praise Him for all the wonderful ways He showed Himself to all 10 of us.
Seeing how our group worked together, supported each other, and grew even closer was really just marvelous. I have never been closer to a group of Christians in my life. This group truly has a place in my heart that is indescribable, but God given. J I would also have to say my favorite part of the trek was my time with my cook group, “Swoop Frijoles.” Heather is the baking master; Julian is the rotating king; Katie is the dish washing queen. Good food and good friends! Thanks be to God and thanks to all of you who have been praying for us.
Team with EduVenture
If you would like to team 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 a strong finish and good transition for the students as they wrap up and head home;
- for Hannah and Ryan on their wedding day (Dec. 4) and a vibrant, Christ-centered marriage;
- that God provide the right mix of students for the spring semester.
Writer's Note: The views expressed in this newsletter may not represent the views of anybody but the one who sees it and since everybody has a different view from their current position then why do disclaimers even need to be stated?