Wednesday, December 31, 2014

First year as Expats

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FELIZ ANO NUEVO = HAPPY NEW YEAR

Thursday, December 25, 2014

Our 1st Christmas in Chapala

Our casa was filled with the laughter of new friends on December 5, 2014. What a joy to be entertained by our neighbors with jovial music, authentically prepared foods and intriguing conversations, at home. Our calendar bulges with invitations to Guadalajara, Ajijic, LaMision, Hope House, Love in Action and up in San Juan Cosala.  Lake Chapala Baptist Church hosted their traditional Christmas Choir and Soup Buffet on December 14th.  What a marvelous gathering of talent!
The LCBC choir also featured solos by three elementary aged saints and a compelling performance by Patrick! Four of our neighbors attended and they each remarked how blessed and touched they were by the opportunity to sing old fashioned Christmas carols and fellowship with refreshing, lit up people of God. Halleluiah and Merry Christmas!

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Turkey at the RIU in PV

WOW we took a luxury ETN bus from Ajijic to Puerto Vallarta for Thanksgiving! Talk about comfort, it was like sitting in first class on a plane.  Travel time about 3.5 hours with two stops along the toll road.  There were five giant bus loads departing at the same time, each bus destined to a different hotel in PV.  This
year we stayed at the RIU Vallarta, just down the beach from the RIU Palace.  We purchased the all inclusive package.  The cost for the hotel, food and round trip bus for two people for 4 nites was only $800 USA. The unlimited food buffets and drinks at 4 different restaurants on the property included burgers at
the beach, Texas sized filet steaks, Japanese sushi, Designer Omelets, Fresh fruits, a dazzling array of yummy Deserts after each meal, Italian pasta,  German goulash, American meatloaf and a tantalizing turkey dinner shared with a festive group of 12 friends from Lakeside. On our first day we took a half
hour walk up the beach to get a one hour pampering massage for only $20 USA. The second day Barb rented a power packed jet ski for a half hour for $35 USA and jettisoned up and down the bay of Puerto...and for a time she was gleefully LOST at SEA with tales to tell.  On the third day Barb got her hair braided to keep her bangs under control while powering the Harley across the pillowy soft blue waters.
Senor Miguel enjoyed the buoyancy of the salt water, gently lifting him above the waves destined to crash on shore. What a delight to be drenched in the blazing glory of the most awesome sunsets we have ever witnessed! All in all we felt God's omnipresence as we tread joyfully about the hotel bumping into our church group and our gaggle of dog walking friends from the Chapala malecon.

Saturday, December 20, 2014

VALUE at Villa Santa Paula

VIVA Chapala ~ What a gift! To be led by God to move to a new country and have all your needs met. Mike and Barb moved from gorgeous Galt to Lake Chapala in June 2014! We we delighted to give family and friends dishes, Christmas decorations, tools, linens, clothing, shoes, and garage items that are not needed in Mexico. We were able to be a blessing to others in our process of sizing down.  By not being attached to things, we were able to pass on our faith and our trust in God, by letting go of things that He may enrich us with the most valued possession of all....RELATIONSHIPS!
Wonderful neighbors surround us inside the security gates of Villa Santa Paula.  Albert, Jack, Virginia, Sergio and Cindy, Gary and Mila, Amy, Dan and Lynette, Maria, and Ricardo.  A grand shopping experience is just up Zaragoza off Pepe Guizar at the new Soriano Market.  The bus station that
takes us to Guadalaraja with friends is only 5 blocks at the corner of Calle Miguel Martinez and Francisco Ignacio.  We are also blessed with a bevy of friends at Lake Chapala Baptist Church in Riberas. A link to this church is found to the right on this blog, listen to Pastor Bob's sermons and feel renewed!  A short walk down ZARAGOZA and you arrive at the Malecon, the boardwalk that surrounds Lake Chapala. Retired from working for income, we now enjoy working full time for the Lord.  Living without financial concerns, we are living the abundant life, enabled to
be generous towards the needs of  others.  Our desire is to be a blessing, to be a difference maker, to shine a light where it is dark. Our souls have been conquered in Christ, chained to His chariot and He drives us safely over the cobblestones. We thank God for His plan and purpose for our lives. The airport in Guadalajara is only a 45 minute drive down a lovely road that swirls about the low ridge of mountains that surround the lake.
The city of Chapala is within 5 miles of Riberas, San Antonio, Chula Vista, La Floresta, Ajijic, and San Juan Cosala, in the State of Jalisco. Each town was built along the shores of Mexico's second largest lake. Mike and I are thrilled to learn more about the culture and be of service. What a blessing it is to live here as
a dual citizen of Mexico and the USA. God answered my hearts desire to where I could live and serve on a minimal retirement income.  In 1998, my brother's friends in Loreto directed me to check out Lake Chapala. Relying on the strength and courage of God going before me, I landed in Chapala on Christmas morning 1998.  I spent Christmas day with a family I had never met and it was
fantastically insightful and FUN! Trusting that God opened the door for me in Chapala, I arrived as a permanent resident in June 2014.  God is faithful and His provision of more than I need is marvelous!  He immediately arranged a ministry for me, in my home with women who live in my neighborhood.  He gave me new relationships at a new church, at Hope House, at Love in Action, and on the malecon. Mike and I lived at the RACQUET CLUB in January and February 2014 because our casa was rented out. We got to learn the city by taking the bus.  Hmmm, how does one say I am very happy? Mui Feliz! or to say I am very emotionally joyful. Estoy mui emotionada! 
God is full of surprises and as guests for two months, we joined Lake Chapala Baptist Church, and explored the entire lakeside area by foot and bus. Soul filling vistas all around, dotted with colorful people and tasty food. Our home is in the center of town and very near the old train station which has been restored to be used as a museum of fine art.
We celebrate and pray for our friends Eddie and Betty, Charles and Ruthie, Greg, Albert, Ron and Bobbi, Donna, Bernie, Gary and Mila, Dan and Joy, Lucy, Gary and Mila, Virginia, Amy, Dan and Lynette. Chapala is the place where God continues to stretch us, amaze us, bless us, grow us and use us. Casa De La Luz is a place where family and friends may rest safely in a happy environment of beauty. God went before me and opened doors and hearts to buy a casa with a surprise inheritance. God's plan to bless, not harm us...is entirely true! CLICK this: BELIEVE, PRAY, RECEIVE

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

POWER WORDS in Spanish

In November we enrolled in a beginner Spanish class through the Lake Chapala Society in Ajijic. Necesito estudiar mi Espanol = I need to study my Spanish. Necesito deposito. I need to make deposit. Mi gusta! I like. Quiero ( kee air o ) I want. Porque = Why. Quiero comida sin picante = I want lunch without hot/spicy. Aqui = Here. Que = What. Donde = Where is. Como = How do you say. Con = With. Pero = But. Mas = More. Menos = Less. Todo = All. Nada = Nothing. Mi = My. Tus = Yours. Hoy = Today. Mas tardes = Later. Quanto Questa? How much is it? Donde es basura? Where is the trash? Donde es bano? Where is the bathroom? Peligro = Danger. Llenar tanque con Magna, por favor. Fill my tank with unleaded please. Como say yama? What is your name? Mucho Gusto = My pleasure. Necesito comprar regalo. I need to purchase gift. Si Senor = Yes sir. Vamanos = Lets go. Necesito pensar = I need to think. Quien = who. Y = and. Quiero pedir = I want to order. Un regalo para mi espouso = a gift for my spouse. Quiero invitarios a la iglesia = I want to invite you to church. Tengo que limpiar mi casa = I have to clean my house. Necesito ayuda con el neumatico desiflado = I need help with flat tire. Arriba = Up. Adios = good-bye. TORTE DE CUMPLEANOS = BIRTHDAY CAKE. Feliz ano nuevo = Happy new year. Egualamente = same to you. Gracias = thanks.

Monday, December 1, 2014

Pastorale 2015 in Chapala

A funny public play that captures all who watch off guard. The intent is to use humor to speak the truth about the on going battle for the souls of ALL people. God conquers evil's attempt to get us to
ignore the birth, death and how Jesus defeated Satan and death to rise again. The play will take place in Ajijic, in the plaza next to the Casino and Movie Theatre. The date is Sat Dec 19 at 5:00pm. Bring your family, order a Trip Burger and be
blessed by this evangelical tradition. Pastorelas are plays that recreate the biblical passage wherein the shepherds follow the
Star of Bethlehem to find the Christ Child. In order to reach the birth place of our Redeemer, they must also experience a series of changes in fortune and confront the Devil. The devil is ever busy trying to prevent the Shepherds from completing their mission. It is at that moment that the Archangel Michael intervenes to
defend the shepherds on their journey. Well, that’s the general idea of the pastorelas. The fun part of the play is to watch those who are in attendance who have no idea what is going on. The pastorale is very different  from when  they were first presented hundreds of years ago.  It is one of  Mexico’s oldest traditions. Imagine that you are back when the Spaniards reached the New World and began to colonize its inhabitants, instructing them by using the common language of theatrics to deliver the message of Christ, our Savior. Jesus was born,
and died to take away all past, present and future sins. The play is not just a form of great family entertainment, but a way to communicate the ongoing battle of the Church against evil for the souls of God's people. The Franciscan monks arrived in the New World in 1524 and the Monks quickly became aware of the Mexican Indians artistic sensitivity and took advantage of it.  In order to evangelize the indigenous peoples en masse,  while explaining the message of Christ, they captured those who could not read or write by using dramatic acting and music.  We can respect and enjoy the culture of God's people in Mexico, by attending a Pastorale. God used Monks to bring His people in Mexico to believe in Jesus Christ, our Savior, born to deliver us that we may love others as He loves us.  You gotta just love these colorful people! AMEN

RESIDENTE PERMANTE

PART A begins at the Mexican Consulate in Sacramento, or in the town that issues passports near you in the States.  You must bring BANK stamped copies of 3 months bank statements. Marriage License. Passport. Drivers License, Copy of deed, Copies of any IRA's or other investments. Mexican Consulate takes your photo, takes fingerprints and electronically dispatches to Mexico. They also issue you a 6 month visa, which is a special stamp inside your passport. Once you enter Mexico, you have 90 days to begin the application process.  CALL immigration attorney Spencer in Chapala 376-765-7553. His office is on Hidlago on the lakeside of the street, NEXT DOOR to the Lake Chapala Inn sign on Hidalgo. A fee of 5,500 pesos ($400 USA) will ensure a quick turn around. Give your passport and airline Visa to Spencer and he will complete all ever changing required forms.
IF you are NOT a pensioner with automatic monthly deposits of at least $1,500 per month, you can only file for temporary status.  IF you already own a home in Mexico, the application process for a Residente Permanente, or a Residente Temporal is faster. Applicants will now need two appointments at INM offices to finish the immigration process. Using a local attorney HELPS because they have established relationships at the INM office. One appointment is required to have your fingerprints taken, to sign papers and to deliver your (6) photos. You will need to return for a second appointment to receive your wallet GREEN colored (PR) immigration card. The day you pick up your GREEN Residente Permanente (RP) card, drop off a photocopy of your PASSPORT and a copy of FRONT and BACK of GREEN (RP) card at INM office and request a CURP card.  A curp card is necessary to obtain State of Jalisco Health Insurance at Seguro Popular.  The INM is responsible for accepting and/or rejecting visa applications from foreigners who wish to live in Mexico. Another agency, the Secretaría de Relaciones Exteriores (Secretary of Exterior Relations or SRE, sometimes also called the Ministry of Foreign Affairs) is responsible for monitoring immigrants within its borders. Specific information about the laws can be obtained by individuals who hire attorneys to expedite the process and avoid long delays. BELOW a picture of GREEN (RP) Residente Permanente wallet sized card.  MAKE a color copy and get it laminated to carry with you.  The laminated copy is sufficient at banks etc. Keep the original at home in a safe place.  IF it gets lost or stolen, it is a huge process to get replacement.  Spencer makes this process a breeze.  Expect it to take 2 months to get GREEN card, and TWO weeks to get CURP card.