Thursday, December 11, 2008

Happenings in the last couple of weeks...

I've been bad at updating you all on life. So I'll give a quick overview of the last couple of weeks.

We hosted a great Thanksgiving once again for all of our friends...

As you can see, Caitlin couldn't miss another pavo party in Mexico so she came on back.

That weekend, me with some of the staff girls went exploring in Taxco.

And then the following week, we were able to see the "New Kids on the Block" when they came to town. This was by far a highlight of my time here.

(l-r) Sandra, Angie, Me, Kathy and Katie
(l-r) Danny, Donny, Joey, Jordan, Jon

Please note five of them and five of us...this was not a coincidence!

And just last week, I went to my friend Jessica's house for the women's christmas dinner from her church. Here is a picture of Jess and I.
I made it home by 2:00 am. It was a fun party :)

Last Saturday night, we had our final student meeting where at least 50 students showed up. We were not expecting that many...or we would have gotten a bigger place. Not a bad problem to have.

So that has been me the last couple of weeks. I'll be home on the 22nd for a few days to celebrate Christmas for my family. I hope you have fun celebrating Jesus as well!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Lost Items

The other day I lost my Bible. Now, I don't lose a lot of things and it drives me crazy when I can't find something. I looked all over on Monday morning before needing to leave for a meeting. My dear friend Caitlin is here visiting and she was sleeping in my room when I was searching. I left for the meeting feeling disappointed about not knowing where my favorite brown bible was. I have a couple others but this was the one that has the marks all over it and I feel at home when I read it.

Coming back Monday, it was still on my mind even though I successfully read another Bible. When I finally found it, I literally jumped up with joy and ran in and told my roommate.

It reminds me when the woman loses the coin.

"Or suppose a woman has ten silver coins and loses one. Does she not light a lamp, sweep the house and search carefully until she finds it? And when she finds it, she calls her friends and neigbors together and says, 'Rejoice with me; I have found my lost coin.' In the same way, I tell you, there is rejoicing in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents."
Luke 15:8-10

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Have I told you how much I love this woman?

I've been thinking about how much I like my sister Amy. She's my best friend, my biggest fan and biggest confidant.

Just recently she was awarded "Teacher of the Year" at Kennedy where she teaches. So proud of this lady. Thought you should celebrate with me!

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Celebrating my Birthday in Mexico!

If you have known me longer than ten minutes, you know that I like to celebrate my birth. I turned 27 years old on November 5 and had my third birthday fiesta tonight. I thought I should share some pictures from previous ones.

Experiencing the Mexican mordida tradition. This is when the one celebrating takes a "bite" out of the cake and their friends smash their face in the cake. I got double "mordida'ed" this year.

My roommate Angie as we celebrated in Acapulco at a conference.

And yes, I got yet another version of one of my favorite games called Mall Madness but the girls on my team bought me "Vamos de Compras" the game in Spanish! Here are my friends playing with me. Daniela and I won!

Monday, October 27, 2008

Last week when visiting the Museum of Anthropology, I was asked to give my feedback of why people should visit Mexico City. Of course I asked the guy to send me the video when they were done.

Let me know what you think. Do you want to come to Mexico City? :)

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Transitions are still a way of life here in Mexico. We are continually saying good-bye and welcoming new people.

Kat who served the last two years with Enfoque Mexico left just a few weeks ago. We gathered to throw her a "despedida" that she had no idea about.
And even though we are just finishing October, we are already planning for new arrivals in January. We have 5 new American staff who will be joining our team.
As we talk about the teams, here are some things that you can be praying for:
- team unity; we have 5 missional teams here in the city and pray that the enemy would not try to divide teams due to conflict or not believing the best in each other.
- Passion Ministries follow up; we are continueing to meet with students who came to Passion Oct 7 and 8. Pray that we would see movements start all over the city.
- balance between rest and work-->that the entire team would embrace both and trust Jesus for ministry.
- Pray for me that my heart would be renewed over and over again and I would desperately chase after God's plan for my days not my own.
Thanks for praying!

Monday, October 06, 2008

Remember this face?

This is Main. We met a year ago when I went to visit her campus in Pachuca (which is outside of Mexico City). This weekend at Passion, Main came running up to me and says, "Emily do you remember me? I'm Main from Pachuca!" And of course I remember her...going to Pachuca was one of the highlights of my fall semester. I loved the students there and their creativity to share the Gospel with their friends. Main and Javo said that they have a new group of students that want to grow in their faith. So now they are working with the former group and the new group...launching movements in Pachuca.
What a sweet blessing it was to see Main. I can't wait to go back to Pachuca and meet the new students.

Sunday, October 05, 2008

That This Generation of Students....

I hear these words and (once again) it sends my heart beating quickly. Standing at Passion Mexico City this weekend was a sobering for me because sadly I am no longer in "this" generation of students. My generation has passed.

My prayers for this university generation in Mexico is:
- they would not just have an emotional experience with Jesus Christ but that they would know him and would be wrecked to move in the direction of changing the world because of that experience.
- that students would know that faith is more than a list of do's and don't's
- that the universities would be awakened to the glory of Jesus and their peers would be the carriers of that light.

Christy Nockels sang on the tour and Jesus met me in the middle of these words.
Heal my heart and make it clean
Open up my eyes to the things unseen
Show me how to love
Like you have loved me
Break my heart for what breaks yours
Everything I am For Your kingdom's cause
As I walk from earth into eternity
What a sweet refresher of how good Jesus is.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Celebrating another Mexican Independence

A year ago I spent Mexican Independence Day at Six Flags Mexico City and then went to Centro Coyoacan. It was a great night but this year's Independence topped it.

Some friends came from Puebla, Mexico and we went to the Zocalo this year to celebrate. Covered with bubbles and surrounded by my favorite people, I heard Calderon yell "Viva Mexico!" as the people shouted back "Viva!" And we watched as fireworks exploded into the sky from all directions. After that, we went back and had a dance party. I fell into bed about 3:30 exhausted but thankful for another fun independence.

Here are some pictures...
My new roommate Angie and I in our new apartment before heading out.

The group and I in the Zocalo after being covered in bubbles and enjoying the evening.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Starting Fresh

Sometimes I think I'm still in school. Because so much changes in my life in the month of August. Working with college students has that effect on me.

We are starting again in ministry. There are new faces...a lot more faces actually plus new apartments, new neighborhoods and a new role. Sometimes change scares me. I like consistency in my life but I love it when I figure out how to make things even work better than before. So here I am starting again. I wanted you to be a part of it with me.

I went to briefing last week to meet up with the new Americans coming on our team. While I was there, I had the opportunity to be the emcee for the week. What a new and fun experience.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

I'm going to be honest. I came back to the States for a conference last night and I have been glued to the television since then watching the Olympics. I have always been a fan. I'm not sure exactly why. I root for the USA but it's not because I am this great patriotic but because these athletes have worked so hard and have given up so much for the pursuit of what I think is the greatest sports competition ever.

I just watched the swimming 4x100 men's relay where they not only won the gold but came back from behind and quieted the talks of a rival team. I was literally screaming with them in my hotel room.

I just wish they would have put baton twirling in it a long time ago. That is way more than a sport than clay shooting.

Friday, July 25, 2008

I wish they all could be California girls...

We just had a really sweet group from San Diego come down and spend a week doing ministry with us for two weeks. They came through a college group at a church. I love watching groups come and believe God for big things, move in faith and have extreme flexibility.
I had such a sweet time getting to know the group of 11. These are the girls and I above when we went to the state of Mexico to serve in a local church. (L-R) Summer, Crystal, Me, Diane and Jenni.
Safe travels today friends!

Saturday, July 19, 2008

My dear friend Andrea left Mexico City today. She and I have been on STINT (a Short Term International trip) for the last year. I never thought that I would find such sweet community with her.

I'm so honored to be a part of her life. We've gotten to grow together this year. I've watched her struggle through hard things and she has sat beside me as I grew with Jesus.

I often talk about how God uses people in my life to change and mold me. Andrea has definetely been one of those persons.

Her ministry and life has left an impact in the lives of college students. Andrea made her life count this year in Mexico. In the process, she too has been changed. It's funny how those things work.
Even though today is bittersweet, I eagerly anticipate the next group that comes to Mexico City. Not only our we engaged in a mission and vision that is much grander than ourselves but we participate in this vision with people from all different backgrounds and stories.

Sunday, July 13, 2008


I'm not so good at good-byes. I have said a lot this summer. Some to people that I won't see this side of heaven and others for a while.

I spent 5 weeks with some pretty cool people in Florida going to cultural training. We had some really fun times and built some sweet community but we are all following God's call to take the gospel to the nations so the chances of me of running into my new sweet friends is highly unlikely.

That's the funny thing about community. We live life in a way that's real and vulnerable and with purpose and I think that is what makes good-byes so hard. I don't want those things to end. I remember being on a summer missions opportunity for 10 weeks one summer and having a hard time choosing to even show up to say goodbye to my best friends of the summer. I just thought it would be easier to just leave.

My friend Betsy wrote a song about how she hates goodbyes too. Here are some of my favorite words of it.

If I could have anything, I'd have control

cause I don't like change and I hate to let go

hate watching cars drive away

with not enough reason to stay

On the same path still but now I feel lost.

When I said hello I did not know the cost

but I know it now, I feel it now.

Tell me you'll see me tomorrow

that way I don't have to cry.

If we keep pretending it's not really ending

I hate the word "good-bye".

Yes, it's hard but I totally believe that it's worth it. I've said "adios" to some cool people in my life and I'm looking forward to much more "hellos".

I arrived back in Mexico yesterday. It's strange that Mexico is home. I missed it and my house and the food. It's good to be home.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

I was feeling suffocated yesterday. We are living in these condos kind of in the boonies in Kissimmee, FL. Not really the boonies but we don't have enough cars to go wherever I want. So it makes Americans feel trapped when they can't do what they want to do. So I freaked out yesterday morning and my friend and I decided to figure out the Lynx bus system that goes all over Kissimmee and Orlando area.

We waited for our first bus for an the heat of Florida. I think I sweated off 2 pounds. Then we got on the bus and took a big loop because we got on the one going east instead of west. We met some great people including some latin men that my friend winked at and Tony a cook at Chili's who rides the bus because he got a DUI. Tony was extremely helpful telling us that the mall we were going to wasn't so stellar. So we switched buses and went to Barnes and Noble.

It's hard to describe the freedom that I felt when I got on the bus. I think mostly because I didn't have to rely on anyone or be back at a certain time. I could be me--slightly neurotic at times with my sweet friend. We spent some really good time with Jesus in a coffee shop and began the trip back.

Riding the Lynx bus around Orlando area was probably one of the funnest days here. Just wanted to share what a typical Saturday is like here in Florida.

Monday, June 16, 2008

On the Move...

I'm in Orlando, FL again for cross cultural training before going back to Mexico in July. Training has been interesting and I'm learning some new things as well.

My mom and sister came to visit last week. Here is a picture of me with them and my dear friend. She and I interned in Colorado before I left for Mexico. It's been really fun spending the summer with her.

Friday, June 06, 2008

I'm terrified of spiders. I'm not afraid of a lot of things but spiders is at the top of the list. I become pretty hysterical when they are around me too. One of the only times my sweet timid stepfather raised his voice at me was when he thought I was yelling "FIRE!!!" from the basement instead of "SPIDER!!!"

I have had my run-ins with these pests since coming home to good ole Indiana too. I was driving down the street and a nice jumping spider wanted to get out of the car. I later after a small anxiety attack on the street successfully killed that mutant. That evening I felt it was appropriate to bug bomb my ford explorer to rid my friend of all his little eggs.

But the kicker of the car spiders came on Tuesday when I was driving my mom's car down the Indiana toll road. A spider of greater size decided to make his presence known as I drov 75 mph down the highway. I calmly pulled over, put the car in park, flashers on and annihalated that creature.

I'm not sure why I'm so afraid of spiders or why God feels it's necessary for me to continually be greeted with my enemies in small confined places while I'm operating automobiles. Nonetheless, it has brought thrill back into my driving ability.

**please note if you are my state farm agent reading this, it's all made up. I didn't stop my car on any busy highways or put myself in danger while driving :)**

Monday, June 02, 2008


I had LASIK eye surgery last week. They numbed my eyes up and wrote with a surgical marker on where they were going to cut. It was a pretty cool experience. Here is me before sugery. A shout out to Melissa Pierce for the rad pictures!
The night after the surgery I was awake most of the night just thinking. I didn't have any pain in my eyes but I had a headache. My sister was with me at the hotel and of course I woke her up mainly because I was bored. It reminded me of when I was young. We used to go visit my dad (my parent's divorced) and I would stay up all night. I just couldn't sleep. I remember just talking to my sister Amy so she would have to stay awake with me. I hated to be alone in a house and neighborhood that was unfamiliar to me and she was my safe haven. So here were were about 12 years later and the story was the same but we were in a hotel in Dayton, OH. How grateful I am for a sister that will stay awake all night with her brat sister when she can't sleep.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

I've been on a lot of planes lately. I like to people watch while in transit to different places. Everyone is talking on their phones or emailing someone for work or something...I'm not really sure. On Thursday I began to think that all of these people have different agendas, different jobs and unique passions that fuel them to keep going. For instance my brother Ryan loves art. He's passionate about it. It takes him places that I will never go- sculpture classes, art shows with wine, cheese and crackers that include a bunch of other artists that are passionate about art too. I don't fit in there at all but I love to visit it. And my cousin Kim is working on an initiative in Indianapolis to make the city more accesible by walking so that the people of Indiana are healthy. How unique and fun! Yesterday I was on some more planes. I sat next to this woman who is a web designer for Samsung. She talked about how she wants to help Samsung be the biggest selling cell phone company in the US and man is she passionate about cell phones. It was almost silly to me.

Then on the next flight I sat next to this couple that works for a flavor/ingredient inventing company and they were testing new kinds of gum. They had a doctorate and masters in food science. Their main purpose was to help food taste better! Who knew that was actually a job where people studied and were excited about it?

That made me start to think about my job and my passion. I'm so thankful that my job gets to line up directly with what I'm passionate about. I sometimes think that my passion is more important than others..because it has an eternal purpose. But even someone that works at Samsung or a Gum tasting company can still be eternally minded and love coworkers and customers that way that Jesus does. Just some thoughts that I wanted to share.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

I am at home in South Bend now and it's not necessarily what I expected to say the least.

I'm learning to wait. God is teaching me that He is in control of my life and schedule and my coming and going. I hate it. It comes into fruition watching the dying process. I don't want to be morbid but most days I don't think it can get worse and then it does.

This has led me to think a lot about heaven. How does one cross from life to death? Can my grandma "see the light"? Is she waiting for someone else to come and say good-bye? I have a lot of questions and the Bible doesn't exactly answer them. I just know that there is a God who loves us and his ways don't always make sense to us.

Grandma and I at Thanksgiving 2006

I remember many summers ago I was in Myrtle Beach and when I was stressed a friend would whisper in my ear a verse that has to be my focus today.

"Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid" Jesus speaking in John 14:27

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Michelle and Becky headed back to the States last week to transition to new things in ministry. Our house is quiet and feels empty. The nature of our jobs in ministry calls for lots of transition and goodbyes. I don't think I'll ever get used to it. Their time here was fruitful and great.

Next week, I will be transitioning back to the States for the summer. I'm bummed about leaving Mexico already but excited about my summer.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

O tested soul, perhaps the Lord is sending you through this trial to develop your gifts. You have some gifts that would never have been discovered if not for trials. Do you no know that your faith never appears as great in the warm summer weather as it does during a cold winter? Your love is all too often like a firefly, showing very little light except when surrounded by darkness. And hope is like the stars--unseen in the sunshine of prosperity and only discovered durning a nigh tof adversity. Afflictions are often the dark settings God uses to mount the jewels of His childrens's gifts, causing them to shine even brighter.
Wasn't it just a short time ago that on your knees you prayed, "Lord, I seem to have no faith. Please show me that I do"? Wasn't your prayer, even though you may not have realized it at the time, actually asking for trials? For how can you know if you have faith, until your faith is exercised? You can depend upon the fact that God often sends trials so our gifts may be discovered and so we may be certain of their existence. And there is more than just discovering our gifts--we experience real growth in grace as nanother result of our trials being sanctified by Him.
God trains His soldiers not in tents of ease and luxury but by causing them to endure lengthy marches and difficult service. He makes them wade acroos streams, swim through rivers, climb mountains, and walk many tiring miles with heavy backpacks.
Dear Christian, could this not account for the troubles you are now experiencing? Could this not be the reason He is dealing with you?
--Charles Spurgeon

Last week on vacation my sister and I received word that my Grandma was in the hospital with pneumonia. She has battled Alzheimer's for 10 years now. We rushed home to be there with my mom and family. She's back in the nursing home now and stable but not better. I'm learning about grief, mourning, closure and the order of those things when someone isn't actually gone. My life is really confused right now but I did ask for trials and a deeper faith just a few weeks ago. This was my devotional yesterday. It spoke right to my soul. Thanks for reading.

Tuesday, April 01, 2008


I got back last week from going to a women's conference in Lima, Peru. I had a blast with staff from Mexico. I heard from women all over Central and South America and how we as women can walk with Jesus through anything.
We even got a chance to take a picture with the wife of the president of Campus Crusade for Christ. Here is Judy Douglass to the right of me.
Overall, it was a great experience. But I'm so glad to be back in Mexico City. There's no place like home!

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Things have been busy here. We finished off last week with a spring break week of 65 staff and students from all over the US. Here is my group for week 2 below. We laughed a ton together and saw the Lord show up as well. All seven of us were able to get on a very private university. Katie, Jenny and I met a girl named Gaby who gave us a name of a guy who is a Believer on campus. The next day we met Pablo outside of the entrance of the university. As I began to share in Spanish about our vision for reaching every college university and student in Mexico City, he began to text his friend Yanneth to have her come meet us as well. Yanneth promptly appeared outside as well. Their excitement grew as I shared how God has already began to start movements on other campuses. Pablo mentioned that he had numerous friends on other campuses that would be interested as well. Also, Pablo has already emailed me to connect when I get back from traveling.
After our party on Friday, our staff and I were on our way to Acapulco to host a Mexican Student conference on the beach. Students were trained in sharing their faith and launching movements and they even shared with each other how they saw the Lord reach students on their campus.
I even had a few moments to cool off in the pool.
Tomorrow, I'm off to Lima, Peru for seven days with staff women from Mexico. We will be going for a women's conference. So this year, I will be celebrating Easter in South America. I'm really excited about this opportunity.

Friday, March 14, 2008

It's Thursday night at 11:45 pm. I'm sitting on the couch with Becky and Sandra working on housing assignments for our student conference that is coming up this week. We are in the midst of week 2 of spring breakers in Mexico City. It's been super busy and exhausting but I've have seen the Lord show up in some very beautiful ways. I leave for Acapulco for the student conference in less than 48 hours with over 100 mexican students from all over the country and all I can think I love this job. :)

Just wanted you to be in this with me. Thanks for everything you do.

Monday, February 25, 2008

Giants of Silence a Hit

Today, the band officially left. I might be as tired as they are but it was so worth it! God moved in some really neat ways to arrange concerts, provide funding and make His name known. I'm attaching some pictures.

I'm blessed to be a part of something so big. Wish you could have rocked out with me at the concerts!

Saturday, February 09, 2008

This has been a roller coaster of a week. On Monday we had a day with the Lord. Matt and I went to the Latin American Tower to pray for the city. It was such a cool experience. On Monday, I didn't really have an idea as to how the Lord would ask me to surrender things in ministry and in my life.

Here are some pics from the tower:

As I trusted Jesus this week, he continued to confirm to me that I was in his hands and that He is bigger than circumstances on earth.

Here are some specific things to believe God for with me:

  • for the band called Giants of Silence that is arriving tomorrow to play at various venues in Mexico City
  • that I would walk humbly with the Lord and continue to trust him with the outcomes
  • for this city! that the Kingdom would come to Mexico City and to the rest of the country
  • for my friends that are visiting in the next couple of weeks

Also, to those who "just happened" to send packages this week to encourage me, it worked! Great timing friends!

Love to all,


Tuesday, January 29, 2008

What I've been up to...

It's been a busy couple of days here.

First for Christmas, my parents bought the ladies in our family tickets to the Lion King in Detroit when I was home. I liked it so much in the states that I went again on Friday with some of my teammates and friends. The costumes, the music, all of it is incredible. I feel blessed to live in a city where I get these opportunities.

Second, the whole team headed up to Naucalpan, which is in the state of Mexico, the last two days to visit approxiametly 15 campuses. Yesterday was a hard day for me. Kevin and I visited 3 universities and struck out. I have to continually remind myself that God is at work and just because I don't see it for one day doesn't mean He's not working. On the way back to the hotel where we were staying, Kevin and I had an opportunity to share the Gospel with our Taxi driver. Today, Michelle and I went to Universidad Mexicana and met Isabel. She told us that her mom is a believer and she is constantly thinking about spiritual things. It was a fun couple of days but exhausting as we explored.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

New Team, New Semester

Here's the new clan (missing a few though)...we are a pretty good looking clan.

Things are on a roll here. We don't really ease into much. Last week I was with the Keynote prep team visiting student leaders that are helping set up outreach concerts on their campuses between Feb 10- Feb 25. I was so encouraged by some of the students comments as they prepared for the event.

Here are some things I heard:

"I believe that God is going to use this concert to reach my campus. We want every student to have an opportunity to respond to Christ."

"God I ask for every student on my campus to know you" -student praying yesterday

"I don't only want to reach Mexicans in Mexico but I want to go to the US and Canada and reach the lost Latinos there as well."

As you can see, God's hand is moving across this generation in this city to do something incredible. I am so excited to be a part of it.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Just wanted to let you know....

That I'm back

in Mexico

and I am so excited to be here.
Love, Emily