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"10,000 Youth Gathered in One Stadium!"

That's what the organizers told us at the beginning of the summer when they enthusiastically invited us to teach 3 workshops during their conference. And though their expectations turned out to be a bit optimistic (I estimate there were about 1,000), as I look back on that day I realize how many things went well that might not have, and I credit that to your prayers.

Things that Annette, Veronica, Nahum and Beto in Moreliawent too well for it to just be coincidence:

* Instead of just the two of us, we took along 4 members of our growing team - Veronica and Jorge, who are columnists with our website, and Nahum and Beto who are youth leaders in a local church. And it ended up being an great team building time. (note: put cursor over the photo for more info)

* I felt like I had a cold the day before the conference so I asked Nahum - one of the local youth leaders we are discipling - to go with us and help with my workshop. During my workshop I felt perfectly fine, so maybe God used my cold to encourage me to involve Nahum in the seminar.

* When Nahum (left) and Beto sipping kiwi smoothieswe invited Beto - another local youth leader who we've been training - to go with us, he said he'd go if he woke up in time. I really didn't think he would wake up because he had had a busy week, it was late, and we were leaving the house at 7:30 am. But at 7:25 he showed up and told us that on waking up he said, "God, if you want me to go let a car go by in the street." One did. Being the mathematician/logician that he is, he said to himself, "I probably heard the car and that's why I woke up, so God if you really want me to go have a dog bark." One did. Still not convinced he said, "OK, just one more thing, have one of my parents get up to go to the bathroom." First he heard his father, then his mother, so he got up. Going made him feel more a part of our "team" and he even helped teach a section of my workshop.

* Then there's Jorge - a friend and one of the most gifted youth speakers I've heard - but not one of the more punctual. You can't fully experience Jorge until you've sweated out the anxious minutes before an event wonderingMy buddy, Jorge, Zuraya and I if and when your star speaker will arrive, so it will have to suffice to say that at 10:00 pm the night before the conference I called him on his cell phone only to find that he and his darling new wife, Zuraya, were watching a movie in a theatre in Cuernavaca, 2 1/2 hours away. He'd just finished speaking for 3 days at a summer youth camp but promised he would make it to our house by the 7:30 am departure time the next morning. Since we figured he wouldn't, I gave him directions to the stadium and begged him to show up. He didn't appear by departure hour so we left hoping he'd catch up to us at the conference. But since we left on time and only arrived 30 minutes or so before the workshops began, we were already making arrangements to cover his seminar without him, but at the exact moment when the sessions were beginning he walked in! Afterwards he told us that he'd driven the nearly 180 miles to the conference at around 100 miles per hour to arrive on time.

kids in the back of our car (not during conference)
* And of course we never take for granted the safety that God has continued to give us through many miles on the road!

So even though there were not the 10,000 youth that the organizers had hoped for, we were able to have contact with a number of people in an area where we had not had any previous contact and we pray that they will use the materials and be helped by them.

that's about it for this letter :-)
Thank You...
Tim & Annette
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