Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Life is good in Mexico City

Hello all! Between rather infrequent blogs Kevin and I have been quite busy, which has been good. We are feeling more and more at home here in Mexico. Let me give you a quick over view of how we pass our time here.

On Mondays we hold our homework club. We have a session in the morning from 10-12 and one in the afternoon from 2-4. Some students here in Mexico City attend school in the morning, others in the afternoon/evening. It is a little bizarre seeing some students just arriving home from school at 9 at night. Our mornings are typically light, which is nice. We have a smaller group of students, all of which are quite smart. We arrive at our church around 9:15-9:30 each day to start setting up. Our church is about a 20-45 minute micro bus ride from our home, depending on traffic and our driver! Afternoons are a little crazier. We typically have between 12-18 students, most of which are in Kindergarten-3rd grade. We also have some older students. We now have a girl from our church which helps us out at the homework club, her name is Alejandra, and she is great. We so appreciate having her. We generally plan a craft for the kids at the beginning, and then move into a time of reading. (On Thursdays we have a small English lesson in place of reading). We then move into a homework time, and finally usually finish up with a game. Many times students come without homework, so we have math sheets and other exercises for them to do instead.

Tuesday is our World Vision day, although it has been a slow start. Our main purpose will be to help them in some interviews and documentation of those interviews as they are planning to close down the particular project we are helping at in September. The interviews are aimed at understanding what the project accomplished, how it fell short, and how it might do better in the future.

One Tuesday a month we have a meeting with our supervisor, and the rest of the missionaries that are here for a year. This is a great time of fellowship and encouragement.

In the morning I (Leah) have my women's group. I am so encouraged by the women who have been coming. We only began a few weeks ago, but the women are really opening up to one another, which is so exciting to be a part of. The goal of this group is to disciple. It is mainly made up of women from our church, but there are also several who do not attend our church and are seeking. One young woman is a neighbor, and though her family is Catholic, she has become a regular attender at our women's group, English classes, and also is offering to help in the kitchen when short term mission teams come to town. Please pray for the women in this group. Many face incredibly difficult challenges relationally, financially, and from past experiences.

Our Wednesday afternoons are mainly dedicated to homework club prep, or any meetings we might have. Kevin, who now is officially on the ordination track for the Free Methodist church, often meets with his supervisor on Wednesdays.

Thursdays are our marathon days. We are at the church around 9ish to prepare for homework club. After homework club the Millers, the missionary couple that lives next to our church, generously has invited us to share dinner with them. At 6 we have a prayer meeting, and then at 7:30 English classes begin. We don't normally get home in the night until around 10. English classes have been really encouraging for Kevin and I. We love our groups. I have all girls between the ages of 16-18. They are so great. One of them came to our church on Sunday which was a real encouragement. Hopefully she will continue coming and want to become more involved in the church body.

Our day of rest (and cleaning)!

We leave the house early Saturday mornings to make it to Ecatapec where the World Vision office is (about an hour and a half trip). We give English classes for an hour to the young people who are promoters of human rights in their communities, and then join them for a work shop on emotions. (which we do not run) Generally we get home around 3-4 in the afternoon and then spend some time hanging out with our family. Often we have late nights on Saturdays.

Sunday mornings are really peaceful for us. Because we have church in the evening we wake up late, and enjoy breakfast together, usually the house is empty because everyone else goes to church in the morning. We then spend the rest of the day doing this and that until church at 5. I know I have mentioned it before, but we really love our church. The people are warm and inviting, and our pastor and his wife are just amazing examples for us. I always come away feeling like I learned something new.

So that is a little look into the Book-Satterlee's week. Please keep us in your prayers and thoughts, we really appreciate them!

Friday, February 8, 2008


Kevin is recovering from a pretty good cold...pretty much like everyone else of the 18 million plus Mexico City. The time is the time for colds. Our entire family has gotten something somewhere and we like to share. Kevin had a bit of a stomach bout the week before, but everything seems to be clearing up nicely. We are looking forward to a sick-free next few weeks...although working with kids, you never know.

Ministry stuff - going really well. The English class is already underway and Leah is loving her class which is full of younger girls. A great time for connections. Kevin has taken the advanced class, which includes the pastor of our church and a friend who lives across the street from the church. It is a great class as well.

Homework club is coming along and we are starting to see some good relationships grow with the kids and their parents. We hope that the homework club will get the kids to come to the other events at the church and that their parents would come too. Our pastor has a dream sometime in the 10-15 year future that the Free Methodist Church in Mexico would have the best schools in the country. The homework club is a far cry from that, but everything has to start somewhere and he is very excited about it, so that makes us happy.

World Vision is really coming under way, and we've been asked by the youth volunteers to come early and do some English classes, which will be a great time to connect with them. Our office work has not yet begun with World Vision...not the most exciting thing in the world, but really needed, so we are glad to be of help.

Now, after downing a few more glasses of Mango Juice (Mexican food and drinks are great!) we will be heading into our full weekend with World Vision and church on Sunday.

Saturday, February 2, 2008

Been Almost a Month

Hello. Sorry it has taken us a while to write. As you can probably tell by the lack of our blog-posting, we have had a busy month. We're settling well into our homework club ministry and see a regular morning attendence of 4 children and an afternoon attendence of 12-13 children. Needless to say, our afternoon class is quite a bit more chaotic.

We began working with World Vision again also, since our break from the new year and just committed ourselves to doing some English lessons with some of the youth that come on Saturday mornings. We are excited at the prospect of contributing more with World Vision and getting to know these youth better. We also see it as a great opportunity for ministry as our experience with WV has not been much on the ministry side.

This past Thursday we began our weekly English class at our church in Iztapalapa. Kevin is facilitating the program an excericise he enjoys and it helps relieve one of the other missionaries who on top of her work with the women also has 4 children that she cares for. This is also a great opportunity for Kevin as he is in the ordination process and is gaining practical experience in leading a ministry. We had almost 20 people come on Thursday. One of the great things that comes from this, though we hold the classes for cheap, the money that we charge goes to covering material costs and the extra will go straight into programs for the children that come to our church, including the Homework Club.

Leah also began to meet at the Women's Club at church a prospect she was really excited for when we came to Mexico City. It has finally materialized.

Language learning is still going on, little by little. We are accustomed more now to the city and are excited to be in a more regular routine.

Things to be praying for:
Many of the students that come in the afternoon have learning disabilities or have been passed along through the system without learning the basics. This is obviously detrimental to their ability to learn and their desire to do so. Our goal is that they would love to learn and grow in the basics while they are in our Homework Club.

Another prayer request regarding our homework club has to do with the vision of our pastors here. They want fifty children regularly attending church by June. Right now we have about 20. The interesting and opportunistic thing is that about 15 of our homework club students do not regularly come, so please pray that they will get involved in other activities in the church as well. This goes for their parents whom we are developing relationships with as well.

For the English class that we will see a good turnout and be able to continue to provide what the local community wants.

Regarding World Vision, that we would be able to show the love of God in the midst and help to communicate that the human rights come from God and that it is through God that we have the strength enough to excercise our rights. Please pray for connections with the youth as well, and for our boss.

Things up and coming:
We are excited for the Latin American Mission retreat. It is a mandatory retreat to meet up with all of the LAM missionaries in Mexico and to also learn more about cultural learning and share our experiences. This will be a fun time happening at the end of the month.

Lastly, sort of silly, we are routing for the Giants this year, known as the Gigantes, because we have a Mexican friend who is a huge Giants fan. Frankly since the 49ers didn't even come close this year, we're happy to share in another friends' joy.