Monthly Archives: September 2012

The eye of the tiger

3/4 of the way through language school…and how am I (Pete) motivating myself these days?

I could be thinking about all those wonderful things they taught us in pre-field language/culture prep…like, language learning is an act of love, a ministry to those with whom we will work, learning the language well keeps us on the field longer and helps us be more effective…and more…all TRUE…and helpful.

But right now, I’m just thinking…Rocky.

I am Rocky.  Training.  A diamond in the making…as my swim coach used to say…under time and pressure I will arise victorious…a diamond.

….yes it is true…it’s a scary and weird world inside my head! Sometimes I’m in Rocky IV training in the wilderness of a foreign country.  But lately I’m in the original Rocky. First starting out. Getting into true shape. Sluggishly running up the stairs till one day….I arrive victorious with my arms raised high!

So here you go…think of your biggest challenge right now…sit down and watch this video…and then go out and tear it up! (And oh! I had to pick this training montage because it has Spanish subtitles to the music!)

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Ali’s 5th Birthday (1st in Mexico)!

Today was Ali’s 5th Birthday and 1st Birthday in Mexico! Here are a few shots of a little family princess party we had via skype with our family in the states. Tomorrow Ali will celebrate her birthday in school. She will get to go to school in her princess dress…needless to say she is very excited!

Birthday girl with her mommy.

Princess dress…and yes it lights up!

Of course sisters get a dress too!

Little sister of the birthday girl.

Skyping with the entire family (Em’s & Pete’s) from CO, OH, and VA.

¡Feliz cumpleaños!

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A Precious Gift

She came to our home one day about 3 months ago asking for anything we could give: clothes, food, a job she could help me with to earn a little bit of money. This wasn’t surprising; people come by our home every day asking for help of one kind or another. Because our God has been so radically generous with us, we feel called to give more than we feel like it…clothes, food, as many odd jobs here and there that we can think up, a kind word, a conversation, purchasing a handmade napkin while commenting on how beautiful it is…but this time was different for a reason I cannot explain. Brenda and I started to get to know each other. We became friends. Slowly, during the past 3 months, we have had more and more conversations. She cleans our home, and she does an amazing job. We pay her the going rate for housecleaning, and we give her food. We gave her a chance. In Mexico, you don’t have people clean your home without references. But how are you supposed to get references if no one gives you that first chance?

She’s given me a chance too…a precious gift of friendship. She comes on days she doesn’t clean and we talk. She tells me her story.

Didn’t finish school beyond 6th grade because she had to take care of multiple younger siblings. Pregnant by 14 because that is the story in her neighborhood and her family. That is what she knows and what all the other women she has told me about do (sisters, cousins, friends, neighbors). Now, four children later, the money she makes cleaning for us is about all she gets each week. She lives in a home made of laminate sheeting. Her sister who lives there, too, is terrified the roof will fall down in rainstorms. Her brother is in jail. He gets out in December. And more…

What does she want? More than anything, she wants to be able to provide for her children. She wants her daughter to finish school. So she swallows her own pride and asks for help. She’s proud she has a regular job now. She brings her kids with her when she comes. I read them stories. Her family laughs because her 4 year old son has memorized Oso Pardo (Brown Bear, Brown Bear), but he repeats it with my accent!

Today, she came with her 8 year old daughter. We sat and had coffee and oatmeal cookies. We talked, and then she asked me about heaven and how it seems like heaven has to be where we all go when we die because hell is on earth. So we talked and talked about Jesus, about life, about what Jesus came to do…to give us life and life to the full. About God’s mercy. About our choice to believe in the King of Kings. We read Scripture. I gave her a Bible. She’s never read the Bible. She told me she’s never heard that Jesus is the way, the truth, and the life. She has more questions.

If we believe God, if we follow Jesus, we have to believe that the most precious gift we possess and can give is the Gospel. The Good News that Jesus is Messiah and that God’s Kingdom is near, and that we can know God through His Son Jesus. That Jesus is life and peace and joy and hope. In situations where it seems hopeless, we have an everlasting hope. I believe that with all my heart. I also believe that we are called to be the hands and feet of Jesus. I leave Guadalajara in 3 months. I desperately pray for my friend. That she would believe. That her daughter would believe. That there would be a community of Jesus in her neighborhood to be the hands and feet of Jesus. That God would send more workers and that believers in Mexico would boldly share the Gospel with people who have never heard it clearly presented before. I also pray for wisdom. In terms of helping my friend economically, educationally, and practically, I am often at a loss. And a whole community of people like her? The community of Marquez de Leon where we will be starting a church/community center is full of similar stories. God gives wisdom to those who ask. We are looking at more training, specifically in how to help without hurting in poverty stricken areas, but we also (firstly) desperately need prayer for wisdom.

Categories: Mexico, Mission, Stories | 12 Comments

¡Viva Mexico!

Today is Mexican Independence Day! Here’s just a few pics of how we celebrated.

Viva Mexico! Kylah waving the Mexican Flag at our neighborhood “Grito.”

Enjoying the festive decorations of downtown Guadalajara.

Our  neighborhood local fair.

Double decker trampoline anyone!

Emily was interviewed by the local news because they appreciated the fact we were celebrating with them and wanted to know what we thought of the events.

And if you ever wonder what kind of attention our girls generally receive in Mexico…here’s just a hint.

Ordering up some “tacos de lengua”…that’s cow tongue for you non-Spanish speakers!

¡Otro taco por favor!

Enjoying a BIG cup of our favorite drinks, “horchata”, with one of our coworkers.

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The New Mexican Quince

A Mexican Quinceanera (Quince=Fifteen in English) is the Mexican version of A Sweet Sixteen Party. However in Mexico a girl’s quinceanera is a big deal. Anyway, we have a new meaning for the Mexican Quince, which is similar to the freshmen fifteen in college. The food here is just too good!

Pozoli. A traditional Mexican hominy stew. We enjoyed this while visiting some new friends of ours in their house.

Fresh bacon. Yes we love bacon, especially when we can get it from our local butcher!

Molletes. Refined beans, cheese, and pico de gallo all on fresh baked bread.

Morning out with mommy enjoying a great Mexican “desayuno” (breakfast) and fresh “jugo.”

Huevos Rancheros. Pure heavenly breakfast!



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What do we do on the weekends?

Wonder what we do on weekends…well pretty much the same thing we did in the US (except that we are learning a new culture and language while we do it)…we go to the zoo and attend friends birthday parties…we just do it Mexican style! These simple excursions have been great ways to meet people and learn more from our new friends while we practice our Spanish. Emily talks to people about the deep meanings of life while Pete figures out how to say pass the coke!

Nothing says a trip to the zoo like a Bengal tiger hat!

One of our new favorite views from the zoo overlooking the north part of GDL.

Can you guess the theme of this 4-year-old bday party?

Why show a picture of food…because we love it…this is no Mi Hogars!

Kylah vs Snow White

Ava vs Snow White!

Ever seen a piñata like this?!

Ali with the birthday girl.

Jumping princesses!

Its rainy season in GDL.









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