Archive for the ‘News Article’ Category

Guest House Stint

Posted by Crystal Pierce on Wednesday, October 1st, 2014

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Taking care of the Guest House for one month was really good for me.  I got to see how another ministry is vital to our missionaries here, both tribal and support.  At first it didn’t seem that different from what I do here at the Ranch.

  • I mean there is picking people up from the airport, and driving them to pick up their car from the mechanic.
  • There is buying supplies for the guest house or picking up some sunblock for some missionaries coming out of the tribe so their teenage daughter can go on a retreat with other missionary kids but they won’t make it to El Paso before the retreat (sunblock in Mexico costs over $20 for the cheap stuff).
  • Also returning items to a store for missionaries because the store mailed their order to the wrong address.
  • Meeting the pilot at the airport to send some mail in and packages for the missionaries in the tribe.
  • Receiving packages & organizing/sorting through mail.
  • Depositing money for a missionary that won’t be leaving Mexico for a few months.
  • Going to the post office to mail packages & important papers for tribal missionaries.
  • Also just being someone that listens to their problems and frustrations without judging them.
  • Washing sheets & cleaning rooms.

That was pretty normal and similar to what I do at the Ranch.  But the organizing of rooms with large families, and only certain rooms available for certain dates, that part was crazy.  You have to organize who stays in what rooms, but be prepared because the missionaries may not leave when they had planned because of various reasons or extra missionaries show up without a reservation or arrive too early.  To read a blog post that the Meissners wrote about my communication back and forth with them, please click here.

I really enjoyed my time at the Guest House and I’m super thankful for the Meissners that take care of it.  I loved being able to go to a church, fellowship with different believers, and hear some sermons in English, but after a few weeks I was ready to be back in my Mexican church.  I was able to see some of my mama’s cousins that live in New Mexico while I was there.  I enjoyed numerous days of rain too!  All in all it was a good month, and I’m thankful to be home at the Ranch.

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My Visa Process

Posted by Crystal Pierce on Friday, April 18th, 2014

This year I want to show you how many people helped me out with my visa process.  It’s not just a process that I do by myself.

One of the people in this process is Linda.  She works at our Home Office in Florida, and she wrote a letter for me that I turned in to receive my visa.  She’s actually one of my favorite people because she is Amy’s mom and I’ve known her for forever.  Her job is actually a lot more than just writing letters, for me she’s sent me sympathy cards when my grandparents died, she’s helped me prepare my will, etc.  She also helps missionaries who need to renew their driver’s license but they are still out of country, she helps with letters for people that get summoned for jury duty but they are living in a remote tribe and don’t have plans to head back just for that one duty.  She also does paperwork for new missionaries, and so much more.  She’s kind of like our own personal secretary in the US and I totally appreciate her!

The second group of people that helped me out were Torre & Narah.  They run our guest house in Texas.  It’s a ministry specifically for our missionaries in Mexico and a place for us to go if we have to do visa or other paperwork, for missionaries that need to do supply buying, for meetings, for a place to rest before traveling either to Mexico or from Mexico, etc.  It’s a super important ministry.  I am so thankful for them and their ministry & also because they are close friends, I love having a reason to go to El Paso to visit them.  Specifically for the visa, I spent five days at the guest house.

 

The third person that helped me during this process is Melody.  Melody is the lady that is always in the know about anything that has to do with our visas.  She is always working so hard to keep our information up to date, and she has everything so well organized.  Because she has an awesome ability in Spanish she is able to write the letters that we take down to immigration.  She is always coordinating & scheduling for our missionaries when to start their paperwork.  Which is incredible because we are over 80 missionaries.

There is another person Ruben that is basically the face of our mission to immigration.  Once a week he heads down to immigration and takes our paperwork in to begin the process.  Depending upon the type of visa depends on how long the process takes.  The employees at immigration have great respect for Ruben and always know when we are a part of Mision Pro-Indigena because of his testimony.

My visa process this year went like this:

1. Cancel previous year’s visa at the immigration office at the Mexico/USA line.  Travel 3.5 hours to get there.

2.  Apply for new visa at the Mexican Consulate in Texas. This is a visa that is only good for 30 days.

3.  Return for the visa 3 times before it is finally available three days later due to a broken printer & “technical problems”. :S

4. Cross the Mexico/USA line and receive car papers from Customs.  Then drive back home (3.5 hrs.)

5. Turn in the next visa application for a year long visa. Melody helps me out, including a letter from Linda, and Ruben takes it down to immigration.

6.  Head down to immigration (30 minutes) myself the next day because they changed the form & I need this done quickly & hopefully will receive it before my sister & friend need to be picked up in El Paso.

7. Visa paperwork was not finished in time before picking them up in EP.  Head down to immigration and get a Visa Exit Permission.  Thankfully, I’m able to sign the paperwork & get fingerprinted, then it was sent off the next day to be printed in Mexico City.  Then it will be shipped back to Chihuahua.

8. After driving to Texas & picking up my sister & friend, I got my Visa Exit Permission, stamped leaving & entering Mexico.

9. Drive down to immigration and turn in the permission.  The visa isn’t there.  Plan to return to immigration another day.

10. The visa arrives, and two days later I head back down to pick it up! Now I can stay in Mexico for another year.

11. Visit the Transportation Department twice so I can receive papers to drive my car in Mexico too.

I seriously have no idea how many miles, hours, or visits I made to Immigration or the Transportation department but it was a lot.  The people that work in Immigration knew me by my first name because of all my visits to see them. :)  I am super thankful to have the visa & car paperwork so I can live and traveling around Mexico for another year.  And I am also so thankful for the people that helped me out in this process: Linda, Torre, Narah, Melody, & Ruben.  It takes a huge network of missionaries to keep other missionaries in their full time ministries.  We are all on the same team.

1 Corinthians 12.14-16 :: For the body does not consist of one member but of many. If the foot should say, “Because I am not a hand, I do not belong to the body,” that would not make it any less a part of the body.  And if the ear should say, “Because I am not an eye, I do not belong to the body,” that would not make it any less a part of the body.

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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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