Archive for the ‘Ministry’ Category

Traveling to Baja California

Posted by Crystal Pierce on Monday, September 23rd, 2013

Traveling to Baja California

Dear << Test First Name >>,I’m ending my furlough time here in Oregon.  I just came back from Women’s camp encouraged and ready to go!  Tomorrow I will begin my two days of travel to Southern California.  I have a friend that is going to ride with me down to Southern California and spend a few days down there with me and then she will fly back home.  And Arehmi will join me Friday, spend the night, and then the two of us will cross the line on Saturday.

Please be praying for us as we travel, for the car, and safety on the road.
Please also pray for me as I keep fighting sickness (vomiting, colds, back pains)!
Also, praise God, because it looks like my team found a home for me!

Thanks everyone for the encouragement and prayers.  I plan on writing to you from Baja California after Saturday!
Blessings,
Crystal

P.S. To all in Baker & surrounding areas – thanks for all the love and wonderful times this summer.  I will miss you all!  I’m sorry if I didn’t have a chance to say good-bye to you before I left. :)

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Crystal’s Crossings :: February 2013

Posted by Crystal Pierce on Sunday, March 3rd, 2013
Crystal’s Crossings :: February 2013

Thank you so much for your prayers and constant support.  I pray this new year finds you and your family looking for the will of God in your own lives.

Well, last time I wrote, I was in El Paso, TX in December, helping translate for Edwin & Anita.  Since then, Edwin had finished his 12 days of therapy with the chiropractor, and we went back to Chihuahua.   He had recovered quite well, but he wasn’t a 100% better.  After making it back to Chihuahua, he continued heading to physical therapy to continue to strengthen the back muscles.  But after Christmas, he sneezed, and he was back in bed with a ton of pain.  So after much prayer, he did decide to have a back surgery, which happened a few days after Christmas. Since then, he is still going to therapy every day plus water therapy.  

Please be praying for him.  This school year has been so rough, because as director, he was only able to teach about 6 weeks of classes, and the rest of the time he has been in bed.  He feels like he is useless during this time of healing.  Please be praying for his healing and for strength for his family.

It has been a very good test for us as a team.  We’ve all had to work hard and in different ways to help Edwin get to therapy.  I’ve helped drive him and Anita the 40 minutes to therapy numerous times, and other staff members too.  We’ve also had to team together to get the kids to and from school each day.  It’s been a very good test for us to work together as a team, and help each other out.

Plus I’ve also been helping out the Grangers, my other co-workers, since the middle of December.  In December, Mexico got a new presi.dent, and one of his first actions as presi.dent was to change the immigration and visa process.  The Grangers turned in their paperwork for their visas right after Thanksgiving and they have to wait two more weeks (almost 3 whole months) for the visas!  We used to be able to get the visas in about 3 weeks!  Because their car papers expired in December, since then they had to leave their two vehicles in El Paso until they could get their visas. Therefore I have been working with them in coordinating rides to the city and letting them borrow my car to take the kids to school and pick up them up each day, plus for meetings, church, ministry, etc.

Oh.  And the water pump plus a valve in the engine on my car went out on the Grangers as they drove it into town three weeks ago. :S  And I will start my visa process, and probably sell my car in the states in March.  Then try to figure out the options of buying a Mexican car down here, and the whole registration process, etc.

The good news is that the Grangers got their visas last week, and this wek they were able to bring in their van, so that will help a lot.  And my car has been fixed and now I’m free to travel back and forth to the city!


Some days it just seems to be one thing after another, right? And I know I’m not the only one.  Plus, then there are days when Satan is a punk.  And he knows how to discourage us almost constantly.  For example, since I came back from Christmas break, I honestly had not been 100% excited to be back.  I was in a hard core funk.  I just had no desire to do anything.  And I have no idea why.  It’s not that I wanted to leave Mexico, or that  I wanted to move back to the states.  But I was having serious doubts about almost everything.  All these new visa rules, issues that constantly come up with the students, not knowing what God has for my future (tribe or the Ranch), just a lot of things were stressing me out.  I just had like 5 weeks of constant discouragement.

Plus, before I even crossed back into Mexico in January, I got an email from a place where I used to work, asking me to come back and help them out.  It’s a really good job, and it has awesome benefits, and there would be a secure outcome.  It’s the kind of job that parents dream for their kids to have.  And I had to turn it down.

But it’s not what God has for me.   He has me serving here in Mexico, amidst the difficulties, and trials, and issues.  And I have been daily relying on Him, and His strength to keep me going. Things are going better now here for me.  I’m staying encouraged, and looking forward to what God has for me here in the Ranch, and the rest of the year.

This is our group of young adults, jr. highers, and high schoolers.  This is a picture we took after one of our studies.  I taught for three weeks on our Identity in Christ.  And for the group it was eye opening and freeing.  Now they do not feel the pressure to “perform” but instead they can rest in their acceptance because of what Christ has done for them!  Such a good reminder for us all.
This is a photo with (L-R): Ana’s mom, Ana, Kari, Anita, and myself.  We attended the Quincenera for Ana’s niece.  Remember the family that I keep having y’all pray for, it’s them.  We enjoyed the night together!  Her niece’s color for the party was purple, that’s why we are all in purple! :)
Something awesome happened at Christmas time.  My parents blessed our family with a three week trip to Germany!  What!  Our family hasn’t had a vacation in 15 years or so.  And as a part of my dad’s retirement this month he wants to take us on a trip.  We, which includes my parents, my grandma, her sister (my great aunt), my sister, brother and sister-in-law, and me, will be heading to Germany & France to visit family and see some sights.  As a family we have always wanted to do something like this, but we never thought it would be possible.  Germany is the birthplace of my grandma and her sister, and my father was born in France.  This trip happens at an awesome time for me, because we will be having spring break during my trip. :)
Praises ::
- A nice Christmas with my family & friends in Oregon
- God’s grace that’s new every day
- the awesome team that I am a part of in the Ranch
- three amazing years in Mexico
- wonderful Mexican friends & families that have adopted meRequests ::
- for the work here this semester at the Ranch
- for the plans I have to go to Oregon for a 3-4 month furlough
- God’s leading & provision to go to a tribe – there might be some news next month or in April
- for the new visa process and buying a Mexican vehicle – I’ll need some hard core wisdom
- for selling my car in El Paso in April – that things can go smoothly
If you are interested in seeing some of the things God’s been doing in Mexico please check out the following link:
Mexico News
Check out the stories about the Guarijio and my friend Katie!  It’s pretty cool to see what is happening among tribal people in Mexico.I’m hoping that within the next two months I’ll have an update on moving to a tribe.  It’s looking like I might be heading to work with the Mixteco people in Baja, but keep praying, because it’s not final yet!  And I’m really wanting to follow God’s timing.

Also, I’m working on planning for a 3-4 month furlough this summer (mid-June-mid-September)!  I’m excited to be able to head towards Oregon for a few months to visit my three supporting churches, lots of friends, and enjoying summer activities with my family! :)

Your missionary in Mexico,
Crystal

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Crystal’s Crossings :: Christmas 2012

Posted by Crystal Pierce on Sunday, March 3rd, 2013

So the weather is finally changing here in Mexico, and the temperature is dropping in the mornings, while it stays in the 70′s & 80′s during the day.  I’m ready for it to be cooler so I can wear sweaters & my cowboy boots. :)

The above picture is of the two missionary teams that work in Baja California, their children, the 8 consultants and myself.  I really enjoyed my time in Baja, visiting the missionaries, getting to know them better, seeing what life is like over there, and getting a different picture of how they are doing church planting.  Please continue to pray for me as I work on planning an exploratory trip to visit the Tepehuan people.  We thought it would work out to visit in November, but that didn’t happen.  So hopefully next year I’ll be able to make a trip with one of the student couples in the Ranch, and then I can start taking some decisions.

After getting back from Baja at the beginning of October, things changed drastically at the Ranch.  First thing, our director, Edwin, injured his back and has been in bed since (8 weeks)!  At the beginning of November  he was able to get an MRI, and they found out that Edwin has two herrniated disks and a bulging one, which is putting pressure on the sciatic nerve.  He’s not been able to drive, so myself along with the other teachers, and some students have been helping with getting the kids to school, or getting Edwin to doctor’s appointments.  Edwin has had such bad pain, that when we take him to docto’rs appointments or the city, he has to lay down the whole trip.  And he’s only been able to teach a few classes from his house, but he’s in pain the whole time.

The plan as of last week, was that he would go in for a back surgery on Tuesday, but that didn’t happen.  Edwin has never wanted a back surgery (since there aren’t good results for back surgeries), so after a lot of prayer, and that morning he was all prepped for surgery, God allowed the x-ray machine to break.  God cancelled his surgery!  So the next plan was/is for Edwin and Anita to head to El Paso, TX and have daily appointments with a chiropractor.  Edwin and Anita don’t know English, so as a part of a team decision, I was selected to bring them to Texas and because they already have visas to the states it was an easy decision for us all to make.  We have plans of being in El Paso for two weeks, and then returning to Mexico.  I’m helping them out with translating for all the doctor’s appointments and in general living down here.  Their three teen boys stayed in Mexico with one of the other staff families (the Grangers) at the Ranch, and then next week some teachers will go out to the Ranch and stay with them.  Then we shall all be reunited after that.  These appointments have already helped Edwin out so much already in just 4 days.

Please be praying for Edwin & Anita while we are here in El Paso, and for me as I’m constantly translating.  God has given me constant reminders of what it means to be on a missionary team and why we work in teams.
Here is a picture of me with Edwin & Anita.

I’m excited to be able to spend another Christmas at home with my parents & siblings!  If you will be in the Baker City, Oregon area between Dec. 19-Jan. 2, let me know and we can hang out! :)

Blessings to you and your family during this holiday season,
Crystal Pierce

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Crystal’s Crossings :: September 2012

Posted by Crystal Pierce on Sunday, March 3rd, 2013

 

We are going strong here at the Ranch.  This year we are focusing on the missionary life course for the students, last year we focused on the technical course.  This year they will have Christian life classes, Teamwork, parenting class, marrieds class, single co-workers (I’ll teach this one in 2013 springtime), Tribal Church Planting, Animism, New Testament Church Planting, culture, and so many more. We have 9 returning students & 2 new ones – Hector & Amy, Hector needs to finish the two years of training.  I continue to stay busy with working in the office, organizing the weekly prayer groups & translating missionary prayer requests from around the world, helping and working with the team of teachers here too.  Last Friday we celebrated Mexico’s Independence Day with a party, and each house brought a Mexican dish to share – there was such good food, and a fun time was had by all!

Orientation week with Rick & Eunice Johnson
During our first week of classes, we participated with the Mexican Bible School in the city and attended the orientation week with Rick & Eunice Johnson.  He was a single missionary serving in a tribe in South America, a church planter in Tijuana Mexico, and is now the leader of Action International.  Rick & Eunice take time each August to come visit Chihuahua City in order to participate in the orientation at the Bible School and encourage believers to take a more active roll in missions and spreading the Gospel.  He has a passion for encouraging everyone!  I really enjoyed his sharing and encouragement from the word each day.
Youth Group
I have taken on a leadership role in my church with the Youth Group & Young Adults.  I have been involved in this group since moving to Mexico, and for different reasons over the course of two years the leaders have left/transitioned out of youth ministry and left us.  So after working my way through the ranks, my church now considers me a leader along with a guy, Jahaziel, & a married couple from my church, Ruben & Margarita.  We’ve already had some good Bible studies & we are gaining a biblical perspective on different areas in our lives.  Our current topic that we are studying is dating, which is a huge part of their lives because of the influence of society.

Survey Trip
Tomorrow I leave for a trip to Baja California to see if there is a possibility of joining a tribal team over there.  I’ll be checking out the possibility of joining the Mixteco team.  Please be praying for this trip and opportunity.  I need wisdom in seeing what God has next for me.

Orientation week at the Bible School

Saying goodbye to Judit – my good friend & mentor at the church

Morning Devotions with coffee :)

A promise from God

Viva Mexico!
Celebrating Mexico’s Independence Day

Mexico flag cookies & soccer balls

Praises ::

- for the 11 students that God has here at the Ranch
- the team of teachers that I’m a part of here
- two tribal locations (Triqui & Tarahumara) that are hearing God’s word in their own language for the first time
- for the last couple of weeks with rain – everything is green!
- this month my youth pastor when I was in high school came down to visit Mexico & share at a retreat for the missionary kids.  It was so good catching up & having someone from “home” come visit.
- for my friends, family & churches that continue supporting me faithfully through prayers, encouragement & finances
Prayer Requests ::
- future plans for next summer to visit Oregon – I’m thinking of taking a 2 month home assignment time to be able to visit family, churches, supporters & buy a small SUV
- future plans for selling my car & buying a new one
- for God to provide me with a co-worker & tribe to go to
- for me as I work on a multi-culture team & with the students here – that I can be sensitive & understanding
- as I co-lead the youth group & young people at my church
- understanding God’s plan for my life – I have made some plans in the last weeks/months and God keeps saying “not yet/no”. Pray for patience for me during these times of waiting and to remember that He is in control.
- protection from snakes, black widows, centipedes, tarantulas, etc. here at the Ranch – let’s just say I’ve smashed 5 black widows, 2 centipedes, and found a few tarantulas in front of my house :S

 

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Crystal’s Crossings :: My Summer Vacation

Posted by Crystal Pierce on Sunday, March 3rd, 2013
What I did on my Summer Vacation::

I spent part of my summer vacation with the Tarahumara Church in the mountains of Chihuahua.  My second trip this year to them (I was with them in April & May).  I spent 4 weeks helping out with a VBS that their church did.  We spent those weeks highlighting different “heroes” of the Bible like Abraham, Ruth, Ester, David, Solomon, etc.  One of my main jobs was helping prepare the lunch for the kids.  During the summertime, when the kids aren’t going to school, they might get a meal each day, otherwise they don’t really eat.  So as a way to show Christ’s love, the church decided that they would have a VBS and serve lunch to the kids, so that they at least get to eat once a day!  Teach them God’s Word, share a meal with them, show them God’s love for each one!  There was a group of 9 teens/adults that came from Juarez, Mexico to help for the first week.  On Saturday they left, but one guy came directly back to help out (he actually tried to leave again, but God had plans for him to stay the whole 4 weeks).  On Monday of the second week, one other guy came back, and by that Wednesday 7 of them plus one other girl came back to help out for the rest of the time!  Angelica (a missionary from Juarez, that is working with Tarahumaras in a community 3 hours from where we were) and I were in charge of preparing a meal each day for the 45 kiddos that came.  It was a huge blessing for me to be able to help out in the kitchen, hang out with the kids, and just be around the people.  There were a few days where ladies came into the kitchen and helped out, so I had a fun time visiting with them.

Now I want to share with you some pictures of my time, including a top 10 list!  Here goes:
The highlights from my summer with the Tarahumara Church::
the kids :: I enjoyed spending many afternoons & evenings with the kids after VBS.  They would try to patiently wait for me to finish cleaning up the kitchen, and then they would yell my name until I came out of the house, because they wanted me to take pictures of them!  I have no idea how many pictures I took of them, but they loved laughing at the preview of each picture.
the rainy season :: If you’ve ever lived in the desert you understand what a huge blessing it is to receive rain.  You know what it’s like to say, “the last time it rained was in October” or “we’ve gone 6 (or more) months without rain”.  And especially after enduring 100* days in June, I was thrilled to enjoy cooler weather and see everything green up.  It was a blessing!
made me thankful for indoor plumbing & not having to use an outhouse! :: Sharing a house with 11-15 other people with only one outhouse, and an indoor bathroom that is only to be used during the night was rough.  Always having to wait and then rush out before someone else.  It made me super grateful for having my own bathroom, and not having to wait in line.  It’s the little things.
the time spent relaxing & reading books :: Its been over 2 1/2 years since I read a book just for pure enjoyment!  And while I was in the mountains I read 6, and I’ve started my 7th book!  Awesome!
daily being reminded of God’s love for me and others, his grace, forgiveness and mercy :: I just daily loved the encouragement that God’s word & the Holy Spirit reminded me each day of His love, grace, forgiveness, and mercy.

wearing flannel & long sleeve shirts in the summer! :: loved it!  Seems like here in the desert we only get to wear them for two months, so I thoroughly enjoyed wearing flannel and reading my books!
not driving a car for a whole month :: I just stayed in the village and walked everywhere I needed to go!  It was crazy.  Plus it was awesome not having to drive or have that responsibility! :)
spending time helping out the church :: I had just a great time with the ladies and children, just visiting with them, and showing interest in their lives.  I loved hearing their testimonies, what the Lord was teaching them, and what He was teaching them.  I enjoyed showing them the embroidery projects that I was working on, and they enjoyed seeing/learning new techniques.
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Prayer Requests
:: the new semester at the Ranch starts August 13!
:: unity for the team of teachers here at the Ranch & the Bible School in Chihuahua
:: that the cars would run well – each of us staff members have had issues with our cars in the last 3 weeks.  Between the three families + myself, there have been two new car batteries bought, a new fuel filter, an alignment, and one car is still in the shop!  Pray that we would stay encouraged when things don’t run smoothly.

Praises
:: the amazing month spent helping the Tarahumara church!
:: the last couple of days of rest, relaxing, and finishing some projects around the house
:: extra days to continue serving the Savior!

Please pray for wisdom for me.  I’m working on making plans to sell my ’97 Ford Taurus, and buy something more “tribal ready”, aka, a small SUV.  I have been saving for my next car for almost a year, and I’ve almost reached my goal!  Please be praying for a buyer for this car (anyone interested), plans to work out for me to travel to Oregon this fall or next summer, and that God would have a car ready to meet my needs here in Mexico.  I look forward to see how God responds to these prayers!
getting to make new friends & constantly working on my translation skills :: two American teenage girls, Bekah & Carissa, came out to spend 7 weeks in the village, and Bekah didn’t speak any Spanish.  So I constantly worked on translating for everyone so all could understand.  It was super good for my English & Spanish levels!
not having to do all the cooking :: I enjoyed not having to cook or prepare every single meal.  Angelica & I prepared the meal for the kids & staff, and then the team that came to help out was split in two groups to help prepare the other meals!  It was so nice.  But I did make cinnamon rolls, chili, and numerous other things to help out!

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