Friday, October 28, 2011


Dear Friends,

It's with much excitement that I tell you that TOMORROW Gerson will have his first practice on the new soccer field! He has put in weeks, days, and many hours into getting this field built. Today he has put in a 15 hour day tying up loose ends in preparation for tomorrow morning. I will be helping him with signing up kids and talking with parents. Please pray for us! We are thrilled the time has finally arrived! We couldn't have done it without the many of you who have given financially to this special project and prayed for us. Thank you!

We'll let you know how it goes --- hopefully with pictures! :)

With a Thankful Heart,
Betsy Tejeda

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

A Walk Down Memory Lane

Dear Friends,

In the fall of 2003, I left for Bolivia, South America as a single missionary. I had no idea what the Lord had in store for me! I asked my family members (specifically my sister) to print off my emails so I would have a record of my early missionary days. How thankful I am that now I have those memories in notebooks to help me remember God's faithfulness!

I've been reading over some of those emails recently. I'm amazed at how much I've forgotten! I'm also amazed at how much those emails have encouraged me as we serve in a different place in a different ministry.

Gerson and I have been in McAllen just over a year. I remember before we came we had talked about the reality of "starting over" in a new place. I had told Gerson that it had taken me a good year to build relationships in the city of Trinidad, Bolivia after arriving there. It just takes time to build relationships and earn people's trust. The same has been true here in McAllen. Now that we've been here a year, we are just beginning to feel like we have begun to form lasting relationships and have the community connections to do what we feel God has called us to do.

However, there are still many discouraging days ---- those days that don't go as planned. On those days, what is my reaction? To be honest, some days I cry and allow the frustration to ruin my day. Other days, I take it to the Lord and allow Him to take away the frustration and carry my load.

I want to quote something from the email I wrote after one year in Bolivia. What I wrote was true then . . . and its truth encourages me today! I won't write the whole story (for it was 4 typed pages long!), but only what my conculsion was.

Sept. 4, 2004

So, what seemed to be a horrible, terrible, no good, very bad day, ended on a wonderful note, with me realizing that the Lord has blessed me with some incredible friendships here in Trinidad and Bolivia. He IS faithful, and He DOES care. Right when I get to the point of wondering why I am here, He brings a blessing and confirms this is where I need to be.

In all of this, a BIG prayer was answered. Remember when I mentioned earlier . . . that I PRAYED? What I DIDN'T tell you was WHAT I prayerd. I prayed that God would bring something good out of the whole mess. And why am I surprised that that is EXACTLY what He did? He used the whole thing to bring me much-needed encouragement, both from a fellow missionary and the youth from my church. Praise the Lord!

I share this with you as testimony of God's love and faithfulness. Many times (especially on the mission field), things don't turn out as we have planned them. In those changes, God can work and bring blessings even bigger than we could have imagined. I thank the Lord that He is bigger than anything I face. I trust He will continue to give me widsom and encouragement and remind me of His love in the days to come. . . There will be challenging days ahead, and I need special wisdom and guidance that can only come from Him."

That ---- from a rookie missionary! I never knew that God would use those words (and the whole story!) 7 years later to encourage me in the new place and new ministry to which He has called me. I'm so thankful we serve a BIG God who knows WHAT we need right when we need it the most!

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Jesus Loves the Little Children

I'd like to introduce Debbie McKelvey to you. She recently transferred from the American Indiana Field in Arizona to work here with us in McAllen, Texas. Gerson and I had been wanting to get a Bible Club going in TCC, but we knew we needed help to get it started. Shortly after she arrived, Debbie mentioned to me that she had been involved in Bible Club on the American Indian Reservations. That was music to my ears! Before to much time passed, we began planning a Bible Club for TCC. I am so glad God brought Debbie to us and for her willingness to step right into ministry alongside of us!

I am learning a lot from Debbie about Bible Club, since it is a new ministry for me. We start the afternoon with a Bible story. So far, Debbie has shared the Creation, the Fall, and the Flood with the kids. She does a great job, allowing the kids to interact with her as she tells the story.

For the story of the Fall, she took us on an imaginary train ride through the Garden of Eden. The kids had a blast with that!

At this point, we have about 8 children who have been coming every week. These 8 kids are from Taylor Christian School, and although they have already heard the Bible stories, they are anxious to participate and it is a great time to reinforce the truths they have already heard.

We are currently holding Bible Club from 3:30-4:40, but having talked with some of the neighbors we now realize most of the neighborhood kids don't even get home from school until 4:00 or 4:15. We will taking that into consideration as we plan for the next Bible Club. We believe that is one of the reasons we've had such low attendance from the community kids. We have had 5 local children attend during two of the weeks, but they arrived late and missed the Bible story time.

After the Bible story, Debbie works with the kids on memorizing Scripture.

Then we sing songs! Since most of the kids are from TCS, they already know the songs and motions.

The Bible story, Bible verse, and song time are all held in the TCC chapel.

Then we head to the cafeteria for art and snacks. Martha, pictured to the right, works at TCS and has graciously volunteered to help with art and snacks. We're thankful for her help!

We have 4 more weeks of Bible Club --- 3 weeks with the kids and 1 week that is for the parents to hear what their kids have been learning. Please continue to pray the TCS students who are participating, for us as we plan and share with them, and for our neighbors who need to hear about God's love. We will continue to reach out to the neighborhood, planting seeds and praying for God to help those seeds sprout and grow.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Neighborhood Walk

Good morning,

It's a beautiful morning here in McAllen! Maybe fall has decided to arrive? We can hope!

It is Wednesday again ---- time for Bible Club! Yesterday Debbie and walked through the neighborhood around TCC and reminded families to bring their children to TCC at 3:30 today to participate. It was a joy to go back and revisit the families Gerson and I had met three weeks ago. One family said they couldn't find us and drove around last Wednesday looking for us. I reminded her of the address (a short 2 blocks away from her home!) and described the building to her. She said she'd bring her kids today. Pray that the Lord reminds her and that her kids will join us this afternoon.

Another family came last Wednesday, but said they walked into gym and there was no one there. Once I talked with the mother a little bit more, I realized that the kids get off the bus around 3:30 and if the bus is late at all, the kids will show up a few minutes tardy. So, I told the mom I would wait outside the building until 3:45 or so, just to make sure her kids knew where to go.

A third family had simply forgotten. They still had the flier we had handed out, but like many of us do, the mom had forgotten the date/time of Bible Club because of the craziness of life. She said she would send her kids today.

Please pray for each of these families. Pray we can connect with them today --- that they will remember and there will not be confusion about where/when Bible Club is. Pray for the kids as they hear about Adam and Eve's decision to disobey God. Pray they can understand and see how disobedience has immense consequences -- especially when we disobey God. Pray for Debbie as she will be sharing the story in a super creative way. Pray for good attention spans for the kids during the story. And pray that we can show the love of Christ in all we do and say.

As always, we so appreciate each of you. Thanks for your prayers!

Love, Betsy for the Tejedas