Destino’s Next Location!

New Church Building for Destino Cristiano,

A Christian Church in La Paz

The good thing about the current location of Destino Cristiano is that the building was able to accommodate our growth. Since we started our church plant with 3 people, and had a whopping 5 people at the first service, there was a lot of room to grow. When our church grew to about 40 people, we tore down the back wall for expansion, and we broke through another wall into a new area to create space for Children’s Church. Then, when attendance hit the 80+ mark, we broke through another wall and relocated the stage to make room for additional people. Well, we finally hit capacity with the next level of growth, with no more walls to tear down.

So, the search began for a new building to rent. We knew we wanted to stay in El Centro for this next season at Destino Cristiano, so the search team looked for something large enough and priced right. The search came up empty. When we located a place, the rent was either too high, or the building needed too much fixing up. So we looked at the possibility of purchasing a building, but wondered these things: How can we find a building that suits all of our needs, and how can we afford to buy a building.

What we needed was a space large enough for 300 people, and that had a kitchen, quarters for visiting pastors or other guests, several bathrooms, a shower, a lounge, office space and at least 2 classes for children’s church. Quite a list, but we found it in a building that is only 3 blocks up the road from our current location. And because it needs quite a bit of work, the building was priced right, but in addition, the price was negotiated down to the point where we knew it was a God thing.

So, we now have the right building at a miracle price and we’re starting our remodeling campaign titled Big Steps Only.  We’ll tell you more soon!

How a Bilingual Church in La Paz Operates

When we started Destino Cristiano nearly 5 years ago, we didn’t know that it would organically evolve into a bilingual church. Like everything that has happened at our nondenominational church in La Paz, God has worked out the logistics of having a bilingual church in Mexico. At our first service in our downtown location, there were 5 Americans, so we had an English only church service.

But not long after, a Mexican family joined us. And while the mother (Esperanza) and 2 daughters didn’t speak a word of English, the teenage son could speak enough to help us all have a conversation. And when asked why she was coming to our church when she couldn’t speak English, Esperanza said that she felt the Holy Spirit was there, and that was good enough for her.  This family attended our church for 1.5 years before her husband, a marine, got sent to the mainland. Meanwhile, more Mexicans came, and after a while, a translator arrived. And the rest is history.

Today, Destino Cristiano is a bilingual church whose pastor is American (learning Spanish as she goes) and whose leadership is mostly made up of Mexicans, but with an American couple helping things to operate. And while there are many bilingual members at Destino Cristiano Christian Church in La Paz, there are also people who can’t speak a second language. But the beautiful thing about the family of God is that love is a universal language. And we have become a blended family!

Here’s how our bilingual church operates:

The music: We have one English song and 3 Spanish songs during worship. We usually learn both the English and Spanish versions.

The preaching:  The pastor speaks in English and has a Spanish translator. There are sometimes guest speakers whose first language is Spanish. In that case, the sermon is translated into English.

The fellowship:  It’s all about assimilation at Destino Cristiano. The Americans and Canadians who are members and visitors want the cultural experience of participating in a bilingual, bicultural church.


Destino Cristiano – Making Jesus famous in the city of La Paz.

Ephesians Up Close and Personal

Ephesians is a very practical letter written by Paul, talking about our new life in Christ and it is incredibly relevant for all Christians, young and old, and in between! Every Wednesday night at 6pm we met at Destino Cristiano to study one chapter at a time. The first week we learned the history and context of the book, which provides a backdrop and better understanding of how to interpret it for ourselves today. Ephesians is a ‘Prison Epistle’ meaning it’s one of the four letters Paul wrote and sent out while he was in prison. It is believed to be written ten years after Paul first went to Ephesus to spread the Good News and is addressed to the saints of Ephesus (or Asia minor), the faithful in Jesus Christ.

We noticed that Paul is not writing to special ‘Super-Christians’ who are labeled saints, but to the faithful in Jesus Christ, who ARE saints. The word ‘saint’ is hagios, or ‘holy ones, sacred; pure, consecrated.’ As the faithful to Jesus Christ, we are set apart as saints! That’s who we ARE and it is very important to know our identity. In the first three chapters, the letter describes how God has brought us near, into new life with Him (purely by his grace!), and then in chapters 4-6 Paul describes practically how that should look! As hagios, the holy, sacred, pure, consecrated, set apart faithful to Jesus Christ, how are we to live with our fellow saints, husbands and wives, kids, etc.? What do we do with the evil around us that’s constantly knocking on the door, and what is the Holy Spirit’s role in our new lives? The book of Ephesians is both practical and powerful!

We just came to the close of this six week Bible study and feel encouraged by the knowledge of what God has done for us, empowered to live our lives in the Holy Spirit, and inspired to go be a light and witness to those around us. God’s Word is life-changing, so don’t miss out on the next study!

Cabo Missionaries Minister at Destino, a Bilingual Christian Church

In a July 2017 service at Destino Cristiano, pastors Randy and Luisina Mishler arrived from San Jose del Cabo with their four beautiful children to minister in La Paz. They are a dream team and greatly encouraged the congregation with the Word and worship. Luisina led our team in worship, teaching the band how to play a song they’ve never played without a track, “This is Amazing Grace.” They stepped up to the challenge and did a great job! Best of all, we got to lift up the name of our Lord together.

Randy shared a great word addressing the question of “how do we respond when affliction comes?” We all can identify with troubles, hard times, conflicts, you name it. Perhaps the reason why there are so many synonyms for ‘problems’ is because we pass through so many! For this same reason, God has a lot to say about the topic. However, what we read in scripture is not, “God will make your problems go away for you right now!” Instead, God teaches us that rather than directly taking away the affliction, He uses the affliction for our good and for His glory. Randy shared with us five blessings that come in these trying times.

The first blessing in affliction is that it draws us closer to God. The psalmist shares how his affliction turned his heart to the Lord, “It was good for me to be afflicted so that I might learn your decrees. (Psalm 119:72)” Second, affliction makes us stronger! Romans 5:3-7 describes how suffering produces perseverance, which produces character, and character, hope. Isaiah 40:31 completes the thought, “but those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength.” Fourth, affliction helps us put our eyes on Jesus. One of the first things Jesus told Paul about his new life in him, was that he would suffer (Acts 9:16). Not the most encouraging of conversions! But Jesus was the one who caused the scales to fall off Paul’s eyes, and there would be no one else he would set his eyes upon. Through this, Paul learned the secret of going through afflictions was going through them with Christ (Philippians 4:11-13). The fourth and fifth benefits are that affliction prepares us for greater things, and through affliction we bring glory to God. David, for example, first had the trial of defending his sheep from the lion and the bear. His next trial, was defending a whole nation against the undefeated giant Goliath. Talk about a hardship that prepared the way for a greater assignment that gave glory to God!

As a church we are so thankful for the Mishler’s ministry. We are encouraged that we can rejoice in the hardships, knowing that we are growing closer to God, becoming stronger, fixing our eyes on Jesus, being prepared for greater things, and ultimately, living out our purpose of bringing glory to God!

The Measuring Stick of Destiny

measuring stickWe have a comparison problem as Christians. While it’s important to look up to those in authority and people with specific gifts and talents, we can’t want to be more like them than we want to be ourselves. But that often happens when we start making comparisons with those who we perceive as more spiritual, more powerful, more effective, or better in one way or another.

When we start comparing ourselves in this way, we’re holding ourselves up to a distorted measuring stick.  The result is that we never measure up, and we lose sight of what God purposed in His heart when He created us.

Of course, Satan loves it when we compare ourselves to other people because he is keenly aware that a distorted measuring stick leads to pride, envy and jealousy. He has also proven that this flawed measuring stick can make us bitter and angry, and can discourage and dishearten the strongest of believers.

When we compare ourselves to others, we can inadvertently pit ourselves against them, creating a one-sided competition in which there is no winner. It’s like we’re running a race alone, and without a finish line. No wonder we’re so tired! No wonder we feel so lost and forgotten!

There is only one measuring stick made for Christians, and it’s the one God holds in front of each of us. It is customized because God based these measuring sticks on His design for our lives.  They are the measuring sticks of Destiny. Thus, there is no place for comparison, nor is there any competition.

So we have God who loves us and guides us from our first steps of salvation toward our true calling. He shows us who we are in Him with the measuring stick of Destiny. When we see ourselves through God’s eyes and when we count on the strength and power of God, we discover our God-given gifts and talents, and ultimately our true identity.

But in the process, we have Satan who hates us and steers us away from our calling by various means, including the evil practice of comparison. He hands us the distorted measuring stick and engages us in a one-sided conversation that begins with “You’re not good enough. You don’t measure up.” And we respond by trying harder to become an imposter.

If you’re holding a distorted measuring stick, get rid of it – right now! It’s worse than useless. It’s holding you back from becoming your best. And it’s keeping you from cheering on your brothers and sisters in Christ who may be soaring higher and longer, but who are in desperate need of your work on the ground.


A Year in the Life at Destino Cristiano

A lot happens in a year, especially for a bilingual Christian church in La Paz Mexico that is just two years old. As many of the foundations have been set, we are prayerfully adding projects and programs as the Lord leads.  The following is a partial list of all that has been accomplished in one year at Destino Cristiano, a nondenominational church in El Centro, La Paz.

  • Officially became a bilingual church
  • Officially started our Leadership Team
  • Led multiple people to Christ and salvation
  • Received our Xterra SUV as a donation
  • Baptized several people in the Sea of Cortez
  • Counseled many individuals and couples
  • Created a Valentine’s Day Party at Nueva Creacion
  • Started our annual Women’s Conference
  • Had our Easter Program and Easter Lunch
  • Completed the Spanish version of the Solid Rock Road Manual
  • Completed the Spanish version of the Solid Rock Road Book
  • Did our first bilingual Solid Rock Road training for Todo Santos (graduated 10 people).
  • Launched the Destino Website ( )
  • Produced 4 Destino newsletters
  • Translated newsletters into Spanish
  • Created a weekly announcements program via Email
  • Systemized our guest information
  • Started the Adopt-A-Family Program
  • Expanded the fanctuary
  • Expanded the Foyer
  • Added Children’s Church rooms and designed the spaces
  • Redesigned the stage
  • Expanded the preaching portion of the stage
  • Upgraded our sound system
  • Constructed a sound booth
  • Fed 70 people at our Annual “American (Canadian) Christmas in Mexico”
  • Added 25-plus seats
  • Built shelves in the supply closet
  • Built shelves in the pantry
  • Built shelves in the toddler room
  • Added bench seating
  • Started an English Bible Study
  • Started a Spanish Bible Study
  • Started Movie Afternoons
  • Evangelized on the Malecon on Halloween
  • Hosted a successful Tour at Nueva Creacion
  • Oversaw painting team at Nueva Creacion
  • Planned and implemented Christmas at Nueva Creacion
  • Helped win Nueva Creacion a $3,000 grant
  • Secured our first Mission Group for 2016
  • Fought and won multiple battles




How to Find Your Christmas Cheer

Just yesterday, several of us from Destino Cristiano were wrapping presents for the kids at Nueva Creacion orphanage in La Paz, Mexico. I’m not talking about a few presents here. I’m talking about hundreds of them, all donated by people who have a heart to give at Christmas time. We had piles, all sorted by names and ages of kids that we have grown to love over the past few years. And though the task seemed almost insurmountable, we got to work conquering one present at a time. And it was fun. We found our Christmas cheer!  Well, actually, we added to it!

Christmas cheer can be hard to come by, especially for those who have bad memories or negative experiences associated with the holidays. Some miss their loved ones who have passed on, or miss their families who are far away, or just feel alone. Many wish they could express their love with presents, but don’t have the finances to make Christmas all they believe it should be.

Well, being thousands of miles away from loved ones, I have had my sad moments, and yes, shed a few tears this Christams season. But you know what? I found my Christmas cheer by doing what Baby Jesus was born to do: Serve, love and give.

Is it possible that we lose our Christmas cheer when it’s more about us than about Jesus and others? Is it then possible that we find our Christmas cheer when we make the season about Jesus and others? I say “Yes” to both these questions. I’m not trying to oversimplify complex matters of the heart associated with the holidays, but I do believe our perspective plays a major role in how we move past whatever puts the frowns on our faces.

So smile if you can. If this is one of those years when a smile is too hard, just remember the baby! Spend some time giving thanks for the One who gave His son so that you would have life, so that you could overcome, so that you would be forgiven, so that you would have the victory, so that you can laugh once again.

God bless.


How to Think Like a Missionary

Tips for Mission Trips

If you’re planning to go on a missionary journey or to travel with a mission group, you should seriously consider how to think like a missionary. While you may be excited about travelling and the adventure that awaits in a foreign country, remember that the church or organization you’ll be visiting is focused on the work of their ministry. Therefore, to think like a missionary, you must first understand and connect to their vision, to their city, their people and to their projects and programs.

Get familiar with the pastors and leaders. Don’t be afraid to write ahead to ask questions so you can discover their passion and purpose. Begin to pray about how God can use your strengths and skills while on the mission field. Although it’s impossible to completely understand the mind of the missionaries, its important to put your personal agenda aside for the their sake and to do your part in building God’s Kingdom in their region. When you do this, you are opening yourself up to unexpected experiences and blessings.

To think like a Missionary, you must put yourself in their shoes. They have left their home, family and friends to pursue their call in God. And while leaving home to become a missionary may sound romantic, that is rarely the case. Life is usually harder with a burden for the people and the region. They must do more with less. There’s a new language to learn and cultural differences to understand. Plus, there’s an ongoing need to fund the mission.

The following are a few more things to help you think like a missionary:

  1. Missionaries are not on vacation:  If you are with a group, most hosts will plan some activities around the natural beauty or nearby recreational opportunities available. This is to add to your mission experience, but it is not the main focus.
  1. Complaining is futile:  Be willing to do without what you think you need.
  1. Missionaries want help. They don’t need more work.

A missionary journey should include fun and be an adventure. But remember, utlimately, it’s a mission for God and you are serving Him. Keep Mark 10:42-45 in mind:

“And Jesus called them to him and said to them, “You know that those who are considered rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great ones exercise authority over them. But it shall not be so among you. But whoever would be great among you must be your servant, and whoever would be first among you must be slave of all. For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”

Learn more about Destino Cristiano’s Mission Group Opportunitites.




How to Learn Spanish

Learning Spanish is easy, if you have a gift for languages, if you’re introduced to it at a young age, and if your memory is good. For the rest of us … not so much. It’s difficult. With that being said, I can also assure you, it is possible if you set your mind to it, if you study it, and if you don’t give up.

Before moving to La Paz, Mexico, I typed a phrase into Google: How to Learn Spanish. And then I started to read from the list Google supplied me with. But I ran into a problem when I realized that everyone had a different solution and basically assured me that their method for learning Spanish was superior to anyone else’s. I was confused, like the rest of the human race trying to figure out how to learn a foreign language.

So I started with putting sticky notes all over the house, and I have to admit I learned to say “Wall,” “Mirror,” “Oven,” and other household words using this method. But it took me 6 months, and I kept forgetting them right after I learned them. Finally, I couldn’t stand the sight of the sticky notes, so off they came. To continue the learning process, I bought a Spanish pre-school book and tried to memorize words with pictures. (It turns out my grandchildren learned faster than I did.)

Then I started on Rosetta Stone, but that got too complicated. I then switched to Pimsleur, and liked that enough to continue until well after I arrived in Mexico. Meanwhile, I bought a book called “Spanish for Dummies” and read it over exactly 9 times, then started on another workbook titled “Spanish Verb Tenses,” which I am still using. (One minute I think I get it, and the next, I am at idiot level!)

I attended Spanish school for a few months after arriving in La Paz, working with a great teacher named Marta Hoya of El Nopal. She was a great help in moving me forward, and is now a really great friend. At one point, a friend loaned me a method called “Speak in a Week.” That was two years ago – an obvious fail, although I keep these little booklets in the bathroom and read them often.  Currently, I’m using Duolingo, an online tutorial that works well for those of us who type fast. I like Duolingo and highly recommend it. You go at your own pace and it nearly shames you into reviewing what you think you have already learned.

Now, all this learning is great, but the real test is when having conversations with those whose first language is Spanish. At first, it seems like their words are all in one, kind of like “supercalifragilisticexpialidocious” from the movie Mary Poppins. Such a lack of understanding often results in people giving up. It seems that all the learning of words makes no difference if you can’t identify them within the sentences. But the trick is to continue having conversations that you don’t understand, while continuing to increase your vocabulary.

There’s no other way to learn Spanish than to commit yourself to learning it, no matter how frustrated you are or how foolish you feel. At times, I have wondered if my head was going to explode from the overload of foreign words and phrases entering my mind. But so far, my brains are still intact. And now, I am hearing the Spanish words individually. Now, I am understanding sentences and concepts, although not everything. And now, I’m answering questions and talking with my imperfect and broken Spanish with my American accent. I’m sure I sound like a three-year-old, but hey, at three, you can at least get your point across.

How to learn Spanish? Do whatever you need to do. Try different things. Combine many methods. Buy resource books. But most importantly, keep learning and practicing with Spanish-speaking people. And finally, don’t allow yourself the luxury of quitting!