http://www.giffmex.org

Our apologies for getting this out so late.

  1. Praise the Lord for safe travels from Mexico City to Allendale Michigan. Our son Daniel flew up with our dog Muffin on July 20. Muffin handled the trip well. We drove up with our daughter Alexandra and her friend Ximena, leaving July 20 and arriving to Michigan July 26. We did a deputation stop at Hope CRC in Houston on the way, and had a couple vacation stops in Texas (San Antonio river walk and Houston Space Center). The only negative part was the border crossing. After spending hours on websites and on the phone in Mexico to find out what we needed to do about bringing our Mexican car in, they told us we had to import it. So after crossing the border we spend hours at the import station outside in 116 degree heat, only for them to tell us it was not necessary.
  2. Praise the Lord for some rushed but fun vacation time after arriving: we alternated between settling in and vacationing with a two day trip to Mackinac Island / Petoskey / Charlevoix and another two day trip to Chicago. Then Daniel flew back to Mexico from Grand Rapids on August 3 and Ximena flew back from Chicago on August 4.
  3. Praise the Lord for protection: Daniel was in an airport flying back when his pouch went missing. It contained his passport and visa, tickets and several hundred dollars worth of pesos. After a long while of searching, and having security searching, a person turned it in, contents intact, and Daniel was able to get on his plan to Mexico City with 4 minutes to spare. Another "Indiana Jones" moment - last minute rescues that God likes to throw at us once in a while to remind us to depend on him.
  4. Consulation at Resonate headquarters went well this week (Monday August 7 to Wednesday August 9).
  5. Please pray for Daniel as he 'batches it' in Mexico City and starts his last year at college.
  6. Please pray especially for our daughter Alexandra.
    1. She is starting classes at Unity High School this month after doing home schooling for the last two years because of her condition. Please pray she can adjust well.
    2. She needs to get into drivers ed, get her SAT exam this month, work on college applications, and investigate scholarships and financial aid. We had to pay a late fee just to get her into the SAT exam for August 26...way up in Petoskey since nothing closer is available until October (which they tell us is too late).
    3. We are starting very late in the game to get all this together and Alexandra would like to go to Calvin College, which is a bit out of our range, so we will need aid and scholarships so her student debts are minimized.
  7. Please pray for enough rest. The travels and the chaos of being in transition has not been good to our health and energy level. Please pray for me (Dave) as I continue my duties as Mexico team leader while on home service. No rest for the wicked...
  8. Please pray that our church visits and home visits go well in August: We are visiting Orland Parlk CRC (Illinois) this weekend, and Bethel CRC (Oskaloosa IA) and First CRC (Allendale MI) later this month. And we need to average about 4-5 home visits a week to get time with all of the current supporters of our ministry, and scheduling is never easy. (If you are a supporter or would like to be, feel free to email us at dgifford@crcna.org with some potential weekday / weeknight dates, to make our scheduling process easier!)
  9. Please pray we can pick up another church. I tried to convince a certain nearby church to take us on, since it is in our classis and because a number of our friends who used to go to our home church (Ridgewood, Jenison) moved there, and it would be nice to reconnect with them. But the personnel I contacted their have not been responsive. Pray that that church or some other church in reasonable traveling range could take us on and get us closer to our support raising goal. We still have four Sundays free in December and could schedule a deputation visit.
  10. On that subject, please take a moment to praise the Lord with us for the supporters who have been so generous towards our ministry. Interesting fact: individual supporters account for 1/3 of our ministry's support! And support from individuals has doubled from four years ago. And a couple of the supporting churches have increased their support significantly in the last year. We are very free in speaking about these things, because we have to be, but we hope people will not get the impression that we are fixated on money and support amounts. Those are only means to an end. But our real focus is on training leaders, showing God's love to children, strengthening churches and local ministries, and giving leadership and support to the other Mexico missionaries.