Monday, November 19, 2007

At Cancun Christian University

I arrived in Cancun last night and stayed at Caribe International Hotel which is one block from Gilberto F.'s apartment. Almost as good is that it is across the street from 100% Natural Restaurant where I get my favorite papaya juice!!

We just drove through the jungle to see the progress at the site of the future Cancun Christian University. It is less than one mile from the main highway, the Cancun-Tulum Highway. We are just leaving Puerto Morelos which is a small beach front community, some 2 miles south of the University. Gilberto has a condo project he is developing in this quaint community. If you are a GPS buff the co-ordinance of the this project is N20.51.2278, W86.52.3912. There are 4 of the 8 condos available. I can't send you pictures right now because the cameras we have won't load to my laptop. I hope I can send you these photos tonight.

What is really amazing is that we are driving all around Cancun, Puerto Morelos, and now heading south towards Coba while I am connected to the internet through my wireless card on my laptop. I am writing this as we drive, connected to the internet all the time. Even I am amazed at how technology has advanced in the Yucatan region. The result of how quickly technology can advance when wireless is being introduced into previously un-developed areas around the world. Only a year ago we had no cell phone coverage at the University site. Now we have a signal that is stronger than at my home in San Diego. Amazing progress!!

I haven't been to Cancun in almost a year and the development around here is astounding. I barely recognize the areas around the University. Huge resort developments popping up every where. There is even a McDonalds around the corner from the entrance to the University. In some ways progress is good and others disappointing. Driving from the Cancun Airport seemed more exotic before the McDonalds appeared. Such is the cost of progress. On the other hand, the coffee was great.

Wednesday, November 07, 2007


What an amazing couple days we have had. This will be a shorter post than normal since I have had to rely on sending an email to my blog by sending it via my cell phone- using my numeric keypad! Gayla and Jordan told me it was easy. I don't think so. We visited a Nazarene Conference Center and Univerisity for a possible group dormatory site. Its a beautiful and safe site. We then went to our hosts Christian radio station, Rainbow FM 90.7 FM, for a tour of the station and to meet their staff. To finish the day we met with with some pastors and a expert Christian liaison with the housing department. I can only finish this post by saying we have been hosted by the South African people with the most amazing hospitality that its almost impossible to describe it and give them justice!

Tuesday, November 06, 2007


The flight from Manchester, England to Istanbul, Turkey
(on Turkish Airlines!) was full of great experiences and stories.
Most of us didn't sleep a bit again on the flight, which might have
had something to do with the fact they served dinner around
midnight on the jet. I think I finally fell asleep around 2am to 6am.

Steve Cosgrove sat next to a girl from Indian whose name was Markeet.
They talked most of the flight and much of it about his involvement with
Amor and his faith in God. She couldn't imagine that people were flying
from all over the world to build houses for poor people in Africa, much
less Mexico. She grew up Hindu and attended a board school all of her
youth. She recently finished her undergraduate degree in Information
Technology. Steve at one point told her she should go on one of the
Amor mission trips. She said she would love to go but didn't know if her
family could arrange or have the resources for her to go. Steve said that if
she wanted to go he would find a way to get the funds for her to go. She told
Steve she was, "Kind of jealous of you are getting to do all this." She later went
on to say she had applied for for graduate school at UCLA, USC and the
University of Chicago. Steve said she should tell him when she gets accepted
at one of these places since he knows people at all of them. He handed her
his business card and they continued to talk as she flipped the card in her hand,
clicking the edges, and looking closely at the card like it was a precious antique or
or something. As we often see, Ministry doesn't just occur at the work site or
at evening camp, it happens whomever we come in contact with.

The Istanbul Airport had an array of unique sight and smells.
Never in my life did I imagine I would visit Turkey someday.
OK, it was for just 5 hours, but we did eat there.

Bill Hebner ordered what looked like a pastry. The first bite
surprised me, it tasted like peppermint! That was as adventurous
as I got at the airport.

While waiting at the airport we found a free wireless Internet spot
and we all did some Internet surfing, checked our emails, called
our families on Skype, and blogged. I found the way point
that our host in South Africa, Humprey Birkenstock had sent us of our
future work sites. The map below has a yellow pin showing the location
of our five work sites for next March. They are just outside Johannesburg,
near Pretoria.

As you can see in the satellite photo below, it doesn't look
all that different from many of our typical work sites in Mexico.

Monday, November 05, 2007


Last week 13 kids from North Wales, UK set up a shanty town in the rain and the wind to understand what it was like to live in squalor. BBC did a radio interview with the youth to help raise funds for their upcoming trip to South Africa with Amor. Its about a three minute spot. Click the "Play" button on the link below to hear it:

Sunday, November 04, 2007


A long flight last night over the Atlantic ocean without any sleep had us arriving in Manchester, England around 8:30 am.

A one hour drive north west to Rhyl, Wales and we arrived at Bill Hebner's house, just a block from the beach. We spent the day enjoying time visiting with each other, discussing our plans for the next day's flight to South Africa and meeting some of the people who had gone on Amor Mexico trips in the past. We spend part of the day looking at a shed that was on one of the Mexico team members from Wales property that was build from concrete posts and sliding concrete panels. This was an informal discussion of the possibility of using concrete type products to build homes in South Africa.

Jet-lag was reeking havoc on us throughout the day since none of us got any sleep on the crowded plane last night. It only reminded us why stopping in Wales for a day of meetings and one night was a good idea- recovering from jet-lag being one of those great ideas.

has arrived in Wales and the colors of the trees are amazing. The reds and oranges are stunning. It is a bit warm for this time of year and it still seemed to get cold to us tonight. We attended a church celebration with Bill Hebner at his church by helping cook hot dogs and hamburgers, enjoying fireworks and bonfires for a special holiday. We also had the pleasure of talking with members of the local community who have been on mission trips with Amor. On one street we visited there were 11 people from different homes who had been on one of our mission trips to Mexico.

Tomorrow we catch a plane in the morning to South Africa with five of the Wales/UK team. Its a long flight, close to 14 hours, with us stopping briefly in Istanbul. I am not sure when I will be able to post a blog next since I don't know what internet access awaits us in South Africa. Hopefully I will be able to sent a blog each day. If not, then you will know that I couldn't find an internet connection!

Perhaps the greatest news of all was Bill Hebner telling us that he got the job he had been asking us to pray for. His new role is the Emerging Leaders Coordinator for Urban Saints, a collaboration of Youth Life-UK and Crusaders-UK (similar to Awana in the US). Part of Bill's strategic responsibilities will be to facilitate mission experiences for some 3,000 youth. The South Africa mission that we are now on is a significant event in the emerging partnership between these organizations to provide life changing mission experiences for the youth of the United Kingdom.

Saturday, November 03, 2007

Cosgrove Joins South Africa Trip At Atlanta Airport

We arrived at the Atlanta Airport to catch our adjoining flight to Manchester, England. Steve Cosgrove joined us here from Indiana. "Its exciting to see what God has in store for us. We can plan all we want, but God has a way of having his plan come about regardless of our activities", said Steve.

Steve is a key part of this trip having run numerous companies and brings extensive leadership develop experience. Steve is tremendously passionate about this trip and is really thrilled with how this project is an international coalition of people in the ministry, lay persons, and business persons coming together in a part of the world that really needs.

The flight from San Diego was very uneventful except that, much to my surprise, we had live television on the flight. I got to watch a great football game between Navy and Notre Dame! I know what most of you are thinking, Scott's preoccupation with college football is getting out of hand. I sure hope the plane from Atlanta to Manchester has the USC game on!!!

This is the last time I can blog using my US Sprint wireless internet card. From here on I will have to rely of Cyber Cafes, free WiFi when I can get, and who knows what else. And, more importantly, I hope I can manage to sleep some since the flight is leaving at 8:20pm.


Today is the day that Amor took a huge leap into expanding its ministry from international (Mexico) to global (Africa). Steve Horrex and I have boarded a plane in San Diego for Manchester, England. Steve Cosgrove from Indiana is joining us when we change planes in Atlanta. When we arrive in England we will be picked up by Bill Hebner who will drive us to Rhyl, Wales were we will be joining the Wales/UK team.

Twenty seven years of ministry and we are finally going global. This trip is really ten years in the making after Gayla and I were invited to a conference in South Africa by Gary Barnes who was with AD2000 at the time. We have been dreaming and planning this trip and outreach since then.

Its an exciting time for Amor as we expand beyond our borders.

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