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Mission: Mexico 2007 

Salsa Picante

The Hot News Mix of EduVenture Mexico
Fall 2007 —Sept. 30 Report

Muchos Missionaries

We just returned from a week and a half of intense experiential learning by hearing from leaders of various ministries and mission work in Chihuahua city and the Copper Canyon area all sharing similar themes of: commitment, perseverance, counting the cost of ministry, being obedient and faithful over time and adversity, being generous for others with what God has given us (including our lives), living simply and with those in need and in poverty. We consider it an honor and privilege to know:

  • Ed and Rosa Salo (Directors of Lirio de los Valles Orphanage – a home for 110 children who normally would be homeless).
  • Moises Padilla (Director of Libres por Amor – a drug rehab center for children) – Sarah, Becca, and Emily are three young women serving with this ministry.
  • Alfredo Guerrero (International Speaker on oral tradition and communication, Pastor and previous missionary to the Tarahumara).
  • Sarah Anderson (Director of Nueva Esperanza – a transition home for young women stepping out of an orphanage setting).
  • The Kaemingk and Heisler families (Directing the Youth With a Mission program at Creel and working with the Tarahumara in communities in and around Copper Canyon).
  • Mike and Macy Berkeley (Directors of Mexico Medical Mission & Hospital Tarahumara, a state-of-the-art medical facility serving the needs of the indigenous people living in the mountains and canyons of Northern Mexico).
  • Shelly Rivera and Suzie Alm (Two midwives running the new Tarahumara birthing center – a service desperately needed with infant and mother mortality rates that are some of the highest in the world).
  • Jonathon Pinkam (Community Health Worker living with the Tarahumara).
  • Edwin Rivera (Human Resources & Relations at Hospital Tarahumara).

Their stories penetrate the heart because they are full of struggle and pain yet full of hope of the present reality of what God is doing in those broken and in need. Their testimonies put flesh and bone to what the students are studying in relation to mission work and community development. You can read up a bit more on these ministries by going to our website and going to the “Links” page for Mexico.

To conclude their time on the road hearing from missionaries, the students are now back at La Calandria Campus studying community development and missions for two weeks with two former missionaries to Papua New Guinea – Bud and Marlys Larsen. They have become household names among EduVenturians since they are practically professors in residence with EduVenture’s three programs. The Larsens bring years of experience to their creative teaching methods and ideas to develop a great learning environment. They have been busy outside of class teaching students how to use local resources for producing a variety of things: making flute-type instruments from yucca stalks, bows and arrows, harvesting clay and making a pottery wheel out of an old tire for “throwing” pots. Never a dull moment with this lively couple. 

¡Gracias Chihuahua!
By Jennie Martinez

Wow, what a great time in the city! Every day was packed with visits to meet and listen to people that you normally just read about! And, while I have had the privilege of knowing these people for many years, their lives continue to challenge and encourage me deeply. And the host families this semester were just awesome! Gracias to Miriam and Felipe Reyes for taking such good care of Meghan and Lizzie. Dicen que se la pasaron super padre con ustedes, y que eres muy buena cocinera, Miriam! Gracias to the Ramirez family who hosted Gary and Donna Trezise. Hermanos, se sintieron muy amados, comodos, y bien recibidos en su casa. Gracias to Octavio Diaz’s family for hosting David. El estuvo super contento con ustedes y con su iglesia. And finally, Gracias to Arturo Granados’ family for hosting Scott.  Aparte de su hospitalidad tan linda, le encanto estar con otros aficionados de los Steelers de Pittsburg! We could not do this trip and have it be so meaningful without the help and hospitality of the host families!  !Gracias Chihuahua!

Loco Locals
By David Haron

Let it be said that Hector and Tim are not normal people. They are a tad bit crazy … then again, so are we. Hector and Tim have this mindset that bigger is better and so, to our benefit we have been able to do some really cool stuff. The last thing we did was rappelling 100 feet from a bridge, down into a canyon with a beautiful river and some incredible rock formations.  It was most definitely one of the coolest things I’ve ever done in my life – ranks up there with the cattle drive we all did a few weeks ago, finishing in a hail storm. They push us physically, yet I feel my greatest struggle has been emotionally and spiritually. During our Chihuahua trip we were exposed to such a variety of ministries, all of which had an overabundance of needs and opportunities to serve. Placing that in perspective, it seems as though I don’t know where to start in choosing one place to serve in the future. I‘m thankful that I serve a God who offers His advice even if I don’t necessarily solicit it. He knows best where I should go.  To say the least, I’ve been enjoying my time here a lot. Thank you so much for your all prayers for our group here. Don’t forget to be thankful for washing machines, warm showers, and Wal-mart.  Dylia & Family – you are in my thoughts and prayers often. I love you!

Mexican Diversity
By Scott Shaffer

It is amazing to think about how much diversity and other-ness I have found in Mexico, so very close to the United States. For the past two weeks, we traveled to Chihuahua and into the Sierra Tarahumara mountains. In the city, the Tarahumara beg on the streets with babies on their backs and preserve their culture only through bright clothing and slum communities on the outskirts of town. In the mountains, their culture is alive and well, but so are poverty, crime, and alcoholism. But God has not forgotten His Tarahumara children. We had the opportunity to meet a number of incredible servants who God has called to reach out to the Tarahumara through orphanages, schools, churches, medical clinics, and other forms of community development. Many of these workers gave up comfortable lives to serve the poor. As one woman said, “I met Jesus, and I had no choice!” Some of our most formative classes here at EduVenture have been in orphanage cafeterias and sitting around living rooms learning that “You can’t outgive God” and “You haven’t met a Tarahumara until you’ve spent a night in their home.” Soon, we will have the chance to spend a week in a Tarahumara home, on our second homestay. Our experience of the diversity of Mexico has only just begun!  Family, friends, Shannon, and everyone else: we’re praying for you.  Please pray for all of us here in La Calandria.  I can’t wait to see you in December.  Adios y Dios te Bendiga.

La Vida En EduVenture Es Demasiado Como Para Solo Vivirla
By Abraham Ramirez

La vida en “La Calandria” no se parece en nada a lo que habia vivido antes, que he estado haciendo toda mi vida? Me habia estado perdiendo la emocion de vivir. Ahora parece que todo se ha convertido en una aventura, en la cual Dios es nuestra meta a alcanzar, por lo tanto tambien nuestra razon de vivir.

La comunion con el Creador en un lugar tan magico, la inspiracion de tres culturas, aventuras que despiertan el caracter, la enseñanza de personas que dan su vida por Cristo, son la voz casi audible de Dios hablandonos.

Como el unico alumno “mexa” en este momento totalmente recomiendo este programa, creeme es mas de lo que podemos expresar en esta pagina. DIOS LES BENDICE

Wowser Weeks
By Gary Trezise

Five weeks (or a little over one-third) into the semester. Five “wowser” weeks … and the climate is just for starters. The ideal little shelf on which our seven buildings perch has an immediate backing of 8,000-foot mountains, while confronting a canyon. Anyone owning a carpenter’s level…might as well leave it home. It would only be frustrated here, bursting its bubble at either extreme.

Five top-notch students … all diving right into every aspect of the program: “the inward man”, “the outward man”, and the academic anomaly. Are we having fun yet?? You bet! This group is great! Great attitudes, great goals, etc. So, our “fun” has often been profound, as in positive affectation of our deepest selves.  To elaborate:

We traveled the Chihuahua state countryside over ten days to see deep, deep reality firsthand at places like an orphanage caring for the Tarahumara indigenous people of Mexico.  The culmination of the trip saw us in the remote reaches of the Copper Canyon (an immense canyon system far bigger than the Grand Canyon) at Mexico Medical Missions/Hospital Tarahumara. What can we say of the “plain folks” who have lost their lives on this earth?  These missionaries, with the most arduous, day-by-day tasks … with hearts broken by the things that break God’s heart, have in tears, dived into an abyss of human sadness, and yet have already realized some eternal gladness. “They that sow in tears shall reap in joy.” Well, I’ve never seen anything more real or more like our Chief Himself that transcends time into our next dimension of timelessness. Five profound weeks!

The Passing of a Friend

Almost two weeks ago we received very sad news that David Vargas (previous cowboy at Rancho Huapoca) died from being crushed when driving a full logging truck to Madera and the brakes gave out, resulting in a head-on collision with a large tree. The cab of the large truck transformed into a deadly metal accordion. Our other good friend, Rafael (David’s brother and previous part-time staff of EVM) and two others were also inside the cab but survived miraculously, and are now without work due to recovering from minor injuries. Elisa is widowed with two children and a third on the way.  Life was hard for them before, now it has taken a turn for impossible with no husband, father, income, and living in a one room, dirt floor shack on the edge of Madera. Join us here at EVM to do our best to show love and support to our friends in this dark time. “This is pure and undefiled religion in the sight of our God and Father, to visit orphans and widows in their distress” (James 1:27). This is what “church” is all about.

If you desire to help the families of Elisa Vargas or Rafael Vargas please send money to Trezise’s personal address and we will convert the money to food, clothing, home improvement, or something else practical that will help the families. Unfortunately we will not be able to provide tax statements since this will not be going through the EV offices. We are trying to cut down on the work load for our volunteer staff there. Thanks for caring and understanding.

Trezise’s personal address: 20 Crossett Ave., Geneseo, NY 14744


We invite you to team with us 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:

  • Vargas families.
  • EVM staff exploring ways to develop EVM program/ministry further here in Mexico.
  • Each student and staff to draw close to the Lord and grow deep in their faith.
  • Our alumni – that they may live intentionally for and dependent on Jesus.

Contact information

For the latest pictures visit the following website and click on the Fall 07 set of photos.

Please send mail and 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. To learn more, go to www.eduventure.net

“Salsa Picante” is written by Tim Trezise, staff, and students interested in contributing.
To get caught up on past issues of Salsa Picante and get an idea of a semester at EVM visit our Web site. Tim Trezise is a member of Climbing For Christ.

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