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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

GUEST POST: 20 years on with David & Karen

9 Feb

Hi Garcia fans around the world! My name is J (yep, just one letter) Steele. I’m on the Garcias’ board and even better – I’ve been friends with David and Karen for over 20 years! Cheri and I, David and Karen all knew each other when we were single. I first met the Garcias when I brought our church college group down to a camp near Ensenada called Rancho Aqua Viva. David and Karen were both on staff there and we hit it off right away. After we were all married and started our families we lost touch for a few years but then, (thank God!) we reconnected and have REALLY enjoyed their friendship.

I vividly remember the day we reconnected in person. Our family had just returned from a great vacation in Kauai but there was a nagging void inside me that determined to have more meaning and ‘others’ in the next family trip. I contacted the Garcias and we drove down to spend a weekend with them. We wanted to just live alongside for a short time, not do anything ‘special’ or ‘touristy’ and so they already had plans that we tried to fit in the best we could with our not-so-good Spanish skills. For those of you that have spent anytime with David and Karen, you know what comfortable hosts they are. We really felt at home and so we joined them and their community cleaning the beach and then a carne asada get-together. If memory serves, David gave me a chopping lesson and we had a blast! In spite of our poor language skills we could see right away that they were deeply involved in the lives of their community.

Heading to the Beach for a clean-up… Cheri & I are on the left

Since then we have stayed in touch plenty. They finally talked us into going with them to a retreat at Mt. Hermon about 4 years ago. We had heard of this retreat but couldn’t really figure out what it was about…until we went. Then we knew and we also knew why it was hard to put into words. Intrigued? Come! We knew before then, that Karen was a great translator but atMt. Hermon when we saw her translating simultaneously, we realized that she has a tremendous gift that is so vital for connecting people.

with David…

The Garcias also introduced our church to some of their friends and the ministries they are involved with in and around Ensenada. We now have an ongoing relationship with a battered women’s shelter because of the Garcias connections.  When I think of the Garcias I think of relationships. They are investing in their community and have affected so many people inMexico and wherever they go.

Cheri helping out with beach clean-up

Cheri in action during the beach clean-up

I’d like to end with a challenge / encouragement: head to Ensenada, grab a coffee at Café Tomas with the Garcias, join them for a day or two and live in their world. I’m pretty sure you’ll come away with a greater sense and awe of what God is up to. I know I do. Every time!

J Steele
National Christian Fellowship
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