Kevin, Laurie, Katie and Holly Kimble of Rochester, N.Y.; Bryan Mabee of Rochester, N.Y., and Eric Gessner of Albany, N.Y.
Mission to work with EduVenture Mexico, which is directed by Climbing For Christ member Tim Trezise.
On rappel: Below (from top to bottom), Laurie, Kevin, Katie and Holly Kimble learn how to rappel at EduVenture Mexico. Read Laurie Kimble's Feb. 22 dispatch to learn more about this experience.
The Kimble family horseback riding on the ranch in northern Mexico.
Saturday, Feb. 24, 3:00 p.m. - EduVanture Mexico Site Director Tim Trezise reporting
The Kimbles and crew left for home about 3 hours ago and should be on the bus now, heading to Juarez/El Paso. They will be back in Rochester tomorrow. I am having an emotional time getting this update written. The song down below is ringing through my soul after saying goodbye to the Kimbles.
Once again my heart is empty and full all at the same time — but this is not the end of the semester, when it typically happens. Saying goodbye to those we grow to love is always difficult. The Kimble family visited EduVenture Mexico for a week to further support our program in any way they could. They also allowed another opportunity for Jesus to sit down next to them and embrace them each as they continue to walk with the pain of losing their special son/brother/friend to a senseless murder over two years ago. The Comforter was moving in and among us all this week. He held the Kimbles, Bryan Mabee and Eric Gessner tightly while looking out over the beautiful expanse he created many, many years ago. It was as if He was whispering softly, "I know your pain all too well, but I am here for you. I am the Author and Perfector of all things. Satan and his evil will be judged and this age will come to pass. I will restore all things soon, as you are tasting of even now. The kingdom of God is at hand. Hold on to me and trust me. I LOVE YOU VERY MUCH!"
This past week was a powerful time of releasing hurt, forgiving and healing and, best of all, restoration of joyful eyes and smiles through the best gifts Christ gives us: Faith, Hope, and Love — the greatest of these being Love. Last summer I had Daphne help me make a memorial plaque for Brian Kimble, then mounted it on a large rock at our beginner climbing site near campus. It read his favorite verses from Psalm 62:5-7:
Find rest, O my soul, in God alone;
My hope comes from him.
He alone is my rock and my salvation;
He is my fortress, I will not be shaken.
My salvation and my honor depend on God;
He is my mighty rock, my refuge.
Brian's Boulder is a very special place for the Kimbles and us all. The Holy Spirit has moved powerfully here, and the students and staff have been right in the middle of it all. We ALL have been impacted by God's love and grace. EduVenture continues to be a ministry where God works in many more lives than just the students we focus on. The work of the Holy Spirit can not be contained when the living water keeps bubbling up in the lives of men — it spreads everywhere and splashes all over those around. Humans infect humans. As C. S. Lewis so aptly put it: Christianity (when it is alive and full and void of the world) is the "good infection".
The almighty Physician once again healed many by exposing a few to His mercy, grace, and love, then letting the epidemic spread to all in this community. God intended our hearts to be vessels for transfering himself to others, creating a truly communicable condition. The Kimbles have clung to Jesus' cloak through their loss, resulting in edification of those who see pain yet know their foundation is the Rock that can not be moved.
The Kimbles return to the cold northeast a bit more sore than when they arrived. Yesterday their time on horseback led to sore legs and bottoms, and some sunburn. Now they know why cowboys walk the way they do. Not to leave out their upper bodies — they also have achey muscles from doing manual labor projects for us on top of fitting in some rock climbing sessions.
As we have adjunct professors come to teach at EduVenture, we have our adjunct (better...adopted) families that are in integral part of the EduVenture Mexico community. The Kimbles are the newest addition to the bigger family here. Thank you Kevin, Laurie, Katie, Holly, Brian, and Eric. What a privilege it is to see and taste of God's work first hand! I strongly urge all who read this to position yourself close to Jesus and his work on this earth. Life is way too short to miss out on the amazing things Jesus is doing. Forsake all that is vain and temporary — status, careers, money, pleasure, and security — and be willing to obey Him and risk following the most radical man who ever walked this earth. There is none like Him and there is nothing better than to have a VIP pass to more than front seat access to watch His Olympic feats in the hearts of men and women.
I will steal lyrics from Michael Card to express the fullness I have experienced once again in the Holy Spirit's restoring power which gently lifts chins to look into the kind and understanding eyes of Jesus. Despite their pain, joy is budding again in the hearts and faces of the Kimbles:
I pray by grace your smile survives
for I would wander weary miles
and welcome ridicule, my child
to simply see the sunrise of your smile
to see the light behind your eyes
the happy thought that makes you fly
yes, I would wander weary miles
to simply see the sunrise of your smile.
The Son of the Most High has shone here and is rising in our hearts. Thank you, Kimbles.
Thursday, Feb. 22 - Laurie Kimble reporting
Here is another update from sometimes sunny Mexico.
We woke up on Tuesday to an incredibly glorious day and once again the schedule was changed! Right after breakfast we headed out to the rocks for a day of climbing. First came a lesson in rappelling. That was followed by a full day of climbing on the various routes. All six of us mustered up the courage to try rappelling and all but Kevin tried their hand at climbing. What a view from the top! I must confess though that the students, Katie, Holly and Bryan made the hour-long hike up to the climbing site, while Kevin and I drove up in style. It was a great day and we came back a pretty hungry group.
Wednesday morning we had the privilege of sitting in on a Spiritual Formation class with the students. We focused on forgiveness and all grew as we looked at God's word and shared together. After lunch Tim took us up the arroyo to see “Brian's Boulder” and the plaque in Brian's name with one of his favorite verses, from Psalm 62:5-7. It was a very emotional time for all of us and we spent some time in prayer and reflection about Brian's life.
Then it was out to the horse corral to begin working on a hitching post for the horses. We had to use a hand drill to set a hole in the rock for the re-bar. We managed to get the drill stuck and after many attempts we finally got the drill out. Darkness was setting in so we had to abandon the job until the next day. After dinner we gathered together for a game of Beans. Then it was off to bed.
Thursday dawned a little cloudy, but it wasn't long before the sun was warming us once again. Right after breakfast Holly, Eric and I headed up to a new climbing area with the students. Well, actually, they walked up and once again we got a ride. Holly and I climbed the highest route we have ever climbed. It was a very special opportunity to experience the sport that Brian so loved.
Kevin, Katie and Bryan stayed at the ranch and began working on a concrete pad behind the dining hall. The hitching post project had to be put off because the drill was needed on the rocks to set some new climbs. Tonight we are headed to Huapoca Ranch for Bible study and a lasagna dinner. I think we will actually all miss our beans and rice!
What a blessing it has been to be here on the ranch! The love the students have for one another, for God and for us has been such an uplifting experience. We have enjoyed getting to know all of them and they have opened their hearts up to us and made us a part of their family. God is so alive here. He is seen is the beauty of the setting around us and He is seen in the hearts of all who are here. We thank God for the opportunity to experience this taste of heaven.
Monday, Feb. 19 - EduVenture Director Tim Trezise reporting
Things are going really well here.
The Kimbles and Bryan and Eric arrived with no problems with their flights, taxis, or bus rides to finally hook up with us in Chihuahua City as we were wrapping up our three days of classes there. It was fun to have them ride the 6-hour leg of the trip back to our campus in our two suburbans. They split up to mix with the EduVenture students and staff. We made the most of our trip together by swapping stories and snacking on burritos and stopping for ice cream.
We finally reached La Calandria (our campus) around 8 p.m. on Saturday. Since it is the new moon cycle, it was very dark when we all arrived. When we rolled into Madera (the last village before heading to the EduVenture campus) the Kimbles thought they were almost here. Then they learned of the last hour and a half of negotiating bumpy dirt roads out into the Mexican outback! The Kimbles were in great spirits but travel-weary after two days of being on the go. Paul and Jill were waiting for us all and had a hot meal ready for the road warriors.
The Kimbles woke Sunday morning with the bright sun displaying the spectacular scenery surrounding them, wondering what kind of place they just dropped into. We enjoyed the Sabbath together with a wonderful worship service in the morning, followed in the afternoon by everyone going on the "adventure hike" (a 2.5-mile hike to develop our students' hiking skills - covering a wide variety of terrain and even a small waterfall climb). Eric, Brian Kimble's climbing partner, was able to also squeeze in his first Mexico climb with me before dinner on a 45' face across the arroyo (creek) from the campus.
Sunday night was a perfect evening for roasting marshmallows around the campfire and under the stars in all their glory. Later, as the coals were glowing, the Kimbles shared their hearts, stories, and memories of Brian, their son who was killed more than two years ago. The EduVenture community embraced the Kimble gang with arms full of prayers and love. Although they've only been here two days, there has been reciprocity in the Kimbles and EduVenture blessing each other.
Today we were all scheduled to be on the rocks, but the rain vetoed our idea. Instead, we rescheduled the day to have classes and study time for the students. Meanwhile, the Kimbles knocked off a few little projects and odd jobs that the EVM staff just has not had time to get done so far. It is great to have such wonderful people with such eagerness to serve. I think Kevin and Laurie have adopted Caleb and Joyellen as their "Mexican" grandkids.
Despite the grey skies and cool drizzle, there is a lot of warmth here. I guess that is what it is all about - "they will know we are Christians by our love".
Laurie, Holly, and Katie Kimble will soon be the most popular people here. They will be making home-made pizza for us all tonight. Mmmmmmmm. That's all from "Mission Mexico" for now. More to come in a day or two.
Thursday, Feb. 15, 11:21 p.m. - Laurie Kimble reporting
We are about to close the zipper on the last suitcase and head off to bed. The many months of planning and preparation are done and tomorrow we head to the airport to begin the first leg of our trip to EduVenture Mexico. Yes, our planning is done — now we need to rest in God’s hands and see what His plans are for us and those we will visit while in Mexico. Who will He place in our paths? How will He use us? What will He teach us in the majesty and splendor of the mountains? Will we come back the same? Only the Lord knows the answers to these questions and we pray that we will be open to His leading throughout our trip.
“Find rest, O my soul, in God alone;
“My hope comes from Him.
“He alone is my rock and my salvation;
“He is my fortress, I will not be shaken.
“Trust in Him at all times, O people;
“Pour out your heart to Him,
“For God is our refuge.” — Psalm 62: 5-6, 8