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Mission: Mexico 2007

Salsa Picante

The hot news mix of EduVenture Mexico
Spring 2007 — April 21 Report
By Tim Trezise, EduVenture Mexico Director

Changes For EVM & Staff

In the event you may have missed the latest news of what is happening with the future of EVM I will include this information, which was partly in the last issue of Salsa Picante. To further develop EVM and move forward with its ministry, the decision has been made to only run EVM for the fall semesters in an attempt to concentrate our enrollment and efforts for a better quality program. EVM staff will only be on EduVenture salary for the fall semesters.

The other side of the coin is that for the remaining months of the year the staff will move most likely to Chihuahua or Madera to assist and support other ministries, (such as working with churches or people actively involved in their communities and helping the poor). We desire to partner with ministries that are heading the same direction with EduVenture’s philosophy of ministry. Building relationships and supporting work has great potential to add depth to EVM through the weaving of a colorful tapestry of experiential learning through formal academic teaching overlaid with the lives of vibrant people of faith working out with the poor out in the highways and byways of Mexico. This time will also be for Tim to do intensive language study. The extended plan is to build long-term relationships with the people in ministries by returning annually to serve and enable the work God is doing there.

We all are excited about what lies ahead and trust the Lord to provide and work out the details of how this will all happen financially and operationally. Once again we anticipate seeing God do some great things. This is a crazy “career” or “ministry” plan, but we feel good about this and see a lot of potential for this to be a win-win situation for both the EVM program and our desires to delve into ministry that is a bit different from the very rewarding discipleship/faith-building ministry of EVM that we want to continue with. We will get the opportunity to not only practice what we preach, but also preach what we practice by changing hats and experiences each half of the year.

A lot of shuffling and reassigning of responsibilities has happened among the staff because of the need to cover the roles vacated with the Inges, Sergio, and the Vargas family - all moving onto other chapters in their lives. We are excited for the next step for Inges as they return to Lake City, Colorado and for Sergio as he pursues finishing his schooling. I won’t steal any of their thunder, but let them tell you their stories in our next “Staff” edition of Salsa – coming very soon (this is the last Salsa about the program this semester). The Vargas family is doing well and readjusted to living in Madera with Rafa cutting lumber and Lupita selling burritos and bread. Currently we are interviewing a family that is interested in joining our staff team for the fall. In addition to the possibility of receiving some volunteer help, we hope to rope in a cowboy and his family, Raul and Angelina Gonzalez, if they move to La Calandria during the semester.

YWAM to Yeposo

Dr. Tom Wisley was our professor in residence (for two weeks) during the middle of March. He taught our Cross Cultural Communications and Applied Missions classes for a period of compressed academic study. The students thoroughly enjoyed his teaching style and rich stories that brought the content material to life and prepared them for what came next.

Right after Dr. Tom returned to Tucson, we packed for the two-week road trip and departed on a Sunday. I will briefly rehash our itinerary and highlights of the classes and cultural experiences that occurred during most of this time period. For those of you fortunate enough to visit with any of the seven students returning home in less than two weeks, you can get the full version of the story.

Madera: We attended Lugar de Gracia (Juan Carlos’ Church in Madera) and participate in the service with Cyndi and Dani sharing testimonies and our worship team singing a Casting Crowns song, "Who Am I". Please pray for Juan Carlos’ work in Madera – a town suffering from much spiritual oppression. He is our dear brother and needs all of our support in holding his hands high when he gets weary and discouraged. He is a blazing light in a very dark place.

Creel: From Madera we drove to Creel to be with Henk Kaemingk and his staff and students at the YWAM (Youth With A Mission) base. We partnered teaching missions and community development classes in a short time period with Henk and his staff as we combined students from both their discipleship training school (DTS) with EduVenture. EduVenture was built from the DTS model of YWAM, which makes this partnering with them exciting for us – our programs share a lot in common and we are planning on even more involvement with Henk’s program for next semester – exciting to see what may develop. Pray for Henk and his staff and students as walk together on their journey to the Kingdom.

Samachique: We then drove two hours in and out of the upper canyons of Copper Canyon to Samachique. We learned from Dr. Mike Berkeley about what it really means to follow Jesus and serve Him without compromise. Mike is the founder and director of Hospital Tarahumara, a state-of-the-art clinic nestled high in the Sierra, offering full medical services for the poverty-stricken Tarahumara people. We also heard from one of his staff, Shelly, a midwife, of the dire need for adequate health care for these people with some of the highest infant mortality rates and in the world. Countless stories of the health care needs, abuses, and deaths of these people can easily weigh down a person’s heart, but Jesus is triumphant through his people being His hands and feet, lifting hearts high with hope. These health care missionaries desperately need your support through prayer and other means. Mike likes to quote John Piper on this issue: "Prayer has become the telephone to call in pizza, not the radio to call in air-support!”

“Hope fades in the night, blue skies turn to gray, as the little one slips away, you’re holding their hand, you’re straining for words, you’re trying to make sense of it all, they’re desperate for hope, darkness clouding their view, they’re looking to you, just love them like Jesus, carry them to Him, His yoke is easy, His burden is light, You don’t need the answers to all of life’s questions, just know that He loves them, just stay by their side, love them like Jesus.” — From a Casting Crowns song.

While there, we also briefly visited a Wycliffe Bible translator, Wes Shoemaker, who allowed us to sit in his living room and observe first hand the translation work, with several Tarahumara consultants, of the book of 2 Samuel. It was fascinating to see the Bibles and laptop computers laid out with the word of God projected on the wall in the Raramuri language as they analyzed each sentence and word. This was very timely after the students had recently learned about Cameron Townsend – the founder of Wycliff Bible Translators. Please pray for Wes and his work of bringing the only Word that brings life to these people.

Yeposo: Mark and Roxanne Davis, church planters, hosted us for a week in the small Tarahumara village, Yeposo – located in a forested, mountain valley that could be a postcard for Colorado. The Davis’ built the church in the center of this small community of about 40 rustic log homes. This time was for our students to learn and apply what they had been learning especially in their Community Development and Cross Cultural Communication classes. There was a lot of construction work that needed to be done to finish the multi-purpose room, apartment, and Sunday School rooms - all part of the church building. The students got a crash course in developing some life skills in cement mixing, electrical work, painting, installing windows, etc. as they partnered with the local church people in completing their building. This experience allowed us to put some meat on the bones of community development philosophies and provide a window into the life of a community being transformed by the power of Jesus. Brooke, Alicia, Cyndi, Dani, Ruben, Shelby, and Joy lived humbly with their host families getting past the initial awkwardness and into sharing stories late into the night, learning how to make blue corn tortillas, eating, making language blunders, laughing, singing praises . . . connecting hearts. This made goodbyes hard as they looked a last time into the kind, loving eyes that so warmly embraced them. Pray for Mark and Roxanne who have left their homes and family in Alaska and Minnesota to devote their lives to bringing the great news about Jesus to the people in the Sierra.

EduVenture staff will continue visiting and supporting the people in these communities and their leadership, bringing a new group of students each semester to learn of the transformational work God is doing in this corner of Mexico. These people are all very dear to us. They are men and women who are living at the cutting edge of faith for Christ, giving all to Him. Their lives are far from easy or comfortable yet their lives are rich in joy, faith, hope, and love. They are ordinary people doing extraordinary things because they chose to deny themselves and leave the “ordinary” life and follow the extraordinary in what may seem reckless and risky – only because they serve the living God who walks closely with His people who humbly serve Him. The work God is doing through them is truly amazing. Jesus is alive and very well in the mountains of Mexico. But they need you! Please join us in the privilege of interceding for their vision, energy, and safety. I hope you are encouraged by the lives of people who shake loose from the chains of this world and trust God by obeying Him – no matter how crazy it may seem, because that is where faith comes. It is not about being a missionary. It is about being passionate for God and fully using the gift of faith you have been given wherever you are. Step out of the boat, keep your eyes on Jesus and start walking - it is where life is.

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

Tale of Two Canyons

After Yeposo we spent 4½ days in Basaseachi National Park – one of the natural wonders of Mexico. We climbed, backpacked, camped, jumped from rocks to stay dry, and jumped from rocks to get really wet. Words are hard to describe the beauty of this canyon so I won’t. Just go to the website and look at the pictures from this semester and previous semesters and you will see what amazing things God did here with his artistic ability with rocks, trees, and water. We use Cascada Basaseachi as one of our icons for EduVenture Mexico because this is such a special place and part of our program.

The tale of the Huapoca Canyon is still being written on the hearts of our students who are currently finishing up their 8-day wilderness trek here on the ranch, which sits inside the canyon. This tale started back on Jan. 17 when they all arrived in this canyon to set up residence for 3½ months. Each will have his/her own tale to tell from the times in Huapoca. A lot has happened and is all culminating with the end of the trek today followed with the final week on campus of debriefing and preparing them for returning home. The laughter and music these seven wonderful young people bring to this campus will soon stop, not to mention two weeks later we say our goodbyes to Sergio, Paul, and Jill. Lives have changed because of the corporate influence and intervention of God through His people living together in community – the way it is meant to be.

Teamwork

OK here comes the most important part of this whole thing – teaming through prayer. Along with praying for the people serving God as mentioned previously, we are grateful for any support you can offer by interceding for:

  • our last week together for the semester and good closure
  • direction for the future for EVM staff and the program here, the Inges and Sergio
  • EVM staff exploring ways to finance the time they will not be working for EVM and partnering with ministries in the area
  • EVM finding staff for next fall
  • finding a program director and staff for EduVenture Fiji
  • filling the adventure leader position for EduVenture Papua
  • Scotty, director of EduVenture, and the board members for wisdom with decisions
  • continued health – so far it has been the best semester yet – thank you for praying
  • Sergio’s healing from his accident on the quad two weeks ago – we are all thankful it was no worse and that he is progressing well physically – Gracias a Dios! – if you did not get any of our emails about Sergio let me know
  • Sergio’s ability to pay his hospital bills and get a financial start after leaving EVM in May – support can be sent to our Tucson address entitled “for Sergio”
  • each student draw close to their Lord and grow deep in their faith
  • our alumni – that they may live intentionally for and dependent on Jesus

Please send any financial support for staff to EduVenture’s new address: 5254 E. Holmes St., Tucson AZ 85711

EduVenture is a cross-cultural educational program that challenges Christian college students to grow in active faith through discipleship, academics, adventure, and community.

“Salsa Picante” is written by Tim Trezise, Program Director for EduVenture Mexico.

New Look

Check out the website – that is all I will say. It is still under the “tweeking” stage – but wax that board, grab some sunscreen and enjoy surfing. Nice work, Hector and Evan.

www.eduventure.net

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