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Reflejo on 2 Weeks with DC Interns | Julianne Huyett & Sarah Utton

8 Apr

For two weeks in March we had the privilege to receive two amazing and fascinating young women who are part of service programs in Washington, DC.  Julianne is from Annapolis, Maryland and Sarah is from South Africa.  They blended seamlessly into our family and our community.

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Although they spoke little Spanish, Sarah and Julianne served boldly and tirelessly in many different settings throughout our city from teaching English classes in a pre-school and Elementary school, to packing food bags for needy families.  They also participated in a Saturday kids’ program in a migrant workers’ camp; played with kids in a Day Care for working parents; served at an all-day Medical clinic in a remote area; as well as attending our Ensenada Leadership breakfast and taking part twice in our Home Church activities.

Of course there were lots of opportunities for walks and hikes, movie nights, baking cookies and sharing meals; and on the final afternoon, a good soaking at our world famous blowhole—La Bufadora.

We consider Julianne and Sarah our international daughters now and are grateful for the time they spent here and their contribution to what God is doing in our city.  Following are some comments that they shared with us about their time here:

“This time has gone so quickly but it has been an amazing blessing in both of our lives.  We will always cherish the time we had in your amazing city.  We learned so much from your lives and the community of friends you share life with.

Ensenada is filled with incredible people who are the hands and feet of God.  Thank you for welcoming us to what Jesus is doing here.

We are going to miss you!  Come visit us!  We love you!

Your South African and American daughters.”


GUEST POST | Jon Hess on Four Weeks spent with David & Karen in Ensenada

25 Mar

I just finished another wonderful and profitable visit with David and Karen (D&K) and their friends. I spent four weeks with them… about three weeks longer than ever before. I won’t try to recap all that I was exposed to or go into much detail. But I must say, it was a tremendous time from my perspective.

John (top-left) with David, Danny, Sergio and other friends in Ensenada

John (top-left) with David, Danny, Sergio and other friends in Ensenada

A few things stand out:

As usual D&K evidence an uncanny ability and availability to be deeply, intimately involved in the lives of many. This involvement ranges from helping others manage extreme personal crisis to practical care and service (free taxi, financial help, child care, hosting in their home) to teaching and discipleship to regular weekly counseling sessions to organizing regular gatherings such as the Ensenada Leadership Breakfast.

Some rather dramatic and miraculous things have been happening in people’s lives…in at least one marriage and in at least three individuals that come to mind.

The leadership team that includes Paty Alvarado and Danny and Lucy Meza is working well and overseeing the home church activities. In order to serve with the two groups of young kids and youth every Sunday, Paty and Karen sacrifice participating with the adults and sitting in on the teachings.

As it relates to my involvement, it amazes me how freely D&K continue to share their friends with me, in a way that I have never experienced anywhere else. During the almost twenty years that I have been partnering with D&K, God has done amazing things in many people’s lives and in the city of Ensenada.
And we believe the best is still to come.

Jon Hess
Board Member
National Christian Fellowship


9 Mar

This cryptic phrase was my password as I poured over used car websites the past few months.  It represented the conviction that our Heavenly Father would provide the vehicle we needed after almost three years of breakdowns, repairs and complications with our mini-van.

Even though we had faith in God, the reality of web searches, phone calls, and trips to San Diego to see cars began to overwhelm and discourage us.  Ministry commitments loomed on the horizon too making the purchase of a new-to-us mode of transportation an immediate necessity.

Knowing that many people had generously donated to this cause made us keenly aware that we also needed to be good stewards of what they had entrusted to the ministry.  I kept looking for a sign that one of the hundreds of cars would be God’s Car for NCF (like a specific message on one of the license plates!)

On the last day we had to look, at the last dealership that we had time to visit, in the pouring rain, there it was–our sign!


David and I were married in 1993 and my first initial is K.  Not quite as obvious, but right under our “sign” is the notation on the color of the car.  If anyone knows David they know he has two favorite flavors of ice cream–Cherry Garcia by Ben and Jerry’s, and Black Cherry.  Can you see it, under 2012 Mazda CX-7?  The color of our car is Black Cherry!

After the test drive, negotiations, phone calls to the Board, and last minute fund raising efforts, we decided that this was indeed God’s car for us.  And to give us one more sign–after all the paperwork was signed and the costs tallied, the total came to EXACTLY the amount we had pledged–to the penny!!

So here it is, GodsCr4NCF–the Cherry Garcia mobile.


A Photo for the Family Album

12 Feb

Danny, David, Jon and Sergio–a story of friendship

This could be a group shot from any BBQ or carne asada.  But the fact that these four men are in the same frame reveals a God-inspired journey.

Jon chose to start investing in David as a life-coach/mentor/pastor over 18 years ago.

Then about 10 years ago David began a similar process with Danny.  As a reflection of their shared heritage, Danny calls Jon “Grandpa!”

Now in the last few months, David has assumed the same role with Sergio. Along with David, Danny and Jon also invest in Sergio’s life through their friendship, support, encouragement, teaching and counsel, just as they have all done faithfully with one another.

Being friends at this level brings joy, satisfaction, and a sense of belonging.  But most of all it provokes change.  None of these four men will ever be the same person they were when they began the journey–and that’s enough to put a smile on your face!

Hitting the New Year running!

16 Jan

2014 Blue bulbs


We’re already half way through January!!  At this rate we’ll be saying “Feliz Navidad” again before we know it!!

In just the first 16 days of this New Year we have seen God’s blessing and favor in the following ways:

  • Two meetings with the Home Church leadership to work on plans for this year
  • An all church work day on the home where we have been meeting since June 2013
  • A conference call Board Meeting with our NCF Board
  • A meeting with two members of the Global Outreach team from Terra Nova Church to discuss plans and ideas for a greater partnership during 2014
  • A meeting with the Ensenada Leadership Breakfast team working on plans for this year’s breakfasts and VERY exciting plans for 2015!! (Stay tuned!!)
  • Invitations to the Bakersfield Prayer Breakfast (January 23, 2014) and the Salinas Mayor’s Luncheon for the Faith Community (March 19, 2014)
  • Confirmation of two interns from Washington, D.C. who will be in our home and community March 4-21, 2014
  • Two weeks of counseling and seeing God healing lives
  • The first gathering of the year with those in the Bible study group we have been meeting with for 17 years

To say we are excited and motivated would be an understatement!  But we know that only with God’s power and provision will anything be accomplished long-term.

We invite you to be involved with us as we begin a new year and a new season on this “God inspired adventure!”  Keep checking this site, our Facebook page and send us your email if you would like to receive regular email updates.  And, if you have the opportunity for a visit, you are always Bienvenido.

Las Brisas Burns and Returns

9 Dec

On our 20th anniversary, September 18, 2013, our favorite taqueria, Las Brisas suffered a total loss after a gas tank exploded.  The owners, and good friends, Manuel and Norma, escaped with their lives, but little else of the family business. 

Manuel in the aftermath of the fire

Manuel in the aftermath of the fire

Within six weeks, however, Manuel and Norma had made the decision to rebuild, hired an architect, done the construction and were open for business.  Just as we had been present to comfort and offer support the day of the fire, we were there for the grand re-opening sharing in the celebration of the resilience and resolve of these friends who decided that the service they provide to our community is something worth saving.

Las Brisas--Garcias

For our family, Las Brisas is a place that represents the best of Ensenada, where we have shared many tacos and many memories with the people we love.

"Las Brisas returns with more fire than ever."

“Las Brisas returns with more fire than ever.”

Thanksgiving Means Friends

2 Dec

For the past seventeen years we have been sharing a favorite holiday from the United States with friends here in Mexico.  Through serving the traditional fare of turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes and gravy, cranberry sauce and pumpkin pie (with a green bean casserole thrown in too this year!), we include our Mexican friends in the heritage of corporately expressing our gratitude to God for all He has done for us throughout the year…and the years.

Sharing the Thanksgiving meal

Sharing the Thanksgiving meal

One of the couples from this group was not able to join us this year as their youngest daughter had a baby Thanksgiving evening.  Once again we were able to share one of life’s milestones together yelling our collective felicidades to them into the telephone.  Great friends, delicious and abundant food, and a brand new granddaughter–now that’s more than enough reasons to be thankful!

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