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.”