Salsa Picante (Oct. 2004) – Page 2
EduVenture goes deep! In preparation for a seven-day trek from Oct. 31 to Nov. 7, we ventured down into the canyon of the spectacular Basaseachi Falls National Park, the Mexican equivalent to Zion National Park.
So what is canyoneering? It involves problem solving in route finding as "problems" are encountered. What are "problems"? Waterfalls and slides (sparkling deep pools), slots (narrow canyon walls with no options but swimming), car-sized boulders, steep mountain sides (cliffs) and bamboo forests that try to rip your pack off. Add in there a rattlesnake, a swarm of bees and food rations for only three days and the "Salsa" gets pretty spicy.
The following essay is Angela Meyer’s synopsis of the canyoneering experience:
When a team is no longer a team…
It was a beautiful October afternoon. I was excited to go canyoneering for the first time and see the beautiful waterfalls and scenery that was promised to us within the next 2 ½ days. It started off a little rough, skipping over rocks and dodging boulders in the middle of the arroyo (stream). Then I started wondering why I liked skipping across rocks so much. As the 2 ½ days dragged out to four days, not because it was so beautiful we didn’t want to leave, but because the intensity was so much that we couldn’t keep the pace as scheduled.
In those four days I found something in myself that I had always ignored. There was something about sliding down steep mountains and being filthy that kindled my fire that made me want more. I plunged into ice-cold water that literally took my breath away, jumped from boulder to boulder, and relied on a rope as hand line for climbing or descending steep sections. I was exhausted each night because of all that was accomplished each day. I found in myself a gift God gave me that I have been starving for – the ability to explore His wild creation. It was a free feeling to be adventuresome and take risks because I knew the Lord loved what I was doing. It was as if He was telling me, His precious daughter: "Go play – have fun! I’m here to catch you if you fall down." How awesome! What fun!
Although the days with the Lord in His creation were beautifully dazzling, I would not have had such a great time if it weren’t for my "team". The encouragement was supernatural – when one was down another was strong. The whole trip seemed to be encouragement, not only with words but also with deeds. The men in our group took on the leadership roles as brothers and a dad. This is where I realized that this is not a group or a team but more like a family – so much so that Tim is now "Pops" to me. I realized how much I love my sisters and care about how they are feeling – all the time.
This trip was hard. I would never take it back though. I learned to stretch myself not only physically, but also spiritually. "Press on towards the goal to win the prize!" Basaseachi waterfall, towering 800 feet high, was my prize when we finally reached the top and finished the trip. We hiked long for 4 days and only traveled about 11 or 12 miles, yet navigated an extreme canyon system that few people ever see. How glorious heaven will be, which is the greatest prize of all because my God is there.
I have learned to be adventuresome with my Lord. " I am immortal until Christ calls me home!"
Chihuahua City: David and Hector
We abruptly transitioned from an extreme wilderness epic trip to immersion into the city of Chihuahua for a variety of classes from Hector Martinez and David Jensen. Unlike the rest of the semester, we were sitting in the newly remodeled conference room of the professional offices of "Initiatives International," a ministry run by David and Hector. They provide a quality experience in short-term missions by establishing lasting relationships and partnerships with ministries. They also insist on adequate training and follow-up after the experience.
Students were provided with some eye-opening field experiences as part of the teaching sessions. We visited: two community development projects for the outcast Tarahumaras on the outskirts of the city; two orphanage ministries; and an agency that assists community development organizations in being professional and efficient. The teachings and application of what we saw were outstanding. It was a fresh change to be in the city for four days and learn about the difference in culture compared to the rural Mexico in which we have been living. We all were provided the opportunity to have dinner with different "New Tribes" missionary families and observe the lifestyle of these families.
Throughout the nine days of our traveling we met amazing people who live and think very much like some of the great Christian icons: Mike Berkely (Hudson Taylor); Jonathon (Bruce Olson – Bruchko); Fichi (Mother Theresa); and Papa Ed (George Mueller). It is encouraging and inspiring to find people who are living humbly and putting their faith into action, driven by the love of Jesus.
We are all back in Calandria now cranking out a bunch of classes in cross-cultural communications with Kevin Gutwein, a New Tribes missionary from Chihuahua and a good friend. Kevin’s laidback style of teaching along with his wealth of stories from many years as a missionary bring this subject area alive. Last night we had a praise and worship campfire under the stars, eating a lot of marshmallows and making a joyful noise. Kevin is one of those guys who can do almost anything with his guitar, which can make even those of us who sing off-key sound great.
After the campfire Kevin turned on the World Series on his AM radio, much to the delight of Marcus and Cass (avid fans of the Red Sox). Needless to say there is much jubilee in camp today!
Please be Praying for:
Good health for everyone down here. Many of the students tangled with a digestive bug for a day or two but are that has "passed." Some are resisting the urge the itch from poison ivy – a gift from canyoneering. Daphne does have a fractured scaphoid in the wrist, but is doing amazing as the one-armed outlaw on her horse. She is one of the leading members of the HCWs (HardCore Women).
The ministries of México Medical Missions, Initiatives International and New Tribes Missionaries
Stronger relationships and interest at the sponsoring universities and colleges
Paul and Jill Inge, our new staff members who will be joining us in January, as they prepare for the move to México.
Alex and Becki Ashe as they are visiting various colleges and recruiting students for upcoming semestres.
Our previous students who are studying back at their colleges or have graduated. Pray that the students will be able to press on in their faith and continue being intentional about living out some of the truths and principles learned.
Financial support and partnering with EduVenture may be sent to 2870 S. Pantano Rd., Tucson, AZ, 85730.
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“God works in those who live daringly, He ceases when people no longer need His aid."
– A. W. Tozer