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Puerto Peñasco, Sonora, Mexico
Thank you for your prayers during this time of transition. God has been faithful to use the challenge of change to draw us closer to Himself.
We are starting to form a bit of a routine and have an extra activity every day at Pan de Vida after serving breakfast. Most afternoons or evenings we also have opportunities to grow and serve.
AM deep cleaning at Pan de Vida
PM dinner with the cross-cultural couples
AM Bible study with Celia, Teresita, and Nallely
PM leadership team meeting with i6eight and men's Bible study
Sabbath rest day with no breakfast service
AM play with the neighborhood children
PM general i6eight volunteer team meeting and women's Bible study
AM creating the menu and grocery shopping for the upcoming week at Pan de Vida
PM meeting with Scott to debrief our week
Every Thursday we have been playing with the children in the neighborhood after we finish cleaning up from breakfast.The past two weeks we have told a Bible story and brought coloring pages and colored pencils. The children in the neighborhood love this special time and look forward to every Thursday together (as do we!).We were able to give this little boy, Daniel, a few toy trucks from an Americn family who stayed with us for a few days.
Our weekends are also full of opportunities to serve.
Because we are saved by grace through no merit of our own, i6eight uses a process of prayer (as opposed to "earning it") to determine for which local families God is leading us to build. As part of this process, we had the opportunity as a couple to meet two prospective families and to take a picture of them on the property where they're hoping to build a home.
God is so good! He allowed us to meet Sara, Shara, and Mateo. Mateo is a miracle child, being born at only 26 weeks. He has a severe hearing impairment that can only be corrected with an expensive surgery. His mom, Shara, is so grateful for the gift of her child and is seeking to get him all the help and resources she can. Even though Mateo is only two years old, the two of them are already enrolled in a school to learn Mexican Sign Language.
As many of you know, we have a sweet couple in our sending church who have been faithfully serving to bring the Gospel to the deaf community worldwide. We have been able to share some online resources with Mateo's family and hope to continue this relationship as we grow in the Lord together.
We are excited to love and support Mateo's family in finding resources for the deaf community here in Puerto Peñasco.Our role here at i6eight is largely focused on our community at Pan de Vida and our local Mexican i6eight team, but we also have the exciting opportunity to be a part of the discipleship training for the American and Canadian teams who join us for short-term missions.
Specifically, we've had the opportunity to host two groups of volunteers in our home for four nights each here in Puerto Peñasco. Taylor also shared some impactful lessons from the book, God's Smuggler, during dinner with a group from both the U.S. and Canada. God's Smuggler is the autobiography of Brother Andrew who smuggled the Bible behind the Iron Curtain.In addition to hosting families during their stay at i6eight, we also have been able to host dinner for our cross-cultural team Bible study.Taylor shared on the importance of God's Word and the reason why it was worth smuggling behind the Iron Curtain for Brother Andrew.
In God's Smuggler, there is such a shortage of Bibles behind the Iron Curtain at the time that a group of churches decides to share a single Bible by splitting up the books and rotating them on a regular basis. The gospel of Christ as contained in Scripture was (and still is!) worth the risk of fines, imprisonment, and death, because it is the power of God unto salvation (2 Corinthians 11:23-26).
A few weeks after being reminded of the preciousness of God's Word through the story of Brother Andrew, the Lord once again brought us a vivid picture of the importance of the Bible. One of the gentlemen who eats with us at Pan de Vida most mornings showed up unexpectedly at the general i6eight team meeting which is held in an open space. He heard Taylor teach on John 1:29-34 and then talked with us as a couple about how he had found two complete Bibles in the trash on the side of the road. The next morning, he brought these Bibles to Pan de Vida to show us. After breakfast, he spent at least 30 minutes, separating each page and wiping out the dirt and trash stuck between the pages. As we joined him at the table and helped him with the task, we talked about the importance of reading the Bible and the way God uses it to change us from the inside out.
We pray that this is the first of many such similar conversations and that God will miraculously change this community, starting with the hearts of His people.
Barbadeo rescued these Bibles from wet piles of trash and has been clearning them page by page of dirt and debri to be able to read them.Reflection Question: How do you view the Bible in your life? Have you experienced God through your time in the Word to the point that it is worth rescuing from the trash or smuggling across borders?
1. For our team at Pan de Vida (us, Celia, Teresita, and Nallely) that we could continue to grow in our faith and love for Jesus together.
2. For continued wisdom in knowing how and when to give money or other forms of support to the people who approach us or who demonstrate need.
3. For discernment to know how important it is to attend a church within walking distance of Pan de Vida that is preaching the true Gospel vs. a church that has additional characteristics of a healthy church beyond teaching the Gospel but that requires a car for attendance.
1. We have one final load of things to bring; a few boxes of books and eight stacking dining room chairs. These things would likely fit in an SUV or a van.
1. January 2023: For Celia, the woman who started Pan de Vida with the help of i6eight, to reconnect with the ministry and her original dream to serve her community for Christ. Celia has attended our Tuesday Bible studies and has also shared one of the morning devotions with those who come to eat at Pan de Vida. This gives us great joy and encouragement. Please continue to pray for this (#1 above).
2. January 2023: That the group's daily devotions and the weekly one-on-one discipleship time with Teresita and Nallely would bear fruit in all of our lives. Please continue to pray for this (#1 above).
3. January 2023: For wisdom in knowing how and when to give money or other forms of support to the people who approach us. We have received some very helpful counsel from other missionaries and locals alike. Nallely and Teresita were also able to help provide insight into our specific community and the additional wisdom needed when substance abuse is involved. Please continue to pray for this (#2 above).
4. January 2024: For us to find a church where the Word of God is taught faithfully and where we can enjoy Christian fellowship. Two weeks ago we planned to attend church with two women who eat regularly at Pan de Vida. That same Sunday, Sara (Mateo's grandmother from the story above) also invited us to church. We offered to go the following week with Sara instead, but when we showed up at the church of the first two women, it was one and the same. The sermon walked through a passage of Scripture verse-by-verse with appropriate applications, the songs contained the truth of Godly doctrine, and the entire service was conducted in a way that was orderly and lifted high the name of our God. Unfortunately, this church is a 15-minute car ride from Pan de Vida. The Lord has blessed us richly in answering this prayer but we continue to need wisdom, guidance, and discernment (#3 above).
Sharing the Gospel and our lives,
Entregándoles no solo el evangelio de Dios sino también nuestra propia vida
Taylor and Fahren Sterrett
Interested in investing in the Lord's kingdom work being done in Mexico?i6eight is a gospel proclaiming, disciple making, compassion ministry that lives for the glory of God and the good of others. We exist to invest in the physical, relational, and spiritual lives of the people we serve. Our programs cover a wide range of needs, including education, housing, clothing, health care, nutrition, and community. We accomplish this by training, serving, and discipling together. The ultimate goal of each program is to see the people we serve fall in love with and worship Jesus Christ.
Pan de Vida is one such program which strives to satisfy spiritual needs as well as physical hunger for the glory of Jesus. Taylor and Fahren will join Pan de Vida in the hopes of seeing God transform hearts through Biblical training and life-on-life discipleship.
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