Becoming a New Person at Huentepec/Llegando a Ser Una Nueva Persona al Campamento Huentepec

Hemer is a 1950's Grad of Oklahoma State in Chemical Engineering

Hemer is a 1950’s Grad of Oklahoma State in Chemical Engineering

We are happy to share the following testimony written by a beloved friend to accompany the previous posting of Erasing Borders, “A Camp to Remember/Un Campamento Inolvidable”. Sixty two years ago, Hemer E. Sierra Silva attended the Huentepec Camp of Disciples of Christ youth in Mexico and it changed his life forever. After he read the Huentepec article on the blog, he told us he had always wanted to write about his own Huentepec experience and here below is his testimony.
Hemer, wife Marisela, and children Cynthia (Cindy), Ernesto and Edgar were among the first people we met in San Luis Potosi and have since made us feel part of the family. Doug loves listening to Hemer’s stories about his youth and his forty years working as a chemical engineer with the national oil company PEMEX. He occasionally joins in the conversation of Hemer and a group of friends who want to keep up their English. On first meeting Kate, Marisela volunteered to be one of her Spanish teachers and they now seem destined to remain lifelong friends.

Compartimos con gusto el siguiente testimonio que escribió el querido amigo, quien colaboró en el anterior articulo de Borrando Fronteras “Un Campamento Inolvidable”.
Hace sesenta y dos años, Hemer Ernesto Sierra Silva ,asistió por primera vez al “Campamento Huentepec” de los jóvenes Discípulos de Cristo, el cual cambió su vida para siempre. Después de que leyó el artículo en el blog, nos comentó que él siempre había deseado escribir algo sobre su experiencia personal en el Campamento Huentepec y esto es lo que escribió.
Hemer, su esposa Marisela y sus hijos Cynthia (Cindy), Ernesto y Edgar son de las primeras personas que conocimos en San Luis Potosí y son quienes nos hicieron sentir como en familia.
A Douglas le gusta oír los relatos ( sus hijos les llaman “Pato aventuras”) sobre su juventud y los treinta años laborando como Ingeniero Químico en PEMEX.
Ocasionalmente Douglas interviene en la pláticas semanales de unos amigos, quienes platican en Ingles , para evitar se les olvide este idioma.
La primera vez en que Kate conoció a Marisela se ofreció voluntariamente para también enseñarle Espanol y ahora parece que llegaran a ser amigas de toda la vida.


As the firewood crackled and warmed the cool, spring night, we youth that had gathered in the circle around the fire listened to the powerful voice of the great missionary, writer and magnificent preacher Frederick Huegel (whose son John with family also served with the Mexican Disciples, ed.). I had accepted the invitation of my friend in the State Public High Schol, Miguel Gallegos, with whom I had had many deep conversations about the Christian faith. Our talks had sown questions, concerns and doubts that I wanted to explore.

My religious advisor with the Catholic Youth Association at that time, Olegario N., never had been able to respond in a satisfactory way to my questions about the numerous statues Catholics worshipped, why we would confess to another person and other questions. I was sixteen years old and Huentepec ( in those days held at the Disciples training center outside Aguascalientes ed. ) was the ideal setting to inspire in me the decision that would would completely change my life’s course.

The preacher’s voice urged us to walk with Jesus and with pounding heart and my mind and spirit fully convinced and then driven as though by a powerful force I stood up and then and there accepted Jesus as my sole and sufficient Personal Savior, my Redeemer and my intercessor with the Lord. This chain of events, my doubts about my faith, my attending Huentepec Camp that year with its unique atmosphere, the inspiration of meeting missionaries in attendance like Paul Kepple, Miss Leila Callender and others, all this combined for an impact that makes Huentepec carry for me the meaning of “to leave behind the old ways and become a new person”.

Everything in my life changed for the good after that night at Huentepec; I was converted and then baptized in my “Christian Church (Disciples of Christ)”. It was in Central Christian San Luis Potosi that I had the good fortune to meet my wife

Hemer and Marisela in downtown San Luis Potosi before marrying

Hemer and Marisela in downtown San Luis Potosi before marrying

andcompanion of more than 50 years and other good and beloved life long friends. There I met the missionary with a great heart named Guy Mantle ( uncle of the famous Mickey Mantle) who helped me to study in the university in the States on a Presidential Scholarship. He also personally supported me financially at times and thanks to him I was able to earn the degree for the career that I had always dreamed about.

It would make for a much longer article if I wrote of all the blessings that originated with the great event of my life that took place at the Huentepec Camp. So I give many thanks to the Lord for the Disciples Church that continues to organize this event for the youth today.

May the Lord bless you all.
Se oía el crujido de los leños que alimentaban con su calor la fresca noche de Primavera y a los jóvenes que estábamos alrededor de ella nos invitaba a oír la potente voz del gran misionero ,escritor y magnifico predicador, Federico Huegel. Había yo aceptado la invitación de mi compañero en la Escuela Normal Estatal, Miguel Gallegos con quien había yo tenido muchas controversias religiosas y quien había sembrado en mi ser tantas inquietudes y dudas, que acepté con gusto su invitación para ir a Huentepec; mi Asesor religioso de la ACJM ( Asociación Católica de Jóvenes Mexicanos) Olegario N. nunca pudo contestar a plena satisfacción mis múltiples dudas ( Los innumerables ídolos y la confesión ante un hombre ,etc )
Tenia yo 16 años y Huentepc (luego ubicado al sitio de la Granja Huentepec de los Discipulos a las orillas de la ciudad de Aguacalientes, ed.) era un lugar ideal para que en una noche estrellada tomara yo la decisión que cambio por completo el rumbo de mi vida; la voz del predicador nos invitaba a caminar con Jesús y con mi corazón latiendo fuertemente, mi mente y mi espíritu plenamente convencidos y como impulsado por un potente resorte me paré y ahí acepté a Jesús como mi Único y Suficiente Salvador Personal , mi Redentor y mi intercesor con el Señor.

Esta cadena de hechos, mis dudas, mi aceptación para asistir a Huentepec, la atmosfera única en que se desarrollaba el Campamento, la presencia tan inspiradora de los misioneros que conocí ahí Paul Kepple, Miss Leila Callender, etc. todo esto en conjunto influyeron tanto en mi vida que para mi la palabra Huentepec, significa “dejar atrás el hombre viejo y ser un hombre nuevo”. Todo en mi vida cambió para bien, me convertí y me bautice en MI “IGLESIA CRISTIANA DISCIPULOS DE CRISTO”.

Ahí tuve la dicha de conocer a mi esposa y compañera de mas de 50 años, a muy buenos y queridos amigos de toda la vida, ahí conocí a un misionero de un gran corazón, Guy Mantle ( tío del famoso beisbolista Micky Mantle). quien obtuvo para mi la beca “Presidential Scholarship ” ,fue mi aval financiero, y gracias a él obtuve el titulé en la carrera en la que siempre soñé.

Seria muy largo enumerar TODAS las Bendiciones que derivan del gran evento en mi vida que es haber asistido a mi querido e inolvidable Campamento “HUENTEPEC” , le doy muchas Gracias al Señor por que nuestra Iglesia organiza este evento .

Que el Señor los Bendiga

About erasingborders

The blog title harks back to an ancient Church history document, The Address to the Emperor Diognetus reporting on the lives of third century Christians in Asia Minor: “They live in their native lands but like foreigners…They take part in everything like citizens and endure everything like aliens. Every foreign country is their native land and every native land a foreign country…. They remain on earth but they are citizens of heaven.” Kate Moyer's wedding present to Doug Smith of a dancing jester figure bore the quote, “I like geography best, he said, because your mountains and rivers know the secret. Pay no attention to boundaries.” They dedicate this blog then to helping bring about the day when human beings share the resources of the planet equitably and without borders. Our geography experience features childhoods in the Midwest. Kate lived for over twenty years as an adult in the small town of Neodesha, Kansas while Doug has been an urban dweller all his adult life. She is able to readily identify most crops and keeps a close watch on her partner’s snob tendencies. The Nile Valley of Egypt, for Kate, and the Congo rainforest for Doug have left deep marks on their interior landscapes.

Posted on February 1, 2014, in Uncategorized and tagged . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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