Friday, 30 May 2014

Extra News
Neighbour Ladies in Chihuahua late 90's
Front row, left to right: Elsa, Martha, Carmen, Me, Hannia
Back row left to right: Alex, son to Martha snuck in, Lupita and Atońeta

God blessed me with a wonderful group of friends in Chihuahua way back in the 90's when we lived there.  This group of ladies, along with their spouses and children became our second family.  We got together for birthdays, all holidays and any other reason they could invent to get together.  We remain friends to this day, through FaceBook, visits to Chihuahua and now through WhatsApp.  

Arriving in Guadalajara, God decided to bless with me with another such group, although so far it is just the ladies.
Neighbour Ladies in Guadalajara
Back row left to right: Patty, Faby, Alejandra, Adriana, Laura, Me
Front row left to right: Kristy, Angeles, and Tina
They have included me in their group from the very beginning.  God has just blessed me so abundantly, I am left without words.

Wednesday, 28 May 2014

Querétaro May 22-26, 2014

Visiting the pyramid in Querétaro 

With Pablo & Martha Licon Serano

San Miguel de Allende
Very old church in San Miguel de Allende

A view of the city from the hills

"In honor of the conspirators that gave us liberty"
A city of tunnels, mines, and history!

Day spent with Martha and son Pablito

One of the instruments of torture in the torture chamber

23.5 carat gold plating! 

El callejon  del beso - kissing lane :-) 
Licon Family
A look at Queretaro from the Licon house - aqueduct in the middle  
Licon family in front of their steak restaurant

Diane with Pablo & Martha
     Why did we go to Queretaro? Friends who lived right next door in Chihuahua moved to Queretaro over a dozen years ago. Their son, Pablito, came to live with us for 6 months in 2003. Our aim was to see them again, to renew and strengthen an existing friendship.  A side benefit was that this area (Queretaro, San Miguel de Allende, and Guanajuato) just happens to be the cradle of Mexican independence - lots of history! An unexpected added blessing, to learn more about the people we've come to love, and have come to serve.

Wednesday, 21 May 2014

My favourite spot
I have a confession to make.  I don't want to disillusion any of you but I need to be honest.  I don't always enjoy being "on" all the time.  When living in Steinbach, I didn't always think about it, but I don't think I was always "on", nor was I even mindful of it.  You might be asking by this time what 'on' is exactly.  Well, to me, "on" is what Paul talks about in 2 Timothy 4:2 "Preach the Word; be prepared in season and out of season...".  Being "on" is always being prepared to share your faith, to tell the 'old, old story' of Jesus, to live like people are watching - ALL THE TIME.

My first confession is that I don't think I was mindful of that very fact at home.  First of all, I don't think I stood out among the masses so I just quietly lived my life.  Don't get me wrong, I would easily state that I was a Christian, could even share my faith, but I would have to say that I was somewhat complacent, and often associated with fellow believers.  

Now we live on foreign soil; I can not hide among the masses.  People see me - they see foreigner.  Ernie could hide (although he never would want to) as he has more Latin features and skin tone.  A neighbour lady said if he wasn't walking with me, she would guess he was Mexican :)  People often ask me where I am from.  So people are watching - ALL THE TIME.  I need to be 'on' all the time, ready with an answer, ready and prepared to share my Hope.  Herein lives my second confession, it's tiring being 'on' ALL THE TIME.  I confess there are times I want to be alone, 'off', and not think.  But one does not go to the mission field to be 'half on'; this is a 24/7 commitment.  

Ernie lives for this, he loves being 'on' ALL THE TIME.  He loves people, has never met a person who is a not friend...yet.  Language is a non-issue for him.  He can explain the message in several languages with ease.  But even he gets tired and at times he too desires to be 'off'.  But God never gave us that option.  All of us, wherever we live, whatever tongue we speak, whatever people we are surrounded by, are "ON" ALL THE TIME.  We all should be students of the Word 24/7 and be prepared to share 'the greatest story ever told' in season and out of season. Ernie's comment: We're called to be students of the Word 24/7 till you die (so that we know the truth), and students of the surrounding culture/subculture, 24/7 till you die (so that we can communicate that truth as effectively as possible).  

Recently we went to see the movie "God's Not Dead".  Would you stand up for your faith when the option was given to sign your name for an easy grade?  Could you prepare a defence?  God has called us to be faithful here in Mexico and He has called you to be faithful WHEREVER YOU ARE.  

Two Updates:

#1 Some have asked what the symbol (previous blog) meant:  It means to 'gather here' if an earthquake, or some other disaster, should happen

#2  If you want to be added to our personal/private updates newsletter, please send me your email address at {}.  I won't just add folks from my contacts, you will need to request being on it.

I may be adding small posts on days other than Wednesday.  I will make my regular post on Wednesday but will on occasion (sporadically) make smaller posts throughout the week.  I realise that I post on FaceBook and not every one is on FaceBook.  Some of those posts I will post here, as some of them are interesting to our lives, the 3Km race we ran with Dallas & Tara's cell group,  the autobiography I read in Spanish, and other such things of interest. 

Wednesday, 14 May 2014

Our life in pictures...

Diane on Mothers Day - GDL 2014
GDL staff and cell group members after 3k & 10k race
Diane working out at 'Vivo 47' fitness gym...
Ernie joking and sharing riddles with a street vendor!
Tuesday morning street market... fresh fruit & vegetables...

      Diane would like to compile a list of email addresses, to be able to send things that are more private to a select group of supporters. IF you want to be on this list please send your email contact information to: 

      Thank you for your prayers, encouragement, and support. Also, if you have questions or concerns please don't hesitate to communicate those with us and we'll try to respond promptly. 

Wednesday, 7 May 2014

Oh How Times Have Changed!

I don't know if any of you recognise the machine on the left?  Well, it is called a gestetner.  This is what we used back in the day in Nicaragua to print our newsletters on.  Hard to imagine, as that was only in the late 80's!  

Life was so different then.  We didn't have email, only snail mail; we couldn't even just pick up the phone and call home.  Why you ask?  We'd spend the evening trying to get an international line so that we could call Canada! 

Now we are so very blessed with technology.  From email to internet (for this very blog) to phone calls where we see one another!  Everything is instant and available.  Communicating with those at home is easy.  Now I can FaceTime my kids and SEE them while I talk to them!  Who would have thought!  I can even take a photo of them while we are chatting!  What a blessing.
Our sons: Mike and Chris
There are so many ways to communicate with those far away - it is amazing.  We have Magic Jack, which makes it free for us to call anywhere in the USA or Canada (204-272-0408).  For those calling us from Canada, its like calling Winnipeg.  We also have Skype (which is free as well), which allows you to SEE the person calling. We've enjoyed calls from parents, church family, SBC friends, etc.  Then there is the ever famous FaceBook, which allows you to follow those at 'home', and around the world, and know what they are up to.  This also allows you to 'chat' for free.  
Ernie has been able to use technology to talk with old friends in Nicaragua, the States and around the world.  The world has changed so much since our gestetner days.  Although we do still have 'snail mail', and it works!

Now, every good thing can also have a negative side.  One needs to find a balance between connecting at "home" and on the field.  For some there is the danger of not being able to connect or acculturate with their new home, or host culture, because they can't let go of what was 'home'.  If one is spending all day 'connecting' with "home", and very little developing friendships with those in their new 'home', there's a problem.  But I, to be very honest, love that I can text my sons, talk to my sons, SEE my sons whenever I want.  Well, not whenever I want, they still have to answer! :)  That said, I love the people I have met here and so I think I have found a balance of sorts.  I thank God for technology and the connectedness it allows for.
  So, to recap, here are some ways that you can connect with us:

        *follow this blog:
        *follow us on FaceBook: Diane Friesen Koop or Ernie Koop or Team Guadalajara
        *If you own an IProduct you can FaceTime or Imessage for free
        *Skype: Diane.Koop or ernesto24177
        *Magic Jack: 204-272-0408
        *email: or
        *snail mail: Ernie and Diane Koop
                              Ave. Ecónomos 6451 Int #28
                              Coto Los Naranjos
                              Rinconada Del Parque
                              Zapópan, Jalisco 45010  Mexico

P.S.  Here is a symbol that is seen all around the city...any guesses as to what it means?