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Sharing the Gospel and Our Lives: July 2023

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Puerto Peñasco, Sonora, Mexico

Hola Famigos!

Although many parts of the ministry of i6eight slow down during the summer due to the heat, Pan de Vida has been blessed to be able to continue serving the community and sharing the Gospel. I6eight's children's ministry, iKids, hosted a week-long Vacation Bible School (VBS) at Pan de Vida. The theme of the VBS was "Exploring your Faith", and the children loved the travel theme! For most of the kids in the community of Pan de Vida, neither they nor anyone in their family will ever have the opportunity to fly in a real airplane, so they were thrilled to wait in line at the consulate to receive their passport and then board an "avión".

I6eight's children's ministry, iKids, hosted a Vacation Bible School (VBS) at Pan de Vida with the theme of "Exploring your Faith".Each child was given a passport and flew to a variety of countries as they also learned about the Beatitudes in Matthew 5.The VBS truly was a team effort from i6eight. The organization's bakery, Isaiah's Bakery, made homemade hot dog buns and also a special order of Mexican sweet breads called "conchas". Every day the kids played games, danced to worship music, made a craft, ate a snack, and spent time in the Word of God. The week finished off with a fiesta and a piñata.Isaiah's Bakery, another ministry of i6eight, baked sweet breads called "conchas" for the kids along with hot dog buns for our "fiesta" day.And what's a fiesta in Mexico without a piñata? Just look at that smile.The teaching during the VBS was on the Beatitudes found in Matthew 5, focusing on the following verses:

"Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted. Blessed are the gentle, for they shall inherit the earth. Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied." Matthew 5:3-6"Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven." Matthew 5:3As a couple, we had the opportunity to wrap up the week's teaching, giving a summary of everything that had been taught by the other teachers.

From our personal experience, Biblical teaching aimed at kids can oftentimes be summarized, "Children, you need to be humble, you need to obey your parents, you need to forgive your friends, you need to say kind words, etc.". It may include a statement about Jesus being our friend or God sending His Son to die for our sins, but a heavy burden and even expectation for obedience is placed on them as individuals.

As we reflected on how best we could summarize what we wanted the kids to take away from this VBS, we kept in mind a simple question we had learned while preparing the Expository Preaching Workshop for our trip to Oaxaca.

"Is the application I am making grounded in the gospel or am I in danger of simpling placing more commands on my people?" -David Helm in Expositional Preaching: How We Speak God's Word Today

So instead of the summary above, we shared, "Children, all of us need to recognize our need for a Savior and that we are incapable of saving ourselves or even of changing our own hearts. We need to mourn over our sins instead of rejoicing in them. We need to ask the Lord to change our desires so that we long for His will and His way instead of our own." Reflection Question: How do we teach our children in a way that shows them the Gospel and does not only try to change behavior? Is the message we're sharing both during formal teaching and during informal coaching pointing the next generation to their need for the Savior Jesus Christ or expecting them to conform their external behavior without addressing internal issues of the heart?How do we teach our children in a way that shows them the Gospel and does not only try to change behavior?Lastly, we celebrated two graduations this past month. The first was of Jasiel, who recently graduated from kindergarten. His mother and brothers often spend the majority of their days hanging out beneath our house at the coffee shop. When we heard that they could not afford the school's graduation photos, we had a blast getting to set up our own photo shoot. This small act of service opened his heart to us, and we now regularly receive hugs.

The second graduation was that of Dora and Damaris from the first level of our Tuesday morning discipleship group at Pan de Vida. Being the first graduates that we've had from the community, they both hold a special place in our hearts. We will continue the study, inviting other people to join us as we study the Word of God together in community.We had the privilege of taking graduation photos of Jasiel who recently graduated from kindergarten.

Prayer Needs: 1. Please pray that the students who are attending our weekly Bible studies will continue to attend them. 2. Please pray that we will have wisdom in knowing how best to lead the adults and children who are engaging with us regularly at Pan de Vida. Prayer Updates:

1. June 2023: We are going to begin a short English course for our local team at i6eight. Please pray that God will give us wisdom in determining course materials and objectives, and that He will use this study as an opportunity for us to further develop our relationships with our Mexican partners. So far the classes are going very well! This week, all of the students will have learned enough English to under the grammar behind their memory verse: "He is a new creation." 2 Corinthians 5:17b 2. June 2023: We currently have two women, Dora and Damaris, who are faithfully attending our weekly Bible study after breakfast. Damaris has even invited two of her neighbors to join us. Please pray that God would continue to fill these women with a hunger for Himself and His Word. Dora and Damaris both completed the first discipleship guide and plan to continue studying with us. Damaris recently attended a women's retreat with her church. Dora is asking great spiritual questions and is considering coming to church with us. 3. June 2023: We are having some struggles with some young boys that are being disruptive during breakfast devotionals at Pan de Vida. Please pray that God will open their hearts to hear what we are teaching and that He would transform them from the inside out. The oldest of these boys spent his own money to buy us both candy. His younger brother then followed suit the next day. This week, the younger brother also gave Taylor a hug for the first time after our Thursday kid's day. It almost brings us to tears writing this, just seeing the work of the Lord in their lives. 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.

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