Friday, September 25, 2009

Week in review

Sometimes life just passes by and I live it and forget are some of the more memorable moments of this past week.

This past Sunday, our neighbors, a couple that we know fairly well, went jogging. On their way out of our little neighborhood, the noticed some men wanted to get in the gate, which is controlled by electric "clickers." Because they didn't recognize the men, they did not let them in. A bit later in the day, they got a knock at their door, and upon opening the door, three men yanked the neighbor, Jorge, towards then and proceeded to beat him fiercely, pounding his face until it was a bloody mess. The noise alerted our friends Gerry and Liz, who live right next door, as well as a number of other neighbors. Two of the men were captured by the neighbors, and a third escaped.

The Mexican justice system, however, is incredibly perverse. For the prosecution of a crime to progress, the victims and witnesses have to present charges at the local police station, becoming even more vulnerable as they give personal information to a less-than-trustworthy police organization, often AT THE SAME TIME as the perpetrators. The police can only act if a crime is officially reported and denounced. As you may imagine, in a very corrupt system, this is a huge advantage to the criminals. Many people do not even report a crime for fear of further reprisals. Sometimes, unfortunately, the victims end up being accused. It's a justice system that you hope and pray you never have use.

Wednesday was our 14th anniversary! It was a good day of remembering the past 14 years, the houses we lived in, the victories and tough times too. We were able to have a nice lunch together, although it was not a day totally devoted to celebration...need one of those soon!

On Wednesday evening we had a team meeting, attempting to determine where of two possible neighborhoods we'll start the next church plant. Opinions were, well, divided 4-3, with the majority favoring a plant in this same general area of Santa Barbara, due to the contacts that we have already established here. There are significant advantages to both in this area and Jesus Maria, where we have already purchased a small garage/stand area that lends itself very much to evangelism. We'll make our final decision this coming Wednesday evening. Pray for that please. Unity is important, and team dynamics are also.

On Thursday morning, Mayra and I drove up between the volcanoes to determine where the best place would be for a men's retreat October 9-10. We found a beautiful place, where we can camp by a stream (see picture below). We are expecting between 30-40 men for this time. I will be speaking for this event. Our church here, Sendero de Vida, is organizing the time. About 10 other churches are invited, but do to distance we do not expect a huge participation from many of them.

Last night, Martin, David and I met with a couple that we had had some contact with several months ago...Juan Carlos and his wife and daughter. Juan Carlos's livelihood is making tamales...and he loves to talk about it. He loves to talk period, actually. We once again invited them to study the Bible.

Today Cathy got examined for orthopedic shoes. She has been complaining quite a bit of late about pain in her feet. She already has orthopedic shoes, but they are getting small for her. After plaster molds and a chunk of change, Cathy will have new shoes as of October 5. We actually took the kids out of school a bit early to travel about 90 minutes into the city, to an area/avenue called Miramontes. We were thinking about stopping by to see Jose Antonio Munoz, who was just operated on yesterday (broken arm), but with Friday traffic and rain on the way, we decided against it.

Samuel and Aurora and family stopped by this evening. We cruised down to Sam's Club and bought ice cream and apple pie...ah, a little taste of home! As always, we had a great, hilarious time with the Valtierra family. Finally...Mayra is working on her workshop for a children's conference (she's doing a class on teaching preschoolers) and I'm...well, I'm writing here.

We thank you very much for your prayers and gifts towards us. This past week has not been easy in several ways (did I mention the refrigerator needed fixed, and we haven't had water a couple days this week). Oh, and the newer laptop died too. We count on and can sense your prayers, and we sure do need and appreciate them.

1 comment:

Melissa Roberts said...

feliz aniversario, tortolitos!!!