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FROM THE EDITOR FOCUS ON ADOPTION
THE ROAD TO ADOPTION FOCUS ON HISTORY
EVERYBODY HAS A STORY TO TELL! FOCUS ON BUSINESS
NEW COTTONWOOD OWNERS ADD BREWERY FOCUS ON MAINSTREET
DOWNTOWN LOWDOWN FOCUS ON GIVING BACK
FOOD & LOVE ARE A PACKAGED DEAL
PHOTOS IN FOCUS FOCUS ON RELIGION
THEY NEVER TOLD ME... FOCUS ON SPORTS
PASTOR BRINGS WRESTLING TO CITY FOCUS ON MISSIONS
A JOURNEY TO AFRICA
FOCUS ON THE CITY
A HEALTHY & COLORFUL NEW YEAR! FOCUS ON HEALTH
GETTING FIT: FROM THE INSIDE OUT FOCUS ON POLITICS
ELECTION 2014: GETTING INVOLVED FOCUS ON THE CHAMBER FOCUS BUSINESS DIRECTORY
ABOUT THE COVER
The Blackwell Family - See story on page 6. Photo by Jennifer Duff, Uniquely You Photography
Online at carlsbad.nmsu.edu Give us a call at 575.234.9200 or visit the campus today. NMSU Carlsbad - Building brighter futures together.
Staci Guy, Editorial Director - Lilly Anaya, Advertising Photography by Staci Guy - along with submitted photos Special Contributors: Jason Kraft, Holly Delgado, Billy Drake, Tina Torres, Rebecca Prendergast, Kyle Marksteiner & The Artesia Chamber of Commerce FOCUS ON ARTESIA IS PUBLISHED QUARTERLY BY AD VENTURE MARKETING
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WINTER 2014 | A COMMUNITY MAGAZINE
F O C U S from the editor
FOCUS ON ARTESIA
IT’S HARD TO BELIEVE WE ARE ALREADY STARTING ANOTHER NEW YEAR. IS IT ONLY ME, OR DID 2013 JUST FLY BY? When we set out to plan this issue of Focus on Artesia, I didn’t really have a particular theme in mind. We had intended to do a basic “winter” edition, but as I began talking to people and story ideas started rolling in, the content of the magazine began to shift. Interestingly, you’ll see that most of the stories this time are inspiring and uplifting or they function to provide our readers with useful and insightful information. Nothing wintery, per se, but plenty of good, timeless stuff. One of my favorite things about my job as Editorial Director of Focus on Artesia is the people I get to meet and the stories I get to hear and, in turn, share with you. I am constantly amazed by the fascinating and inspiring people that create the fabric of our town. One of those people is Haley Ballew. When I interviewed her for the story you will find on page 27, I was struck by her desire to enter the mission field and her conviction in what she is being called to do. She’s passionate and well-spoken and her enthusiasm was simply contagious. Personally speaking, I can’t wait to see what’s in store for that spunky young lady who has so much love and compassion to offer the world! As you read this, she is likely settling into her
D E R I INSP G LIVIN e h t n i
FOCUS ON ARTESIA | WINTER 2014
role as a volunteer nurse at a Nigerian orphanage. How cool is that? Another story I found fascinating and quickly began to immerse myself in was that of Michael and Arlas Blackwell. In interviewing them, I was able to see their love for adoption in their eyes, in their home and in everything that surrounds them, including the photos, scriptures and quotes that fill their walls. Like Haley, their passion was contagious. I felt myself tearing up on occasion as they discussed their struggles and smiling from ear to ear at other times as they discussed their children and their current plans to open an adoption agency here. If you are searching for inspiration, search no further than the Blackwells. Other stories in this issue include a motivational story written by Holly Delgado on getting healthy, from the inside out, and an inspiring story about a local woman who was driven to help reach out and feed hungry children in Artesia by starting a non-profit organization called Packs of Love. Holly has some great information on making healthy choices, which will come in handy for those New Year’s resolutions, and you’ll see how Packs of Love is helping change the lives of more than 100 local children.
We also included a full work-up on local politics, which we are hoping will help spur you to get registered and to vote. We did all the work for you, mapping out polling locations, listing election dates (which are coming up in March) and letting you know about elected officials up for re-election. Being informed is a crucial part of voting, so do your research and then hit the polls. I truly hope that you will take some time to sit down and read through this edition of Focus on Artesia. It was a pleasure and an honor to put it together with the help of some amazingly talented freelance writers, a go-getter advertising sales rep and a graphic artist that is nothing short of amazing. I hope you find something in here that inspires, informs and educates you in the coming year. Oh, and I can’t wait to share with you what we have in store for our spring issue. Stay tuned! Best Wishes, Staci Guy, Editorial Director A B O U T T H E E D IT O R
Staci Guy is the Editorial Director of Focus on Artesia. She can be reached at email@example.com. FOCUSNM.COM
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F O C U S on adoption
ike many fresh college graduates, in 1997 Michael and Arlas Blackwell had settled down and were ready to start a family. Little did they know, it would be years before they would find their happily ever after, and it certainly wouldn’t be packaged like they had envisioned. The Blackwells, still in their early 20s at the time, set out to start their family--not stressful about it, as Arlas would say, but just “trying.” “After a couple of years, you start to wonder,” she shared. “I was starting to get frustrated.” About three years after they started trying to have a baby, the couple reluctantly ended up going to a fertility specialist in Albuquerque, where Arlas was prescribed pills in hope it would aid in the process. Once a month they made the drive north and the dollar signs began to add up rather quickly. “It all got to be very expensive, but the emotional toll it took was the toughest part of all,” she said. “Every month when you start your period it’s…it’s a loss. You had invested so much time and love and effort and for it not to work time and time again is devastating.” The devastation lasted eight long years. Month after month, year after year, the Blackwells tried tirelessly to have a baby. “God had other plans though,” Michael said. “We just didn’t know it at the time.
PHOTO: The Blackwell Family, shortly after Rexton was born. Photo by Jennifer Duff, Uniquely You Photography.
We were trying to control everything, and at the time, we couldn’t see what He had planned for us. When she was 30 years old, Arlas had to have a hysterectomy; a decision she said that turned out to be a blessing in disguise. “It was a God thing and a blessing because it completely closed that door for us,” she said. “I had been banging my head against the wall for so long that it took that for us to know it was over.” She continued, “It helped Michael too because it really started his grieving process. He was more set on having natural birth, so when that door was closed, he could start to grieve.” Since they still wanted a family, it was time for Plan B. Having studied social work in college and worked as a social worker, Arlas was more open to the idea of adoption. “I had been around it and I was aware of the need for
foster and adoptive parents, so it wasn’t really a foreign concept to me,” she said. Michael wasn’t as receptive. “To start with, I was terribly uncomfortable with the idea of adoption,” Michael admitted. “I guess in my mind I had envisioned having children that looked like me; my blood. Ultimately, that all turned around when Abigail (their oldest child) was born and we were there for it. When they rolled her out, it was like, ‘This is my child.’ I immediately fell in love with her.” Getting back to the Blackwell’s road to adoption…After closing the door on natural birth, they knew their only chance at having a family would be by adopting. “We had been working on it for eight months or so before I had my hysterectomy, but Michael was dragging his feet,” Arlas said, as Michael shook his head in agreement. “We ended up finding Christian Homes of Abilene, which was a good match for us, and we went to an
“This is about the journey from us thinking we were in control to realizing that it was only an illusion of control all along. It’s all in God’s control, all of it.” WINTER 2014 | A COMMUNITY MAGAZINE
orientation. It took him a year to come around to the idea though.” Reflecting upon those trying times, Arlas shared, “We didn’t really have a relationship with the Lord at that time, so we couldn’t really dwell in His peace or anything. It was a very difficult time in our marriage. With our infertility being my fault, it was scary--thinking that one day we would wake up and he would leave me to find someone who could give him a biological child.” After finally turning in all of their paperwork, which took them a year, they were approved and the agency began to show their profile to birth mothers. Next came the wait. Each time the phone rang there were a gamut of emotions; would this be the call for a baby or a call to check in with the couple and see if they had changed their minds? Finally, their phone rang at midnight on a Friday night as the couple slept, and on the other end was a mother just weeks away from giving birth. She said she had selected the two of them from their online profile and was certain they were the couple she wanted to adopt her baby. “I had to PHOTO: The Blackwell Kids, from left, Abigail, Holly & Rexton. Photo by Jennifer Duff, Uniquely You Photography.
FOCUS ON ARTESIA | WINTER 2014
wait until Monday to verify with the agency,” Arlas recalled. “It was the longest weekend.” A couple of weeks later they met the birth mother. “We didn’t say ‘Yes’ right away; we were wanting to maintain that control – or illusion of control – like before,” Michael said. They ended up agreeing to adopt the woman’s baby and the rest, as they say, is history. “It was the best decision we could have ever made,” Michael beamed. “I knew right way that she (Abigail) was my child.” Throughout the process, Arlas said she began to form a bond with the birth mother and even accompanied her on doctor’s visits. “It was different for me than it was for Michael,” Arlas admitted. “I felt so terrible that in my joy, she (the birth mother) had to be suffering. It was hard to reconcile my joy with her pain. I had a hard time seeing Abigail as ‘mine’ because I was so emotionally invested in the birth mother.”
Blackwells realized that they had a responsibility to the child to “raise her right.” “Once we had her, our faith started to grow and we started to change,” Michael said. “We rocked along as new parents and as we got a ways down the road, about a year or so later, we decided to have another one.” They switched adoption agencies, turned a little bit more of it over to God, and in less than a year, they welcomed their second child, Holly, into their family. “At that point we started to realize this isn’t us; this isn’t about us; this is about what God is doing for us and through us.” Cut to a few years later; Abigail is starting school, Holly is a few years old and Abigail starts to pray for a baby brother. “She was praying, but we were done,” Arlas said. “She prayed about it for a solid six months and we’d say, ‘Yeah, that’s not going to happen. We’re done, but it’s a sweet thought!’”
“Looking back, it was good because it has given me that compassion for birth mothers, which has led us to where we are now,” she added. (We’ll get to that part later!)
It turns out, they were wrong; they were going to have another child – a boy. The same mother from whom they had adopted Holly was pregnant again and expressed her desire for the Blackwells to raise both of her children--this time a boy.
After getting their baby home, the
“Rexton was the first adoption that
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Before you decide, know the facts...
FACTS ABOUT TEEN PARENTING • Teen mothers who are on welfare by the time their child is five years old: 8 out of 10 • Teen mothers who will NOT graduate from high school: 6 out of 10 • Teen dads who will NOT remain in contact after their child is one year old: 95 out of 100 • Children raised by teen mothers who are referred to social services agencies: More than 50 percent • Teen moms who will have a college diploma by age 30: Fewer than 2 out of 100
FACTS ABOUT FETAL DEVELOPMENT
• Heart begins to beat at 18 days, begins pumping blood at 21 days, and has its own blood type. • All body systems are present by eight weeks of development. • Brainwaves can be detected between 40-45 days after conception; skeleton is complete, reflexes present. • At the end of three months, a baby can hiccup, suck his/her thumb, do a summersault, etc.
FACTS ABOUT ADOPTION
• A mom choosing adoption for her child makes the decision in order to provide the child with a stable, loving, two-parent home. • Birthmothers are involved in the entire process – from choosing the family to deciding on contact after placement. • Over 2 million couples are currently waiting to adopt a baby.
FIVE REASONS ADOPTION ISN’T CONSIDERED Placing my child for adoption would make me feel too sad. Separation after carrying a baby for nine months will be painful. The adoption experience for a birthmother can be heartbreaking on many levels, yet it holds hope. You can feel empowered knowing you made a responsible, loving decision for your child. Healing takes strength and courage, and post-adoption counseling is highly recommended and available. Adoption is for you too. It gives you the freedom to pursue your dreams of education, employment and other options. I need to take responsibility for my actions. Evaluating the choices for your pregnancy and child is wise. There are many things to consider: Your finances, stability in relationships, the baby’s father and your long-term changes for successful parenting. I have no guarantee that my baby will be happy. We know life does not come with guarantees, but as you seek help and support, you have the opportunity to make decisions which will offer your child the greatest life experience. My family would never let me place my baby. Adoption is an idea some family members may never fully adjust to, but let your choice be based on the care of your child. Can you meet those needs based on your current circumstances? My friends think I should keep the baby. Friends are usually sincere as they pressure you to parent your child because they think it is best for you. Emotional support from friends is great, but ultimately, this is your child and your choice to make. Let the long-term wellbeing of your child be the highest priority.
FOCUS ON ARTESIA | WINTER 2014
was completely out of our control. We turned it over to God completely,” Arlas said, as Michael interjected, “This is about the journey from us thinking we were in control with Abiagail to giving up some of that control with Holly, to realizing that it was only an illusion of control all along with Rexton. It’s all in God’s control, all of it.” “With Rexton, we sought out prayerful guidance. We called pastors and friends to pray about it. We had no money at that point, but our home group at church gave us money and within a week we had furniture, a car seat, bottles….It was amazing, but we shouldn’t have been amazed because it was all God’s design--and my sweet Abigail praying for a brother,” Arlas concluded.
LIFELINE CHILDREN’S SERVICES Along their journey of adoption, the Blackwells inadvertently became a local source of information for other couples who were interested in adoption as well. With no local adoption agencies in the area and no professional training, they admittedly didn’t always give out the best information, though they didn’t realize it at the time. “When you adopt, other people around you or in the community start to want to adopt and start to ask you questions,” Arlas said. “We didn’t mind talking about it; we are very open, so that’s where our ministry kind of started. I’d get emails and phone calls and, looking back, I was giving them terrible advice, but I didn’t realize it at the time.” Michael shared, “Through all of this, we realized that God is pushing us in the direction of doing more.” That “more” would end up being yet another life-changing decision for the couple. “When Rexton was about six months
PHOTO: The Blackwell Girls, meet their new little brother, Rexton, for the very first time.
old, we went to a conference with our church. During the conference, Jason (Kraft) asked us what God had charged us with--what we were going to do as part of God’s calling,” Arlas explained. “I just knew it. I said I wanted to open an adoption agency. I just knew it in my heart and I knew it was going to be with Lifeline. I had met Herbie Newell there, who is the Executive Director, and right away I liked him and I liked the answers he gave me.” A short time later, she said she saw Lifeline again at Catalyst, a Christian conference. “I would walk by and ask them a question, walk by and ask them another question…The things they were saying were a reflection of my heart. We were just in sync,” she said. “I felt like I was at home with them and that what they were doing was a ministry I wanted to be a part of.” After leaving the conference, Arlas couldn’t shake the feeling that she was being called to open an adoption agency in Artesia, and she was more convinced than ever that it was supposed to be with Lifeline Children’s Services. “I pursued them doggedly after that to open an agency here,” she admits. FOCUSNM.COM
Eventually, Newell and another staff member came to Artesia and spent a couple of days meeting residents, visiting churches and businesses and getting to know what makes Artesia special. “I tortured them for two days,” she joked. “They met pastors, social workers, mental health workers, chamber people; I had two days worth of appointments for them. What I was doing was trying to sell them on Artesia.” That was an interesting concept because Lifeline is based out of Alabama and has offices back East, but nothing even close to New Mexico. “We aren’t even a surrounding state for them to consider,” she said. Unbeknownst to Arlas, the people from Lifeline were actually interviewing her. They made it clear to her that they weren’t just going to come to Artesia and set up an office; they are coming for ‘Arlas’ to do this. In October 2012, Lifeline flew Arlas out to Alabama for their staff retreat and for training, at which time they said, “Okay, let’s do it.” “They said, ‘We don’t know what it looks like or when it will happen, but we want to do it. I wasn’t on their radar whatsoever, so God not only changed our plans – Michael and I – but he changed their plans as well.” That’s when the real work began. They had to start looking at licensing requirements, state requirements, and so forth. According to Arlas, at the retreat, Newell talked at great length about “excellence,” and it struck a chord with her in a profound way. “I knew that for me to do this with excellence, it meant going back to school to get my master’s degree in social work,” she said. “So in January (2013), I started back to school.” For the married mother of three young children, taking on a full school load meant sacrifice and lots of it. But Arlas wouldn’t be deterred. “I think that any ministry that God calls you to is about sacrifice. In all of this, I have learned that I don’t know squat. But if God calls us to do something, he will equip us.” The Blackwells and the people at Lifeline alike know they have a long road ahead of them. They know there will be trials and tribulations, and they know it is going to take a tremendous amount of work. But they also know providing local birth mothers
with an alternative to abortion or raising a child in an unfit home and giving deserving couples a chance at parenthood will be worth their efforts.
God. We should be able to share that joy with others. God has called us to share that sonship with others!”
“What will be instrumental in this is education,” says Arlas. “We will have to educate our community, our schools, our teens about adoption and the impact of adoption. We need to talk about it so there’s no stigma. Every believer has been adopted by
Michael concluded, “It’s been a journey, to say the least. We’re in this together though, and more than anything, we have a real sense that God gave these kids to us as a blessing and we want to help others with and through our story.”
LIFELINE FACT SHEET Lifeline Children’s Services exists to provide a hope and future through the Gospel for children around the world by discipling, engaging and equipping people toward adoption, foster care and orphan care. • 153 million orphans worldwide • 5,760 children become orphans every day • 500,000 children living in U.S. foster care • More than 30 percent of foster children will end up homeless once they become adults • 60 percent of young orphan boys and girls will turn to drugs, crime or be sold through human trafficking once they age out from the orphanage
In 1981, Lifeline Children’s Services began to promote the sanctity of life through domestic adoption services. Lifeline ministers to the needs of young women in the midst of unplanned pregnancies through counseling, medical care and legal services as well as the option of maternity home care. Lifeline is committed to work with Christian families and to ensure that children are raised with the truth of who Jesus Christ is as their Lord and Savior. Lifeline has found homes for almost 1,000 children domestically.
Lifeline joined forces with local churches and the Department of Human Resources to recruit, train and license foster families for children in the foster care system, starting with the state of Alabama and expanding elsewhere. The need is evident as, over time, a huge disparity between the number of children requiring out-of-home care and the number of licensed foster families has developed. Opportunities to work alongside birth families are inherent in foster care, so Lifeline’s ministry reaches beyond the walls of the foster home. For many children and families who have never been exposed to the Gospel, our foster parents are the hands and feet of Jesus Christ.
Lifeline began responding to the needs of orphans internationally in 1999 and was among the first agencies to receive Hague Accreditation. Lifeline currently has programs in: • Bulgaria • The Dominican Republic • Peru • China • Ethiopia • Poland • Colombia • Haiti • Taiwan • The Dem. Rep. of The Congo • Hong Kong • Uganda • Costa Rica • Hungary • Ukraine With many other programs still in development Lifeline’s International Adoption program provides a full range of consulting and social services to families seeking children of these countries. Our program is designed to minimize the stress, time, and costs associated with the successful adoption of a child internationally. WINTER 2014 | A COMMUNITY MAGAZINE
F O C U S on history
Everybody Has A Story to Tell! JENNIFER DUFF IS NO STRANGER TO THE PHOTOGRAPHY SCENE.
In fact, her calendar stays nearly booked throughout the year with photo shoots and special events; but during those formative years when she was connecting with people on a personal level while taking pictures, she began to sense another need within the community. “A lot of times when I am taking pictures I talk about things with my clients…I get stories and ask questions to try to take their mind off things to get them to loosen up,” she shared. “I have really heard some neat stories, but I didn’t really have anything to do with that information. I just ‘had’ it.” “One day I was listening to NBR (National Broadcast Radio) and they were talking about Story Corps and that’s when I learned about oral history,” she explained. “It’s getting an oral record of a living person’s history, so they’re telling their own story. That’s when I started looking into it and realized it’s a whole ‘thing!’” So Duff took the next logical step – she brought that ‘thing’ to Artesia! “I decided to start a local branch and the Artesia Arts Council agreed to fund it,” she said. “That’s how Story Station came about.” As part of the collaboration effort, Pecos Valley Broadcasting, a local radio station, agreed to allow Duff the use of their studio at no charge and also agreed to air clips of each oral history project she recorded during their morning show.
After each oral history project is complete, they are archived in the Artesia Historical Museum and Art Center for preservation, but they are also accessible to anyone that wants to listen to them. In addition, the participant receives a copy of the entire interview. So why oral history and why bring it to Artesia? Duff sums it up as such: “The best spoken stories aren’t always the best to read. It’s neat to be able to hear the person laugh and cry; to have a recording of their voice. It’s just priceless, really.” Touching on something innate in all of us, Duff said Story Station is a chance for people to know they matter, that they have stories and they are important to share. “I love that future generations will have access to those recordings later on,” she said. “For right now, the interesting thing is how we are all so different – economically, culturally, physically – but we are all connected by community and the need for love, friendships and relationships.” Since its inception in 2011, Duff has
“The best spoken stories aren’t always the best to read. It’s neat to be able to hear the person laugh and cry; to have a recording of their voice. It’s just priceless, really.” 12
FOCUS ON ARTESIA | WINTER 2014
recorded more than 80 oral histories within the community. Some of the interviews, she says, are conducted by family members or friends of the person being interviewed and some of the interviews she conducts herself. During those interviews, Duff said she has heard numerous testimonies of faith and countless inspiring stories of love. “I think we’re so quick to judge others and we think we know about people, but there’s so much more to people--things they’re good at, things they have overcome, and things they love that you’d never know. Everybody has a story to tell!”
LIFE STORY RECORDING Now take everything you just read about oral history and imagine adding a written transcript, along with precious photographs, in the form of a hardcover book into the mix. Along the same lines of Story Station, Life Story records a person’s oral FOCUSNM.COM
history, but much more in-depth. During a Life Story session, Duff works with family and friends to come up with a list of questions to ask the person being interviewed. “We pick topics that are important to them and we go into the interview knowing what we want to get,” she explains. Although she had an idea of what she wanted Life Story to look like and how she wanted it to function, in the beginning Duff knew she was going to have to have something concrete to share with people in order for them to fully understand her vision and what it was she was offering. She also knew the perfect person whose history would launch Life Story – her grandmother, or Nana as she calls her, in New Jersey. “It was an incredible experience to have,” she shared. “My mom and my nana were super close but there were things that came up in the interview
that my mom never knew or that surprised her.” Shortly after her trip to New Jersey, Duff ’s Nana passed away. “We were able to capture her talking and laughing and crying… It’s a treasure now that she’s gone and a nice way to remember her and pass on to future generations. I want to be able to help other people experience the same thing with their loved ones.” The point, she says, is to be intentional. “We hear stories in bits and pieces but there’s a lot that is missed and a lot that’s never said,” she concludes. “To really give a person a chance to talk in depth about their life – life lessons, things they have overcome, etc. – for posterity and for a family to have to look back on… We take for granted sometimes that people will be around forever but that’s just not the case. An oral history and a book with photographs and their story in their own words…it’s priceless.”
Completing the experience, Duff takes the audio-recorded interview with the individual and transcribes and edits the content. She then collects photos that the family selects, takes some new photos, and then binds it all together in a hardcover book. When it’s all said and done, the family walks away with their loved one’s recorded voice, their written story and photographs to tie it all together. “I want to emphasize [the importance of] really listening,” she stressed. “It’s a beautiful thing to sit down with someone and take in what they are saying; and it’s a gift to the speaker.” For information about Story Station or Life Story, visit jenniferduff.com and click on the Oral History link.
WINTER 2014 | A COMMUNITY MAGAZINE
F O C U S on business
New Cottonwood Owners by Kyle Marksteiner
MICHAEL AND SUSAN MAHAN
made one pretty big change when they took over Artesia’s Cottonwood Winery a couple of months ago – they started making and selling beer. The Mahans purchased Cottonwood from Dale and Penny Taylor, who owned the winery for nine years. Dale Taylor first opened Cottonwood in 2004 after a doctor recommended that he drink more wine for his heart. But the Mahans were no strangers to the winery. They live just down the road and often help at special events such as the winery’s Time Change Rib Cook Offs. When the Taylors decided it was time to retire, the Mahans decided they were ready to get out of the flooring business and get into the business of running a winery and brewery. Michael said he’d suggested adding beer to the mix several times, but the previous owners were not interested. He didn’t waste much time once the
opportunity presented itself. “When we bought this, we decided we’d love to add a brewery to it,” he said. Beer, under the name Desert Water Brewing, is created in the back of the establishment and served on tap. The Mahans brew an amber, a pilsner, a stout, a wheat and an Irish red. They are one of a handful of wineries in New Mexico to also carry a small brewers’ license. “We worked with the Sandia Chile Grill in Albuquerque,” Susan said. “We went on a brewery tour, and they were PHOTO LEFT: Susan and Michael Mahan are the proud new owners of Cottonwood Wine And Brewing LLC and the Desert Water Brewing label.
Wishing Artesia a Safe and Happy 2014!
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more than helpful in showing us how their system worked. “ In fact, much of their brewing process is based on the system set up by the Sandia Chile Grill. Having worked with the previous Cottonwood owners, the Mahans are familiar with the incredible difficulty of growing grapes in Southeastern New Mexico. Wine under the Cottonwood label is still bottled in Deming. The Mahans met with the bottling company prior to making their purchase, and 11 wines are still being produced. Tasting wine with the Cottonwood label is free for visitors, but there is a charge to taste wine with other labels. Cottonwood’s first wine was a semisweet, mango-flavored wine named Bulldog, after the popular high school mascot. Most of the wines were named after horses. Among the wines on their list are the Tobiano, a sweet red table wine; the Black Mustang,
almost a port; the Lipizzaner , a sweet white; and the Overo, a light chardonnay. They also sell a sweet vanilla crème, Jack Ass, which is one of their most popular wines. “The wine seems to be under control,” Susan stated. “We’re concentrating on beer right now.” Michael said the wine and beer labels have been kept independent for a reason. “When I go to a beer festival to try and win awards, I want it to have its own label,” he noted. The Mahans plan to hold a wine festival or a beer festival in the future, but “we’re trying to keep our head above water right now,” Susan added. Days are spent brewing the beer, stocking, and serving a sizeable number of customers who have been stopping by over the holiday season. There has also been a lot of time spent
filling out paperwork, as the permitting process is anything but simple. The Taylors have helped with navigating the paperwork trail, which includes a wine grower’s license, a small brewer’s license and a wholesaler’s license. The store also sells a variety of other products such as salsa, sauces and jellies. The Mahans have plans to sell their beer in growlers and also hope to add more food options. Cottonwood Wine And Brewing is located at 1 E Cottonwood Road, a few miles north of Artesia. Call for hours, as they change seasonally. The business can be reached by calling 575-365-3141, or get added to their email list by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
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F O C U S on mainstreet
Downtown Lowdown ARTESIA MAINSTREET CAN HELP YOU KEEP YOUR 2014 RESOLUTIONS!
REBECCA PRENDERGAST Executive Director
40-45% of American adults make one or more New Year resolutions, with the number one resolution of becoming healthier. Downtown Artesia is a great way to get healthy, AND create a vibrant downtown.
between 1st and 7th street is approximately .42 miles, so when you walk up one side of the Mainstreet District and down the other, you have walked almost one mile and had a chance to shop the downtown stores.
At a semi- brisk pace, a person burns between 5-8 calories per minute, depending on height and weight. In fifteen minutes you could burn between 75 and 120 calories- just during a quick break. The distance
When you use the Mainstreet district as a walking route, you will almost always run into someone you know, and keep up to date on the promotions being held by the downtown merchants. If you find
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yourself becoming frustrated not being able to find a parking spot, think of it as an opportunity to become healthier. Parking just a few blocks from your desired location help you burn hundreds of calories a month, and make you a happier and healthier person. Regardless if you use downtown as an exercise route, or just a great place to shop- we welcome you to take a stroll in the Mainstreet District.
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110 West Mahone Drive • Artesia, NM 88210 ArtesiaAnimalClinic.com
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Restless Heart April 26, 2014 January 31, 2014 John Berry April 10, 2014 Ozark Jubilee Umi Garrett Glenn Miller Orchestra Peter Pan Charlie and the Chocolate Factory Rufus Choi Light Wire Theatre - Dino Light The Roys The Alley Cats Alexander & the Terrible, Horrible, Not Good, Very Bad Day Bill Santiago Mariachi Tenampa James and the Giant Peach
February 6 February 18 February 20 February 25 March 1 March 4 March 18 March 28 March 29
April 10 May 2 May 3 May 10
Ocotillo Performing Arts Center www.ArtesiaArtsCouncil.com 310 West Main Street - 575.746.4212
F O C U S on giving back
Food & Love Are a Package Deal Their mission is simple: They want to put an end to childhood hunger in Artesia. It’s a commendable feat but eradicating something as farreaching as childhood hunger can’t be accomplished by a single person, no matter how grand her intentions. Sarah Hendrix knew she couldn’t do it alone, but in 2013, when she says God laid it on her heart to “do something about it,” she also knew she had to act. And just like that, Packs of Love was born. “It’s definitely a God thing,” Hendrix proclaimed. She said she found out about a similar program in Carlsbad from her father, who found out about it from some women at the church he pastors. “He approached me with the
FOCUS ON ARTESIA | WINTER 2014
idea and I thought, we probably need something like that in Artesia, but I kind of left it at that,” she shared. “In February I felt like everything I did and went to, it came back to that. It’s like it was everywhere.” What she did next changed everything. “I finally went to Stacy (Lujan) and said, ‘Will you please help me with this? God is not going to leave me alone about it until I do something.’” Lujan, who works with Hendrix at Par 5, agreed and the two women set out to form an organization that would
PHOTOS: Sarah Hendrix (above), founder of Packs of Love and her team of amazing volunteers! (Opposite) Volunteers pack and pray over the bags prepared for the kids. Photos by Jennifer Coats Photography.
For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’ “Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’ “The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’ - Matthew 25:35-40 (NIV) help put an end to childhood hunger in Artesia. Their first step was to visit the Administration Office for the Artesia Public School system. “I wanted to make sure there really was a need, and after visiting with different people, I found out there definitely was one.” Much to their delight, the school
system jumped on board with the notion of eradicating childhood hunger and agreed to let Packs of Love into Artesia’s public schools. “They were very supportive and said, ‘Great; let’s do it!’” she said. With the blessing of the school system, Packs of Love was formed. They began small, testing the program during the last seven weeks of the 2012-2013
school year at Grand Heights Early Childhood Center. “We had 18 students that we packed for each week during those last seven weeks of school,” she recalled. “It was small, but we knew it was going to grow and we knew we would have to be able to have a lot more by the time school started this fall.” Story continues on page 22...
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1 • Various shots from this past season. Photos by Jennifer Coats Photography.
GINGERBREAD WORKSHOP 4 5
2 & 3 • Dozens of children enjoyed decorating gingerbread houses in December during the Artesia Art Council’s Annual Gingerbread Workshop at First Presbyterian Church.
4 • The staff at Smile Xpressions braved the brutally cold temperatures during the very first Light Parade on Dec. 5 during Light Up Artesia. 5 • The Chez Camille crew are all smiles and shivers during the Light Parade! They didn’t let the cold weather put a damper on their holiday spirit.
LIGHT UP ARTESIA
6 • Nathan and Meagan Cornil and their daughters, Palyn and Brenlee, pose for a quick photo during Light Up Artesia on Dec. 5.
SHOP WITH A HERO
7 & 8 • Local firefighters, law enforcement officers and military personnel donated their time on December 7 to shop with local children for the annual Shop with a Hero event at Walmart. Each child was given $100 to spend on anything in the store and they were treated to cookies and milk and a visit from Santa.
ICEY ARTESIA 9
9 & 10 • Artesia residents woke up to layers of “frozen fog” the morning of Sunday, Dec. 8. These pictures were captured by Mary Sue Kuykendall at a couple of Chase Farms orchards.
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Packs of Love
FOOD DONATIONS NEEDED LIST: PROTEINS • Beanee Weenies • Vienna Sausages • Slim Jims or Jerky • Ravioli • Single serving canned tuna or chicken • Spaghetti O’s • Small cans of Spam, corned beef, etc. • Non-refrigerated Lunchables
FRUITS AND VEGETABLES • Fruit cups • Applesauce cups • Dried fruits • Small cans of pop top of any fruit or vegetables • Small packs of carrots • Fresh apples, pears and oranges • Fruit snacks
BREAKFAST ITEMS • Small boxes of cereals • Pop Tarts • Breakfast bars • Nutri-Grain bars
SNACKS • Single serve bags of chips/popcorn • Crackers • Rice Krispy treats • Fruit Roll-Ups • Packs of cookies
BEVERAGES • Bottle water • Juice boxes • Capri Sun packs
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Food & Love
Are a Package Deal Story continued from page 19... It turns out she was right. By the time the 2013-2014 school year rolled around, Packs of Love was sending backpacks full of food home with more than 100 students every single weekend. The majority of students attend one of Artesia’s five elementary schools, although Hendrix said they do provide packs for some students at the intermediate, junior high and high school levels as well. So what exactly do the backpacks contain? Though the specifics tend to vary from week to week, Hendrix said each student receives three breakfast meals, three dinner meals and some snacks. Each Thursday, volunteers gather at a local church, where they pack the backpacks full of food and then pray over the backpacks. After inserting a scripture into each pack as well, other volunteers then deliver them to the schools on Fridays, where the students pick them up from school counselors before heading home for the weekend. When Monday rolls around, they return the backpacks so volunteers can begin the process all over again. “It has actually been working really well,” Hendrix exclaimed. “One thing that keeps the students responsible is the fact that they have to bring the backpacks back, and so far they have been very good about bringing them back.” Local counselors and school officials have seen first-hand the benefits of the newly implemented program, including Dena Nelson, a counselor at Hermosa Elementary School. “My observations have been that the children are eager to pick up their packs on Friday, and without fail, they return them timely on Monday. They seem to have a good understanding that the packs come from volunteers
in the community who care about them and work hard each Thursday getting their backpacks ready.” Tina Perez, Principal at Roselawn Elementary School, agreed and shared the following, “The Packs of Love program is really helping the families at Roselawn. One family, in particular, is benefitting tremendously from this program. This family is going through a divorce. The mother and her three children just moved out of Grammy’s House and back into the Abo Apartments…I had the opportunity to speak to the mom about three weeks ago. She informed me that they were struggling and that she was so grateful for the backpacks that were being sent home with the two children that attend Roselawn. She also informed me that in spite of the struggle, she and her children are so happy.” Perez went on to share, “We, at Roselawn, are extremely appreciative of service groups such as Packs of Love. We are fully aware that we cannot do our best academically when our students are not receiving their basic needs – food, clothing, and shelter. Thank you Packs of Love for making a difference in more ways than one!”
How can you help?
According to Hendrix, it costs approximately $500 each week to keep the program viable. Various businesses and donors have agreed to sponsor the program; however, they are still in need of additional funding. Packs of Love is a non-profit, 501(c)3 organization and donations are tax deductible. Checks can be made out to the Greater Artesia Foundation, with Packs of Love indicated in the memo section, and can be mailed to PO Box 1824, Artesia, NM 88210. FOCUSNM.COM
F O C U S on religion
They Never Told Me… F
JASON KRAFT Senior Pastor
WEST MAIN BAPTIST CHURCH, ARTESIA
or almost ten years now, God has appointed me to be the pastor of a small town church. As a kid, I grew up in a big city and attended a big city church. As you might imagine, my upbringing in the big city did almost nothing to prepare me to lead a church in small town New Mexico. The tension between my past experiences and my current reality has created tremendous opportunities for growth - in me and in the church I lead. You need to know that the rest of this column is really going nowhere. I’m not trying to make a point, I won’t challenge you to action, and there’s probably not much for you to gain from reading on. From this point on, I’m going list some observations about leading a church in small town America. Your time is almost certainly better spent checking your Facebook profile, eating some salsa, reading the rest of this magazine, or washing your cat. In his book “Transforming Church In Rural America,” Shannon O’Dell lists several revelations about being a pastor in rural America. I want to share those revelations with you and then add some of my own.
WHAT THEY NEVER TOLD ME ABOUT RURAL MINISTRY:
- It is the most difficult job on earth. - Friends will become enemies. - The people who leave my church are going to be glaring at me in the check-out lane at Wal-Mart for the rest of my life. - I was going to be thrown in the pit. - A red-hot marriage is a must for being an effective rural pastor. Those are Shannon’s thoughts - he has more but these resonate with me. Here are mine....
WHAT THEY NEVER TOLD ME ABOUT LEADING A CHURCH IN SMALL TOWN AMERICA:
- Everyone knows everyone. This may seem obvious to those of you raised in a small town, but this is a foreign concept and a difficult adjustment for us big city folks. - Everything you do, say, own, drive, eat, and sometimes think will be scrutinized and criticized. If you are not the real deal, you will be found out quickly because there’s nowhere to hide. - Small town people are slow to trust or welcome people from the “outside.” We have several folks who worship with us every week who happen to live
in the “rival” town just south of us. It’s been a welcome area of growth for all of us. - If you can figure out a way to be trusted and welcomed you will have gained some incredibly loyal friends. - Some of the most honest, authentic, Godly people I’ve ever known are small town folks. - If you don’t do the friendly little half-wave (that’s where you raise two to three fingers two to three inches off of the steering-wheel) to everyone you pass on the street you will be considered rude, and since everyone knows everyone, it’s a real problem. (Don’t make the mistake of raising just one finger off the steering-wheel! Trust me on this one - most of these folks carry guns...) - I love raising my kids in a small town. - God can do BIG things in and through small town folks. - God has BIG plans and BIG dreams for the small town church. - Jesus was a small town guy. I think the thing that has surprised me the most, and certainly the thing I was least expecting, is the fact that I would come to love this small town and thank God daily for the opportunity to serve Him here! Are you still reading this???
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F O C U S on sports
Pastor Brings Wrestling to the City of Champions ERIC ZOTTNECK MIGHT NOT BE A NATIVE OF ARTESIA
but he’s lived here long enough to know that change doesn’t always come easy. During the past four years, he has been hard at work on several projects, all of which take time, especially when you’re new to town. These projects include: 1. Helping the members at the church he pastors, Living Well Church of the Nazarene, grow in their spiritual lives 2. Growing his customer base as a mortgage lender at Wells Fargo Bank, and 3. Implementing Artesia’s very first competitive youth wrestling program. Talk about having a full plate! Zottneck says he is bi-vocational. “I am not paid by the church, so I use a secular job to support my income,” he explained. “The church provides
parsonage for me and my family, so I preach and teach full time, I work full time and now I will do wrestling, which will also be full time.” A natural question that tends to follow Zottneck’s recent undertaking of a wrestling program, especially in connection with a church, is, “Why?” The answer, he’ll tell you, is multifaceted. One reason is because of his passion for the sport. Having competed for many years – from age six until his freshman year of college – he has first-hand knowledge and experience, including four state championships, which explains his passionate description of the sport he loves. “Wrestling is perhaps the purest form of athletic competition to exist in the realm of organized sports. There are no bats or balls, or pucks or sticks; no teammate to point a finger at if one loses a match.
FOCUS ON ARTESIA | WINTER 2014
There’s no time to rethink strategy, regroup, or even catch your breath. When the referee says ‘Wrestle,’ everything fades from your mind. Nothing exists beyond the four corners of the mat. It’s just you and your opponent out there, alone, locked in a battle to see who will become the victor. Your whole being becomes immersed in this struggle: your strength, your desire and your will to win all work together in your attempt to emerge the champion.” Secondly, wrestling encompasses two of the three areas upon which they are building and growing their church. “Everything we do here is focused on body, mind and spirit. We have a desire, dream and vision to build a church based off those three things, so wrestling came as the body and spirit part of it.” (As a side note, the church held a Bible Reading Marathon in December to focus on the mind part of the equation.) Lastly, Zottneck said on a personal level, he has found that kids who wrestle or play around with their dad or brothers and roughhouse are more socially adept than those who don’t. “You have to give and take in wrestling. (It’s) not so much a team sport but an individual sport,” he noted. “Also, it builds their social intelligence. Kids that didn’t roughhouse or play tend to have a hard time differentiating between being aggressive and assertive. Wrestling just seems to help in that sense.” He also noted that wrestling teaches children about taking turns and cooperation. “When you wrestle (horse around with your kids), you’re often taking part in a give-and-take negotiation where the goal is to make sure everyone has fun,” he said. “Sometimes you’re the chaser and sometimes you’re the chasee; sometimes you’re pinning down your kids and other times they’re pinning you down. Your kids wouldn’t want to keep playing if they were constantly on FOCUSNM.COM
Wrestling 101 WHY WRESTLE?
Wishing Artesia a Great New Year in 2014!
• Wrestling provides opportunities for all sizes and promotes diversity • As a sport, it’s universally understood • Academic achievement of scholastic/collegiate wrestlers • Modest cost for establishing a program • Wrestling has weight classes from 106 pounds to 285 pounds, so students of any size have an opportunity to compete • Wrestling ranks at the top of NCAA sports in opportunity for minority athletes • Wrestling is growing in popularity • The National High School participation rate for wrestling has shown an increase in the last six years • Since 1994, the number of women participating in high school wrestling has grown from 804 to 8,727 • Since 1994, the number of high schools that sponsor wrestling has grown from 8,559 to 10, 488 • Since 1994, the number of high school participants in wrestling for boys and girls has grown from 222,429 to 278,890
Freestyle wrestling is a style of amateur wrestling that is practiced throughout the world. Along with Greco-Roman, it is one of the two styles of wrestling contested in the Olympic Games. It is along with track and field, one of the oldest organized sports in history. American high school and college wrestling are conducted under different rules and are termed scholastic and collegiate wrestling.
FOLK STYLE WRESTLING
Collegiate wrestling is the style of amateur wrestling practiced at the college and university level in the United States. Collegiate wrestling is sometimes known as folk style wrestling because, by and large, it is the style that emerged out of the folk wrestling styles practiced in the early history of the United States. This style, with some slight modifications, is also practiced at the high school and middle school levels and among younger participants, where it is known as scholastic wrestling. All of the terms are used to distinguish collegiate wrestling from the styles of wrestling practiced in other parts of the world and from those of the Olympic Games: Freestyle wrestling and Greco-Roman wrestling.
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Greco-Roman wrestling is a style of amateur wrestling that is practiced worldwide and is contested at the Olympic Games. This style of wrestling forbids attacks below the waist, which results in an emphasis on more dramatic throws since a wrestler cannot use trips to take an opponent to the ground or avoid throws by hooking or grabbing the opponent’s leg. This is the major difference between it and Freestyle wrestling, the other form of wrestling at the Olympics. Arm drags, bear hugs, and headlocks found in Freestyle have greater prominence in Greco–Roman, and throws, especially known as suplex, are used in which the offensive wrestler lifts his opponent in a high arch while falling backward on his own neck to a bridge in order to bring his opponent’s shoulders down to the mat. Even on the mat, a Greco-Roman wrestler must still find several ways to run his opponent’s shoulders to the mat for a fall without legs, including (but not limited to) techniques known as the body lock and the gut-wrench.
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the losing side. Everyone has to take turns in order for the fun to continue.” Keeping these key points in mind, Zottneck set out to introduce the City of Champions to the sport of wrestling. “My primary goal is to teach youth, from five years on up, the skill set of wrestling, but I also want to instill a concrete character of respect, control, and assertiveness,” he shared. So what will be required of students who participate in Zottneck’s wrestling program? “They have to be able to take instruction well,” he admits. “Also, we will have to work on building endurance and stamina, which can be tough. And, they have to have good hygiene, which is a huge part of it since there’s a lot of skin-onskin contact.” Another thing to consider is the initial investment that wrestling requires when purchasing personal equipment, such as a singlet (wrestling garment), special shoes and headgear. While wrestling isn’t for everyone, Wrestling photos by Jennifer Coats Photography.
FOCUS ON ARTESIA | WINTER 2014
Zottneck said the only way to know for sure if it’s for you or your child is to give it a try. “It’s not like baseball, where you can say, ‘I’m good at batting or throwing, so I’ll probably be good at baseball,’” he explained. “It’s 90 percent mental and 10 percent physical and the only way you will know if you are going to like it or be any good at it is if you give it a try.” Something else to consider, he says, is that if a student starts young enough and gains the proper experience, scholarships are often available for those wishing to compete at the collegiate level. “For kids that might not be good at football or baseball but are confident and good at their own abilities, wrestling can provide opportunities to help with their education,” he said. To date, the first season is underway with nearly 40 students participating. Zottneck said he’s thrilled with the response from the community and looks forward to seeing what’s in store for the program.
INTERESTING WRESTLING FACTS John Madden, a Hall of Fame coach in the National Football League (NFL) and football analyst stated that he would have all his offensive linemen wrestle if he could. In wrestling you have to have selfdiscipline and self-motivation. As a lineman, it’s the same thing – me vs. you. Those who wrestle bring that mentality to the football field. Famous presidents that wrestled: George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, Theodore Roosevelt, Andrew Jackson, to name a few. A total of nine presidents wrestled. Other famous people who wrestled: Robin Williams, Bruce Willis, Tom Cruise, Kirk Douglas, Ashton Kutcher, Stephen Baldwin, Jay Leno, Norman Schwarzkopf and Chuck Hagel.
F O C U S on missions
WHEN SHE WAS IN THE EIGHTH GRADE, HALEY BALLEW attended a mission trip that would change her life and open her eyes to a world far beyond her own backyard. Years later, she would attend another mission trip that would start her on an unexpected career path. And a short time after that, she would attend yet another mission trip that would lead her to an orphanage in Africa. All of it, she will tell you, is part of Godâ€™s divine plan for her life.
to by Jennifer Du
Las Cruces, where, in May 2013, she earned a Bachelor of Science degree in nursing. In September, she was offered a position at Artesia General Hospital, a position that was created just for her with her upcoming mission work in mind.
Haley Ballew, Pho
Haley graduated from Temple Christian School in Fort Worth, Texas, in 2008 and moved to Artesia the following month with her family when her dad accepted an associate pastor position at Faith Baptist Church. That fall, she began taking her basics at Eastern New Mexico University in Roswell and after two years transferred to New Mexico State University in
So how did Haley get from Texas to Artesia to Africa? Itâ€™s a story with
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what she was doing,” Haley said. “I offered to hold it and as I watched her, I was so intrigued. It didn’t gross me out at all, and I knew right then that that’s what I wanted to do.”
several twists and turns, so hold on tight! “Growing up, I always wanted to be a teacher,” she admits. “I’m deathly afraid of needles, so the fact that I went into nursing surprised even me.” Her surprise career choice came as a result of a mission trip she took the summer before her senior year of high school. One of the teenage boys on the trip cut his foot open when he was swimming, but decided not to tell anyone about it until much later, when it had started to become infected. “It was night time when he finally told them, and the nurse needed someone to hold the flashlight so she could see
Her decision to go into the mission field after she finished her schooling also came about as the result of a mission trip. When she was in the eighth grade, Haley attended a mission trip to Mexico that she said completely changed her life. “I was very selfish and self-centered; the world was all about me. But after that mission trip, it opened my eyes to hurting people across the world and I felt like God was calling me to be involved in missions somehow.” She went on to say, “Years later, when I felt like I was supposed to be a nurse, it kind of all made sense. I feel like if I’m able to help people with their physical needs it will translate into their spiritual life as well.” Having made the decision to go into mission work and into nursing, Haley’s next logical step was to determine where she would devote her time and skill-set. In 2009, she again attended a life-changing mission trip--this time to Kenya, Africa. “I went on that trip with my cousin and his church, and I fell in love with the country and the people. I felt like that was where I was supposed to be.” In 2012, she found herself back in Kenya at the same place, but with a different mission group – a team from Faith Baptist Church in Artesia. “I talked to the people I was planning on
spending time with there but it kind of fell through.” With Kenya out of the picture, Haley said she wasn’t sure what God had in store for her, but she was open to his calling. That’s when it hit her – her parents’ college friends, Joey and Beverly Starling, had opened an orphanage in Nigeria, Africa, several years back and she decided to call them up and see if they could use her help. “God shows his plans when we need to see it, and I needed to see it,” she continued. “I called Joey and Beverly after Kenya fell through and it completely worked out. I will live with their family in Nigeria from January (2014) through October, and I’ll work at their orphanage called A Place of Hope.”
A PLACE OF HOPE
With her plans to leave for Africa in place, Haley set out to gain as much experience beforehand as possible. In September, after returning from mission trips over the summer, Haley was afforded a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity at Artesia General Hospital. “I was worried because who is going to want to hire me for six months, knowing I would leave for Africa in January,” she said. “But I needed a job because I needed handson experience.” That’s when all the pieces fell into place as a family friend got in contact with someone at the hospital and told them about Haley’s situation. “We
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told them they didn’t even have to pay me, I just needed the experience,” she shared. In an effort to help, the hospital set out to create a job just for Haley. “They are tailoring what I’m doing now to what I will be doing over there,” she said. “That’s the sole purpose of why they hired me. They created this position just for me. It could only happen in a town like Artesia!” For now, the main part of Haley’s job entails work at Memorial Family Health Clinic, where she gives injections, draws blood and takes vital signs. They also make it a point to pull her into the exam rooms with the patients to have her look and see what she thinks, to challenge her and to share information with her. In addition, Haley rotates around to different specialists that are all part of AGH system, including the emergency room doctor; the podiatrist; a nurse practitioner; an orthopedic surgeon; a urologist; an eye, throat and ear specialist; and a wound care specialist. “They have all been so great about walking me through, step by step, explaining what they see and how to treat it and making me pages and pages of notes,” she said. “I’m just amazed at how accepting everyone has been and how willing they are to help me. Only in this town could I have this experience.” After cramming in as much experience and knowledge as possible for six months, Haley will be on her way to Africa, where she will function as the only nurse at the orphanage, and even more astonishingly, the only medical professional at all in the entire
Nigerian village in which she will be living. Perhaps the most surprising part of all is that the job for which she has prayed and trained and sacrificed will be a voluntary position with no salary. “I had to raise support so that while I’m there, I’ll be able to pay for my living expenses and food and so forth,” she said. “Again, only in a town like Artesia! I went to the pastor at my church, Faith Baptist, and told him about my plans, not expecting any financial support, but just letting him know I was going and they told me they are going to fund my trip.” She continued, “That was a huge relief because it allowed me to focus on my school and then work and not have to worry about raising funds. Again, only in this town would something like that happen!” As far as expectations once she’s at the orphanage, Haley said her main focus will be getting charts on all of the children and taking the charts to the closest hospital an hour away for record-keeping purposes. A portion of the money Faith Baptist Church is sending her will also go toward purchasing drugs and supplies for her patients that cannot afford proper care. At the time of this interview in midDecember, Haley said she was feeling excited about the trip and anxious to see what is in store for her. “I can’t wait to go because I decided in the eighth grade I was going to spend time in the mission field and it’s finally becoming a reality,” she beamed. A natural occurrence, she said there
are times when doubt runs through her head, but it’s always about her abilities and not about her decision to go into the mission field or to Nigeria. “Emotionally, I know it’s going to be hard to be away from family and friends, but I know without a doubt that that’s where I’m supposed to be. My parents have always told us that they would rather us be in God’s will and happy than out of God’s will and miserable. I can’t wait because I know this is God’s will!” To date, there are 53 children in the Place of Hope orphanage and according to Haley, it’s growing every day. Their main goal, she said, is not to raise them up and move them to the United States, but to raise them up with Godly values so they can change Nigeria. “It’s definitely going to be an adventure and I can’t wait, and I also know it’s going to be some of the hardest times in my life. But I know it will be worth it!”
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F O C U S on the city
CITY OF ARTESIA RECREATION DEPARTMENT
Let’s make this a
Healthy & Colorful New Year! by Tina Torres, Community Development Director
he City of Artesia is also starting out 2014 with your health and fitness in mind. Our Recreation Department theme this year is RE-Creation – helping you recreate a new and healthy lifestyle. The Recreation Department has recently hired two Recreation Specialists, Sonny Bernal and Tarra Williams, who are brimming with ideas for new programs to be offered by the department. Sonny graduated from Baylor University in Texas with a major in human health and performance recreation, and has coaching, mentoring and swim instructor experience. Tarra has developed both sports and afterschool programs for other parks and recreation departments, has coached, refereed, taught swimming and played on various sports teams. One of the first new offerings has been
FOCUS ON ARTESIA | WINTER 2014
a 12-week walking program geared toward helping you get on a healthy track. The program is ongoing and you can jump in at any time, just join us at the Artesia Center. We will keep a log of goals and accomplishments. Bring a friend, family member or even your four-legged pal and let’s get heart healthy together. We’ll be starting a weekly nutrition class. Nutritionists will hold talks on how our bodies work and what can be done to lead an active healthy lifestyle. Teens and adults are encouraged to attend. Another new program soon to start up is a “fundamentals of boxing” class geared to ages 14 through adults. We anticipate holding this class twice weekly. The Artesia Center will be hosting the First Annual “Color Me Happy” Run.
Whether you walk or run, 1K or 5K, this is a fun run where you start out wearing white and end up plastered in color! Music, dancing and color promises to make this one of the “happiest fun runs in Artesia”. We are also excited about developing brand new after-school programs to keep kids engaged and coming back day after day. Tutoring, help with homework, cooking classes, photography, dodgeball tournaments, dance competitions, science lab experiments and crafting are just a few of the things we’ll be offering. We want to encourage everyone in the community to get involved. We’ll be posting our events calendar on the new City of Artesia web site. Feel free to contact Sonny or Tarra at the Artesia Center to let them know what programs you’d like to see offered.
Wishing the Community of Artesia a New Year filled with Success, Happiness and Prosperity!
Check out our NEW website!
• Online Payments for Court Fees, Tickets & Utilities • Easily Report Problems and Issues for City Departments • Sign-Up for Event & Emergency Notifications & More!
F O C U S on health
Getting Fit: by Holly Delgado
“ONE-THIRD OF ALL WOMEN AND ONE-FOURTH OF ALL MEN IN THE US ARE ON A DIET,”according to
studies done at Colorado University. The question is: Do these “diets” treat the root cause of people’s unhealthy lifestyles? The answer is a resounding “NO!” People not only want to look good but they also want to feel good about themselves. Getting physically fit isn’t about “a diet” it’s about “the diet,” which nourishes the body from the inside out. This can only happen by eating nutrient dense foods. The human body functions its best when it has the nutrients it needs in order to function. Some argue that, when given the nutrients it needs to use for the organs and cells it’s made up of, the body’s ability to heal itself is greater than anyone has permitted you to believe. The Creator knew what He was doing. Author Dr. Alejandro Junger of the book Clean describes the majority of peoples’ daily diets of food intake as “food-like products which are adorned and made to look and smell better so that people are attracted to them.” Shocking? Take a look in the pantry or refrigerator and see how many of the ingredients on that label of “Product X” is pronounceable by any ordinary average Joe. A rule of thumb is that if it has more than 3-5 ingredients, it is probably not something that is rich in nutritional value but is loaded with preservatives and/or other ingredients that our body can fully function WITHOUT. The list of nutrients the body is made up of is staggering, and the foods that carry those necessary nutrients can be found right here in this very town of Artesia; yet, people are undernourished - tired, chronically sick, diabetic, anemic, have heart disease, cancer, etc. The lack of nutrient dense foods that are being eaten on a daily basis is astounding!
FOCUS ON ARTESIA | WINTER 2014
According to the USDA: • 9 out of 10 Americans are deficient in potassium. • 8 out of 10 are deficient in vitamin E. • 7 out of 10 are deficient in calcium. • 50% of Americans are deficient in vitamin A, vitamin C, and magnesium. A number of charts on nutrition will state the effects on a body low in any one of the aforementioned nutrients. Take potassium, for example. Potassium deficiency is associated with a risk of high blood pressure, heart disease, stroke, arthritis, cancer, digestive disorders, and infertility. According to Elaine Magee, MPH, RD, with the Weight Loss Clinic of WebMD, “Tomatoes and broccoli have synergy that may help reduce the risk of prostate cancer. One study showed that prostrate tumors grew much more slowly in rats that were fed both tomato and broccoli powder than in rats who were given the nutrient present in those two vegetables as a supplement.” The age-old adage “eat your veggies” is sounding better with each sentence. So what should be done with this multitude of information? Small steps are key. Simply increasing vegetable intake can ease anyone into a more nutrient rich diet that will last a lifetime. Diet is 80% of health while exercise makes up the other 20%. Eighty-two year old Artesia native Vernon Haldeman and his wife Virginia own Haldeman Produce just east of Artesia, and Vernon believes that eating the produce they grow has helped his family maintain a habit of healthier eating. When the store opened in 1985 due to inquisitions from neighbors about purchasing
from the array of crops, Vernon said it was a small scale produce store, far from what it is now. His family’s hard work of cultivating fresh fruits and vegetables for at least the last 25 years allows Artesians to purchase handpicked produce bursting in nutrients-green peppers for vitamin C, pumpkins and cantaloupe for vitamin A, cucumbers for vitamin K--the list of vitamins is almost limitless. Another locally available source of produce is that of the Bountiful Baskets Food Co-op whose tag line is “Changing the World one Dinner Table at a Time.” Their website states, “BBFC is a group of people who work together for mutual benefit. This is a grassroots, all volunteer, no contracts, no catch co-operative. Since there are no employees at Bountiful Baskets, we as a group pay rock bottom prices on your food. This also means the co-op would not happen without volunteers.” BBFC distributes produce baskets, USDA organic produce baskets, artisan bread and sandwich bread every other week right here in Artesia. What a great way to get some good food and serve the community. To get involved, visit their website: www.bountifulbaskets.org Every community could benefit from having a healthier population, and getting fit from the inside out is the only way to create lasting changes. Giving the body the nutrients it needs to effectively digest and absorb vitamins is a great place to start. Do the homework and dawn the New Year by using local resources to a healthier life.
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VEGGIE OMELET Never underestimate the power of an omelet to be quick, easy, filling and deliciously versatile. In less than 10 minutes, you can make yourself a gourmet breakfast, brunch or dinner that won’t break your diet or the bank. Make this your own by adding fresh or sun-dried tomatoes, fire roasted peppers or any other veggie you like. SERVES: 1 • READY IN: 10 MINUTES You’ll Need: • 1 Tablespoon Olive Oil, Divided • Portobello Mushroom Slices • Asparagus Spears • 1 Whole Egg • 2 Egg Whites • 1 Tablespoon Feta Cheese Crumbles Here’s How:
1. Heat 2 teaspoons of olive oil in a large non-stick pan over mediumhigh heat. Use a napkin to spread the oil to cover the surface of the pan (or use cooking spray). 2. Add the mushrooms and asparagus to the pan. Cook for 3-5 minutes or until slightly soft, then transfer to a plate. 3. In a bowl or mug, whisk the egg and egg whites, and season with salt and pepper. 4. Add another teaspoon of oil to the pan, using a napkin to spread it all around (or use more cooking spray). 5. Pour the eggs into the pan, and swirl it around to form a circle. You can use a rubber spatula to help you form a more even circle. 6. Arrange the mushrooms, asparagus, and cheese on one half of the eggs. When the eggs set, use your rubber spatula to carefully fold them over. Serve.
ROASTED WINTER VEGGIES You’ll Need:
• 12 C of vegetables cut into similar size pieces. Use a combination of hard (root) and softer vegetables (carrots, red potatoes, red, yellow, orange peppers, onion wedges, whole garlic cloves, mushrooms, zucchini, green beans etc.) • 3/4 C Olive Oil • 1/8 C Worcestershire Sauce - Plus 1 Tbsp • 1 1/2 Tbsp Paprika • 1 Tbsp Garlic Salt
1. Cut vegetables into similar size pieces. Keep root vegetables separate from softer vegetables. Mix together olive oil, Worcestershire sauce, paprika and garlic salt. Pour over vegetables. 2. Place root vegetables on cookie sheet and bake at 425 degrees for about 15 minutes or until they begin to soften. 3. Add in softer vegetables and turn vegetables on sheet making sure they are all coated in liquid mixture. 4. Bake another 15 minutes or until the veggies are fork tender.
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F O C U S on politics
ELECTION 2014: BY THE NUMBERS
GETTING INVOLVED & by Billy Drake
was recently approached by local councilman Kent Bratcher about the upcoming elections in March of 2014. Kent is running for reelection, and enlisted my help with his reelection efforts. I had been attending council meetings regularly, and apparently it sparked an interest with Kent, seeing that there’s such a low turnout at these meetings. After my visit with councilman Bratcher, I began to reflect on former council meetings that I had attended. I couldn’t help but remember the lack of citizens at the meetings. I realize that there have been times when every seat was filled with busy Artesians, concerned or excited about a company or installment coming to town. Nonetheless, the meetings that I frequented never caught the interest of my fellow non-official citizenry. Personally I’ve never given half a mind about politics either. That is until my first born arrived in March of 2010. After Mckenna was born, I began to feel things about life in general that I had never felt before, and a few of my more prominent feelings were: What kind of world is this little girl going to be living in when I’m gone? How much say do I have in the world in which we live? Finally I asked myself, how long can I go on acting like things are going to change for the better if all that I ever do is sit around complaining about how bad things are getting? The truth is that I see
FOCUS ON ARTESIA | WINTER 2014
a fairly bleak future. As long as we continue depending on forefathers that have been dead for over two centurys to fight for our freedoms we are doomed. Our founding fathers did their part in insuring the people’s God-given rights and freedoms. It’s imperative that we do our part as well. My guess is that ever since the birth of this Nation, we have seen a steady decline in the people’s involvement. A torch won’t burn forever. If you never add fuel, the flame burns out. So, what can we do to help this Nation rise up from the stagnant political landscape that we currently face? Well, for starters we can all become more involved locally. Visit with your councilmen. When I say visit, that’s not to say yack at um to the point that they want to lay down right in front of you and take a nap. I mean to say have an actual bilateral conversation with them about concerns, issues, and opportunities facing our community. Go to council meetings. Do a little research about the happenings of this city, and become proactive in the decisions that are made on our behalf. Listen, by no means am I trying to belittle anyone. If anything I’m trying to get all of us, including myself, more involved in the things that truly matter. I’m no poster child when it comes to my record in political involvement. I’m 34 years old and I have personally voted in a grand total of zero local elections, two congressional elections, and one presidential election. What I’m saying is this: There’s no time like the present with regards to our involvement in this thing called the “Great American Experiment.” Let’s take a look at some stats during a few of our more recent local elections. I
predict that if this information doesn’t send any red flags up, this nation will be destined for failure. During the 2010 Municipal Election, our town had 5,634 registered voters. Did you know that out of that number we had a whopping 820 voters show up at the booth? That tells me that approximately 4,800 registered voters decided that if they had nothing to do at all, that it was still better than having a say on the things that go on in their community. If you’re one of the 4,800, you need not show your disdain for the lack of trash pickup after a special-event weekend. Allow me to explain the dumpster analogy. If you’re the friendly neighbor that shows your annoyance about the lack of trash pickup the day after Super Bowl, you might be able to change that. I’ll give you an example. “Hello, Sir. I’m Billy and I understand you’re running for city council in my district. I just wanted to let you know that if you don’t find a way to get the folks of your district’s trash hauled off two or three extra times a year, I’m not voting for you.” Now, is that a guarantee that you have found a solution to your problem? Maybe not, but at least you have done something and councilmen don’t like headaches. If that doesn’t work, find a few friends to take with you to the next election. The more people band together, the better chance for change. (On that note, I would like to take a second to let my councilmen know that I have no issues with dumpster days at my house.) Moving on to the 2012 elections, there were 6,431 registered voters, and we
MAKING A DIFFERENCE 2010 ARTESIA MUNICIPAL ELECTION NUMBERS
TOTAL REGISTERED VOTERS: 5634
2012 ARTESIA MUNICIPAL ELECTION NUMBERS
TOTAL REGISTERED VOTERS: 6431
ARTESIA COUNCIL DISTRICTS
HWY. ROSWELL HWY. ROSWELL
CITY OF ARTESIA NEW MEXICO COUNCIL DISTRICTS
KEMP LA CIMA
Rosemary Elementary 600 N. Roselawn
Hermosa Elementary 601 W Hermosa
DISCLAIMER: This map is a public resource of general information purposes only. The feature data provided on this map represents the most accurate information available at the most recent date of revision. In the event of a conflict between information on this map and adopted City Resolutions or Ordinances, the City's Resolutions or Ordinances shall govern.
DR. R.W. HARPER
Faith Baptist Church 401 S 20th
NN NTE CE
Yucca Elementary 901 N 13th St
Path: H:\Terry Higgins\Maps_TH\WorkInProcess\CouncilDistricts\CouncilDistrictsV1.mxd Date Saved: 3/20/2012 2:36:16 PM
WINTER 2014 | A COMMUNITY MAGAZINE
had an eye popping 1,454 citizens vote. That was a smooth 8% increase from the previous elections. The downfall to the 2012 story is that 1,454 was only 23% of registered voters. I think that we can all agree that that’s a failing grade. Another interesting fact about the 2012 elections is that there was a vote on an increase on the Gross Receipts Tax. You would have thought that more of us would have cared about a tax increase than what the poll numbers showed. On a side note, the tax increase passed by a margin of 481 votes, and it was a daunting increase (sarcasm noted) of 25 cents for every 100 dollars spent. Let’s get into some of the highlights and lowlights that we currently face in our community. You might have noticed that there’s a lot of new construction going on. Let me tell you, those kinds of projects don’t come about overnight. We have a lot of officials spending a lot of time making those types of needed improvements materialize. There’s always room for improvement, so let’s take a look at some of the issues that we’re facing in our community.
With the new apartments coming to town, we continue to have a need for affordable housing. We’ve got a bowling team with no bowling alley and a swim team with no swimming pool. I don’t know about you, but I think Artesia’s youth deserve more from us than gossip, a few rumors, and a little small talk with regard to these issues. I visited with Kent on the phone the other day concerning his re-election efforts, and I want you to know something. He showed a great amount of humility with regard to questions directed at him about his tenure as councilman. I asked him what he felt his greatest accomplishment was, but he repeatedly diverted the conversation towards accomplishments from other officials. If only we complained less, and participated more, we might find that we can accomplish anything we set our minds to. God bless the City of Champions! Now, let’s get out there and champion the highest poll numbers ever to be seen in the state.
REGISTER TO VOTE
Voter registration forms are available at the following sites:
• City Hall - 511 W Texas Ave • Artesia Public Library • Eddy County Office • Artesia Motor Vehicle Office • You may also access the state generic voter registration form
MUNICIPAL ELECTION IS TUESDAY, MARCH 4
This year, there are only two polling places for election day and voters can vote at EITHER of the locations; they are Faith Baptist Church (corner of 20th St. and Grand Ave) and at the Artesia Senior Center (located at 202 W. Chisum Ave).
ABSENTEE & EARLY VOTING
Absentee Voting for the March 2014 Municipal Election will begin January 28, 2014. To request an absentee ballot, submit an absentee ballot application. The last day to request an absentee ballot will be Friday, February 28, 2014, at 5:00 PM. Early Voting begins February 12, 2014. The polling place for Early Voting is City Hall, 511 W. Texas. Polling times will be 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM, Monday - Friday. Early voting will end Friday, February 28, 2014 at 5:00 PM. For more information, contact the City Clerk’s Office at 575-746-2122.
How do I request to speak before the City Council?
Many questions and concerns can be addressed by the City Department Heads and/or City Council Committees. Contact Lisa A Johnson in the Mayor’s Office at 575-746-3593.
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F O C U S on the chamber
MEET THE CHAMBER STAFF WELCOME NEW CHAMBER MEMBERS! HAYLEY KLEIN
Director of Administration
VICKIE GROUSNICK Events & Marketing Coordinator
KELCEY McCALEB Office Assistant
Artesia’s Economic Development Director
515 N. Virginia, Roswell, NM 88201 575.622.2060 ameripride.com
FLIPKEY VACATION RENTALS
YOUR CHAMBER OF COMMERCE IS LOOKING FORWARD TO A
BIGGER & BETTER 2014! With a new staff on board and a lot of new members, Artesia Chamber of Commerce had a great 2013! We believe 2014 will be a great year too. We plan to get motivated right from the start at Power Lunch on January 14. Always at First Baptist Church’s Total Life Center, Walter Nusbaum captures his Power Lunch audience every time with tips and food for thought that will help you be your best at work and home. Power Lunch takes place every quarter on the second Tuesday of the month in January, April, July and November. Please join us. Lunch is only $5 and the presentation is always worth your time. If you are interested in sponsorship opportunities, please call us and we will tell you how it works. Event season is behind us for now, but 2014’s season will gear up quickly. We are looking to make each of our big events bigger and better this time. Gus Macker, Fourth of July, Clays Crusher, Balloons & Bluegrass would not be possible without our generous sponsors and volunteers. But, to take them to the next level, we need some of your great ideas. If you have a particular interest in any one of the events, or are just looking to get involved, please call us! We are forming planning committees for each event. And, of course, our sponsors! We couldn’t do anything we do without our sponsors and members. I visit other great communities and New Mexico and West Texas. While they all have something special about them, none is as special as Artesia. Our supporters are top notch, and the projects our community is able to pull off time and time again just can’t be beat!
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CANYONSTONE APARTMENTS 2602 W. Richey Ave., Artesia, NM 88210 575.746.2182 canyonstoneapartments.com
We look forward to another great year and all the fun it will hold. Happy New Year! WINTER 2014 | A COMMUNITY MAGAZINE
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