Sunday, July 22, 2012

A Visitor's Perspective/La Perspectiva de Una Visita

     The following is a short letter/essay written by Brother Wayne, a visitor from Canada, who spent some time with us here at the Ranch and on the medical crusades. 
Lo siguiente es una carta corta del Hermano Wayne, una visita de Canada, quien paso un tiempo con nosotros aqui en el Rancho y sirviendo en las caravanas medicas.

      I am Wayne Senger, a Christian from Saskatoon, Canada.  I have had the privilege of experiencing both aspects of the ministry of Fishers of Men, the Evangelistic Medical Mission Crusades, as well as the daily life routine of the Zaragoza family at Refuge Ranch.  Victor and Julie Zaragoza have three biological children plus fifteen other children who have been rescued from terrible family backgrounds and circumstances.  Also residing at Refuge Ranch are Rosa, a woman with a servant's heart, who shops and cooks the meals for the family.  In addition, a concrete worker/cattleman/handyman etc. named Cirino, with his wife and two children, live in a humble house on Refuge Ranch property.  Finally, a young couple, Adrian and Veronica, reside at Refuge Ranch in an apartment across from the main house.  Adrian and Veronica have leadership roles in the medical mission crusades and leadership roles in the church in Mexico City as well.

     Soy Wayne Senger, un cristiano de Saskatoon, Canada.  Tuve el privilegio de experimentar los dos aspectos del ministerio de Pescadores de Hombres: las Campanas Medicas Misioneras y Evangelisticas, y la vida cotidiana de la familia Zaragoza en Rancho el Refugio.  Victor y Julie Zaragoza tiene tres hijos biologicos ademas de 15 hijos mas quienes han sido rescatados de situaciones dificiles.  Tambien en el Rancho vive la Hma. Rosa, una mujer con corazon de sierva, quien hace las compras y cocina para la familia.  En adicion, un albanil, el Hermano Cirino, junto con su esposa y sus dos hijos viven en la propiedad de Rancho Refugio.  Finalmente, una pareja joven, Adrian y Vero, viven en el Rancho en un departamento enfrente de la casa principal.  Adrian y Vero tienen papeles de liderazgo en las caravanas medicas y tambien en la iglesia.
 
     I joined the medical mission team at Janitzio, Michoacan, an island hill on Patzcuaro Lake.  Janitzio has about 5,000 residents, who are Tarascan Indians.

     Participe en la mision medica a Janitzio, Michoacan, una isla sobre el lago de Patzcuaro.  Janitzio tiene unos 5,000 residentes, quienes son indigenas tarascos.

 A Tarascan Indian woman making tortillas for the crusade team
Una indigena tarasca prepara tortillas para el equipo de la caravana

  The economy of Janitizio includes mainly fishing and tourism, and young men have to seek employment in Patzcuaro or elsewhere.  Fishers of Men cooperated with an evangelical Tarascan pastor, who opened his church building to host the medical team.  The residents of Janitzio received free medical, dental and gynecological services, along with free pharmaceuticals and haircuts.  Evangelistic clowns presented the gospel to the children.  Every non-Christian adult who came for medical attention was given a seat and an explanation of the Christian Gospel is presented and the opportunity given to pray to receive Christ as Lord and Savior unto salvation.

     La economia de Janitzio incluye la pesca y el turismo, y los jovenes tiene que buscar empleo en Patzcauro u otro lados.  Pescadores de Hombres trabajo en conjunto con un pastor evangelico tarasco quien abrio su iglesia al equipo medico.  Los residentes de Janitzio recibio servicios gratuitos de medico, dental y ginecologia, junto con medicamento y cortes de cabello gratuito.  Payasos evangelisticos presentaron el evangelio a los ninos.  Todo adulto que recibio atencion medica fue dado un lugar y una explicacion del evangelio y la oportunidad de recibir a Cristo como Senor y Salvador para su salvacion.

Unloading the crusade supplies onto the island
Descargando el equipo medico en la isla

     I was impressed with the dedication to the Lord Jesus that the Fishers of Men medical team displayed.  Doctors, dentists, evangelists, etc. worked hard without pay in service to Jesus.  Some slept on the floor when the day's work was done.  The medical equipment in Janitzio had to be carried from the shore to the church near the top of the hill, requiring a 300 step ascent.  One young doctor-in-training badly dislocated his ankle.
   
     Fui impresionado con la dedicacion al Senor Jesus que el equipo medico de Pescadores de Hombres demostro.  Los doctores, dentistas, evangelistas y demas trabajaron duro sin ningun pago para Jesus.  Algunos durmieron en el piso al terminar el trabajo de ese dia.  El equipo medico en Janitzio tenia que ser cargado desde la orilla del lago hasta arriba del cerro a la iglesia, una subida de unos 300 escalones.  Un joven en entrenamiento desloco su tobillo.

  Time to rest....wherever you can!
Hora de descansar...donde quiera que puedas!

      Adrian heading up the steps with a dental air compressor on his back
Adrian cargando un Robotin en su espalda

 Wayne sharing the Gospel
Wayne compartiendo el evangelio 

     I have also had the privilege of residing at Refuge Ranch and participating in much of the daily routine of the family.  Victor and Julie display their faith and their reliance on God before their children on a daily basis.  I am impressed with the open communication that takes place within the family, the way Victor and Julie take the time to explain their actions in the Light of the purposes of the God.  I am also impressed with the combination of firm but loving discipline, along with the freedom given to the children to facilitate their lives to develop as God intends.

      Tambien tuve el privilegio de quedar un tiempo en Rancho el Refugio y participar en su vida cotidiana de la familia.  Victor y Julie muestran su fe y su dependencia en Dios ante sus hijos cada dia.  Estuve impresionado con la comunicacion abierta que toma lugar dentro de la familia, la manera en que Victor y Julie toman el tiempo para explicar sus acciones a la Luz de los propositos de dios.  Tambien estuve impresionado con la combinacion de una disciplina firme pero amorosa, junto con la libertad dado a los ninos para facilitar el desarrollo de sus vidas como Dios quiere.


      I think of the great potential for the emergence of future spiritual leaders from the Zaragoza family.  Some of the children are already taking active leadership and participatory roles in their church.

     Piesno en toda la potencial para que salgan futuros lideres espirituales de la familia Zaragoza.  Algunos de los ninos ya estan tomando papeles activos de liderazo y participacion en su iglesia.     


video
Martita, Lolis and Fatima all participate in the dance ministry at our church.  (In the video, Fatima and Martita are the two closest to the camera.)
Martita, Lolis y Fatima participan en el ministerio de danza en nuestra iglesia.  (En el video, Fatima y Martita son las dos mas cercanas a la camara.) 


These are some of the children of the church where we attend and our eldest daughter, Angie, serves as Sunday School director and VBS director
Estos son algunos de los ninos de la iglesia donde asistimos y donde nuestra hija mayor, Angie, sirve como directora de la Escuela Dominical y de la Escuela Biblica de Vacaciones.

  I have had the privilege to bring the first financial love offering to Refuge Ranch from a Canadian church.  I will continue to work to promote the ministry of Fishers of Men to Canadian churches.  I heartily recommend the ministry of Fishers of Men to Christian churches.  Souls come to Christ during every Evangelistic Medical Mission Crusade and local pastors follow up on all new converts.

     Tuve el privilegio de llevar la primera ofrenda de amor a Rancho el Refugio de una iglesia canadiense.  Seguire trabajando para promover el ministerio de Pescadores de Hombres a iglesias canadienses.  Recomiendo de corazon el ministerio de Pescadores de Hombres a las iglesias cristianas.  Almas nuevas vienen a Cristo durante cada Campana Medica Misionera y Evangelistica y los pastores locales hacen seguimiento de todos los creyentes nuevos.
 
     Mexico City is huge and Refuge Ranch is some distance from the city, and some distance from purchasing certain essential items from time to time.  The daily expenses required to feed the family, along with others who share in some of the meals, is considerable.  Water must be purchased regularly, and considerable money is needed for gasoline for essential vehicles.  Also, the medical mission team travels 9-10 times a year to remote parts of Mexico, which takes much gasoline.

     La Ciudad de Mexico es muy grande y Rancho el Refugio se encuentra a alguna distancia de donde se tiene que comprar las provisiones necesarias.  Los gastos diarios de alimentar a la familia y otros que comparten en las comidas, es considerable.  El agua se tiene que comprar y bastante dinero se necesita para la gasolina para los vehiculos esenciales.  Tambien, el equipo de caravanas medicas sale de 9 a 10 veces al ano a lugares remotos de Mexico, lo cual requiere mucha gasolina.
                                                       

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Normal

So, what's normal?  Depends on who you ask, right?  Depends on what country you are in!

Over the last several weeks this difference really stood out to me on two occassions.

During my trip to the United States with Caleb and Ruth in order to attend the annual meeting of the National Association of Congregational Christian Churches and a wonderful visit with my grandparents and other relatives, my children experienced something that for me has been a part of "normal" life, but for them was quite the novelty!

A Drinking Fountain!

In Mexico. we do not have drinking fountains because we cannot drink tap water!  So, when Ruth first saw a drinking fountain after a great hike at a local nature preserve she was quite intrigued!  I taught her how to use it and she caught right on!  She quickly discovered that if she would let go of the button, put her face down close and then push the button, the water would squirt her in the face!  She did this several times, stopped, turned around, and said to me, in Spanish:  "How refreshing!  A cool drink and a face wash!"
Drinking fountains, pretty normal, right?  

The day before we flew back to Mexico was Miguel's 9th birthday.  However, he kindly waited to celebrate so that the whole family could be together.  During his birthday celebration we did something quite normal.

We sang "Feliz, Feliz Cumpleanos" and then "Happy Birthday" and Miguel blew out his 9 candles!

Then Miguel took a bite out of the cake while his siblings pushed his face into the cake and his Dad rescued him from being asphyxiated!

Like I said, we celebrated a normal birthday!

Taking a bite out of your birthday cake, pretty normal, right?

Throughout my years of traveling to Mexico (since I was 16...just a few years ago:-), being married to Victor (14) and living in Mexico (9), my sense of normalcy has certainly expanded.  In fact, as we have welcomed new children to the Zaragoza family, we have basically given up on trying to find "normal".

However, there is one standard that we should all use to measure our lives, to which we should aspire!

"Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect."  
Matthew 5:48 

Among all of our differences, Christ is the great unifier for He is the "same yesterday and today and forever."  (Hebrews 13:8) and in every language and culture!

Jesus should be our "normal"....as His children it should be "normal" to be loving, forgiving, merciful, consistent, dedicated, extraordinary, generous!

So, in your very unique days, in your unique culture, in your unique family, with your unique personality, gifts and abilities, your unique circumstances look for the "normalcy" of Christ....which is actually quite out of the ordinary! 

Now, to head into a "normal" day!

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Photo Essay - EMMC to Oaxaca

Evangelistic Medical Mission Crusade/Campana Medica Misionera y Evangelistica
San Juan Zautla, Oaxaca
June 17-22, 2012 / 17-22 de junio, 2012

776 individuals attended to
776 individuos atendidos

200+ accepted Christ as their Lord and Savior
 200+ aceptaron a Cristo como su Senor y Salvador   

300+ children attended evangelistic events
300+ ninos asistieron a eventos evangelisticos
     

 The winding road/El camino de curvas


Stopped along the way/Parados en el camino



Going around a portion of the road covered by a washed-out hill/Dando la vuelta a un deslave


 Foggy dirt roads/Caminos de terraceria y neblina

 Patients patiently waiting/Pacientes esperando pacientemente

 Morning devotions at the local church/Devocionales del equipo en la manana en la iglesia local
Walking down from the church to the crusade site/Caminando de la iglesia al sitio de la caravana

  


 Doctors at work/Doctores trabajando

 Registration and Intake/Recibiendo los pacientes

The dentists at work/Los dentistas trabajando

 Local children...do you see the bananas on the banana tree behind them?/Ninos...ves los platanos en el arbol de banana atras de ellos?




 Victor "the electrician" connecting electricity for the crusade/Victor "el electrico" conectando la electricidad para la caravana

 Isabel the optometrist/Isabel la optometrista


New glasses!/Nuevos lentes!

 Free haircuts/Cortes de cabello gratis
The pharmacy with free medication/La farmacia con medicina gratuita

A local believer sharing the Gospel in native dialect/Un creyente local compartiendo el evangelio en su dialecto nativo

The first time the villagers had seen clowns!/La primera vez que los habitantes del pueblo habian visto payasos!
 
 Evangelistic clown ministry/Ministerio evangelistico de payasos

The Gospel was shared with the children no matter what time they came to the crusade./El evangelio fue compartido con los ninos a la hora que fuera.



Adrian and Vero and their Oaxacan umbrellas!/Adrian y Vero y sus paraguas Oaxaquenas

You do what you have to do!/Haces lo que sea necesario!

 All work and no play?  Nah!  Dr. Bill entertains the crowd with his harmonica!/Puro trabajo?  Olvidalo!  El Dr. Bill entretiene a las multitudes con su harmonica!
Oaxacan beauty!  To God be the Glory!/La belleza de Oaxaca!  A Dios sea la Gloria!