Summer 2023 Visitors, Part 2

Our summer ministry has gone through some significant changes over the past 10 years or so, from being primarily a time we received summer interns (a record number of interns in 2006 and 2007), to primarily receiving church groups (an average of 4-5 groups per summer, from 2016, except during COVID). Last summer, largely due to a summer internship emphasis with our new mission, Liebenzell USA, we received 4 interns, and five different church groups. This summer, 3 summer interns will be here, for 4, 6 and 8 weeks respectively, and we’re receiving four different groups (almost five, but one group canceled due to the leader’s health issues).

This year is the first time that we’ve sponsored an “open” week, where really anyone from anywhere could come down and experience Mexico with us. The Smathers family took the challenge, a family of 5 from Colorado Springs, CO. They will be living in their own small house, doing life here for a week with us. Their first activity…going to a nearby Walmart and buying food for their breakfasts here! That part of it doesn’t sound too culturally challenging…until they start looking for certain items or brand names!聽 We’re excited to have our mission director Dr. Chris Matthews and Global Missions director Rev. Mike Branch with us for this week also. Chris will be preaching on the Spanish Reformation while here; a fascinating topic for Spanish-speaking believers!

In addition to the Come and See in 2023 week, we are privileged to partner with the following churches this summer:

Leroy Community Chapel–a group of 12 people, most young adults, will be involved in a local high school teaching several conferences (friendship/relationships and depression/anxiety), as well as playing sports with several of the High School groups (girls–soccer, boys–basketball), and being involved with teaching English. They will also be involved in a baking class or two or three, a reading glasses donation outreach event, and some volleyball games (and possible tournament).

Mount Calvary Church–a group of 20 people, primarily high school aged kids, will be involved with teaching English at a nearby Jr. Hi. School, inviting students there to participate in an open gym during the afternoons, playing basketball. A 3-on-3 basketball tournament happens towards the end of the week, with a reading glasses donation event ( In all of these activities, the gospel is presented through skits, gospel illustrations and the spoken word.聽 Mount Calvary Church continues to set participation records for short-term teams, having sent short-term groups 6 out of the last 8 summers.

Word of Life Chapel–following up on a very successful week of outreach last summer, a group of 6 from Word of Life Chapel will be doing two baking classes per day for their first several days here, culminating in an awards ceremony, with certificates given for completion of the baking classes, and where we have an opportunity to present the gospel in a number of ways, including the Cross Puzzle, an evangelistic tool used to visually explain the gospel, developed by Ken Rutt, who is a member of Word of Life Chapel.聽 The men will be involved with several remodeling projects that Samuel is coordinating.

Speaking of Samuel, he once again designed our summer logo. The idea is from a popular board game, Settlers of Catan. In this schematic, however, the resource tiles are not sheep, wood, wheat, ore and brick, but rather the spiritual resources of fellowship, prayer, worship and Bible study. May we use all of these tremendous resources strategically as we seek to reach our world with the gospel.

Our summer 2023 logo…on t-shirts and orientation manuals.

Shout-out to David Gomez for winning a Settlers game several days ago. Note: This does NOT happen very often 馃槀

3 thoughts on “Summer 2023 Visitors, Part 2”

  1. I love that you are hosting so many this Summer. Every year I have heard testimony from those that we “send out” to Mexico, I hear a consistent commentary of how they were taught and prepared by the Holy Spirit as they helped you and Myra. I will continue to pray that God changes the hearts, of both unbelievers and believers alike!

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