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The power of love

Two weeks ago, Lakeside Presbyterian Church brought 100 bags of clothing for children and adults to the Hospital Civil, a public hospital in Guadalajara.

In times of illness and crisis, people need to know they are not alone. That’s why Bible verses were inserted into each bag, to share the hope of Jesus Christ to those going through such difficult times. God also gave us the opportunity to pray for the children and their parents inside the hospital.

Isai has a debilitating heart condition. He prayed with us.

This is Isaí Gonzalez, an 11-year-old boy diagnosed with a heart condition as well as an infection in his right lung. Isaí joined us in praying. He told us his greatest wish in life is to play football again with his friends.

Elena is three months old and has never been able to leave the hospital.

Baby Elena was born three months ago with renal failure. She has been hospitalized from the day she was born. Her mother cares for her every day. Everyone who has ever been to a hospital knows that it is not easy, but in Christ we have the confidence and hope we need to move forward.

Clothing for Elena and for her mom was delivered to them and we had a chance to pray for them.

Gloria can’t wait to celebrate her quinceañera.

Gloria Estefania is a 14-year-old girl, waiting for an operation after being run over by a car. At this time, doctors are still not sure if she will be able to walk again, so please keep Gloria in your prayers.

Gloria was happy to receive us in her room and told us she wants to celebrate her 15th birthday (quinceañera) with a new dress.

We are grateful to the members and friends of Lakeside Presbyterian who reach out in love to those in need—all to the glory of God!

Take an in-depth look at the Gospels and Acts

Our Lakeside Institute of Theology (LIT) is starting up again on July 10, 2019, with a new course on The Gospels and Acts. Chuck McKinney, Ph.D., D.Min., will be the instructor.

We will study in depth the first five books of the New Testament – Matthew through Acts. Our study focuses on the life of Jesus and the birth and early years of the Church and includes reading scripture and supplemental material, completing weekly assignments, reflecting on what we learned from the assignments, and engaging in substantial class discussion.

We’re asking everyone to register ahead of time, if at all possible.

For a full course syllabus, click here. To register, click here.

All of the courses at Lakeside Institute of Theology are available to you at no cost. We look forward to seeing you on July 10!

The Spreading Impact of Kindness

by Amy Friend

As a child, did you ever skip a flat stone across a pond, and be fascinated by the ripples?   Out they go, spreading far and wide, bouncing off whatever they encounter to make new ripples.

Kindnesses are like that, a helping hand encourages someone in need to keep on trying, eventually succeeding!  The kindnesses ripple on to whoever may be part of the family circle, encouragement and hope are wonderfully contagious.  Lakeside Presbyterian Church has a similar approach, spreading ripples of help and hope wherever they can thrive. 

In its brief 10-year history, LPC has sponsored a broad range of outreach projects:  clothing and food packages for those who cannot provide for themselves; medical  care; and weekly classes for those who wish to improve their situation, Computer, Sewing and English.

An LPC Migrant Program in Guadalajara has distributed shoes, warm clothing and blankets to young people from Central America who are homeless and living on the city streets.  

Twice monthly, more than 150 people attend addiction centers in Chapala and Mezcala.  LPC supports this initiative, sharing the gospel, and assisting in rehabilitation.  Each attendee is given a nourishing meal.

La Zapotera now has a Community Center, which was created from an abandoned jail.  More than 100 students receive a healthy breakfast there every school day, resulting in greatly improved school performance. 

In Mezcala Village, LPC works with Pastor Leonel from the Iglesia Evangelica de Mezcala, providing funds for the food bank, which are used by the mothers to supply breakfast to the Children in Mezcala on their way to school in his church.

A few months ago, LPC outreach discovered Lakeside families with children who had never attended school. These kids don’t know how to read or write—and would never have the opportunity to learn without outside help.

LPC hired a teacher to help, and purchased the necessary materials. Teresa Medina has a Master’s Degree in education, and more than 25 years of teaching experience. Teresa’s literacy program is now benefiting ten children between the ages of 7 and 13. These youngsters don’t attend any other school because of their families’ lack of financial resources. In addition to their classes, the children are given a healthy breakfast.

It is LPC’s hope that by giving these kids a chance to learn, they’ll have the opportunity one day to have better employment and change their families’ circumstances.

In Mexico, the dropout rate in public schools is high, as many children must work in order for their families to survive. While public schools are free of charge, uniforms and other expenses are required. These costs can prevent the poorest children from attending. More than 90% of children in Mexico attend primary school, but only 62% attend secondary school (secundaria), and just 45% finish high school (preparatoria).

A group of LPC members started a pilot program at the beginning of the school year to provide school uniforms to 25 children in San Antonio whose families lacked resources to buy them. This group is working on establishing a uniform exchange program to provide for growing children and more students needing this assistance.

LPC’s weekly “Tuesday Drop-In” was established to allow Lakesiders to meet new friends, and enjoy games and snacks together.  Beginning June 4, the weekly Tuesday event will be expanded. The church invited Freedom Chorale to lead “60’s Singalongs,” lyrics provided, with live guitar music by director Cindy Paul. The Singalong begins at 1:00pm, goes until 2:15, games and snacks follow. 60’s music is sure to resonate with Lakesiders, who are warmly invited to show up, raise their voices and their spirits!

Always, more will remain to be done, but there is no limit to what can be accomplished as long as the Lakeside community cares about its neighbors.

Offering true freedom

Lakeside Presbyterian Church continues its commitment to take the gospel– the Word of God–to addiction centers in Chapala and Mezcala twice a month. More than 150 people attend in both locations.

We spend one hour in praise and one hour in gospel presentation during each visit. And each person is given a nourishing meal, delivered with love.

If you’d like to volunteer, please contact Martin Thorner at [email protected]

New literacy program

A few months ago, members of Lakeside Presbyterian Church’s outreach ministry discovered some families in our neighborhood with children who had never attended school. These kids don’t know how to read or write—and would never have the opportunity to learn without outside help.

In Mexico, the dropout rate in public schools is high, as many children need to work in order for their families to survive. While public schools are free of charge, uniforms are required. Even that cost can prevent the poorest children from attending. More than 90% of children in Mexico attend primary school, but only 62% attend secondary school (“secundaria”). And just 45% finish high school (“preparatoria”).

Seeing this need in our own community, we hired a teacher to help. Teresa Medina has a master’s degree in education and more than 25 years of experience in teaching. We bought materials, including books, notebooks, pencils, and other materials to help the children succeed.

Teresa’s literacy program is now benefiting ten children between ages of 7 and 13. These children don’t attend any other school because of their families’ lack of financial resources.

In addition to their classes, the children are given a healthy breakfast during the break.

It’s our hope that by giving these kids a chance to learn, they’ll have the opportunity to one day get better employment and change their families’ circumstances!

If you’re interested in supporting programs like this, you can designate a gift through a PayPal donation here.

Our visit to La Zapotera

On April 4, about 25 of us took a road trip to the community center and water filtration project Lakeside Presbyterian Church supports at La Zapotera.

It was a joyful trip, full of information, lots of children, and a delicious lunch. Our church provides the food to make breakfast for 100-120 schoolchildren every weekday. The women of the community do the cooking. The cost is only about $3 pesos per meal!

Dian added to the festivities by creating balloon animals for the kids. They were fascinated — and thrilled with their gifts.

Celebration of Life for Ross Arnold

Pastor Ross Arnold went home to be with Jesus on Monday, January 14. “Home” has always been a word full of meaning for Ross. He would often say that, if he ever wrote a book, it would be on the theology of home. It was also the word he repeated most during his last day. He was ready.

On Saturday, January 26, at 1 p.m., we are planning a Celebration of Life service for Ross here at Lakeside Presbyterian Church. Afterward, we will have a time of fellowship and refreshments in the courtyard, when we can share our memories of Ross.

After graduating with a Master of Divinity degree from Fuller Theological Seminary in Pasadena, California, Ross worked for several years with World Vision, Joni and Friends and other Christian ministries before settling in Seattle, Washington, in 1989. Over the next 20 years, Ross had a teaching role at University Presbyterian Church in Seattle, where he was an ordained elder in the Presbyterian Church USA. During this time he pursued further graduate studies in theology at Regent College in Vancouver, British Columbia, and was ordained through Church Ministry Associates. In November 2009 Ross and his wife, Carolyn Hansen, moved to Lakeside and immediately became involved with Lakeside Presbyterian Church. After several months of teaching a Bible study for the church, Ross was invited to become the pastor in April 2010.

Water project and community center is open

The new community center and water project building in La Zapotera.

Harvey Bernier, the onsite project manager for building the community center and water project in La Zapotera reports:

La Zapotera Centro Comunitario opened its doors and the first meal was served to 83 elementary school children—thanks to Lakeside Presbyterian Church, Tepehua Centro Comunitario, Todd Stong, Gerardo Padilla Puga, and several other key volunteers. Breakfast will be served three times a week to start, with the eventual aim to provide a nutritious breakfast every school day.

In addition, a bazaar has been set up with generous donations from Tepehua and the surrounding community.

Jai Cartwright, Karen Bernier and other volunteers will be holding classes for the La Zapoterians in such things as cheesemaking, bread making, and more. Their goal is to provide education in better nutrition and life skills in order to alleviate diseases caused by poor nutrition, poor water and lack of education.

This is great news! Lakeside Presbyterian initiated and underwrote much of the funding for this project and will continue to provide food supplies for breakfast for school children, while the local community will do the cooking. We hope this will be a model for other community projects near the lake. Thank you all for making this happen!

Building skills in sewing

Rebecca Roth is passionate about helping Mexican people–especially women and kids–learn new skills. She’s not only active in teaching English, she’s started a sewing class that meets on Saturday mornings in Lakeside Presbyterian Church. About eight to ten women attend. And their enthusiasm for learning is contagious.

Rebecca (on the right) teaches doll assembly.

If you don’t know Rebecca, you might be surprised to learn that the first project she teaches is how to make dolls. These dolls aren’t playthings. Each one is a unique work of art that can be sold at a profit. This is a great way for women to begin supplementing their income and providing more opportunities for their families.

A decorated doll body

Dolls’ legs.

Dolls’ hands.


We’ll update you with other projects created by these talented women in future posts.