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(pictures at the bottom of the post)

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7.16.07 -- 8.35 am
well a lot has happened since my last update. saturday we did a youth outreach. it was the church's first attempt at doing an outreach specifically for youth instead of kids. i don't know if it went as well as they might have hoped. attendance was low and the location was odd. let me explain.

members of the congregation had gone into the neighborhood the night before to pass out flyers to invite people. so when we got to the neighborhood they didn't have us go out to invite people, they did announce the event was about to start over the loud speakers, but that only reached those within earshot.

and then the location was odd because i don't think it was where they (the members of the local church that set up the event) originally intended it to be. i think they wanted to do it at a park in the area but because we were going to have "live" music for this youth event we needed to get a special permit. i don't think they were able to get it or didn't hear back from the officials in time. so we ended up having it in the parking lot or courtyard of another church. which may not have been so bad but that church was having their youth worship band practice for their service later that evening. so there was noise coming from inside the church. we were making noise in the courtyard. the people from the other church didn't really seem interested in what we were doing there. and then the fact that we were inviting those that came to go to a different church, not the one that they were at. weird, huh?


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7.17.07 -- 8.29 am
anyways back to the "weekend wrap up". also on saturday we got to go out to eat for the first time. we went to a little taco stand type place. it was a little bigger than a taco stand but not very much seating and even that was outdoor seating. but the place was packed and once you tasted the little tacos you could tell why. they were mmm mmmm good. that's all they served was little tacos about 4 inch diameter and then beverages. i wasn't sure if danielle was going to like them or not. but she had some of the "bistec" tacos and loved them. which was great since the next night we went to a different taco restaurant. this second place also had bigger tacos, about 7-8 inch diameter tortillas. and she again ordered some carne asada (bistec) tacos and eat them all. she loves them. in fact she said when we return to grandview and go to a taco truck she'd like to get those kind of tacos. (so yes deb, she is eating)

sunday morning was church. they have a sign in the sanctuary that says the service times. it says that service starts at 10am on sundays. but we didn't leave the missionary's house until 10.30. and we got there at 11. so i'm not sure if that's just "mexican" time or if they were waiting for us to get there. it was pretty typical of other hispanic services i've been a part of. about 45 min of worship or more. then 20 minutes of alter time. (which was quite a unique experience for those who've never been a part of one) let me just say there was a lot of crying and people being slain in the Spirit. and then ending with a sermon, which this time was probably shorter than normal since the youth pastor from the other church preached so it wasn't an hour or longer.

we were planning on doing an outreach sunday afternoon after lunch, but some of the folks from the other team were feeling quite sick - not sure if from the tacos we ate out or something else. anyways they (the local church or the engage missions people) said we should probably take the afternoon off. so we went back to the hotel after eating lunch. we got there around 3.45pm and had until 7pm when they were going to pick us up for dinner. which was really nice, i got a long nap. maggie went with nancy to the mall to try to find her some more clothes.


9.47 am
monday morning came and we were ready for our last day of ministry. we planned to do two separate programs today, one in the morning and one in the afternoon. well the morning one didn't get started until 11 am so when we got back to the church for lunch we decided to have our afternoon outreach be in the neighborhood right around the church. it seemed kinda odd to me to go to other neighborhoods and invite them to the church and then not invite those that live right near by.

it went great and i asked the pastor's son (enrique) and daughter (citlali) (24 & 16 respectively) if any of the kids that were there already went to the church. and the son said none. when i asked citlali she looked around and said only 2. so i hope this will bring more awareness for the church to those around the church.

we finished just in time too, because within 20 minutes it started raining hard. so hard in fact that some of the roads were flooded and some cars were getting stuck.

dinner was bbq chicken and jojos and corn. i was glad to be able to 'chat' with deb online during our dinner break. i love you babe.

after dinner the Missionary Associate took myself and the other two pastors out to starbucks. we did have to wait for him for quite a while since he was getting work on his van done all day and it still wasn't finished by after dinner time. anyways, we finally went and had a great time to just talk about missions in general, his family's experience with raising funds, and just our past missions trips and experiences.

we got back to the hotel around 9.30 pm and we ready to go to bed fairly quickly. i didn't hear it that much but it rained all night and around 2 am there was really loud thunder. i woke up around 5.30 am and it was still raining. so we're almost to the church now and it's a bright and sunny day. i'm sure the ground and grass is still wet so we'll see how many people come.

the church moved it's mid-week service from wednesday to tuesday so that i could preach tonight. i'll be preaching a message i preached at our church on april 15th, 2007 called "Power to Change". you can find it on iTunes podcast page if you look up "grandview sermons" or you can go to our church website www.grandviewag.com and click on the media link at the top.

i'll write more later and let you know how it all went.


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7.21.07 -- 8.55 am
well, we're back in the usa and are glad to be home. sorry (mom) it took so long to write an update. but here it goes.

the service went fine. just like any other hispanic service. the only thing that made it memorable was the fact that it rained. and i mean RAIN! the church had a metal roof and you could hear the rain very easily. it started raining about the time the pastor was wrapping up the prayer time and getting ready to introduce me. well once i got up to speak it really started raining. in fact it seemed that the louder i got to be heard over the rain the harder it rained. finally i just said we should take a 5 minute break to experience the rain. after about 10 minutes the rain subsided and the service continued.

wednesday was our free day. we went to a huge catholic cathedral for a little while and then we went to an open market. it was a three story building with vendors of all sorts of crafts, candies, souvenirs, electronics, food, clothes, shoes, and pirated dvds. it was huge and crowded (skinny isles and lots of people). we found some great things to bring back to our loved ones, but it was nice to get out of there. after that we went to a modern mall. prices weren't that different at the mall, but it was air conditioned and cleaner. oh and they had a VIP movie theater there. we didn't go because all the movies were in spanish. (they were showing ratatoullie - but it was dubbed in spanish) according to the engage students it's an "extra nice" theater where you sit in lazy boy seats and they bring a menu to you for your snacks. and the


price is only about $10, so about the same as the price of a regular theater in the states.

thursday was our travel home day and we were ready. our flight was supposed to leave around 2.35pm but for some reason got delayed. and then the airline was having trouble find us connecting flights out of phoenix. they ended up putting us on a different flight on another airline. the only thing was that it didn't leave until 8.05 pm! so we got time to hang out at the airport. the flight was nicer than the one we came on and it was a non-stop flight to portland. and since it was such a long flight we got a meal and a movie.

we got in to portland at 10.49pm and then finally made it out of the airport and on our way home. we stopped briefly to get gas a little after midnight on the outskirts of portland and then i slept most of the way home. we were dropped off around 3.45am. it was nice to be home.

on friday night we had our "thank you dessert" for those who had helped and supported us. we shared pictures and stories and even did some of the dances that we had done for the kids in mexico.

so it's nice to be done with our trip. now it's back to all my other duties. being a husband, father and pastor. (i'm preaching on sunday)

oh . . . i almost forgot i found out from deb that my imac was messed up after moving it from the church to the house and only showed a black screen for a while. and then after her and pastor fixed that it would turn on but the colors were all 'neon' looking. anyways i came home and got that fixed, thankfully. (it needed the PRAM reset - i'm not sure what that is or does, but i read it on an apple discussion thread and it worked) but i'm still without a laptop. i'll be saving up this time for a macbook pro.

here's some pics:



and some more:



and just a few more:



// today i'm thankful for:
1. a soft bed
2. air conditioning
3. being home
4. being a whole family again
5. being with my wife again

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