Moving Update: Another step closer to being in Oregon... A Toyota Previa story.


Packing day...

Well today the POD was picked up from our house. It just means we are another step closer to being in Oregon...

And yesterday we had several friends come over and help us load the POD. Even with all the hanging out, talking, drinking coffee, and eating doughnuts we still managed to load the POD in about an hour (If you know my wife, then you know we don't really have a whole lot of stuff). A BIG thanks to all of you who came to help us!


Stuff I'll miss... No really there is something I'll miss.

I actually won't miss too much of the stuff that is in the POD headed to Oregon. Sure there are my books, commentaries, my bike, my Weber Charcoal Grill, and my Apple Wireless Keyboard that I accidentally packed in one of the boxes...

I can't speak for my wife and kids, but I know I won't miss too much of that stuff since we will be reunited with it in a few short weeks. What I will miss is our 1994 Toyota Previa van we donated to a friend. Hopefully he will get it working and it will become a blessing to a single mom.

We, the Previa and our family, have been through a lot over the years! It was the second vehicle I ever bought outright with cash. My oldest daughter had a seizure in it, when she was a very young child as we were getting ready to move from California to Missouri.

ImageIt made the trek—from California to Missouri, towing a small U-Haul trailer with all of our belongings in it. The Previa received heavy tornado damage from the May 2003 Carl Junction tornado (She recovered and was restored to full operation). It was in mid-June 2008 when the Previa turned 200,000 miles as she crossed the Kansas/Colorado border, when yet again she moved my family to another state and a new adventure.

About two week into us moving to Colorado, the Previa couldn't go anymore. She gave us her best. She gave us her all. And today she is moving on to her own journey and her own adventure. I will always be grateful for how the Previa got us from place to place. And how she kept us warm and safe, and how she experienced new journeys and new adventures with us.

Many of you probably won't understand, but some of you know that when I say it was a good thing I wasn't here when Rich took her away—I mean it was a very good thing.

Travel News...

Our goal now is to leave Colorado this Sunday, early morning (Before all the LifeBridge traffic clogs up Hwy 66—Boulder County really needs to put a traffic light there...). We will travel to Salt Lake City where we will stay the night with our friend's parents. I'll let you know what course we will take from there as we cross that bridge :)

PLEASE pray for us and our travels. It seems a storm is passing through that area and might still be when we travel to that part of the country.

Ways to Partner With Us...

We'd love it if you partnered with us prayerfully and financially. If you want to know more about our new adventure—please read the full story here: We are moving to Oregon

We always need and appreciate your prayers! But we also have financial needs. Fina and I will have to raise a portion of our salary. Our commitment to the church is to raise support for two years (That’s $1800 a month for two years—a total of $43,200).

You can help by:

Send financial contributions to: Ascent Christian Church P O Box 2117 Prineville, OR 97754 Make checks payable to Ascent Christian Church… Please indicate on the check “Puentes Missions” so we can apply it to the correct account. (Your contribution is a tax deductible donation).


Online giving is available:  (Be sure to check the box - I would like to designate this donation to a specific fund AND select: “Help Pastor Joe Puentes & Family”).

What's On The Other side Of This Life

journey Journeys are not something to be taken lightly. I remember when my family went on a journey to Joplin, MO it began over twelve years ago. We left all that we had and all that we had known back in Sonoma County, CA. We journeyed through the Southwest part of the United States on our way to the heart of the country. My wife and I had never ventured that far out of our motherland before, so we took as much safety and precaution as we knew how; and hit the road with our three little kids in-tow.

We saw beautiful country along the way, desert, mountains, high country forests, and big open blue sky. It wasn't before long that we found ourselves on winding detours, tornadic storms, and even experiencing bad gasoline for our van. In between the serendipitous and tumultuous moments we found a rhythm that centered us back on the purpose of our journey...

We were headed to Joplin, MO to attend Ozark Christian College and prepare for fulltime vocational ministry. Or more precisely, we were moving out of and with the overflow of our love and passion for God and following the guidance of the Holy Spirit - we were being obedient because of love and devotion, not because of obligation and duty.


The real purpose of the journey was to grow deeper in our love and passion for relationship with the Father, it was not the destination to the college nor the vocation of ministry.


The Journey Is Still Going...

In many ways the journey is still going. We have moved geographically again on this journey and have found a home Colorado just like we did in Missouri, and the journey could very well pick us up and change geography again; who knows... However, what is still on going is the internal part of the journey, and this is the hardest part of the journey, moving through the constant ebb and flow of understanding our relationship with God, keeping our passion for Him, and obediently living out our love and devotion to Him.InnerJourneys

Too be very frank. Changing geography isn't hard to do! Moving from Northern California to Southwest Missouri and then to Northern Colorado isn't that difficult to adjust too. Leaving friends and family is hard, but eventually you make new friends and thanks to Facebook and vacations you can still see the people you love and care about...

What's hard is keeping focused on growing deeper in our relationship with God... Let me be even more upfront. I mess-up my relationship with God sometimes. I let everything else take precedent over this relationship, things like the type of ministry job I have, money, pleasing people and being who they want me to be,making a name for myself or for others, cars, electronic gadgets, vacations, things to complain about, ideas, philosophies, ministry methods, what we're having for lunch or dinner, and the list could go on...


I've let all these things whether good or bad corrupt the rhthym and purpose of my journey... The reason for the journey isn't the journey or the desitnation, the reason for the journey is the person we are on the journey for. I am learning not to take journeys lightly, but to cherish every moment and keep focus on the one who was the reason for the journey.

A good friend of mine, Brian Mavis, shared with me a prayer that I am going to pray first thing every morning, that's if none of these other things get in the way...

Here it is:

"I will live every day as if it is my last, knowing by God's grace and love the Savior waits for me beyond the grave." -- Chuck Colson

Ugh! It's so easy to forget that there is something else on the other side of this life.