Adventures in Life Ministry is dedicated to spreading the hope that can only be found in Jesus. Dave Miller, Executive Director of Adventures in Life, will also tell you that it’s not enough to preach Jesus. In Mexico, the mortality rate for children under 5 is twice that of the United States, mostly due to malnutrition and hunger. Children can’t hear the Good News of Jesus when the “grumbling” and hunger pains are all they can think about. And when they do have an opportunity to hear about Jesus, and come to saving knowledge of Him…the question still remains, where will their next meal be coming from?Photographing on mission with Adventures in Life in Oaxaca I have seen their work as they try and deal with these issues. At Summer Camp, the kids get 3 full meals a day, packed with tons of protein. Many of the kids who come to camp might have some sort of meat protein once a week, if that. They can have as much as they want!
This Summer they began an exciting new “culinary arts” program. Partnering with recent Le Cordon Bleu graduate Yesenia Martinez who lead the classes in our camp kitchen, she taught the first group of students in a sort of cooking boot-camp, giving them information to help them understand what a career in cooking might look like. On their final full day of camp the young students were brought to Oaxaca City to meet Chef Rodolfo Castellanos, Owner/Chef of Origen Restaurant. With the help of Bricia Lopez of Guelaguetza Restaurant in L.A. the kids got to visit, get to know and cook with Chef Rodolfo in his kitchen. It was a great morning and the Chef was more than gracious about sharing his story and how he worked hard in kitchens all over the world before making it back to Oaxaca to open his own restaurant. He encouraged them to dream and work hard, regardless of if they wanted to be a Chef or not.
It was a exciting to see the kids look around at his restaurant and listen to someone who is from Ocotlan, Oaxaca and think that with a lot of hard work and perseverance they might be able to be a Chef as well.
These are issues most short term missions never address. I think many of these missions trips are so focused on spreading the Good News to as many folks as possible, they never think about the physical needs of those they are trying to minister to. It’s safe to say Adventures in Life is trying to meet the physical and spiritual needs of those they are ministering to.
Thanks again to Chef Rodolfo for being such a gracious host. Thanks to Bricia Lopez of Guelaguetza Restaurant and thank you to Chef Yesenia Martinez for your willingness to come to Oaxaca and share your passion for food with the students.
Our friends at Adventures in Life Ministry are celebrating 20 years of ministry in Mexico. We are truly blessed to have been able to photograph what God is doing through AIL in Ensenada and Oaxaca. In the next few months we will be sharing a few of our favorite photos from the last 3 years that we have been photographing for Adventures in Life. You can learn more about the work of Adventures in Life by going HERE. Enjoy!
Our 2nd trip to Oaxaca in July of 2010 for AIL Kids Summer Camp at Pastor Chable’s farm in Zimatlan, Oaxaca.
The above photo was taken as we were waiting for a bus so we could make our way to Tlacolula from the city…I remember hearing Dave say,” jump on the nicest bus”…which we did. In the mean time we passed up 4 or 5 buses and ended up waiting another 30 minutes. I was fine, but the gals apparently had to go to the bathroom. The nice bus ride was 40 minutes to our destination….
This was taken in San Felipe Guila, about an hour away from the city of Oaxaca. We were there with the Medical Team. The folks there loved the photos, we took over 70 portraits in 2 days….of families, kids and different combinations of friends and family. What a great time
The men had just finished eating at one of Dave’s favorite roadside eating establishments, Taqueria El Rodeo, across the street from the main bus station in Oaxaca City (if you ever find yourself in the area you must go eat there)…and we were walking back to Casa Arnel when we bumped into these guys. The world famous Tuna de la Urse, one of the best roaming minstrels in Mexico and beyond… They travel all around the world competing and winning. They played for us and then the men got to pose with them! Great food and great music!
Happy 20 years of ministry to Adventures in Life! We hope yall have at least another 20! Praise God!!
Photopeeps are going to the Del Mar Fair
Sunday, June 24th
We are meeting up at Rock North County after 10am service.
Come join us for church first then off to the fair…
or you can meet us there.
Bring your camera and appetite for fun, fotos & food!!
Leave a message if your interested in joining us 🙂
We begin the day here with a great breakfast at Casa Arnel, a quaint little hotel in the heart of Oaxaca. It took a while to get our Orange Juice, but you can’t complain when you hear the grinder going and know how fresh and good it will taste.
Today was a free day to explore the city of Oaxaca, so after a stop at the coffee shop near the Zocalo (central square) we ask a man in the restaurant how to get to The Textile Museum. He told us it was 3 streets down and 2 streets over, sounded like he knew what he was talking about. When we got to the location we ask again, the lady said it is another 3 streets down and 2 streets over. This when on and on, I think we walked in circles for hours.
We finally took a break for lunch at La Olla Restaurnte. The food was delicious. Many of us had Tlayudas, a traditional meal of beans, avocados, tomatoes, epazote (a leaf vegetable & herb), and Quesillo (Oaxaca cheese). After lunch and getting different directions we finally found the Textile Museum, it might have been an enjoyable tourist attraction if we had not walk so much to get there. But, it was basically a let down. The journey itself on the lovely cobblestones streets of Oaxaca was more enjoyable then the destination.
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Part of the fun of coming down to Oaxaca is spending a little extra time before or after the mission to explore the markets in the local towns surrounding Oaxaca. Every town has a market day and you can find just about anything and everything you could want or need in the market. Take a look at this video Dave made the other day. Enjoy
This post was originally written after my first visit to Pastor Chable’s ranch in the Summer of 2010. With my recent trip to Oaxaca and spending time on Pastor Chable’s ranch, I thought it would be good to show what God is doing in the area of Sustainability….I welcome your thoughts.
In this photo, of the farm of Pastor Chable, you can see left to right…the greenhouse where tomatoes and peppers are grown, in the middle 2 buildings that house chickens, turkeys and rabbits (for food), and on the right a field waiting to be planted with corn.
This is where the rabbits are housed. The middle row of cages is where the breeding rabbits are. in an effort to maintain the integrity and health of the rabbits, the University of Guadalajara’s agriculture dept has helped catalog and register the rabbits used for breeding here. The male offspring are never introduced to any of the breeding females and unfortunately for the males, they usually are the first to be sold for food or invited to dinner…
What Pastor Chable is doing on his farm outside of Oaxaca, is selling rabbits for food to help pay for the upkeep of the rabbits, chickens, and turkeys. He is also selling breeding “sets”. A female will on average give birth to 10 rabbits, 4 times a year. And if I remember correctly, each rabbit will yield about 4 kilos of meat.
For less than $150 US dollars, a farmer can purchase 1 male and 10 females, to begin raising rabbits for food and revenue. With the formula of 1/10 a farmer will on average have 400 rabbits that he can use to feed his family, which means protein for life. The rabbits also provide the farmer a way to help support his family, by the selling of rabbits. The buzz word in missions lately is sustainability. This is what Pastor Chable is doing…providing a way for locals to support their families.
While we may find it objectionable to eat Bugs Bunny, it’s a reality. A friend recently reminded me that if we saw how most of our meat comes to the table, we would all be vegetarians. If you would like to learn more of the process…and see photos you can go to HERE and enter the password: LIFE
**warning** The images are graphic, showing rabbits that are being prepared to be slaughtered for food. If you are squeamish about that sort of thing, please dont go to the post. But if you want to learn more about the good thats happening with the rabbits, feel free to go…
What’s sad to me is what I heard shared about churches in the states who are helping support the work in Oaxaca. Some of the U.S. churches have stated that they would like Pastor Chable to only give meat to christians. On occasion, famlies will come to Pastor Chable asking for meat to help feed their families. He doesn’t turn down anyone needing help, with or without money. Those of us visiting, thought it funny that these American churches in essence are asking Pastor Chable to not feed non christians, only to feed christians. Those of us visiting thought this was funny…you want to help support the work in Oaxaca, but only to christians. This is ridiculous. But it happened. Of course Pastor Chable couldn’t abide by that request.
This opens up another can of worms that won’t be discussed here right now…that being, “do we have a right to tell those we are supporting financially how to use those funds?”
He does raise chickens and turkeys as well. I was surprised to hear that turkeys are hard to raise…they eat lots and take too long to get big and plump (naturally), so its not worth it. He keeps a few turkeys, like the dude above, cause they look good. But the most bang for the peso (or buck) comes with the rabbits.
Pastor Chable sharing with the kids about the rabbits and the tomatoes they are growing…
This is corn that will be planted. Another way to help local farmers produce a product they can take to market and support their families.
Irrigation lines in the corn field. Adventures in Life is helping bring new farming techniques to local famers in Oaxaca to help them get the most from their crops. Dave has brought down some folks from the states who are farmers, to help them share ideas…the big picture is to help locals be self sufficient, so they can support their families while staying in Oaxaca. Like many areas in Mexico and Central and South America, the men have left their homes to search for employment to support their families…many coming to the U.S. as the local church in Oaxaca seeks to provide means for the men to produce corn and tomatoes on a small plot of land, and to raise rabbits, the hope is that they can stay with their families and keep the family together. Which is much better than having the husbands thousands of miles away.
Pastor Chable with his family (minus their oldest son)
This trip was definitely eye opening, and a blessing to see what God is doing in Oaxaca, through men like Pastor Chable. I look forward to seeing what God does as Adventures in Life continues to work in Oaxaca. If you’d like more information about Adventures in Life, you can go HERE, I’m sure Dave would love to hear from you.
If you want to see more about sustainability and rabbits, you can go HERE and enter the password: LIFE
warning…warning… these images are graphic in nature, showing the slaughter of rabbits for food. It’s real and it’s life. It may not be suitable for children.