Our family has experienced a change of scenery from THIS:
Our tropical coastal life of Lazaro Cardenas, Michoacan, Mexico has been replaced by the cooler prairies in the “Land of the Living Skies” of Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada. A horizon of shell-filled sand and sparkling Pacific Ocean has been replaced by a horizon of endless plains and big-blue sky. What a difference five thousand kilometers and five days of travel can make!!! But here we are–the chapter of our Mexico years has drawn to a close; the second chapter of our Canadian lives has begun. Our hearts are HEAVY to have left the precious family and friends that God placed in our paths during our six and a half years in Lazaro. Our hearts are FULL to be near our family and friends in our beloved Canada. Our bodies are TIRED from packing and hauling possessions from our Mexican home. Our minds are BUZZED WITH EXCITEMENT AND ANTICIPATION with the change of living with Bern’s dad and celebrating his 90th year and the next TWENTY or more with him in his home!! Our arms are TORN AWAY from the necks and lives of our brothers, sisters and friends with whom we have spent quality time in the study of God’s Word. Arms are OPEN in warm-welcome hugs from those who have been supporting and praying for our years of ministry in Mexico. How blessed we are to be a part of both worlds!!! We have been forever changed by both.
We have no doubt that God sent us to Lazaro Cardenas. Rather than being a ministry opportunity that we had pursued, it was a mission that God dropped into our laps. We travelled to Mexico to buy land on the virgin sands of the Michoacan shores of the Pacific Ocean, and ended up staying to help equip a baby church in the neighbouring city. We did not know the team. We did not know of the danger. We did not have the adequate support. Yet, we loaded a U-haul, and headed south. God gave us much work for our hands to do. We faithfully fulfilled His directive, not by our skills and abilities, but by His power and grace. We loved our work; we loved our Mexican friends and family; we loved our corner of the world. But, for reasons not fully known to us, God, who send us to Michoacan in 2008, called us from that work in 2015.
The blessings have been limitless: God forged a working relationship between us and the Southern Hills congregation in Abilene, Tx. They supported us. They nurtured us. They visited us. They encouraged us. They prayed for us. They believed in us. Thank you, Southern Hills. The kingdom has been expanded and enriched because of our relationship with you!! Other partners with our work include Saskatoon Church, Glen Elm in Regina and many, many individual supporters. It’s humbling to think of the thousands of dollars and millions of prayers that have been poured into our work because of the confidence that our Christian families have placed in us. It brings us to our knees in that realization, as well as our responsibility in fulfilling God’s mission. Thank you, dear brothers and sisters. We leave Mexico knowing that we have fulfilled that mission. The church is healthier now that it’s ever been. Since our announcement in September of our plans to leave Mexico, the church has risen to her calling. We have been loved and affirmed by our Mexican brethren; we have been amazed by our Mexican brethren. They have “stepped up to the plate” in a way that we have never seen before. In the last seven months God has manifested His faithfulness and love for La Comunidad de Cristo by growing and maturing the people with whom we have worked these last six and a half years. They have become a Mexican church of Mexican believers for Mexican seekers. It’s almost as if God has rolled up his sleeves, rubbed His holy palms together and sighed, “Finally we’ve gotten these “gringos” out of the way–NOW my Mexican children can take over.” Isn’t that a beautiful picture? We leave in confidence that God loves La Comunidad EVEN more than we do, and He is MORE than able to continue the work He has started there in Lazaro Cardenas, Michoacan, Mexico.
Our journey home has been equally filled with amazing people who have ministered to us as we grieve from the loss of our Mexican life. Our first “healing” spot was with the Gonzalez family in San Antonio. This fellow-missionary family left Mexico two years ago. We felt it invaluable to spend time with the six of them to glean any wisdom they may bestow upon us as we began the re-entry process. We were affirmed and encouraged. Thank you, Sam, Ann and girls!!
We are forever grateful to Dottie Schultz and Mark Brazle at Mission Resource Network (MRN) in Ft. Worth. They both helped the three of us process our emotions of leaving and re-entry. Thank you both for your wisdom and expertise!! We sat around the table of co-workers, Jay and Sherry Jarboe, while visiting with long-time friends and ministers of Let’s Start Talking, Craig and Leslee Altrock. We left with both tummy and spirit filled!! Thank you, dear friends and fellow workers! Mike and Debbie Bolton gave us four days of respite. It was in their home where our bodies and souls rested while they and their family, Jon, Natalia and baby Joshua (and friends Margarita and Bonita), soothed us with the sweet balm of their love and service to us. How sweet is the bond of the Christian family!! Thank you, thank you!
We celebrated Resurrection Sunday with our Southern Hills family. What a joy THAT was! A final visit with our supporter, encourager and mentor, Foy Owens, of the Southern Hills Missions Team, helped us bring greater appreciation and closure to our working relationship. Oh, how grateful we are for this man who has walked the journey with us. Finally, after three long days of travel to the Northern Lands, we were surprised by our son, daughter-in-law and her parents as they travelled to meet us near the Canadian border. What a FUN experience to see the car-load of them waving wildly as they passed us on the highway. It was a joyful reunion by the side of the road. Thank you for the best welcome of all, Starlet, Kresten, Lowell and Darla!!!
After a short visit in Weyburn, we made the last two-hour trek to Regina. Pulling up to the driveway at 55 Laird Crescent, there in the kitchen window was the silhouette of Bern’s father. How long had he been standing there waiting for his family’s return? Oh, the sweet balm of the soothing touches of those whom we love and who love us. Thank you!!!
The next chapter of our journey on this “earth that is not our home” is full of new things to come. In the words of our dear sister, supporter and mentor, Debbie Bolton, our “best years of ministry are still to come.” I can’t even imagine better years than what we experienced in Mexico, but I look forward to the work God gives our hands to do here in Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada. Our first priority, for now, is to help Logan adjust to his new life, school and friends in Canada, while he mourns the loss of his rich and full life and experiences of Mexico. His first day of school was reported as a success!!!
Other priorities include securing substitute teaching jobs (prospects are extremely favourable), settling into the home and routine of “Gpa” without driving him CRAZY, and finally, buying warm clothes, coats and boots in anticipation for the winter that is sure to come next October!!…sigh…
Our desire is to visit Lazaro each year for the next four years while Logan enters and completes high school. The February break seems to be our best option for our visits. Once Logan is in university, Bern and I would love to spend the winter months (go figure) at our “casita” at Miramar on the Mexican Pacific Coast. We’ll see what will become of our desires and plans. But THIS we do know: We have left a piece of our hearts in Mexico, but we know that empty place will be filled with the experiences that God has waiting for us here in Canada. That’s just the kind of loving and faithful God we serve.
It is with tears of loss and tears of anticipation that I close our Mexican chapter with this last posting of this MexSonshine Blog. Thank you for journeying with us these past years. Please continue to pray with us for God’s church in Lazaro Cardenas–that she will continue to be a light in that dark place through her love, unity and faithfulness to the One who gave His life for her.
Thank you for being a part of the journey!
Alicia, for the Krogsgaards