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Crazy, Fun Summer…

Wow!  It’s been a whirlwind of a summer!   To give you an idea of what we’ve been up to we wanted to share some quick photo highlights of the summer.   You can click on the photos to see them larger.  (Don’t miss our prayer requests for current and upcoming ministry at the end.)

Lucas ready to rock the coffee-can drum at his kindergarten graduation in June.
Lucas ready to rock the coffee-can drum at his kindergarten graduation in June.
Matías in Danza de la Pluma
Matías finished second grade and participated in the Danza de la Pluma, a traditional Oaxacan dance re-enacting the battle between the Aztecs and the Spanish.
Our annual Mexico missionary retreat went very well and Nils did a great job leading our team during that time!  We enjoyed worship with Geoff and Pete Twigg and reflecting on the whole mission of the church, especially as it relates to the environment with Ed Brown.
In July we had our annual Mexico missionary retreat. This was Nils’s first experience in planning and leading this event. We enjoyed worship with Geoff and Pete Twigg and reflecting on the whole mission of the church, especially as it relates to the environment with Ed Brown.
We laughed and cried together as we reminisced with our retiring colleagues Jo Ellen Reaves, and our supervisors for our 10 years here in Mexico Dave and Wendy Mark.  It has been a joy to serve with them and we will miss them greatly.  Please pray for them in their last year of service with Covenant World Mission and for what God has next for them.
We laughed and cried together as we reminisced with our retiring colleagues Jo Ellen Reaves, and Dave and Wendy Mark, our supervisors for the entire time we’ve been in Mexico. It has been a joy to serve with them and we will miss them greatly. Please pray for them in their last year of service with Covenant World Mission and for what God has next for these wise monkeys.
Right after the retreat we had the blessing of hosting Pete and Geoff in our new home while they offered a worship workshop to pastors and leaders here in Oaxaca.  It was a joy to get to know them better and translate for a few of their sessions.
Right after the retreat we had the blessing of hosting Pete and Geoff in our home while they offered a worship workshop to pastors and leaders here in Oaxaca. It was a joy to get to know them better and translate for a few of their sessions.
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In July, Nils attended CIPE in Medellin, Colombia. This was the ninth triennial gathering of Covenant Churches from Latin America.
Erika had the immense blessing to attend triennial and participate in the AVA (Advocates for Victims of Abuse) training beforehand together with other missionaries and 8 women from FUNDEFAM in Monterrey.  Praise God for the renewal, encouragement, and joy from worshiping God together with dear friends.
Erika was blessed to attend Covenant Women Triennial in San Diego and participate in the AVA (Advocates for Victims of Abuse) training beforehand together with 8 women from FUNDEFAM in Monterrey.  Praise God for the renewal, encouragement, and joy from worshiping God together with dear friends.
Patty Restrepo, Janice Kelly and Erika at Triennial
Covenant missionaries Patty Restrepo, Janice Kelly and Erika at Triennial

 

During her trip, Nils and the boys went up to the mountain village Santa Ines together with Ben, two summer interns from North Park University and the Restrepos to visit the church up there.  They had a wonderful time with the brothers and sisters, and the boys especially liked all sleeping together on the floor under a big pile of blankets.
During Erika’s trip, Nils and the boys went up to the mountain village of Santa Ines together with Ben, two summer interns from North Park University and the Restrepos to visit the church up there.  They had a wonderful time with the brothers and sisters, and the boys especially liked sleeping together on the floor under a big pile of blankets.
While in the States, Erika took a side trip to visit her family in MN and had the special opportunity to meet her 10 month old nephew Landon!
While in the States, Erika took a side trip to visit her family in MN and had the special opportunity to meet her 10 month old nephew Landon!

 

While there she spend time with her four grandparents, and her mother Petra had a Swanson family get-together, so she was able to see her aunts, uncle and cousins as well!  Nils's parents and his brother and family also surprised her with a visit her first night there.  
While in MN, her mother Petra’s family had a Swanson family get-together, so she was able to see her grandparents, aunts, uncle and cousins as well!  Nils’s parents and his brother and family also surprised her with a visit on her first night there.
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Pray for Ben Wickstrom who we said goodbye to after almost three years of ministry in Oaxaca. We already miss him, but trust God will use him in his leadership role with Hechos (Acts) 29 in Ecuador and will guide him as he seeks God’s will for his future. (Sorry about the photo, Ben!)

Here are a few prayer requests for now and the coming month…

Currently we have two Colombian women staying with us for the next two weeks who, along with two other women, are receiving training from Fuentes Libres on how to start micro-loan community banking ministries.

Nils will be traveling this week to visit with the President of the Mexican Covenant Church to discuss how the mission can grow in their partnership with the church.

Next week Erika, Patty Restrepo and Mary Cervantes, a leader in the Oaxaca Covenant Church, will travel to Mexico City to participate in a meeting with the MAEM (Ministry to the Abused and Exploited in Mexico) committee where we will work on a strategic plan for how to train local church leaders in addressing and preventing abuse, sex trafficking and the use of pornography.  Please pray for us as people from Monterrey, Mexico City and Oaxaca come together to seek God’s guidance  for this important, yet difficult, new ministry.  As part of this ministry here in Oaxaca, Erika and Mary will be facilitating a 12 week violence prevention course with a local Covenant church starting Wed. October 2nd.

And finally, we ask for your prayers for those effected by the multiple storms that have pounded Mexico over the past week.  As you have probably heard, much of Mexico, including parts of Oaxaca,  has been ravaged by flooding and mudslides.  Here where we live there has been several days of heavy rain, but no severe damage.

MUCHAS GRACIAS for your partnership with us in the gospel!  We are blessed by your friendship, by knowing that you hold us in your prayers, and you continue to support us financially as well.  Please let us know how we can be praying for you, as we love hearing from you.

With love,

Erika, Nils, Matías and Lucas

 

 

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