International Ministries

Transitions in Baja California

July 13, 2006 Journal

Often, June is the great month of transition for many who live in Baja California, Mexico. Just as in most of the rest of North America, June marks the end of a school year and the beginning of summer. In Mexicali, where temperatures routinely reach 115+ degrees in the summer, the transition is one that involves trips to the mountains, if possible, or late night activities plus a lot of indoor time under the swamp coolers or air conditioners. Air conditioned stores and the Mexicali Mall become favorite haunts. Tijuana lies but 100 miles to the west of Mexicali. But there is a mountain range that separates these two large cities and Tijuana is located on the Pacific Ocean. Since its temperatures are moderated by the cool ocean breezes, summer means even more time at the beach, in the streets and time with friends and family.

The highlight, though, this June, has not been a change in season, rather the celebrations involved with the recognition of graduates at the two schools with which we spend much of our time. Rejoice with us over these three special events:

...Kindergarten graduation at the Monte Horeb grade school was truly a cultural Graduation Waltzevent. Boys, dressed in tuxedos and girls, attired in the finest dresses, not only received diplomas but celebrated by entertaining those present with Mexican folk dances and a graduation waltz.

...Sixth grade graduation was a most significant event for 29 young men and women. Some would not be at this transition point in their life if not for the interest taken in them by this school that purposely seeks out children who have fallen through the cracks of the public education programs. There is much to celebrate as all have passed the government exams and will be off to secondary schools next year.

...And at the Mexicali Baptist Seminary four students graduated. Jonathan, Jonathan, Gilberto, Efrén, and JoelGilberto, Efrén, and Joel were joined by family, friends and Seminary colleagues, staff and professors at a grand ceremony and fiesta. All four will be staying in the Baja area as they continue in ministry in their local churches or new church starts.

We, too, are transitioning back into full-time ministry this month after a year in which much time was spent visiting churches in the States. It was good to be able to celebrate with so many who have played such a large part in our lives and work these past few years. And it's good to be back at ministry alongside our Mexican sisters and brothers.

Serving in the Borderlands of the Californias,

Patti and Tim