We’re back from Mazatlán: Vineyard Church Ministries

Here is a map of the different locations in Central Mexico where La Vina has ministries.


We had a wonderful trip to Mexico.  We went there with the Badgleys (fireman Al, Crystal, Hunter, and Serena), Jacque Horn, Shannon and Rebecca Green, and my folks who met up with us in Los Angeles.  Below is the recently painted Church in the Golden zone (tourist zone).  All of the Vineyard vehicles are painted with this same scheme: Bright yellow, with blue accents.  The Iowa had T-shirts like this.


The main purpose of the trip was to go on a mission, the second goal was to get out of Alaska to someplace warm to thaw out for a while.  We interfaced with a church group down in Mazatlán called The Vineyard, or La Vina in Spanish.  One of the interesting things about going on a short mission trip is what really happens is you help the people that are already there working.  Thankfully, the David and Jorge had lots for us to do.IMG_3801

Here we are lined up in front of the church on our first day.  Al and I are not in the picture since we’re taking pictures.  L to R; Crystal, Shannon, Mark, Hunter, Serena, Jacque, Rebecca, Peggy, and John.  I’m not sure where Luke is, but John Caleb is on my back as I took the picture.


One thing that surprised me was the Vineyard church had a huge breakfast ready for us with fruit, pancakes, eggs, hash-browns, cereal, and juice.  We got to meet the local greeters and the couple that makes the breakfasts.



Here’s Lydia directing us at Sam’s along with the Iowa team as we purchase the supplies for the first day of work.   What’s interesting, looking back, is that we really have no idea what we’re in for at this point, but we’re confident we could do some sort of good.  I’m very thankful that the Vineyard team in Mazatlan had work for us that we could jump in and do that would help them in some way.

I was not sure what we’d be doing, but it was pretty clear when we got there what was IMG_3842 going to happen. La Vina has properties in a number of the outer colonias where it is starting churches and our job was to go out and support the ministries with the mobile kitchen, dispensing groceries, or with the mobile school.

The first day, we met up with Lydia who works out at Stone Island as the local missionary.  She had the shopping list in her head and lead us around Sam’s Club so weIMG_3844 could buy food to dispense from the church in Stone Island (which is actually on a peninsula).  The Iowa group was there on the end of their trip and bought the food for the mobile kitchen, so Al ran the grill with them.

In these pictures of the mobile kitchen, you can see that it’s a trailer with stainless Steel working surfaces and a grill.  The white plastic bags are loaded up and ready for the trip out to stone Island.  In the picture below, we are IMG_3835doing an assembly line approach to filling the bags with groceries. 

In each bag there was rice, vegetable oil, milk, pasta, sauce, and flour in each bag.  The truck drove around the long way to stone Island while we went on little commuter boats over to the island.  When we arrived,  we were split into teams so we could pass out the coupons for the dispensa.  We were teamed up with Andres as we walked IMG_3885around to the different houses during the heat of the day going door to door to hand out coupons.  Many of the people didn’t want just one coupon, but tried to get more than one, saying their sister or mother was not at home but needed one. To receive one bag of groceries, the mother or father of the household has to show up at the appointed time at the local church.  After that comes the hot lunch, then the rest of the program: at Stone Island, there was a women’s prayer group.


The town is made up of homes that are very small and the roads are dirt.  Many of the houses did not have men at home when we went by giving out the tickets to the families.  The houses varied greatly in size, quality, and lot size.  Nearly every house had a clothes line for drying clothes in the hot sun and gentle breeze.  Many of the people used ATVs to get around within the town, mostly Honda Quadrunners.

IMG_3954Here is Ama, the local lady who works with Lydia at the Stone Island Church.  The church building is brand new, from all appearances, and is off to a good start.  From what I could tell it is one of the few buildings in town that is not covered in graffiti.



From what I was told, the water IMG_3887system in town is not really built to give enough demand for the daytime usage, so many people have these large black tanks which are filled up slowly during the night.  With the tanks up high, they have plenty of pressure at the faucet for normal use during the day. The big blank tank on the second story is for holding water during the day. 


The brown doors are heavy steel doors that can be securely locked.  Anything not locked down tight is at risk to theft.  Below is a typical house of the neighborhood.  Many of the houses had fences of some sort around them. 


The mobile kitchen made plates for lunch that had two quesadillas, 1/2 an orange, cookies and a glass of ice-cold water.IMG_3949 While the cooks were making lunch, the rest of us tried to help out with the coloring project, moving chairs or tables, or trying to keep order.


Here’s Al running the grill, while Jacque and a lady from Iowa fill up the plates.  You can see Al has room to cook 36 quesadillas at a time on the big grill.IMG_3944

The dispensa was at 1 PM and then there was a coloring time along with the lunch, which was followed by a women’s prayer group time.


IMG_4000 The shot above is Holly talking with the folks that worked with the kids doing bead projects with the women.  The church had the same type of plastic topped tables that we have at our church, and they have the same type of plastic stacking chairs that are common throughout the US.

While the women were in the church, the men put together a new shelf to organize the stored supplies in the back room which is kept locked and has things like toilet paper, teaching supplies, cleaning supplies, etc..  There are two back rooms in the church a small one for the supplies and a larger one has a refrigerator and will will be a kitchen soon after the rest of the appliances, countertops, and shelves or cupboards are installed.


There was one set of chairs to use outdoors and another set to use indoors.

IMG_3995While the women were having the prayer group and the men were working on the shelf, Hunter, Al, Rebecca, and Serena played games in the community open center with the the kids that hung around.  We brought a box of soccer balls to give to the church to use as they wanted and ended up giving a few of them at each place.  The soccer balls were actually decorated by kids during Vacation Bible School in Haines and were originally destined for Africa, but we sent them to Mexico instead


IMG_3996My mother brought a bunch of crayons and coloring papers depicting scenes from the bible and we used them with the La Vina’s supply so so the kids could do something while the food was being cooked and tell the stories behind them. In some places this worked better than others. 

After the long day at Stone Island, we watched the sunset and went out to eat dinner at the Gus Gus restaurant near our hotel.




Spanish Sunday School

This is a clip from Holly’s pre-school Sunday School Class at the Haines Presbyterian Church: March 1, 2009.

Non Traditional Sunday School.

IMG_3396Holly has a new thing she’s doing with the little ones in Sunday School–Rock band!  The kids get to dress up and wear sunglasses and sing into microphones.  The electric piano generates most off the ‘rock’ sound with most of the songs being traditional Sunday school songs.

IMG_3386 Mark likes to sing really loud and is taking piano lessons from from his grandmother.  Likes to sing loud and play the drums or other percussion instruments.

The whole lot of them really like it.


Johnie Esther Davis

Johnie_D Johnie Esther Davis passed away August 31, 2008 at age 92. She died peacefully at the home of her youngest son Ancil Ted Davis in Wichita, KS with members of her family present.

She is preceded in death by parents John Clarence and Margaret Ann Carter, husband Ancil Huber Davis, daughter Betty Jo Crepps and three brothers: Clarence Hall, James Thomas, and Don Fulton Carter.

She is survived by her sons John Wilber Davis of Worthington, IN – Ted, and sister Anne Marie Francis of Temple, TX. Also surviving are her grandchildren Dorie Crepps of Melbourne, FL, Jim Crepps of Fullerton, CA, Tami McCullough and Brett Davis of Wichita, Jack Davis and Betty Louanna Richter of Sitka, AK, Andy Davis of Worthington, IN, and Matt Davis of Haines, AK. She has 14 great-grandchildren and 3 great-great-grandchildren.

Back row L to R: Matt Davis, Andy Davis, Jim Crepps, Brett Davis. Front Row L to R: Betty Davis, Dorie Crepps-Ahnert, Tami McCullough, Jack Davis


The funeral service will be held in Belle Plaine, KS at the Methodist Church at 1:00 PM on Monday September 8, 2008, with visitation on Sunday at the Smith- Hatfield funeral home in Belle Plaine from 1:00 until 8:00 PM. (Family members will be present from 5:00 to 7:00 PM)


In lieu of flowers, memorials have been established at the Belle Plaine Church of Christ, Maude Carpenter Children’s Home, and Know Your Bible at Northside Church of Christ in Wichita.

Seated L to R: Dorothy Marcus, Vikki Fuller, Selah Marcus, Missy Dossey, Cydnee Dossey, Brooklynn Dossey, Matt, Carter, Buddy, Rhoda, Tiane, Andy, Joanna, Jennifer, Joy, Jack, Jessica, and John Davis.  Standing Row 1 L to R: Margie Carter, Diane Davis, Craig Dossey, Lindsay Kingsley, Sandra, Cameron, and Riley Davis, Dorie Crepps-Ahnert, Karen and Anne Marie Francis, Peggy Davis, Betty Richter. Back Row L to R: Ted Davis, Clayton & Tami McCullough, Kelby Kingsley, Brett Davis, Jim Crepps, John & Percy Francis, John Davis, and Cliff Richter.


Here’s a touching and inspiring story…

This is not a story from me.  It’s out on the web, you can check it out: Team Hoyt.

A son asked his father, ‘Dad, will you take part in a marathon with me?’ The father who, despite having a heart condition, says ‘Yes’. They went on to complete the marathon together. Father and son went on to join other marathons, the father always
saying ‘Yes’ to his son’s request of going through the race together.

One day, the son asked his father, ‘Dad, let’s join the Ironman together.’  To which, his father said ‘Yes’ too.

For those who didn’t know, Ironman is the toughest triathlon ever The race encompasses three endurance events of a 2.4 mile (3.86 kilometer) ocean swim, followed by a 112 mile (180.2 kilometer) bike ride, and ending with a 26.2 mile (42.195 kilometer) marathon along the coast of the Big Island. Father and son went on to complete the race together.

View this and make sure your sound is on!


Here’s another video that’s more of a news story.

VBS was a blast!

I did the summary “Spotlight Drama!” slide show at the end of each day of Vacation Bible School (VBS) and had a real blast with the kids and watching them learn new songs and hear about the salvation message.  My job was to take about 20 pictures per day of various things.  These kids were supposed to look frightened.  Instead of making the slides in Power Point, which doesn’t automatically resize images, I did the slide shows with a proprietary little program that was very easy to use.


We had two wonderful kids on their first Mission trip come to help out with VBS and stay at our house for the week in our extra room: Katie & Alex.  They were great, and we decided to get a foreign exchange student to stay in our extra room for the next year.  Holly wants someone who speaks Spanish, loves little kids (we have three boys), and is nice.  I want someone that is intelligent and not too focused on superficial things.

Deep, Deep Love: Choir performance

Here’s a video of the Haines Presbyterian Church Choir & Holly singing a solo in last week’s choir performance at church.

Choir practice is on Wednesday night from 7:30 to 8:30 and is directed by Crystal Badgley. Crystal’s two kids, Hunter (9th grade) & Serena (middle school), take care of the boys each week during practice. Al Badgley did the video work shooting.

I must have done something wrong, because the 16×9 format didn’t get letter-boxed when I processed it.

Oh well, you get the idea.  I use Roxio’s VideoWave 9 to edit the file and export it as an mpg2 file.  YouTube has a 100mb file size limit for a standard, non-director user account.  I uploaded the file in mono, rather than stereo since the camcorder was off to the side.

Is there Water in Heaven?

Holly had a discussion about Heaven today with the boys as they got ready for lunch.

“Pastor Ron says that we all get to heaven at the same time.” Holly said.

Mark: “That’s not right.  Grandma Madsen is in heaven right now, and we’re still alive.” 

IMG_0356She died last month.

Holly: “We don’t really know exactly how we get to heaven.”

Luke piped up right away: ‘”That’s not right.  You fly to heaven.”

Holly: “Well, yes.”

Later on, just before nap time, Mark said, “Mama, Is there water in heaven?”

Holly: “I don’t know if there’s water in heaven, but if there’s not any, I’m going to get really thirsty.”

Mark: “Can you look it up?”

Holly: “The bible doesn’t say whether there is water in heaven or not.”

Mark: “Not in the Bible, Mama; look it up on the Internet!”

Before Mark went to sleep last night he said, “Mama, do you think God will let us be whatever age we want to when we’re in Heaven?

Holly thought for a while and said, “Maybe so.  I’ll be 27.  That was the age I was when I married Daddy.”

Mark, who is five years old, smiled and said, “I’m going to be seven!”

Easter Weekend

Monday, April 17, 2006
Easter weekend

It was a fun weekend for photography.  The weather was semi-cooperative for the track meet–it didn’t rain, but it didn’t really shine either and the track was wet.  Many of the kids were shivering and red from the cold wind.  Covering a track meet by myself is a difficult thing to do as there is so much going on at once: sprints, discus, long-jump, and triple-jump.  Although I didn’t get to shoot all the events, it was fun to see the kids competing.

The Easter egg hunt and related events are getting better each year at the Elk’s Lodge.  This year the egg hunt was divided up into various age groups and went really well.  The little kids were able to get some eggs this year because they went first, then another older age-group went next and searched the playground, then the older kids went last and searched the woods.  Plus inside the lodge, things were more organized this year than last year and it didn’t seem as harried.

The Big Air snowboarding stunt competition had a bitterly cold wind that some weren’t prepared for. It was the coldest Big Air competition that I’ve been to. But even though it was cold, it was better than in years past in many ways: instead of just two types jumps, there were three: one for the beginners, one for the intermediate contestants, and one big ramp for the advanced.  I thought it was much better organized this year: things just continue to improve each year.  One improvement for next year will be that if it the weather turns out to be miserable, we might see the advanced contestants go first instead of last so that those that aren’t’ prepared for the cold weather can see the really good jumps and stunts.  Some of the crowd also thought it would be cool if there weren’t such long delays in which it seems like nothing is happening–perhaps a time limit once a contestant gets the go ahead.

The Easter Service at church was very nice too starting off with a potluck breakfast and finishing up early with family portraits followed by dismissal without Sunday School–which was nice because our little family was tired by then.

I hope you had as Good an Easter as we had.

Random thoughts

Friday, December 02, 2005

Yesterday I went to the Revelations class which is taught by Ron Horn at the Presby.  It was an interesting class and quite a thought provoking time.  I took copious notes so that I could be able to explain the content to Holly.  I’m sure I missed a few points, but I got the gist of it, the gestalt.

The class grade book is on-line this year(www.gradenetwork.com), so students and parents can check their grades when it’s convenient for them–which is nice–some parents say.  The only thing about it that I’m not happy with is that I don’t get a chance to update the grades as often as I’d like as it is a time consuming process.  The cool thing about it is that once the data is entered every stakeholder has access to it–not just me.  So I think the time spent is worth it.

I’d just like another hour per day so that I could update the grades on the site more often.

I’m interested in using strobes.  I think the next big thing I need to do in the photographic realm is start using strobes.  They are difficult for some to learn but since I understand the inverse square law of propogation from a point, I dont think it’ll be that tough. 

Some of the new sound devices out there are tempting me to get back into sound recording.  The product that looks the most interesting is Edirol’s R-1 CompactFlash recording device.  It appeals to me becuase I’m already very familiar with the CF media and have all it takes to use it and the sound files would not have to be played into the computer in real-time to get very high quality sound–better than CD quality.  This is appealing becuase the sound quality would be the equal of minidisc and yet the time savings would be huge.

I think it would be cool if my brother-in-law had an R-1 to take with him in his music performances so his parents could hear the various performances he does via downloads over the internet or via CD’s that he could mail them.  It’d be almost like ‘being there’–which would be too expensive.