Monday, October 24, 2011

Viaje a la Malinche!!!

What a great weekend we just had!!! (ok it was like 2 weekends ago but who is counting) Every fall semester around this time we find ourselves in the mountains for a weekend get away with El Pozo. A good friend and fellow campus minister, Jeremy, came in town for the weekend to give the retreat talks. He shared with us about his life during college and how he got to the point where he decided to move to Spain to start a college campus ministry in Salamanca. He talk about living a life that is worth telling, a story that impacts the world and will be carried on in one way or another when we have moved on. It was a very impactful weekend for many of the students. Here are some facebook posts I found from students who went...

Alexa wrote: This was the most amazing weekend ever, i learned a lot of new things, and made me change a lot about the way i used to think, so i am glad that God gave me this chance.
Alexa is a girl who 3 weeks ago we had never met. She came with her roommate to our monthly community service day the week before the retreat. They weren't signed up for the retreat, just showed up with two other roommates the day we were leaving. Since that weekend, every time I see here she asks what she can do to help or if I am going to be around to hang out because she has a lot of free time. Alexa is young and learning a lot and I can't wait to see how she grows to know Christ and his plan for her life over the next weeks, months, and years.

Israel wrote to Andrea: Never forget October 15th 2011. The most important decision of your follow Jesus and be with God.
Israel has a passion for people to know God that is undeniable. Every week he shows up to our events with new people he has invited. Last week he literally introduced 10 new people. I think 7 of those people went on the retreat the weekend before, for many of them it was their first activity ever with the ministry. God is using Israel in amazing ways. 

Andrea wrote in response to Israel's post: The truth is I will never forget Saturday. I took a big step. Thank you Israel. It was a great weekend with lots of fun and adventures.

God is moving through El Pozo in incredible ways. Admist all the changes and hard times we (the staff) have experienced over the last few weeks and months, we can not deny God's continued blessings on his ministry here. I have had conversations with three people recently about their desires to be baptized, what it means for their lives and the changes they are making daily to follow Christ. God works in spite of our shortcomings and what a blessing and honor it is to be able to be a part of God redeeming the world. 

Thank you for continuing to believe in what God is doing here.

Monday, October 3, 2011

There is a time for Everything

We live in a world that is constantly changing. No matter how much we want to stay in the exact moment we are living in and cherish it forever, we just simply can't do it. And I don't think we were ever intended to try. Jesus throughout his days here was always on the move. He changed where he was going, where he stayed and who he stayed with. He changed peoples' lives in a matter of minutes. He experienced the changes of people coming and going, of loving and losing. Change is a part of life. That's the way God intended it since the beginning.
Ecclesiastes 3 says it well:
There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heaven:
A time to be born and a time to die
this past year i have experienced both of these up close and personal, some of them simultaneously.

Reese, Sawyer, Elsa and Addie...beautiful creations i have been blessed to see born and grow each day

Kami, Addie and me
we are not guaranteed 70, 80 or 90 years, we are not even guaranteed tomorrow. makes you stop and think about your life and the path you are on and where is it some cases, we wish the time of dying wouldn't have come so soon. we think it is unfair and not right, but there are some things that can only happen after death has occurred. Christ conquered death and offers us life that will never perish, but only after he died physically was he able to do so. it wasn't without pain and sorrow, but what waited on the other side was worth it all.
A time to plant and a time to uproot
A time to kill and a time to heal
A time to tear down and a time to build
A time to weep and a time to laugh
A time to mourn and a time to dance
there has been a lot of laughing and dancing going on over the past 5 years. God has blessed me with many opportunities to see people change, to see people far from God take a few steps closer. to work alongside amazing God-loving people and have friends and family that have supported me every step along the way.
there has also been a lot of weeping and mourning over the past 5 years. people come and go from our lives. people we love move on and sometimes it feels like they have left us behind. friends chose fame or glory over a God who loves them and is the only thing we find in this life that is constant and unchanging. we sometimes chose to chase the fading things of this world only to be disappointed. 
People come and people go, through it all, God stays the same, he is with us and that will never change. 
Nate and Erin left today to start the next stage of their lives working at a church in Maryland, Justyn arrives today to start the next stage of his life working here at El Pozo.  

Me and Justyn hangin out last year
You find out a friend dies, but the same day another is being born...We have been praying for Pako for years now. to die to himself so that he may truly find a life worth living. Last night Pako died to himself by confessing Jesus as his Lord and Savior and now can truly start living. we baptized him shortly after. we weep and mourn but we laugh and dance as well. 

There is a time for everything. 
Changes are a part of life. 
God has made everything beautiful in its time.