10 Years – What Happened?

by Jim on 4 October 2012

Finding direction for 10 years

Tomorrow this blog celebrates 10 years!  (Ok, we are going to celebrate.  The blog just kinda sits here.)  So let’s take a look at a few of the things that have happened in the past decade.  How many of these things do you remember?  What would you add to the list?


2002 of course marked the start of Finding direction, although at that time it was called The Cottrill Family Journal.  We originally used software known as Greymatter, but eventually switched to WordPress (which didn’t exist when we started the blog).  It was 9:46pm on the 5th of October.

In Christian news, this is the year that The Purpose Driven Life by Rick Warren was published.  Christians watched in amazement as it became one of the best selling books of all time.  But critics became concerned that it lacked a clear Gospel message, and used Scripture a little too creatively.


Perhaps the most important event of 2003 was the birth of our nephew, Jevon!

2003 also marked the beginning of the Iraq War.  Unlike the USA, Canada never declared war on Iraq, but did support the UK and the USA, and Canadian soldiers did go to Iraq.

In other news, The Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown was published.  It rehashed old myths about history, and eventually gained a special place in my 8 week series Where did the Bible Come From?

The Darfur Conflict in Sudan began in 2003.


In 2004 – Nathanael happened!  Right in the middle of a move.

In 2004, The Passion of the Christ also made big news.  Although initially many evangelical organizations promoted it, many criticised the extreme violence and traditionalist Catholic teachings of the movie.

Perhaps the biggest news story of the year hit in late December – the Boxing Day Tsunami was one of the biggest natural disasters in recorded history.


In 2005 we welcomed our niece Ashlyn into the world.  Right on!

This blog also gained it’s new name – Finding direction.

In world news, the USA decided to build a wall on the US/Mexico border.


In 2006 – we moved to Mexico!  We left Canada in October 2006.  The weather had been nice, but a snowstorm hit the day we left.  We arrived in Mexico in November.  I still thank God on the anniversary of that day that we arrived here!


In 2007 Canadian MK William Paul Young gave the world The Shack.  Fellow Canadian blogger, who celebrated his 10 years last month, wrote a review here.  Of course, Tim has a few more readers than we do – but we’re not bitter about that. ;)

In other news that rocked the Christian world, a short term mission team from South Korea was taken hostage by the Taliban in Afghanistan.  Two members of the team would be executed before the team’s final release.  At least one who died was killed because he refused to convert to Islam.  However, much of the news focused on criticizing the churches in South Korea and the team itself, as well as mission efforts in general.  

In Mexico, massive flooding hit affecting about a million people.  As much as 80% of the State of Tabasco was under water.


In Canada, a Christian charity was fined $23,000 for hiring only people with Christian convictions.  How long would any religious organization be able to exist in Canada?

In 2008 the “Global Recession” began, impacting many many lives especially in the western world.  The recession also impacted (and continues to impact) funding for Christian mission efforts around the world.

Another of the world’s most terrible natural disasters hit in 2008 – Cyclone Nargis.  At least 138,000 died.

In 2008 we also moved to Ixtapaluca.  In an auspicious beginning, I walked into our new house, went into the bathroom, and locked myself in.  I had no way to contact anyone, but eventually I found a way to get the door open again!

At the end of this year and the beginning of the next, Shari’s parents came down for a visit!


Ah, the memories!  In 2009 we were hoping to be around to welcome our niece Karina into the world.  But after waiting as long as we could, we had to get back on the road.

2009 was also the year of the swine flu!  When an earthquake hit in the middle of the flu scare, Mexicans were wondering how much worse things were going to get.

But it wasn’t all bad – in 2009 we officially recognized the Mexican leadership of the church in Santa Barbara, Ixtapaluca!

Also in 2009, my Dad had his book published – Discovering the Songs of Christmas!  What, you don’t have your copy yet?  It’s a great time of year to order! :)


More problems in central Mexico when the sewage system burst, sending floods of filthy water across one of Mexico’s busiest highways into the valley of Chalco.  The flood waters continued to pour in for several days.  The flood was only 5 minutes from our house, and with the believers in our church we were able to offer relief in the form of hot breakfasts, supplies, and clothes.

Serious as it was, the flooding hardly made a footnote in the news, and there was little or no other relief going on while we were there.  I took a lot of video (here’s the video we presented at the service we had after the waters went down), and some of my footage eventually ended up on the Canadian History Channel as a part of their Trashopolis series.  (I still haven’t seen the show – anyone have a copy?)

2010 was also a time for major celebration in Mexico – 200 years of independence, and 100 years since the Revolution.

2010 was also the year of the Winter Olympics.  In the most watched television broadcast in Canadian history, we watched Canada’s men’s hockey team defeat the US team.  There hadn’t been anything like it since we beat the Soviet Union in ’72.

This is the year we also welcomed our new director at CAM Canada – Charlene de Haan.


In religious news, Harold Camping claimed that the world would end in 2011.  He had already condemned local churches, saying they were ruled by Satan.

In the world of missions, Christians were shocked when a missionary was shot and killed in northern Mexico.

An earthquake and tsunami in Japan, and the problems that they caused, resulted in what was said to be the most expensive natural disaster in history.

South Sudan gained its independence in 2011, sadly not ending the violence.


In 2012 we had the pleasure as a group of believers to recognize the Mexican leaders of the new church plant in Jesús María, Ixtapaluca.

And – how can we forget?  After all, it was only a few days ago!  The birth of our nephew, Ethan!

And – in 2012 Finding direction celebrated 10 years!

To celebrate, for a little while we’ll have some pictures here (top right) of the past 10 years – especially focused on the four of us and Mexico (hey, it’s our blog after all!).

The picture will change each time you visit a different page on the blog, or reload the page.

Some of the pictures are clickable – click to read a post about the picture!

Tomorrow – it’s about time to look forward . . .

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{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Grandma C. October 4, 2012 at 11:05 pm

More interesting facts about the last 10 years. I really enjoyed reading this and have seen several of the pictures. Great ideas for celebrating 10 years of “Finding Direction”.

Congratulations!! Great blog!

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