Friday, December 12, 2008
I don't think I'll be bored though. We're getting company! #1. Our daughter, Maria, is coming home from God's Bible School for Christmas. We can NOT wait to see her!! #2. Dad and Mom Sankey are coming for Christmas. #3. My sister, Vonnie (Sankey) Bryan and her husband and 6 kids are coming from Alaska. Since my brother Marc's family lives in our same neighborhood, that means we will all be together for Christmas for the 1st time in about 5 years. We are so excited!
Merry Christmas to all of you! May we always treasure the miracle of His birth.
"There's an end to all the waiting
There's an answer to the "who" and "where" and "why" ... tonight
All the years anticipating
Are surrendered to a tiny baby's cry
There's a dawn to follow darkness
There's a face to fill the title, "Prince of Peace."
What He promised He delivered
I am saved by the hand of sweet release."
-- Suzanne Jennings
Friday, December 5, 2008
Monday, December 1, 2008
Saturday, November 29, 2008
Filling out the forms for visas.
Crossing the Rio Grande.
Tuesday, November 25, 2008
Thursday, November 20, 2008
Thank you Darrell, Gina and Kenny for taking time to visit us; and thanks to the Burlington Bible Methodist Church for sharing your pastoral family with us!
Saturday, November 8, 2008
— Mexican authorities came under attack Friday as they arrested the purported head of Gulf Cartel operations in Reynosa and tried to fly him out of the city, U.S. law enforcement officials said.
Federal police found Jaime "El Hummer" González Durán just after 1:30 p.m. during raids on three buildings in and around the city.
But as they drove him to the airport outside Reynosa, their convoy encountered several gunmen who opened fire on the federal officers.
A brief shootout erupted between the two groups, but Mexican officials managed to put González on a plane to Mexico City, according to U.S. authorities who work for both federal and local agencies engaged in combating border crime.
High-profile drug suspects are typically sent to the Mexican capital for security reasons after their arrest.
During the conflict, people hit the floor and hid behind furniture, an airport employee said. She was driving out of the small parking lot during her lunch break before the shootout began.
The woman said cartel members blocked roadways with tractor-trailer rigs and crashed into vehicles near the airport to obstruct passageways for authorities.
"I told my friend to reverse into the parking lot and leave the truck," she said. "We just ran inside and then they started getting each other in the parking lot."
It remains unclear whether anyone was injured in Friday's melee.
González, an original member of the cartel's enforcement wing Los Zetas, recently came to the attention of U.S. law enforcement for reportedly commanding smugglers within his organization to protect their turf at all costs.
According to an FBI intelligence memo dated Oct. 17, he recently ordered dozens of reinforcements to Reynosa and authorized them to attack U.S. authorities if necessary.
"These replacements are believed to be armed with assault rifles, bulletproof vests and grenades and are occupying safe houses throughout the McAllen area," says the document, which was distributed to local law enforcement officials.
González has also been linked to several kidnappings and shootouts across the Hidalgo County area over the past several months, including the abduction of two Mission men who reportedly owed a debt to the cartel.
During the raids that led to González's arrest Friday, Mexican soldiers uncovered 288 assault rifles, 500,000 rounds of ammunition, numerous grenades and several .50-caliber rifles at a Reynosa stash house - in what is now described as the largest seizure of illegal weapons in the country's history.
Mexican federal authorities could not be reached for comment Friday. It remains unclear whether González will be extradited to face charges in the United States or be processed in the Mexican legal system.
González's arrest Friday is only the latest high-profile capture in Mexican President Felipe Calderón's two-year war against his nation's entrenched drug smuggling organizations.
The Gulf Cartel and Los Zetas have come under particular pressure from federal authorities on both sides of the U.S.-Mexico border.
Mexican federal authorities arrested Antonio "El Amarillo" Coronado Galarza - another top cartel leader in Reynosa - on Oct. 31 on a highway between Reynosa and Monterrey. He faces weapons violations charges and allegations of money laundering.
In September, U.S. federal agents captured Juan Carlos Hinojosa - a man accused of running a massive smuggling ring between Ciudad Miguel Alemán and Roma.
Starr County Sheriff Reymundo "Rey" Guerra has also been caught up in the federal case against Hinojosa for allegedly leaking information about ongoing investigations. Both men are set to face multiple federal counts of conspiracy and aiding and abetting drug smuggling at a trial set for later this year.
These recent arrests - including González's on Friday - have left U.S. law enforcement officials concerned that a power vacuum could develop in the Reynosa plaza, federal and local officials said.
U.S. agencies have warned local law enforcement that Miguel Treviño Morales - Hinojosa's purported boss and a notoriously violent member of Los Zetas who is known as "Zeta Cuarenta" - could seek to take over the cartel's Reynosa operations.
Most of our mission business on the US side is done in the McAllen area (Hidalgo County), where, according to the above story, many of the drug dealers and ammunition are holed up. We drive the road from Monterrey to Reynosa very frequently and often encounter military checkpoints, as it is apparently a main artery for drug traffic. Please continue to pray for safety for missionaries all over the world. Americans are frequently targeted in robberies and kidnappings.
Friday, October 31, 2008
Mountains and homes in La Boca.
Visiting after lunch.
Tuesday, October 28, 2008
Sunday, October 26, 2008
Friday, October 24, 2008
We also thank Mom and Dad Sankey, who had to pick Kent up at the Indianapolis airport at the unearthly hour of 3 a.m.! UGH! Kent's flight was delayed in Laredo, because of bad weather in Houston. After a few hours of sleep, they took him to GBS to be with Maria.
Saturday, October 18, 2008
Here is Rusty Rundell, from Union Bible College, interpreting for William Snider, from Hobe Sound Bible College. The Lord has helped these men to give us valuable information that has been a blessing both academically and spiritually. After Bro. Snider's session this morning, Bro. Rundell was able to pray with one of our young pastors who is earnestly seeking Holiness.
Time for class.
Relaxing between sessions.
Steve took a picture of Kent, Beth, Rusty Rundell, John Parker, William Snider and Marc Sankey eating beans, pork rinds and tortillas in the dining hall.
Here's the same crew eating at a street side taco stand, right before bedtime. What were we thinking? :-)
This is what the tacos look like. It's not Taco Bell, folks! :-)
Tuesday, October 14, 2008
Today's cooks were from our church in La Florida.
Kent videos the classes.
Enjoying our meal.
Institute President Eli Balderas speaks to the students.
Conference Leader Homero Luna teaches a "Leadership" class.