Wednesday, May 31, 2023

April - May 2023 Benaiah…went down also and slew a lion in the midst of a pit in time of snow… II Samuel 23:20 

 What? Benaiah, the valiant son of Jehoiada and doer of great deeds, killed a lion down in a pit on a snowy day!? That sounds ridiculously impossible, first, that it even happened, and more importantly, that this historical narration is included in the verbal plenary God-breathed Word. It must be tremendously important. 

It is tremendously important to recognize that the seemingly impossible tasks God has designed for us don’t always make sense and may not seem possible, and His timing for their outcome is positively His own. These days have been filled with “chasing lions into pits on snowy days,” and standing back in awe to exclaim with Jeremiah: “Ah, Lord God! …Nothing is too hard for you.” 
The tenth annual Huichol youth camp is history along with the nine previous camps. We expected about 200 people this year, and what a surprise when on Day 1 the total came to 290. Coming up with last-minute additional food, camp logo t-shirts, blankets, supplies, etc., is tantamount to chasing a lion into a pit on a snowy day! Pastor Martín and Erén did an excellent job of caring, ministering, and administrating, and lots of helpers joined in to help. Jeremiah is right: “Ah, Lord God…Nothing is too hard for you!” 

This year’s theme, Who Am I? is perfect for the needy hearts of young people, world over, and especially in the Huichol villages of the Sierra Madre. At least 27 kids recognized their need for the Savior Who has known, chosen, desired, loved, accepted, redeemed, sanctified, created, forgiven, adopted, preserved, heard, and called them. After camp was over and the kids returned to their villages, the new believers chose to proclaim their identity with their Savior and be baptized on that Easter weekend. In honor of the tenth anniversary of Huichol camps, Jonatán García produced a video showing clips from each camp and God’s amazing outreach during the past decade. 
Last Saturday was the IBBM-Tepic OANSA Awards Ceremony Day. You can see Jonatán’s OANSA video here. Next Saturday is the OANSA fair where the budding young Approved Workers will be spending the OANSApesos they have been accumulating all year and enjoying the fruits of their labor. My favorite award is one we invented, not officially OANSA-endorsed, but the most meaningful of all. We call it the annual NOBEL prize. It goes to one single person who stands out for faithfully and consistently loving Jesus and conforming to His image, working hard to hide His word in their hearts, putting the learning into practice, joyfully following directions, loving his or her classmates, and a long list of other qualities. This year, Yancy received the unanimous vote of the OANSA leaders. Her life has been far from easy. She has seen, lived, and suffered more than any little girl ever should. Yancy rides the OANSAmobile that crosses town for her and a bus full of other children. Despite her extreme timidity, she stands in line every week to share with the whole congregation of children the verses she has learned with great effort. I’ve never seen a child more deserving or more surprised to hear her name called for the highly-valued Nobel Prize. She smiled through tears as she made her way to the front of the auditorium for her award. 

I was sitting near her little sister, Daniela, who also started crying when Yancy received her award. I thought Daniela might have been disappointed because she wasn’t chosen for the Nobel. No, Daniela’s voice quivered through her tears to say how happy she was for Yancy! I could only imagine how ecstatic Yancy will be when she finds herself before her Savior when her name is called from the Book of Life; and how grateful we leaders, the “Danielas,” will be that she will be there with us and the rest of the great cloud of witnesses who generously participated in making it possible for Yancy to hear the Gospel message in OANSA-Tepic. 

These are just a few of many reasons God calls us, along with Benaiah, whose name aptly means, “Built by God,” to chase lions into pits on snowy days. Benaiah was trusted with some humanly impossible tasks as well as the supernatural power to do them. It wasn’t easy, and the environment was not supportive, but ultimately, he was honored with a valued place in the service of the king.


Saturday, April 01, 2023

February - March 2023 Christ… died for all, that they which live should not henceforth live for themselves, but for him who died for them, and rose again. 2 Corinthians 5:15

February - March 2023

Christ… died for all, that they which live should not henceforth live for themselves, but for him who died for them, and rose again. 2 Corinthians 5:15 According to a recent U.S. Census Bureau survey “there is an epidemic of loneliness today”; around 60% of people in this country regularly feel lonely. How is it possible that in this world, more connected than ever, with opportunities to share “selfies” of me, by me, and about me with the world at large in a mere instant, hearts are starved for real love? The apostle Paul reminds us that “It’s not about me!” The cure for loneliness is not to live for myself. Ron Hutchcraft says to reverse the camera lens and start taking “youies”! A meaningful life is derived from being there for someone else and living for Him who died and rose again. It's refreshing to see brothers and sisters in the Tepic church who have caught hold of this remedy and are learning to put it into practice with those whom God places in their paths, especially some of the IBBM-Tepic young people who have spent years in training for such a time as this. A well-tuned team of student-leaders is willingly giving up their Spring break to serve God and their Huichol “neighbors” with their whole hearts at the 10th annual Huichol youth camp. This camp would be impossible without their creativity and hard work, and their choice to live for Him who died for them and rose again. Camp starts on Sunday afternoon, April 2, but the labor of love in hauling and setting up camp at a very rustic converted brick “factory,” has already begun. Everything must be transported from Tepic: the canopy (auditorium), tables, chairs, kitchen supplies, refrigerator, stoves and gas tanks, blankets for the campers, tents, musical instruments and audio/video equipment, stage and scenery, everything. Then when it’s over, everything must be dismantled, returned, cleaned, and stored for next year. It’s nothing short of a miracle to watch the student leaders joyfully in action, focusing on “youies,” and offering their hearts of love and service for their Huichol brothers and sisters. Just this past month four of these IBBM-Tepic students stand out for their excellent “youies.”

David is Pastor Martín and Erén’s son. He has grown up, following Jesus’ example looking for every possible opportunity to prepare himself to serve. He graduated from the School of Music; he’s an excellent conductor, violinist, and pianist at church. He was chosen to go on a mission trip to Canada, so he learned French, and now he teaches French in a private junior high school. Then he enrolled in an intense school of English from which he graduated with honors. He has used that skill to interpret for visitors to IBBM from the States and as a liaison with a youth group that is coming to help with the Huichol camp. That’s not enough; he’s studying Chinese and just passed the first level. He graduated this year from the University of Nayarit with a degree in biochemistry. He is a leader in OANSA, the game director, and just recently coordinated a six-week teaching series for which he made a soldier piñata to dress in the “whole armor of God.” This coming week David is Huichol youth camp game director and pianist for the worship team, and for the first time, he'll be part of the panel of Bible teachers. No “selfies” for this guy! 

is Pastor Nacho and Lorena’s son. He, too, has grown up, following Jesus’ example of service. He’s in his last year of Economics after passing a very selective entrance exam at the University of Nayarit. His nickname at church is the “erudito” (scholar). In addition, Josué (Joshua) is a very effective OANSA group leader, teacher, and club secretary/ coordinator. He also graduated from the School of Music, and he’s the IBBM worship team leader. He plays violin, bass, guitar, and the cajon. Josué did an excellent job preaching his well-prepared first sermon this past month on the attributes of God. This guy has no time to be lonely; he’s into “youies.” 

Nearly 20 years ago, Armando began bringing his little daughters to the Tepic church OANSA club. María (4) and Lynethe (5) cried every single Saturday when their dad dropped them off at “Cubbies.” Finally, they realized how much they really loved hearing stories from the Bible and hiding God’s Word in their hearts. They learned how much their leaders loved them, and best of all, that Jesus loved them and gave His life for them. Years have passed; the girls have learned not to live for themselves, but for Him who died for them and rose again. María and Lynethe are nurses. Both sisters are dependable OANSA leaders, willing servants, excellent Sunday school teachers, and worship team participants. María plays flute, and Lynethe manages the church A/V equipment. They’ll be working next week at camp, too. Their love for Jesus spilled over to their parents, and they also believed and have become faithful disciples. 

David, Josué, María, and Lynethe have discovered by experience that joy comes from not living for themselves anymore but for Him who died for them and rose again. Their fulfilling life mission is simple: No “selfies.”

Wednesday, February 01, 2023

December 2022 - January 2023 Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God. 1 John 3:1

Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God. 1 John 3:1
To be loved, known, and chosen by Almighty God, the Creator of the universe, is the greatest need of every single person created in His image. Missing the mark of His perfect design provokes an agonizing and eternal identity crisis that can be resolved only by accepting Jesus' unmerited gift and the transformation that His sacrificial, redemptive payment makes possible. The transformed relationship with a loving Father provides a brand new, forgiven, pure, and blameless identity and a worthwhile purpose for living. The past two months in Tepic and surrounding Huichol villages have been filled with examples of that purpose in action and multiple miraculously-resolved identity crises.
Christmastime here is always an opportunity to make the most of sharing the unimaginable provision that the Creator of the universe humbled Himself to provide for a lost humanity whose identity is in shambles. As usual, the Christmas Celebration at IBBM was a platform for presenting the Gospel to a church full of those whom He came to seek and save. In addition, kids from all over town attended the OANSA Christmas party. The young OANSA leaders, who have been chosen, forgiven, gifted, and called, made the piñatas for the party, one for each group, as a tangible and sacrificial display of love. Not one person left these celebrations without hearing that the Omnipotent became a baby, wrapped in rags in a stable, born to die, to offer us the gift of salvation…because He is not willing that any should perish. God’s children are known, wanted, loved, accepted, and adopted. What an identity! 

And speaking of identity, Oscar is yet another young person who has wisely chosen to publicly identify with our Savior. He shared an amazing testimony of his experience of being accepted, redeemed, and set apart to serve Him, not because Oscar earned it; he certainly did not, but according to the riches of God’s limitless grace. 

Preparations are underway for the upcoming Huichol youth camp, our 10th anniversary of these camps! The current worldwide identity crisis has infected not only the most privileged person in town, but also, as implausible as it seems, the Huichol from the remotest village in the Sierra Madre who insists on looking for counterfeit worth in what other people say, in physical appearance, or in personal possessions. Pastor Martín’s wife, Erén, and I prepared the teaching materials and handbooks, and the Huichol teachers and leaders met with us this past week to go over each lesson and to finalize the logistics. We will teach that the answer to the key question: “Who am I?” has nothing to do with what you do, what you own, or who you’re with. Our Creator reveals that a child of God is known, chosen, desired, loved, accepted, redeemed, sanctified, created, forgiven, preserved, called, heard, adopted, and gifted for a purpose. Our true identity is found in Him, who offers to be our loving Father, and from whose unconditional love nothing at all can separate His children. 

Pastor José López and Juanita buried her daughter, Petra, on Monday, the day before we arrived in the village of La Bendición for our camp orientation and teaching sessions last week. We were all very sad. Petra’s life was hard. Her husband violently victimized her, constantly. They have seven children; the youngest is four years old. Petra came from her village of San Andrés Cohamiata seeking medical help in Tepic, and she was diagnosed with cancer. During her months of agonizing treatments, José shared the Gospel with Petra, and she believed. She lost the battle with cancer, but she gained an eternal identity, a redeemed child of God. Her husband had left her all alone to fend for herself, but the church family at La Bendición cared selflessly for her during her long illness. Fire-eyed and furious, along with the hobbling witch doctor from San Andrés, her husband showed up threatening and cursing Pastor Refugio at the village cemetery just as the casket the church family obtained for her was being lowered into the burial plot they purchased and excavated. The law requires burial within 24 hours. The local judge intervened and made him leave; he said the cemetery hours were now over. Praise God for Petra’s new identity and the amazing reminder that nothing at all can separate us from God’s unconditional love. 

Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God. 1 John 3:1

Thursday, December 01, 2022

October-November 2022. The LORD is God; there is no other. 1 Kings 8:57-60

The Lord our God be with us, as he was with our fathers. May he not leave us or forsake us, that he may incline our hearts to him, to walk in all his ways … that all the peoples of the earth may know that the LORD is God; there is no other. 1 Kings 8:57-60 When all the work for the temple was finished, the Ark of the Covenant had been positioned in the Holy of Holies, and the glory of the Lord had filled the temple, Solomon led the people to worship Him. He began with giving thanks and praising God for His provision of time, talents, and resources. He continued recognizing that God had provided in the past, and he asked for direction for the future. His request was not self-focused but instead, that God’s name would be proclaimed to all the world. Much more important than Solomon’s earthly temple, Jesus is building His Church, and nothing can stop it. The past two months in Tepic and surrounding villages have been filled with examples of that marvel in action.
In the first week of October, more than 30 leaders and workers from the Huichol church at La Bendición left at daybreak to head for Guásima del Caimán for a 4-day discipleship conference. They traveled in the back of a pick-up and in two rented rural transport vans as far into the mountains as a vehicle can, then they got down and started hiking the remaining hours to the village. That’s so easy to say, but the doing is quite another story. No one asked them to go, no one bankrolled their transportation expenses, and no one covered the days of missed work this mission trip required. They love their Savior, they love their ex-persecutors who had previously banished them from their natal village, and they understand and obey the biblical mandate to make disciples. Three weeks later, some of them returned to Caimán with a truckload of materials to get started laying the foundation and building the walls for a building in which to meet. The Lord is God, and He will build His Church! 

Also, in the first week of October, IBBM-Tepic celebrated our 31st anniversary. God has faithfully provided in the past, and we can be sure that He will provide for the building of His Church in the future. Pastor Phil from NVBC-Phoenix and ITMI’s Steve Evers shared the importance of Trusting God for the Impossible so that all the peoples of the earth may know that the LORD is God

Meche, Toña, Carlos, and Karen chose to incline their hearts and walk in all His ways being baptized on anniversary Sunday. 

Unbelievable! The Huichol church at Vizcarra, that I shared about in the July 2022 update, is not satisfied with being only on the receiving end of blessings.  Five of them took a “break” from their own building project to travel from their village to Tepic, machetes in hand to serve, helping clear the very overgrown land behind and alongside the church. The rainy season had turned it into a formidable jungle. Those machetes whirled like fan blades, and within a few hours, the job was done! 

It's amazing to see the domino effect of sharing with brothers and sisters. They have been recipients of much-unexpected help, and they couldn’t wait to find something to share with the family. Another brother, Romualdo, from the sister church at La Bendición, offered to lay the bricks that were also unexpectedly donated for their new building, and he did an amazing job finishing in record time.
Martín got an unexpected call from a Mexican pastor friend in Durango (Mexico) who is friends with a bunch of very hard-working German brothers, also from Durango, who, as they said, “because He first loved us,” were chomping at the bit, to get involved serving in a work project.
Twenty-two Mexican and German brothers and sisters arrived ready, not only to lay the cement floor, weld the trusses, and install the roofing on the new church building in Vizcarra, but also to donate their time and skill to replace the roof on the Tepic church! 


That work team wasn’t satisfied with only one project. Materials for the Tepic project were also donated, unexpectedly. The dedication of the new Huichol church building in the village of Vizcarra took place last Sunday.

The logistics of carrying out projects in Caimán, La Bendición, Tepic, Vizcarra, and beyond are daunting. While we’re at it, may we never lose sight of the truth that, although it’s exhausting, “It is easier to build temples than to be temples to God.” —Matthew Henry 

Along with Solomon, we give thanks that God has provided in the past, and He promises provision and direction for the future. We will proclaim His name to all the world that all the peoples of the earth may know that the LORD is God; there is no other

See photo albums of more Tepic activities than we could ever have imagined here and here.

Saturday, October 01, 2022

August-September 2022 I have been young, and now am old; yet have I not seen the righteous forsaken… Psalm 37:25

I have been young, and now am old; yet have I not seen the righteous forsaken… Psalm 37:25

This past month, Elizabeth II and I celebrated our Platinum Jubilees! Her Majesty began her record-setting 70-year reign just months before I was born. I’m grateful to God for the life He has given me and for the army of people who have surrounded and loved me during these three-score decades and ten that have seemed “but a vapor,” and I have not seen the righteous forsaken. 

It’s sobering and appropriate to realize that I most certainly will not experience another Platinum Jubilee. This world is magnificently inviting, but it is not the end. It’s merely a temporary assignment, not home; it’s a nice place to pass through, but it’s not the destination. In his book, A Long Obedience in the Same Direction: Discipleship in an Instant Society, Eugene Peterson asserts that I’m not a tourist, I’m a pilgrim on my way to a better place. He wrote this book at the début of the age of universal cell phones, pocket computers, wireless internet, fast food, Netflix, and social media with instant access to entertainment, information, and addiction to hurrying. Peterson insists, “Hurry is the great enemy of the spiritual life in our day. You must ruthlessly eliminate hurry from your life.”  

José López is a vivid example of implementing a long, unhurried, obedience in the same direction. He came to faith late in his second decade, after too many wasted years of wandering and wallowing in sin. But once the Savior rescued him, to this day, he has never wavered as a steadfast, dedicated disciple, an available apprentice of Jesus. 

Pastor José is not stunning or personally attention-grabbing; his commitment is not logical, his efforts are seemingly thankless and not trendy, nor will they be included in the latest Barna stats. As he plods along as an ordinary but loyal disciple in his long obedience in the same direction, his focus is not on his work and effort, but on that of his Master. 

José was won to Christ and trained in the faith by the very first Huichol Christian, Román Díaz, whose place he occupied as the main Huichol pastor/leader after Román graduated to heaven. José learned to read from the only Huichol book in print, the New Testament. Then he worked hand in hand with Kirt, until Kirt’s graduation, sharing the Gospel throughout the mountains, establishing churches, and suffering for his faith more than anybody I know. His very first evangelistic effort, after he learned to read and was discipled, was to return to Guásima del Caimán, his natal village, and to his family that he had abandoned years before when he took off to seek his “fortune” in the big city. He was met with solid rejection of himself and more importantly, of the Savior he now represented. How disappointed he was when everybody who heard his message mocked him, rejected his pleas, and insisted that he leave the village never to return. Twenty-five years later, he was unexpectedly invited back to his village, and thirty-six Huichol people believed. Those new believers experienced horrendous persecution from the other villagers, and ultimately, they were forced to relocate. They named their new village La Bendición (The Blessing) and began their own long obedience in the same direction following José’s resolute example.

There are way too many details to share here, but before long that infant church, now pastored by Refugio, reached out with their exemplary leader, José, to establish sister churches in new villages like Vizcarra, Tutuyekuamama, and Pueblo Nuevo. (You can search for and read about these village churches in previous blog posts here.) 

Not only was José purposefully unstoppable in sharing the Gospel throughout the Sierra Madre, but also, he was front and center in getting the ball rolling for the translation of the complete Huichol Bible. Dr. Grimes, a consulting linguist, commented that in the context of the translation workshops, José was somewhat on the margin, not being great on technology, though not afraid of it either. He would take a seat on the side choosing to use the oldest computer in the project. His knowledge of the Bible and humankind was and is impressive, especially in the translation of difficult passages, making him a vital contributing member of the team.

José has hiked innumerable miles, flown countless more in UIM-A planes, ridden in the back of rattle-trap pickups, spent days and nights on the trail, been imprisoned for his faith, whatever it has taken to share the Gospel, baptize, and disciple many Huichols, who because of His Savior and his long obedience in the same direction, have believed. José has not seen the righteous forsaken. See photo albums of José’s long obedience and other August-September Tepic activities here.

Monday, August 01, 2022

June-July 2022 Now the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that ye may abound in hope

Now the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that ye may abound in hope, through the power of the Holy Spirit. Romans 15:13 

Search as they may, joy and peace are scarce commodities for today’s world full of strivers. Yet the offer is plain and clear, there for the asking, for believing in our all-powerful God of hope. Though adverse circumstances and problems swarm, He alone offers all joy, peace, and hope that's humanly unexplainable, not by relying on feelings, people, governments, or anything we can see, but instead, by solely trusting God’s power. And that sustaining God-given hope has one distinct purpose: giving it away, sharing it with the hopeless. 

The past two months in Tepic and surrounding villages have been filled to capacity with examples of the sharing of that abundant hope
Members of Pueblo Nuevo (meaning “New Town”) left their village of Guásima de Caimán insisting that they had had enough of the Gospel and the growing group of villagers who are believers. They moved to a new village where they could continue following their traditional ways with NO Christians allowed! …until Eugenio took a nasty fall that left him bedridden. The brothers from Guásima came and prayed for his healing. He was twice-healed and began to share his joy, peace, and hope through the power of the Holy Spirit with his neighbors who believed, too. Now Pueblo Nuevo is truly a NEW town; half of the adults there have believed and been baptized! 

Huichol pastors and leaders from village churches throughout the Sierra Madre met together in Zapote de Picachos for their second annual pastors’ conference. The theme this year was Suffering in the Ministry, based on the life of Moses. These guys know the key to finding and sharing joy and peace and hope in the midst of difficulty. Pastors Manuel and Joaquín were officially ordained at this conference. 

After two long years of not being allowed to host our OANSA club at IBBM-Tepic, we finally got the “go-ahead” in January. Our OANSA year was shortened, but joy and peace and the reason for the hope that is in us thrive as we hide God’s Word in our hearts and systematically train the next generation of IBBM leaders. 

Then followed the annual ladies’ retreat with our sister church in Ixtlán del Rio, “How Sweet to Trust in Jesus,” the Source of our joy, peace, and hope. 


As soon as that retreat was over, we organized a youth camp for our IBBM students, inviting high schoolers from sister churches in Durango (Mexico), Compostela, and Ixtlán. The theme was “Run the Race,” a reminder that joy, peace, and hope come from God alone, but sharing it requires making a choice, discipline, and active personal participation. 
The baby church in Huichol village of Vizcarra is in the process of clearing land and working on a building for them to meet in. They have so little, but they were determined to get started with what they have. They pooled their resources to buy land from a coffee plantation owner and buy cement, and they used their strength to start leveling the land, digging the trenches, and scouring the mountains for rocks that they have hauled in gunny sacks for the footings. Unexpected gifts from friends all over the place, some who are reading this, have paid for the bricks they need, provided for the roof when the walls are up and ready, and donated a 1,100-liter water storage tank and its connections, a graphic reminder that God miraculously provides Living Water to those who least expect it, when they need it most. That Living Water is the source of joy, peace, and hope for the people of one of the most beautiful villages ever. 

IBBM-Tepic celebrated the completion of the final details of Phase One (the lower level) of our 2-year classroom construction project, and this phase has been dedicated to God’s service. It is beautiful and extremely functional, and we are thankful for many who have had a part in making this dream a reality, especially for the power of God that sustains us with joy and peace and hope, gives us a place to prepare students to give an answer to everyone who asks for the reason for their hope, and leaves us with more than enough of that hope to give away to others.

Tuesday, May 31, 2022

April/May 2022 Make known his deeds among the people! Tell of all his wondrous works!

April/May 2022 

Oh give thanks unto the LORD; call upon his name; make known his deeds among the people! Sing to him, sing praises to him; tell of all his wondrous works! Psalm 105:1, 2

We children of God have “our Father Who is in Heaven…” the Creator of all that exists, the Controller of every historic event, the Contriver behind the plan of redemption, and the Champion of its completion. That Commander in Chief is our Father. How can we not sing praises to Him and tell of all His wondrous works
The ninth annual Huichol youth camp is history, but His wondrous works will last forever. After having to cancel camp for the past two years, both the Huichol campers and leaders and the IBBM-Tepic church staff and student leaders were raring to go. This year 113 campers along with their respective pastors and youth leaders from nine mountain villages attended. Though it was chosen for 2020, Lead Me to the Cross could not have been a better or timelier theme as it reinforced our focus on “Ground Zero” for the reason we have the hope we cherish. Huichol pastors and teachers taught dynamic Gospel-message lessons like: The Significance of the Cross, From Creation to the Cross, The Glory of the Cross, The Theology of the Cross, Living at the Foot of the Cross, His Cross-My Cross, and finished up the day before Good Friday with The Crucifixion of Jesus
Seventeen hard-working, joyful, and non-complaining Huichol ladies came along with their campers to do the cooking and make hand-flapped tortillas every day for the entire camp. The cooks prepared over 2,300 meals during the week for over 200 happy eaters. 

In addition, several members of the Tepic church donated their time and skills to teach specialty workshops. Every camper (their pastors, too) registered for electricity, hair-cutting, first aid, or music theory, to learn basics from professionals in their fields. That was a huge success! What a blessing for some pastors who, until recently, didn’t even have electricity in their villages, but now they can install electrical outlets, switches, and light sockets safely and effectively in their homes and churches! 
Twenty-six student-leaders from the Tepic church gave up their Spring break to serve God and their “neighbors” with their whole hearts. This camp would be impossible without their creativity and hard work. They are learning to serve well! The rented campground is very rustic; it’s a converted brick “factory.” Everything we use has to be hauled from Tepic and set up: the canopy, tables, chairs, kitchen supplies, refrigerator, stoves and gas tanks, blankets for the campers, tents, musical instruments and audio/video equipment, stage and scenery, everything. Then when it’s over, everything is returned, cleaned, and stored for next year. The student leaders from Tepic know that the job isn’t done until everything is back in storage. It’s nothing short of a miracle to watch them joyfully in action and to witness their hearts of love and service for their Huichol brothers and sisters. 
In all, for starters, there were a lot of mouths to feed, transportation costs to underwrite, campground fees to pay, games to organize, scripts to compose, and lessons to prepare. It was a marvelous opportunity for the Mexican young people to learn to minister to Huichol campers and for Huichol campers to hear the Gospel and be discipled in a very out-of-the-ordinary setting. Several, at least six, recognized their need for the Savior, and the campers left begging for camp next year. Though IBBM-Tepic hosts and does the legwork, this project certainly is not the work of a single person or church. It requires collaboration from God’s people all over the world who sincerely love Him and His plan and faithfully give Him the glory as His Word is proclaimed, and many are led to the Cross. 

Making known His deeds among the people didn’t end with camp. The campers and their leaders returned to their respective villages, and several celebrated Resurrection Day with baptisms. In La Bendición, 14 new believers, five of them from camp, were baptized giving thanks to the Lord and telling of His wondrous works. Could we “with ink the ocean fill and were the skies of parchment made” it would not be enough to tell the stories behind these new followers of Jesus. Sing praises to Him! 

Watch Huichol Camp video recaps here (by Caleb González):