After almost a month in La Paz, we sailed close to 400 miles across the Sea of Cortez to La Cruz near Puerto Vallarta. It wasn’t nearly as crowded in the anchorage as usual for that time of the year, but several kid boats all arrived on the same day, seemingly on command. The kids loved having others to hang out with, although everything looks different than pre-Covid.
We planned to be there for about a month, but one month stretched into two. The first week we had lunch with one missionary couple, visited with old friends and went to the local bilingual church on Sunday. It was great to see the Pastor and so many others again. This was the same church we partnered with in previous years when we offered worship services in the nearby marina. Before we left La Cruz we were able to take the pastor’s family plus one of the key couples in the church out sailing and enjoyed seeing many baby humpback whales practicing their jumps.
After the first couple of weeks in La Cruz, we took the boat into a marina and then took a one hour flight to Guadalajara. We spent a week with the Gozas again and had a wonderful time. We spent hours around their kitchen table as we all shared from the last year. We spent time with several from their ministry as well. Check out more details and photos in their newsletter. The kids joined in with their youth group. We went biking around the city with one of the local families. We visited a YWAM center near Lake Chapala and heard their amazing story of how God provided beyond what they even prayed for.
Back in La Cruz, we stayed busy. We continued going to the local church and got to know a few more people. We even had 3 other boat families/couples join us at church while they were there. The kids were the oldest among the boat kids – they ran the kids’ morning VHF radio net and were great leaders (in my opinion) at all the kids’ activities. The participated in a few beach cleanups and worked together to make a model sailboat out of trash to compete in the Trash Boat Regatta. Their Lighthouse II took first place. The predecessor, Lighthouse, took third place a few years ago. The kids had such a great time hanging out with other kids at movie nights, morning runs, pizza parties, birthday parties, Easter egg dyeing and egg hunt, helping make a video about beach clean up with the local Rotary Kids Club, and multiple trips to the nearby ice cream shop. We are so thankful for Katrina and Mike!!!
Hope and I had the privilege of helping host a baby shower for the young missionary couple in Puerto Vallarta. The week before the shower we were able to take them plus one of their friends sailing (more baby whales!). There was already a plan by several other missionaries to host a zoom shower for her but no one was local. We were happy to stay and had so much fun making cupcakes and decorating. We are so excited for them as they approach the time to welcome their first little one!
And, of course, one extension leads to another and another, so we stayed through Hope, Micah and Seth’s birthdays and then through Easter.
We had a Sunrise Easter Worship service on the boat out in the anchorage. There were 15 people who dinghied and paddled out in the dark to join the 7 of us. We had never even met 5 of them. It was such a beautiful day to worship our Risen Savior. Dennis preached on how Jesus met each of those in their needs on the morning He rose and how He continues to meet each of us.