Going Deeper

Muddy roads and chilly offshore mornings are a telltale sign that the 2022 candle is burning low. In the wake of a busy summer season, the late fall and winter months feel like a lull between the waves–a time to slow down and turn an eye toward the horizon. In these months we’ve deepened relationships with local youth through outdoor activities as well as the every day interactions of living in a small town. Highlights include rock climbing, game nights, making cookies and banana bread, beach hikes, and surfing when the waves aren’t too gnarly.

As we’ve spent more time in La Misión, we’ve seen the obstacles and challenges that many youth in our rural community face to receiving an education. One of the Aleph boys, Nahum has missed two years of school as a result of COVID-19 school closures and economic pressures to work and support his family. This summer Nahum shared that he wanted to return to high school, which meant first needing to pass his secondary school exit exams. We offered to tutor him in math, and after a couple months of preparation Nahum passed his exams … only to be informed that the high school in town was full. He would have to wait until next year to enroll. We prayed about it, and after some searching found an alternative school in Ensenada (an hour bus ride) with open enrollment and a format that could work for Nahum. We also set up a scholarship to help cover his tuition costs and bus fees.

(Here’s a short video of Nahum sharing his experience)

Part of Aleph Baja’s vision for impact is the idea of prioritizing “deep” over “wide.” Programmatically this means focusing on relationships and consistency with the same youth instead of offering “one-off” trips for lots of different kids. It also means working to create “deep impact” experiences on programs. One new way we hope to realize this in the coming year is through running some overnight trips in national parks and wilderness areas. This season we got a chance to scout out some amazing locations that we hope to revisit with youth in 2023.

As a trial run, we invited Uziel and Nahum to join us at the annual Christian Surfers “Cold Water Campout” in Punta Cabras. Road trip shenanigans, sleeping in tents, exploring tide pools, sharing meals, and multiple winter surf sessions made for an epic first beach camping experience. At the end of each day we gathered with the CS crew around the campfire and reflected on God’s goodness and what it means to live in rhythm with His calling on our lives. The trip was full of great conversations and opportunities to encourage and pray for one another.
Highlight Reel

As 2022 draws to a close, we are excited for the journey ahead. In just a couple months, we will be officially transitioning out of our role as volunteers with Siloé Ministries – the community wellness center where we’ve lived and served for the past two years. It’s impossible to express how much we have learned and grown through working alongside this amazing team of people. 

We’re excited to move full time into the work of Aleph Baja. With this shift comes the need to expand our 2023 budget to cover increased living and ministry expenses. Our hope is to raise an additional $600 per month above our current level of support to meet a support goal of $42,000 in 2023. Please pray for wisdom and the right connections to be made in meeting this goal.    SUPPORT ALEPH BAJA

To everyone who has supported us along the way, we are so, so grateful! We couldn’t have made it this far without you.

Feliz Navidad,
Dustin & Jess

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