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!
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.
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.
We’ll update you with other projects created by these talented women in future posts.
Sara Jones and her husband, Rick, have been Bettye Donohoo’s neighbors and friends for several years. Bettye helped Sara several years ago when Sara was a part of an ESL program.
One day—about two years ago—out of the blue, Sara called Bettye. She told Bettye about a young Mexican man doing some work at her house who had approached her about starting an English language training program at Lakeside Presbyterian Church. He asked Sara if he could arrange a meeting with the pastors of the Spanish speaking congregation.
“Bettye,” Sara said, “I don’t know anyone at that church except you. I want to do this but unless you tell me you will come with me, and help me if they agree, I won’t even go for a meeting.”
The meeting happened and Sara’s ESL program at Lakeside Presbyterian Church is the result.
The ESL classes now teach between 40 and 60 students in three classes: intermediate and senior. Classes run for an hour and a half every Saturday morning. A child care center has been added to allow parents to attend classes knowing that the children are taken care of. Saturday morning at the church had been originally for teaching basic computer skills to high school students. Now with an ESL class running 10:30 to 12 noon and a sewing class from 12:30 to 2 p.m., the church decided to provide a 10 a.m. brunch based on the principal that hungry bodies do not learn quickly.
The teachers are all competent in English and Spanish, but as enrollment has tripled in the past two years, helpers are needed. If you’re interested in volunteering, please contact the church office/administrator 376-106-0853.
You’ll see a lot going on at Lakeside Presbyterian Church–even if it isn’t Sunday morning. Each Saturday morning, for example, Mexican families from villages near Ajijic and Chapala gather outside the building even before the doors open at 9 a.m. They are anticipating a morning of life-skills training on computer basics, English, and sewing—all with childcare provided.
Once inside, family members go to separate rooms based on whether they’re a high school student who wants to be tutored in computer literacy, a parent who wants to improve their English, or a toddler going to childcare. Bilingual assistance is on hand to help newcomers find their way and understand the plan for the morning. This isn’t a church service, but a learning opportunity for those wishing to take advantage of it.
A hot brunch, served at 10 a.m., lets everyone socialize with friends. Then at 10:30 a.m., it’s back to class. The English language classes are taught at three different capability levels. Most leave for home at noon—but several women who want to learn the skill and art of sewing stay for another hour.
This Saturday morning opportunity is a blessing, both to the ones who learn and the team of Lakeside Presbyterian Church volunteers who provide this valuable free education.
Our volunteers also help feed the poor, provide clean drinking water where there was none, and clothe those who need it here in the Mexican villages that surround us.
If you’d like more information about our church—or to volunteer for one of the many available positions that support our community, please contact the church office/administrator 376-106-0853, or review our website.
by Malcolm Callister
My wife Linda and I recently joined Pastor Guillermo Banuet, Martin Thorner, and members of Iglesia Presbiteriana del Lago (our Spanish-language congregation) as they ministered to the inmates of the Mezcala rehab center and delivered despensas to needy members of the community.
We were pleased to experience all the fun and energy of the worship service at the rehab center. For the men, women, and teenagers who went, it was a wonderful testimony to their faith in Christ. The look on their faces of the inmates and their body language when they listened told of their regrets they had and their hope in Christ for their future. While the rehab center is not a prison, nobody is allowed to go home until their treatment is completed. Christ told us to remember the prisoners.
The food sent from Lakeside Presbyterian Church kitchen was eagerly anticipated and eaten with obvious enthusiasm. The kitchen staff from our church and the local Baptist church who prepared the food truly are serving Christ as he commanded.
The delivery of the despensas was an emotional shock. Having worshipped in English, Canadian and USA churches, outreach to this level of poverty and despair is something that we would expect on a mission trip to some far off country, not a 30-minute drive down the road from our own house. The experience was deeply moving. The three women we met each lived in conditions that are difficult for me to contemplate, but I would not replace the experience for anything. We will always remember . . .
- The blind lady who had tears as she held Linda for a long hug.
- The diabetic lady in a wheelchair with no feet and her diabetic husband, who was now blind and would no longer get out of bed.
- The 93-year-old with nothing, living in an old adobe brick box with plastic bags to provide privacy for her outdoor washroom. This lady was in tears when we started to leave because she had nothing to give to us. As Linda tore herself away from the lady’s arms, the hugs and kisses, we recognized that she gave us God’s blessing..
If you are interested in accompanying future visits to Mezcala, I highly recommend it. You can talk to Pastor Guillermo about going. Members of our English-language community need this experience. Our mission field is on our doorstep and we rarely see it.
By Kenneth Naddeo
This month at Lakeside Presbyterian Church, we are privileged to have Pastor Dwayne Bartly as our guest preacher. Pastor Dwayne is encouraging everyone to be part of the Church’s evangelism efforts within our community. Besides his Sunday sermons and great stories, Pastor Dwayne is also taking the time to conduct two classes on evangelism. The first set of classes happened on Tuesday, April 17 and Thursday, April 19 for our Spanish-speaking congregation. Another class for those of us, like myself, who are language-impaired and speak only English (okay, maybe a little Spanish) will happen Tuesday, April 24 from 10:00 a.m. until noon.
Pastor Dwayne taught in English and Martin Thorner, (Lakeside Presbyterian Church’s Director of Ministry Outreach) interpreted in Spanish.
Having been to the first of the classes, I can truly say that this was a real eye-opener for me. Pastor Dwayne’s teaching style brings everything into easy-to-understand and use language. His teaching takes away the thinking that Evangelism has to take a lot of work or preparation. Pastor Dwayne makes this very important Christian act into something that’s easy, fun and, more important, natural for us to do as we go about our daily lives.
As Pastor Dwayne teaches this process should take not much more than a few minutes, using simple statements and a question. This is something we all should be ready to do at any time, with everyone we know and meet.
We know we have the Good News, the BEST NEWS, and Pastor Dwayne this week will be teaching just how simple it is for everyone to become involved in sharing it. Make the commitment now to be there Tuesday, and learn just how easy it is to share your faith.
NOTE: Next week Tuesday, April 24 from 10:00 am until noon, hear Pastor Dwayne speak on Personal Evangelism for our English-speaking congregation in the Church.
Here are pictures from the Spanish classes, and believe me this was one lively group.
There are handouts to take home.
Here are just two of the volunteers who are practicing the one-on-one method of evangelizing taught by Pastor Dwayne.
Please follow our website www.lpcchapala.org/news. Over the next few weeks we will be highlighting some of the many outreach activities our Volunteer-In-Action service teams are involved with. You will see our Volunteers-In-Action feeding the poor, providing clean drinking water were there was none, and clothing the needy here in the Mexican villages that surround us.
For more information about our church or to volunteer for one of the many available positions that support our community and the local village populations, please contact the church office/administrator 376-106-0853, or review this website.
Make the commitment now to attend Lakeside Presbyterian Church, Tuesday, April 24, 2018, 10 a.m until noon to learn just how easy it is to share your faith. Lakeside Presbyterian Church is located San Jorge #250, Riberas del Pilar, just two blocks south of the carretera. (Turn toward the Lake at Mom’s Restaurant.)
By Malcolm Callister
Volunteers In Action
Failing eyesight can be a terrible affliction. Having no money to pay for an eye exam or glasses is a fact of life for many in the Lake Chapala area. This was also seen as a ministry area that LPC Volunteers-In-Action could embrace.
Dr. Salvador provides free eye examination and free lenses at the medical office in Lakeside Presbyterian Church one Wednesday every month. Quality, low-priced frames are also available for only 200 pesos each, and if this cost is too high, Lakeside Presbyterian Church will help cover the cost. Seeing can be in your future.
This is an opportunity for everyone (not just church members). Recommend this opportunity to your friends, acquaintances, gardeners, cleaning staff and others. Ask them to take a free eye test.
Make an appointment either on the sign-up sheet at the medical office inside the church or by calling the church office any weekday morning at 376-106-0853. Walk-ins are also welcome, but a waiting time may be involved.
One Wednesday every month Dr. Salvador closes his practice in Ajijic, Hidalgo, number 6, so that he can volunteer his time and that of one of his assistants, so that the less privileged of our community have access to corrective glasses. LPC’s Volunteer-In-Action, parish nurse, Lynn Turnbull, will be available to answer any other health care questions.
On the following dates, Dr. Salvador will be at the Medical office, located in the Lakeside Presbyterian Church, Chapala building, San Jorge #250, Riberas del Pilar, just two blocks south of Mom’s Restaurant to provide eye testing:
Wednesday, May 16, 2018
Wednesday, June 13, 2018
Wednesday, July 11, 2018
If corrective eyeglasses are required, they will be available for fitting and final adjustment by Dr. Salvador, on the Wednesday following the eye test.
Please follow our website www.lpcchapala.org/news/ over the next few weeks leading up to Pentecost. We will be highlighting some of the many outreach activities that our Volunteer-In-Action service teams are involved with. You will see our Volunteers-In-Action feeding the poor, providing clean drinking water where there was none, and clothing the homeless, here in the Mexican villages that surround us.
If you would like more information, please contact the Church Administrator 376-106-0853.
LPCChapala Volunteers- in-Action
“It’s Fishin time here in the mountains of Mexico.”
For www.lpcchapala.org/news/ Lakeside Presbyterian Church, Chapala, this was an unexpected call from the pulpit. Our feisty guest speaker at the pulpit was Dwayne Bartley, a Canadian pastor. Dwayne stated, “Over the past 30 years, 70% of Christian churches across Europe and North America have seen their membership plateau or decline. What do we do about it?” His arms waved in his distinctive colored shirt. “Dr Chuck Kelly, president of New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary, gave the answer to this question. It is to teach people to proclaim the Gospel, every believer is a witness, every believer has his or her own story. Learn to tell it. Don’t sweat the big stuff that’s the task of the Holy Spirit. It takes about 42 Christian witnesses to make one convert. A daunting task, until You realize that you could be that 42nd Christian and YOU and that YOU may have a big fish in the net.”
Matthew 4:19 Jesus said, “Follow Me, I will Make you Fishers of Men.”
With many amusing stories, Dwayne gave lessons from his life, and how he had learnt the concept of following an instructor to acquire the skills of driving farm equipment while growing up on a Canadian farm.
On the 17th and 19th, April between 7 p.m. and 9 p.m. Dwayne will lead our Spanish Speaking Mexican Congregation through a course on Evangelism to help prepare them to go out to the villages that surround us here at Lakeside Presbyterian Church, Chapala, Jalisco, Mexico.
Concluding his sermon, he walked to the front of the stage and pointed at the sanctuary exist doors. “As you pass through those doors today, imagine the sign over the doorway saying, You Are Now Entering Your Mission Field.” Are you prepared to witness to your neighbour, to the store clerk, to a friend or family member? You never know when God will give YOU the opportunity to Go Fishin.
Please follow our website www.lpcchapala.org/news/ over the next few weeks leading up to Pentecost. Our Social Media will be highlighting some of the many outreach activities that our Volunteer-In-Action service teams are involved with. You will see our Volunteers-In-Action, feeding the poor, providing clean drinking water were there was none, and providing clothing to the homeless. This is all taking place now, here in the Mexican villages that surround us.
For more information about our church or to volunteer, for one of the many, available, positions that support our community, and our several service programs that reach out to the local village populations, please contact the church office/administrator 376-106-0853.
Volunteers in action
As a first-time visitor attending Lakeside Presbyterian Church, Chapala’s 10 am Sunday morning service, will first see the welcoming smile of the Greeters at the top of the wheelchair ramp. The wheelchair friendly ramp leads to the front door where the Greeters stand. These Greeters are just two of the Volunteers-In-Action team that support Lakeside Presbyterian Church, Chapala.
They say, “Welcome to Lakeside Presbyterian Church, Chapala, Jalisco, Mexico, please let us give you a bulletin covering the details of today’s service. If this is this your first visit with us? Would you please register at the visitor’s table once you are in the foyer through these doors. Once there you will receive our gift to you for attending today’s service. Do you have any questions that we can help you with?”
Followed by answers to questions, handshaking and or hugs, and with big smiles, all around the door is held open for you to enter.
Sue and Doug Lockyer ducked into the shade of the doorway on a hot Sunday morning in Chapala, for this photograph to be taken. This was their week to work as Volunteer Greeters, they are part of our Volunteer’s-In-Action program. Their job today is to stand out in the sun, with hats on welcoming members, guests and visitors to the 10 a.m. Sunday morning service at Lakeside Presbyterian Church, Chapala. They offer a smile, a handshake or a hug, along with the bulletin showing the order of today’s service. The bulletin also identifies the key events taking place during the following week.
We hope that you enjoy the service and listening to a meaningful word of God.
Please follow our website www.lpcchapala.org/news/ over the next few weeks leading up to Pentecost. Our Social Media will be highlighting some of the many outreach activities that our Volunteer-In-Action service teams are involved with. You will see our Volunteers-In-Action, feeding the poor, providing clean drinking water were there was none, and clothing the homeless, here in the Mexican villages that surround us.
For more information about our church or to volunteer, for one of the many, available, positions that support our church, and our several service programs that reach out to the local village populations, please contact the church office/administrator 376-106-0853, or review our website: www.lpcchapala.org
With our Spanish and English pastors, speaking to a full church it was a lively and well-attended service. Can you find your photo in the collection below? Let us know