Sunday, December 20, 2009

Feliz Navidad

Hello family and friends,

Where as this month gone, or better yet the Fall? It seems like yesterday was the beginning of the semester and now it is almost 2010. We are thankful to be spending our 2nd Christmas here in Mexico and that we will not be alone. We wish we were able to spend it with family, but we are glad that Jennifer's parents will at least be able to come on the 30th of December and stay a week. Some good friends have invited us to spend Christmas with them in a nearby state and we grateful for their thoughtfulness in inviting us. We look forward to being a part of a Mexican Christmas celebration.

WGM Central Mexico missionary and pastor Christmas dinner
Us in Irapuato (city of the strawberries) after Josh preached
Jennifer and Julie on a road trip with Deyanira. Julie, a WGM volunteer over the the summer came to v

We have had a week full of Christmas parties and holiday activities. One thing we've noticed about Mexico is that Christmas is not as materialistic and the holiday is more about spending time together than decorating to death and spending lots of money on presents. A few years ago we decided as a family (there are just two of us) not to focus on Christmas presents and to make gifts for friends and family and give fair trade instead of buying, buying, buying. Sometimes we opt to give relational gifts like taking people out for a meal or making a memory. Our tradition of looking for a simple way to do Christmas has taken a lot of stress out of the holiday and made it rather pleasant. This year we decided to have a Christmas card exchange with our small group. The idea was that everyone wrote a Christmas card to each person in the group telling them what they liked about them. It proved challenging, but worth it in the end. We aren't sure everyone understood what we were trying to communicate, but we hope that as we grow we can learn how to give each other encouraging words rather than material goods. Could we challenge you this Christmas to tell someone how much you love them instead of buying them something? Could we challenge you to give to those in need instead of buying expensive presents. Here's to a simpler Christmas so that other may simply live!

We wish you a merry Christmas as you celebrate Christ's birth!

Lots of love,
Josh and Jennifer

Marriage Study Christmas Dinner
Julie and Jennifer. Julie was a WGM volunteer this summer in Mexico and came back to visit this past week.

Saturday, December 5, 2009


Last Saturday we headed to Irapuato so that I could teach one of our theological education classes about world religions and sects. Leading up to the class I had been honestly, very stressed and nervous. Sadly, when I get nervous and stressed my Spanish seems to disapear and I revert back to very basic Spanish. Needless to say after a very busy week I had lots of butterflies in my stomach on Saturday morning. Where the students going to understand me? When Josh taught his class he had a manual to work for as a basis for his lectures. There was no manual for my class which meant that I had to develop all of my lectures etc. on my own. It was a huge challenge for me, but I made it through and was more than prepared come Saturday. I can only praise God that my Spanish functioned on Saturday and overall my class went very well. Being the perfectionist I somtimes am, I wish that I could have communicated in Spanish in exactly the same way I can in English, but hopefully someday I will be able to.

My favorite part of teaching the class was seeing the students have to think in ways they weren't used to thinking. I had them define "worldview" and "religion." The task proved to be more challenging then they expected it would be. Each of us has our own definition of religion that affects how we define our faith. I hope that each student's worldview expanded during our class time and that they can some how have a better understanding of the world around them through what they learned last weekend. Culture, art and religion are passions of mine, so it was a pleasure to be able to share that passion with others and challenge them to see the world differently. My favorite classes in college were ones that challenged my way of thinking and expanded my worldview.

In February I will be going to Saltillo, a city about eight hours away, to teach the same class. I had prepared too much material believe it or not and thus I will be making a few revisions. =0) I owe a big thanks to you all for your prayers, and to my friend and Spanish teacher for editing my lectures and powerpoint!


We are giving lots of praise to God for the fact that we made it through the last two very busy weeks alive.

Thanksgiving night turned out to be a huge hit. Josh fixed a turkey and we had a few appetizers and side dishes not to mention Jennifer's famous pumpkin roll. About twelve people had told us for sure that they were coming, so it was a suprise to have twenty-four adults plus kids show up. When we looked at the food we had prepared we thought it wouldn't be enough, but it was went a long way and we even had leftovers! Our living room was packed and thankfully there were enough seats for everyone. Yeah! Two missionary friends called and asked if they could spend the evening with us too, and a few people in our small group invited friends. The most special part of the night was when we went around the room and shared about what we were thankful for. Everyone shared and some tears were shed as well. For us it was a joy to share the day with so many friends, knowing that we are not alone here and that we have a "family" in León. The night was truly a beautiful one and it was a treat for us to introduce this important American holiday to our Mexican friends.