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Peoria, Arizona and Puerto Peñasco, Sonora, MexicoHola Famigos!
The holidays were an incredible time to catch up with friends and family that we had missed dearly while we studied Spanish and served in Oaxaca. Unfortunately, we didn't have the time to see each of you, but thankfully we are much closer to Phoenix and look forward to seeing you soon (you are welcome to come visit us too!).
With the help of Terry and Suzanne Campbell (part of the i6ieight State-side volunteer team) as well as Steven and Stephanie Torrez (our neighbors), we have been able to move almost everything down to Puerto Peñasco.The i6eight theme of the year from the Gospel of John is, "Jesús es... Vengan a Ver" which translates to "Jesus is... come and see."We are excited to come under the leadership of Scott and Shannon Swartzentruber with i6eight. From team planning meetings to pastoring classes, we are blessed to have them discipling us.
For 2023, the i6eight team will be studying the Gospel of John verse by verse.
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.
- John 1:1-5
It is stunning to see how God's plan for man's redemption was written into the very creation of the universe. The theme, which will be printed on this year's i6eight shirt, reads "Jesus is..."
The Messiah foretold by Abraham, Moses, Isaiah, King David and Daniel
The Word made flesh
The Light of the world
The sacrificial Lamb of God
The Way, the Truth, and the Life
Jesus is and He has given us a vivid description of Himself in His Word.It has been a pleasure to serve alongside Nallely and Teresita (respectively) at Pan de Vida.The work begins!
After many months of preparation, it is surreal to begin serving at Pan de Vida daily.
By doubling the size of the service crew, we are now able to rotate two of us out into the dining area every morning, while the remaining two stay in the kitchen to help serve seconds and work on dishes. This has given Taylor, Fahren, Teresita and Nallely the opportunity to start making connections with the guests that we hope will lead to one-on-one discipleship.On Friday the 20th, we celebrated the start of a morning devotional series that answers some of the most urgent spiritual questions we have by pointing us to Scripture.Due to our deep conviction that it is the Word of God alone that will lead to life transformation, we decided to expand their weekly devotional time to now occur daily. There is no better start to a morning than warm food, hot coffee, and a deep drink from the Fountain of Life that is Christ and His Word.We started the new devotional series with delicious pozole (a spicy soup), champurrado (a warm chocolate corn drink), and some fun snacks to go.We've slowly but surely been learning the names of each person who comes to eat. We've been ranging about 22-30 adults and 8-12 children daily.
In addition to daily devotions with all of the guests who come to eat at Pan de Vida, we have started to work through a Scripture-based Spanish discipleship tool with Teresita and Nallely. This may seem like a normal activity for those on the mission field, but for us, it is a momentous testament to God's faithfulness in our lives. In 2016, we joined CrossTrain Church in traveling to Costa Rica to visit two missionaries we supported, Mark and Meg Kuzdas, and to pray in the homes of various families. We saw God drawing people to Himself in amazing ways through Biblical discipleship at the ministry's feeding center. On our trip back home, our flight was delayed and we had several hours to wait at the L.A. airport. We remember sitting on the floor with Kerry Troyer, the pastor's wife, dreaming about how God might do something similar in our own community in Peoria, Arizona. We looked into finding a nearby Title 1 elementary school where we might be able to begin to serve, but nothing came to fruition. We remember wondering if that desire from the Lord was merely a fleeting passion never to amount to anything. Soon after, our life and marriage took a messy turn. Sin struggles threatened to break us apart and serving the Lord together seemed impossible. Fast forward 6 years to today where we are completing the same discipleship material at a feeding center in Northern Mexico, and we cannot help but marvel at our God. He delights to use weak, broken people in His ministry of reconciling the world back to Himself.
Reflection Question: Are you allowing past failures or current struggles to prevent you from being used by the Lord for the work He wants to do around you?
Following in the footsteps of Mark and Meg Kuzdas and the Christian Light Foundation of Costa Rica, Taylor and Fahren have begun the "Nueva Vida en Cristo" one-on-one discipleship materials with Teresita and Nallely.Prayer
1. 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.
2. That the group daily devotions and the weekly one-on-one discipleship time with Teresita and Nallely would bear fruit in all of our lives.
3. For wisdom in knowing how and when to give money or other forms of support to the people who approach us.
4. For us to find a church where the Word of God is taught faithfully and where we can enjoy Christian fellowship
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. December 2023: We will be doing a handful of trips to and from Mexico in the month of January. Pray for smooth travel and border crossings. All of our border crossings have gone incredibly smoothly. We got to have a great conversation with the young men running the import station about our experience in Oaxaca and our reason for moving to Puerto Peñasco.
2. December 2022: The first few months down in Puerto Peñasco will be another big adjustment. Pray that God will give us wisdom as we plan what our weeks will look like and patience/flexibility to deal with unforeseen changes and obstacles. Continue to pray for this time of transition.
3. December 2022: Most importantly, pray that God will begin softening the hearts of the people to who we will be ministering at Pan de Vida and that He will be preparing our hearts for His good works. Our reception at Pan de Vida has been excellent. Our guests welcomed us warmly and have been participating in the devotional time.
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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