Friday, February 18, 2011

New School Year at Tec

A new year, a new group of in incoming freshman, and new opportunities to share Christ at the Tec! In the picture below with Shirley are Paulett, Kandra and Gabriel. They took initiative and handed out leaflets to about half of the 1,000 incoming freshman class informing them about CruTec, our Campus Crusade group on campus.

Later that week, we began surveys. One of the students we met, Francisco, opened up and told us about problems and difficulties he is having. Yesterday I ran into Francisco again on campus, and he asked me when we were starting meetings on campus. He told me that he needs "something" and that he feels "empty."

Shirley, Paulette, Kandra & Gabriel

Prayer: "And whatever you ask in My name, that I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son." (John 14:13)

We all know that prayer is essential, but far too often we don't do enough of it. Please join us in praying:
  • for our students, that they would grow in love and obedience to Christ (John 14:15-16, 21) -- Juan Elias, Ivan, Paulette, Kandra, Gabriel, Raul ... to name a few
  • that the Lord would lead us to "persons of peace" -- spiritually hungry individuals who would open up relational networks (family, friends, etc.) to the Good News (Luke 10:1-11)
  • the Lord would send laborers into his harvest (Luke 10:2); we believe many of these will also comefrom the harvest
  • for Francisco, who is searching for something to fill the void in his life, that we would be able to effectively point him to Christ; and others whom we have met through the surveys
  • for our students to begin Bible studies among their relational networks

Praying for student peers and open doors at the Tec

Thank you for your partnership and prayer!

Philip, Shirley and family

Saturday, December 04, 2010

Update on Rigo & Gabriel -- Christmas Coffee & Elementary School Outreach

Dear Friends,

Thank you for your prayers for Rigo and Juan Gabriel! We wanted to give you an update of what has been going on in the past couple of weeks. It has been a busy and emotionally packed time. We thank the Lord for opportunities to minister and we have seen his hand clearly at work!

We spent last Thursday with Rigo and his family for the viewing and funeral. I put the Turkey back in the freezer -- we celebrated Thanksgiving along with the first Sunday of Advent together!

Rigo's dad, Carlos, was an usher in the church and loved by many. He always greeted people with a smile, and was quick to tease or share a joke. The church was packed out for the funeral. Rigo and his sister, however, did have some difficulties in their relationship with their dad. Rigo had just shared with me a couple weeks ago how that he had been able to speak with and come to peace with his dad. I can't imagine if he had not been able to do that! It is a powerful reminder of our need to love and forgive, and always have short accounts in life!

That same day, I called Juan Gabriel to let him know about Rigo's dad. He was in town with his younger brother, taking care of some the details after his dad's death. We were able to get together Friday morning, and he told me about what happened with his dad. His dad and 4 other men (including his dad's uncle) were going to get the village's water supply working. There was a problem with the pump. They took a short cut through a dangerous area, and as they were crossing, there was a mudslide. The men in front, just steps away from his dad and two others, were able to escape. But his dad and two others were killed. The bodies of the two other men were recovered within a couple hours, but it took 3 days to recover Gabriel's dad's body. Gabriel's dad was just 47 years old. Gabriel is the 2nd of 4 children, 24, 23, 13, and 7 years; his mom, Rosemary, is 45. I can't imagine the pain and shock the family has been going through. I was able to share with Gabriel some scripture, but mostly just tried to listen as he told me what happened and what they have been dealing with over the past few weeks. Gabriel did tell me his dad had visited his grandparents and some other relatives just the day before the accident -- and they feel it was as if he was able to say good-bye, and they are thankful for that.

Christmas Coffee and Elementary School Outreach

Last Saturday we had a Christmas Coffee to celebrate the end of the school year, the coming Christmas season, and to thank God for the activities of the past year. We specifically wanted parents, alumni and faculty to be exposed to the work, in order to gain support and even volunteers for the future. There were about 40 in attendance. We had a powerpoint and photo presentation of the work over the past several years, Juan Elias' testimony of coming to Christ through his involvement with the group, and a short drama the students put together. Despite some technical difficulties in the beginning with the electricity and the video projector, everything worked out! We started almost an hour late due to the problems, but the coffee, tamales, and homemade "pumpkin" pie (made from ayote, a local squash) from Shirley were a great hit, and everyone seemed to really enjoy the evening! We could also see that it has helped to build the group's closeness with each other.

The students did a drama based on the song "Everything" by the group Lifehouse

Tomorrow we and the students are going to San Marcos of Tarrazu, to hold the end of year Christmas party for a small elementary school with just 35 students. Paulette's mom is the school's director and one of the two teachers there. It is a poor, farming (coffee) community. We have collected presents for each of the students, and will also bring apples and grapes, which are traditional gifts during Christmas. About 12 students from the Tec will be going -- we will play games with the kids, have lunch, and give the the presents and some school supplies.

This past semester, Shirley had a women's Bible study in Paulette's house. Paulette came to faith in Christ a little over a year ago during the project from Mexico, and has really been growing since that time. One of the evenings at the Bible study, Paulette's mom, Wilma, began to share with Shirley her life and background. Shirley was just about floored by what she heard, in terms of brokenness and pain.

This opportunity to serve and bless these children, their community, and Paulette's mom, Wilma, is another open door the Lord has put before us. When the Lord brings a student, like Paulette, or Juan Elias, to himself, we are always aware that there is a context, a family, a bigger story behind the story, so to speak -- with our Lord's love for people and desire to bring them to himself.

Our prayer is that the Lord would open these hearts and bring many more to himself. Life is precious and fleeting. Shirley and I have talked for the last three years of visiting Juan Gabriel's family. His father's untimely death was a strong reminder of how urgent and important it is to continue to sow the life giving seeds of the Gospel abundantly and at every opportunity!

Thank you for your prayers and partnership with us, as we invest in these students, the next generation of leaders!

serving with you,

Philip and Shirley and the family

Prayer points:
  • Rigo and Juan Gabriel and their families during their grieving, that the Lord would comfort and use these tragedies to bring people to Himself
  • The outreach to the San Marcos children, their families, and Paulette's mom, Wilma; future opportunities to bless this community
  • Isaac and Carol, the new staff couple, for their support raising process
  • For our family, rest over the holidays and re-creation
  • Wisdom as we review and formulate short and long term ministry plans

Wednesday, September 01, 2010

New Believer at Tec

Since the Mexican project has left, we have about a dozen or more new students involved in the ministry, some new believers, which is a great blessing!

At the same time, a number of our regular students, though very motivated while the Mexicans were here, have now seemed to disappear amidst the busyness of school, and this has been disappointing for me.

I am discipling one new believer, Juan Gabriel. And there are several more new believers that have yet to begin follow up. Two students who have really stepped up to the plate and are helping out are Juan Elias and Paulette. Recently, Paulette and her mom came for coffee. Paulette's mom, Wilma, just took a job as the principal at an elementary school in a rural area. She asked us if we (Campus Crusade at the Tec) could help with the Christmas party for the school. There are about 40 children who come from low income families. It looks like we are going to help out with this event sometime in early December. This will be a good opportunity to share Christ's love in a tangible way for the community, as well as being a good testimony to Paulette's mom.

In the photo below, next to me is Juan Gabriel. Juan received Christ as Pedro and I shared with him on August 6th. He is studying computer engineering, is participating in the Plasma Physics Group at the Tec, and plays in the National Youth Symphony--needless to say he is a busy person! The day he received Christ, I asked him what he thought about what I had shared with him and the decision he made. He replied, "Who would not want to do that!" (to receive Christ as Lord and Savior).

Prayer items:
  • for Paulette and Juan Elías who are helping lead the CruTec group
  • for new believers, Lanvin, Gabriel, Juan Gabriel, to recieve follow up
  • for spiritual growth for the students, that the Lord would create in them a desire to grow and reach out
  • for Isaac and Carol, as they raise funds to start full-time with Campus Crusade
  • for our family, that we would continue to grow faith and love, and have a healthy balance between family and ministry

Photo: from left to right: Raúl (Tec), Felix and Pedro (Mexican Project), Juan Gabriel (new believer, Tec), and myself