Huejotzingo VBS Day 4

Teaching the kidsThe usual pattern continued today, the 4th day of the 2018 TUtP VBS in Huejotzingo, Mexico—we again had an increase in the number of participants with a total of 44. We also gained one more worker. Your prayers are definitely making a difference. Thank you so very much. Because of you the lives of these young people are being positively affected for the sake of Jesus.

What with one thing and another, I got to bed at 1 a.m. this morning, so was a bit miffed (gross understatement) when at 5:30 a.m. the local church, as per their pattern of announcing their 6 a.m. mass, loudly broadcast panpipe music of “The Sound of Silence” over their loud speakers. I immediately thought that silence would indeed be golden.

The morning was a bit hectic getting ready, eating a somewhat hurried breakfast, washing and hanging up clothes, packing the car, taking everyone and everything over to the venue and then picking up the 5 children I pick up each morning. I got back to the venue as most of the children were signing in. I realized I had inadvertently left my camera at the TUtP Center. I also learned we had not packed the computer, which was supposed to be with all the other items by the front door, but wasn’t. Hurried 10 minute drive to pick up both items. Got back pretty much when the computer had become essential. So all was well.

Using a wig for a beardI am always amazed at how much joy and fun the kids display. Also I am aware of all that Abraham and Rachel do, how very creative they are in planning games and crafts that add to the teaching of the day. We really have a very modest budget and very simple things to use. I brought down a number of wigs and a fur stole I bought at an estate sale. I get a lot of items for our mission at estate sales. The stole, which was gray and white, became a beard for Paul. One of the wigs became a beard for Timothy. Both looked great. Rachel, who played a wealthy lady from Antioch who told the story of how Paul and Barnabas had come to their city and stayed for a year and how the Judaizing Christians came and tried to make the Gentile believers become Jews, requiring Paul and Barnabas to return to Jerusalem to settle the issue. She wore some of the costume jewelry I brought down. She really looked impressive.

Tomorrow is closing day and we expect at least a few parents to attend the closing ceremony at 2:30. Appreciate your prayers that a good number of parents will attend. We had a record number of parents last year. We recap all the songs and stories the kids learned throughout the week. Again, this is the most Biblical presentation most of these parents will encounter.

It’s getting close to 11:30 p.m., so I’m in for an early bedtime compared to the rest of the week. Rachel and Abraham will be up to the wee hours preparing the certificates of completion and the final poster that depicts the story the kids will hear tomorrow. The five posters, one representing the story told each day, will be awarded to each of the kids who can say all five Scriptures which they learned during the week.

2018 Huejotzingo VBS Day 3

The 3rd day of the 2018 TUtP Huejotzingo VBS is now in the books. Yesterday I said we had 38 kids in attendance. We actually had 34. But we increased to 38 today. I also mentioned that we really needed at least 2 or 3 more helpers. God answered your prayers by sending 3. Hooray!!

Because of all that we had had to do the previous afternoon and evening after VBS ended at 3 p.m. we were not able to do all of the shopping for today. So Abraham and I dropped Joyce and Rachel and the grandkids at the VBS venue and drove hurriedly into the outskirts of town to pick up the few things we needed. Short trips sometimes don’t work out to be as quick as one would hope. Two places we stopped at to buy glue didn’t have any. That meant going into the center of town (the sokolo).

I couldn’t find a place to park so I dropped Abraham off so I could search for a parking spot. Easier said than done. The 1st two places I pulled into turned out to be non-parking spots for regular cars. One was actually a cross walk, though it was not marked very well. Fortunately a car pulled out as I was circling the square. I parked and got out to go to the store where Abraham was supposed to be. He was no longer there. My phone had lost all power the night before and had not recharged, though it was plugged in and showing it was charging. So I had no phone and could not call him or be called by him. I finally spotted him as he located where I’d parked.

We had one more place to shop, but it was almost time for VBS to begin and I still had to pick up 5 kids. They are all in one family so all at one house. We were close to their location, so I dropped Abraham at the store, went to pick them up. Ten minutes later we were heading to the VBS location. We arrived just as VBS was beginning.

Most of the kids arrived a little late and were still outside registering, so we were O.K

It was another fun day with all of the usual activities. The kids were very enthusiastic. There was a great deal of laughter and commraderie, especially among the older kids. Everyone really enjoyed eating the snack of a blue jello sea with the cookie boat on top. We had more water balloons today as well. It was a bright, warm sunny day, so getting wet was really enjoyable.

After our late afternoon meal and some preparation for crafts for tomorrow I drove Joyce and the grandkids back to the TUtP Center and Abraham, Rachel and I headed for the Puebla Costco to pick up a number of additional items for the Center. Unfortunately the GPS wasn’t working right, so we missed a couple of turns and wound up in a location neither Abraham or Rachel recognized. We stopped at a gated business entrance and Abraham asked one of the drivers who was leaving for the day if he could give us directions. Better than that, it turns out he was going to pass Costco on his way home. All we had to do was follow him. Yes, in heavy going home traffic. Nonetheless, we managed to keep close enough to get there only about 45 minutes latter than we should have.

Thanks for your prayers and support.



Huejotzingo VBS Day 2

This is the end of the 2nd day of our 2018 TUtP Huejotzingo VBS. We had 34 kids today, a nice increase over the 1st day. Generally the numbers tend to increase each day as word spreads among the kids. The lack of helpers was more evident today. Those we have are great, but we could use at least 3 more.

The kids were very active today. Play time involved lots of water balloon games, which they absolutely love. Fortunately we had sets of balloons that can be filled in multiples, which saved a lot of time this morning. Unfortunately about 1/3 of them leaked out all their water before they could be used. Product design issues. Still, we had more than enough for everyone to get quite wet and thoroughly happy.

They sang songs, prayed, listened to the story of Saul telling how he was converted and how Barnabas helped him, ate yummy cracked snacks that looked like little doors (Barnabas opened doors for him to be accepted by the other Christians), and did multiple crafts while learning the verse of the day.

Pray for stamina, focus and for the presence of Jesus to be real to every child who comes. Pray for good health for everyone. Your prayers make a huge difference.

Thanks and Blessings!

2018 Huejotzingo VBS Day 1

Monday, July 16 was the 1st day of our 2018 TUtP Huejotzingo VBS. We had 28 kids who showed up. I drove to the home of 5 of them to bring them as it is too far for them to walk and they always come each year.

The kids played a variety of fun games, memorized the daily Scripture passage, heard the story of Barnabas showing true love and generosity in donating the profits from the sale of his land, prayed, ate snacks and generally had a great time together.

For almost all of these kids, this is the only contact they have with Scripture. Some of these kids attend our Sunday kid’s club and so are gaining a good basic understanding of who Jesus is and what the Bible teaches. They share what they learn each day with their family at home.

We have fewer volunteer workers this year. It’s a fair distance from Dios es Amor, the congregation we cooperate with for our VBS.. So it can be difficult for folks to take the bus or drive here each day. Please pray for at least another 2 or 3 folks to come and help each day.

It’s 11:23 p.m. and we’re almost done with preparations for tomorrow. We need to prepare all the items for the various crafts, fix the snacks and prepare the posters we use to display the songs and the memory verses. This is routine each night of the VBS. Pray for our health and stamina. Pray for good sleep once we go to bed. I’ve had a bit of difficulty with sleep this trip. For one thing a local church begins to play rather loud music at 5;30 every morning in preparation for their 6 a.m. celebration of mass. I have noise cancelling earbuds to insert after the noise wakes me. But it is hard getting back to sleep and I find I can’t tolerate the earbuds an entire night as they become uncomfortable.

So appreciate your prayers and the many ways you enhance and bless the ministry of TUtP. You make it possible for these kids to participate in our various programs.

Thanks and Blessings!

1st Report 2018 TuTP Huejotzingo VBS:

The neighborhood volcanoes

Joyce and I flew into Huejotzingo on Tuesday evening, July 10. Our flight took most of the day as we were routed through Monterrey for a layover before fling on to the Puebla International Airport, which is actually in Huejo about a 15 minute drive away from our center. It was the perfect flight. Totally non-eventful.

After a fairly good night of sleep we began shopping for items we need to help make our center more comfortable—some chairs, bedding, kitchen items, etc.

The center is located in a semi-rural area that is fairly rapidly becoming a village. Our compound is about ½ an acre in size. We have a cement block and chain link security fence around the perimeter. Some landscaping is already underway, but we went to an open-air flea market about a 45-minute drive away to pick up more plants. Those were planted immediately. I brought down a number of packets of seeds that are being planted today in the garden soil we also bought at the flea market.

The Flea Market was bigger than expected
Last night Rachel was up until almost 1 a.m. working on one of 5 posters that depict the theme of each day during the VBS. VBS starts on Monday, and we still have to replicate most of the drawings used during craft time.

Wow! This is big and impressive! Another visit may be needed. In the meantime…
Where are the plants in all this?
We so appreciate you and your prayers for Jesus to make Himself known to the kids who come. Pray that there will be a great turn out. Each year has seen an increase over the prior year. That is a real challenge as we may not have all the help from the congregation at Dios es Amor, the Church we partner with in this area. Some of the folks who have helped in the past are going to be out of town during the week. So also pray for replacement volunteers. It is good that Joyce speaks Spanish and so will be a real asset.

Thanks and Blessings!

Found the plants!