Seven of us (four returning) set off for Manzanillo, Mexico, on February 17, 2018. The first task...answering the alarm for a 1:45 a.m. ride to the airport. In all reality, most of us couldn't sleep. We were just too excited!

We conducted a second year of children's ministry training for the mamas and staff of Casa Hogar Los Angelitos and at least 12 other churches/organizations in the area. Nearly 30 people were in attendance. On a world-wide average, each person working with children impacts 50 children. More than 1,500 children were represented at the training.

Our incredible team from LifeSpring Covenant Church, Michelle, Janna, Ginnie, Mindi, Marcia, Dave, and Carol, worked hard on final preparations, enjoyed connecting with local leaders (see pics at the bottom of the page), and conducted three days of training:

  • Nurturing Great Children (Becoming a Great Nurturer, Impacting the 5 Key Spheres of a Child's Life--using the Great Commandment)
  • Successful Lessons (Successful Lesson Planning, The Importance of a Plan--introduction of a three-year scope and sequence, A Biblical Challenge from the World of Geese)
  • Creating Positive and Productive Classrooms (Loving Children to Good Behavior, Discipline Dos and Don'ts, The Discipline Game)

And each day also included homework, small group time, and intentional time of hearing God through Scripture where attendees were given the space to read over key passages and reflect on God's individual word to them.

I was so excited when Gaby approached me asking if she took more courses from KidZ at Heart and completed a test, could she then take the training to other areas of Mexico. The answer was a resounding, "Yes!" You see, Gaby is an answer to prayer. She was on my heart from the training in 2016 to approach to do just that. KidZ at Heart has a training program to certify national trainers to then conduct further training throughout the country and throughout the year...releasing future dependence on an annual short-term team for further training. I love how God was working on both of our hearts come together for his purposes.

And...I can't stop there. Sweet Lola! As a mama at Casa Hogar, she has attended both trainings. She shared that this was even better than last year, and she can't wait to try all the ideas. The Associate Director of Casa Hogar Los Angelitos, Dr. Guiber Nuñez, has agreed to start and lead a local networking group for not only attendees of the training but also other children's teachers and leaders. This will be a huge encouragement to attendees as well as a communication stream to invite others to future training.

Here's what some of the attendees had to say (through their translated evaluations):

  • "You are doing a great job equipping the body of Christ." ~Gaby
  • "I love to improve my skills working with kids and better teaching about Jesus." ~Maria
  • "I liked [the training] because I can use and apply in my work at Casa Hogar." ~Dolores
  • "This is a great ministry, very complete and able." ~Monlserrat
  • "I have wanted to change ministries, but know I am where God wants me. This is my victory." ~Tania
  • "The training is good because it gave me strength to keep working!" ~Margot
  • "I can't wait for the next training!" ~Sarahi

Thank all those who prayed for us.

Thank all those who gave financially to send us.

Thank all who excitedly have asked for updates since we've been home.

It's because of our great God, this community of support, and a beautifully unique set of team members that those who work with children in Manzanillo, Mexico, have been encouraged to keep going and equipped with culturally relevant effectiveness in reaching and teaching children for Christ.