Monday, August 17, 2009

Mi Casa Es Su Casa

My House Is Your House...

That is a saying that you will here time and time again here in Mexico. When people tell you that their house is your house, they truly mean it! Often when we meet a new family they will tell us where they live and that at their address is where our house is. The beauty of this common phrase is that when people say it they mean it. Life starts in the home, revolves around the home, and is the center of everything. While in the States it is not as common to open up your home to a stranger or even to your friends anytime of day or any day of the week, here it is different. Here you always welcome people into your home and you always offer them a snack, drink, or a meal when they are at your house. It doesn't matter if you have little to offer, you offer it. And people congregate, celebrate, and talk and talk in each other's houses.

Therefore, we realized that the best place to minister was in the home. Bible studies in our apartment, meals, fellowship, counseling sessions all of this can be done out of our home. As we've opened our home more and more, we've found a great joy in doing so. And if most of life takes place in one's home, why not teach people how to live in a home rather than in a church building? So far this model is working, and God is teaching us how go beyond what we are used to and open our hearts and home even wider. We've learned that our possessions are not ours, and neither is our apartment. Rather they are all God's and they are belong to others as well. Our house is your house!

A pastor friend in Kentucky told us that once a week he had dinner at his house and invited people to come and fellowship together. Another friend in the States used to have community dinners in his inner city house. After realizing the need for more fellowship, discussion, and a safe place to learn and grow, (not to mention that many would be blessed by a free meal once a week), we have decided to hold an open-house dinner weekly. We will start this in September and many from our home group have already expressed interest and a desire to help with the dinner. Please be in prayer as we share a meal with neighbors, friends, and whomever wants to come.

Some people here in Mexico who have done an incredible job of opening their homes are our neighbors. Since we moved here they've made us feel at home and have gone out of their way for us numerous times. Without them we honestly don't know how we would have made it through the year. Jennifer starting having breakfast with the women neighbors this year and they will continue to meet this year as well.


-At a Ranch with our neighbors, eating and getting to know each other better

-Some of the women of the apartment building getting together for a birthday

-Celebration of new church in the nearby city of Irapuato. Dafne and her daughter dance as part of the celebration. Afterwards we all shared a meal together. Our fellow missionary friends Dany and Carminda helped this church get off the ground this year and it is a wonderful Christian community that is based on meeting in homes.

Saturday, August 8, 2009


We can hardly believe that today we celebrate one year in Mexico! Time has gone by incredibly fast, but so much has happened in one short year. The truth is that we will never be the same after this year. Many wonderful things have happened in the past twelve months and many difficult things as well. We arrived here at midnight on the 8th of August with many hopes and dreams and as our professors said at Mission Training International with what "we thought we were going to be doing." God has given us a revised vision for future ministry at at this very moment we do not feel like we know exactly where we are headed, but we are different, we are stronger, and we will never look at life the same.

A look over the past year...
We have learned a lot of Spanish, we are not completely fluent like we wanted to be by this time, but considering we had many set backs with our language learning, we are doing okay and we've come a LONG way. Yahoo!

We are no longer scared to talk on the phone or take care of important matters in Spanish.

In one year we've made lots of friends and contacts in Mexico. We can fill our apartment with our new friends and that makes us smile.

We've learned once again that God is not safe, and that he does not promise us easy times. We've walked through some dark moments, moments when all we wanted to do was go back to the States, but we've made it through stronger and God has sustained us.

Most of the things we came here thinking we would do or would happen did not, but we are thankful for what we learned in the middle of the craziness.

We know that love changes everything, that if we love those around us they will see the true Lover of our souls. Loves costs all of us, but it is what God asks for...That we may love him and others!

We've discovered that people are hungry for God and a new way of doing church. God has placed it on our hearts to teach people how to know God and live in community.

More than anything, we've learned that we are human, and just because we are in God's will doesn't make us immune to anything and while we've been on this journey of discovering Mexico and our place here, we've fallen madly in love with a beautiful people and a beautiful country that we can now call home.

We look forward to another year in Central Mexico! Thanks for joining us. =)

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Back in Mexico

We can hardly believe that our twelve days in the States has come and gone. The time passed very quickly and we only wish we could have visited with each one of you. However, we are extremely thankful we were able to see many of you. Our speaking engagements went well, and Josh's brother's wedding was beautiful! We truly had a wonderful time and a safe trip!

During our first few days in the US we experienced a little bit of culture shock as we adjusted to a culture very different from the one we've lived in this year. But, we adjusted quickly and are now having to reacclimate to being back in Mexico. This week has not been easy for us because leaving behind friends and family in the States once again brought some heavy hearts and even a few tears. Still, we know we are supposed to be here and our friends in our small group affirmed that this past Monday night.

Thanks for standing by us as we serve cross-culturally!

Us celebrating six years of marriage at one of our favorite restaurants in Lexington, KY
Josh and friend Hazim
Jennifer with her mother and grandmother
Josh's brother, Andy and his new wife Faith