Thank you for praying for us and making financial contributions. All the funds that were needed were raised. On April 22nd we raised $2200+ at the dessert auction for short term missions and on June 2nd we raise $664 at the church garage sale for the Mexico team. Praise God for the many donations that came!

 Good News

 

Our team will partnered together with international workers and local Mexican believers to  share the good news that Jesus Christ changes lives forever through workshops and relationships.
Check out our trip letter in the blog post below
 

 Discipleship

 

Our team met consistently as we grow in the word together and prepare for the opportunities God has for us. Our team consists of David Harvey, Aaron Gleadow, Janaya MacKenzie, Shawna MacKenzie, Nicolas Peters, and Pastor Tyler Rody.  
 

 Financial Partnership

 

Thank you for partnering with us, God has provided exactly what we needed.
If you want to continue to support the ministry in Mexico City and San Pablito, go to Online Giving: select “global advance fund”.

 

--- Pray for our Team

 

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“Our heart & soul is to connect people with the living and powerful God.”

Please pray:

  • That our team would grow in faith as we come home
  • That Dan & Jenica would be empowered by the Holy Spirit to lead C3 students
  • For Ray & Cindy, site coordinators, who take care of all the Alliance missions teams that travel to Mexico City
  • That God would be working in the hearts and lives of the people that we will met and mintered to
  • Thank God for the Good News of Jesus Christ that changes lives forever!

 

 

 

--- Team Mexico Update Blog

 

Last full day in Mexico City

As we began the last full day in Mexico City, a few of our team members spent some extra time in prayer for personal victory over the struggles. And we praise God that he leads us beside still waters and is with us always to the very end of the age.
We travelled to an area of the city called Xochimilco where we had the opportunity to continue our debriefing and discipleship along the canal’s of Mexico City with our friend, Heather Hahn de Cabesas. It has been so wonderful how Ray has led our times together so we can celebrate what God has been doing and reflect on how we can continue to follow Him.
When we got back to the ministry centre and guest house, we continued to spend some time celebrating the victory we have in Christ and Dan (the C3 youth pastor) shared with us some encouraging gifts he received for us during his morning prayer time. As we were about to conclude, I was praying and asking God, “what would be the best way to transition from such an encouraging time of reflection and discipleship towards supper. Would it be fitting to sing “Holy, Holy, Holy,” together?” Almost immediately, I heard Dan say those exact words – it seemed like a clear indication that singing that song would be a great way to continue to focus our attention on God as we went for supper. I scampered off to get the laptop so everyone could see the words as we sang it together from youtube. 
Then off to Taquearte for one last round of tacos. 
We concluded our official ministry time with an evening at the English Conversation Group that takes place in main level of the ministry centre that is used for the C3 church.
Praise God for the good things he’s been doing in the hearts of our team!
L-R: Nic, David, Aaron, Tyler, Ray, Dan
L-R: Cindy, Janice, Janaya, Shawna, Jessi
 
 

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Hello and Goodbye to our SP Friends

I am in awe every morning as I gaze out upon the valley and mountains from the rooftop of Ismael’s house (where us guys are staying). Each day the clouds roll through in various formations with the sun shining through illuminating their edges and highlighting God’s beautiful creation.

Today we got to head to church in San Pablito. Being a pastor, I figured I would be invited to share something, so I prepared a bit during my morning devotions. Dan (C3 Youth Pastor) and I were invited up on stage to play the 2 songs we knew in Spanish. As the service went on, sure enough, I was invited to bring greetings. So I went up and shared and it went very well. Then on my way down, Chuy came up to me and said, “Hey, remember how you said it takes you many hours to prepare a sermon. Well I forgot to mention that you get to preach this morning for 20 minutes.” And I said, “I just shared, is that what you mean?” And he said, “No, now you get to do the sermon for 20 minutes.”

Ok, so here we go! As I had the opportunity to preach, I went through Psalm 1, and verse 3 stuck out. It talks about a tree that is planted by streams of water bears fruit and there are so many different kinds of trees and plants that grow in the mountains of San Pablito. May it be a reminder for them that they can grow like the trees on their hills as they spend time in the Word of God.

I also Praise God Leobardo and his family showed up. They are a family I stayed with 5.5 years ago and I don’t think they had been around very much. His daughter, Sonja, join us for lunch and I pray she will be a light in the darkness, that she would be a strong evangelist and leader in her school and in San Pablito.

Then we said our good-bye’s at our host homes and began the voyage home. The ride home was slow as there was lots of traffic and we were anxious to get back to the guest house in Mexico City and make contact with our families.
– Pastor Tyler 
    

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Beautiful Creation – Shawna MacKenzie

I’m sitting on the rooftop of our host home in San Pablito watching the sun rising over the mountains while I reflect on the past few days. It would be quiet except for a cacophony of roosters crowing, dogs barking, a symphony of birds singing, and our neighbor’s pig grunting. Today, on our last day in San Pablito, I am overwhelmed and grateful for this trip. I have learned so much about this place, these people, and their stories. Yet, I’ve also learned so much about my own story.

The crafter in me was hoping so much before we left to be able to see the amate paper making process that I’ve read so much about. Not only did I see it and learn about it this week, but I got to experience it for myself. I see my own story mirrored in the process. Before the paper can become a canvas for art, it must be harvested as bark from a tree. It is soaked and boiled for many hours, then manipulated into skeins that can be pulled apart to create strands for the paper. Next, the strands are placed in a grid and the artist must repeatedly pound the fibres with a rectangular volcanic rock shaped for the process. More bits are added and pounded until the fibers blend together creating a canvas for the artist to create his or her masterpiece. So it is with my spiritual journey. I started out as simple bark on a tree, selected, moulded (sometimes pounded) into something that is beautiful, not because of who I am, but because God the artist has made me so. I can no more turn myself into a finished piece of art than the bark on the tree can turn itself into paper. It is a process, not something to be rushed, but something to be added to bit by bit – fibre by fibre – until I am prepared to grow. The beauty can be seen only after it has been prepared by the Creator. The result is a beautiful story – joy and pain woven together to bring glory to God, my Creator.

Philippians 1:6 – being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.

 

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July 7 – Nic Peters

We got together for breakfast and then headed out for our first and only event today: repainting a preschool. In Mexico, school is supposed ot be free but due to corruption they don’t get any money for kindergarten. So we got together, bought the materials and turned a boring old tan building with the minions and a few other figures painted on the front to actually quite bright and beautiful building. We even got an artist (the guy we were staying with) to paint several things on the walls and let me tell you, it’s awesome. And at the end we all got together and threw a ton of big bricks onto their roof, so they could build a teachers room on top of the main room. We didn’t just throw them though, we formed a chain and passed the bricks from person to person. Then we headed home after about 8 hours of work, had supper and went to bed. 

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July 6 – Nic Peters

It has been somewhat difficult to sleep as there has been roosters screaming at 2 or 3 in the morning, so I used my earplugs and it helped a bit.

Breakfast was nice, its awesome to have Kellogg’s cereal and milk since milk is my favourite comfort food. Then we went to an artisan’s house and they served is a second breakfast of delicious bean “soup” and some lemon grass tea which tasted great, but since I’m already full, it was a bit of a problem. The family also offered us all giant cooked ants after I shared my testimony with them. I also told them I really liked the food here. The ants tasted like slightly burnt popcorn but the mental steps I had to take were big. This family made their own special amate paper lamps, a beautiful work of art that no one else makes. 

Next, our group went to make our own amate paper. It’s interesting seeing the process and seeing examples of the steps from turning tree bark into paper. After that, we headed back for lunch with a fruit/veggie salad, oil fried beef, and what some described as a combination of coleslaw and potato salad. After lunch we visited 2 more artisans. First was an amate paper artist who completely out classes us and then a bead artist. Both were amazing and I got some gifts for my family.

We headed back to our respective host houses for a guys/girls night. The guys invited over a few other guys from the community. A father and son from North Carolina came were in San Pablito, so it was nice to speak English to them. It should also be stated at this point the Mexican meal times, lunch is at 2pm and supper is between 8pm and 10pm, is its currently 8pm and we haven’t had supper yet but we were drinking cup after cup of a bunch of different coffees. Sadly I don’t like coffee and I feel its too late to be having caffeinated drinks. Turns out this is supper, coffee and sweat bread.

Pastor Tyler used the opportunity to encourage everyone to use their skills and abilities to serve their community and love their neighbours.
   

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All kinds of ministry

            Today we started the day with a simple breakfast. The coffee was hot, but not very strong and made with a lot of sugar. It was way too sweet, but it’s all good.

            We went to Rosa’s hogar house, and we got to hear her story and I got to pray for her son Manuel who is in a stroller and has some sort spinal condition and is not able to walk or fully control his body. She prays every day for Manuel and he’s actually getting better – Gloria Dios! Glory to God!

            Then we got to spend time learning from the artisans how they do their work. Our group went stayed at Guardancia’s house and I made a ring and Nic made his the fastest – well done!

            We went to Pastor Ciro’s house and got to hear his testimony. Ciro and his wife have had some incredible ups and downs, but through it all God has been faithful. It has been incredible to hear their heart for their community and call to ministry.

            Then we put on the service. We started with a new song, Dios Imparable God of the Impossible,led by Dan (the C3 Youth pastor) and I played electric guitar. Our team acted out the Good Samaritan.

  • Jessi read the story (she’s the student from C3 that joined our team).
  • Aaron was the man walking on the road who got beat up.
  • Shawna and Jenica (Dan’s wife) were the robbers.
  • David and Nic were the ones who passed them by.
  • Janaya was the Good Samaritan.
  • I (Pastor Tyler) was the inn keeper.

            Then I got to speak and challenge the students: God loves us – we can love others and honour our parents.

            Everyone did a fantastic job. For me, one of the best part was after the workshop. Our team did an incredible job connecting with the students, encouraging them, and praying for them. I got to pray for Eleazar – that he would be strong, courageous and follow God all if his life.
– Pastor Tyler
 
      

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July 4th – A New Beginning

            The day began with a bit of commotion – Ray (the Envision site coordinator and our team leader) misplaced his wallet! He searched everywhere, checked Mega (like Walmart), and finally found it in his shaving kit. Once he found it, we were on our way.

            The ride was relatively uneventful. The scenery on half of the drive was quite flat, and in the distance, you could see some Aztec pyramids and the mountains. One we reached the mountains the scenery was amazing, and the roads had many twists and turns. The roads were in better condition than I remember, but I did almost hit my head on the ceiling on a couple of their many speed bumps. Instead of having speed limits and police enforcing it, they just put up speed bumps. Maybe that’s why, in some cultures, they call them sleeping policemen.

            We stopped in Pauhautlan and received a tour of a small coffee plantation. He picks the beans in December at his property, brings them to his shop, dries them on the roof, separates the beans from the shell through a machine, then roasts them. One thing he does differently than anyone else, he adds sugar after the beans are roasted and then roasts the sugar and beans together for another 30 minutes.

            Unfortunately 40% of his coffee plants have been overtaken by a plague this year. The plague will kill the whole plant and it will take approx. 3 years before the plat produces a good amount of beans.

            Then we arrived in San Pablito. We got to hang out with a family and she shared the story of how her family came to faith and joined the local church. Aaron shared his story and we had a great day. They made fresh corn tortas into quesadillas for supper with Oaxaca cheese.

            Then we walked down and up some rock stairs to Ismael’s home. It is a very large cement home and we’re very thankful to call it our home in San Pablito.
– Pastor Tyler
       

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Away we go… again

Today we are heading to San Pablito. We will spend time connecting with artisans, sharing our testimonies with local people, we will lead worship, present a skit, and I will get to share a talk about Honouring your Parents.
Pray for us – that we would have a safe trip, our testimonies would shine the light of Jesus and be translated well. Pray that our team would follow the good advice to drink lots of water, and that we would enjoy the local food that is prepared for us in San Pablito. Pray for our families as we will be not be able to contact them for 4 days. And pray that God’s will would be done in Saskatoon, in San Pablito.
– Pastor Tyler

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Step by Step

           As part of our ministry and experience, it is necessary for us to understand the culture. It can take years to get a good grasp on another culture, but there will always be some parts we don’t quite fully understand. We started our journey today with a trip on the Metro to the Basilica. It is the place of most significance for Mexicans in the catholic faith. It is the place where Diego received his vision of Guadalupe and that was the catalyst for many Mexicans to embrace Catholicism.

            As we walked around the many churches, we walked up the steps to the top of a hill where a church stands marking the spot Diego received the vision. As we walked up the last set of rocky stairs to that church, Ray invited us to pray a name of God at each step. This was a wonderful opportunity for us to focus on the Lord God.

            We then took the Metro back to our neighbourhood and walked to Heather Hahn de Cabesas’ house for lunch. We enjoyed her company and encouragement as Heather and Rebecca Ross guided us through some orientation for San Pablito.

            Then we walked back to the Ministry Center where we are staying. We did a lot of walking, over 16,000 steps. And ended our day with practicing our Good Samaritan skit and team debrief. In our team debrief, we discussed how we all experienced the Basilica. For some there was an appreciation for the beautify of the architecture, for others there was some frustration with how the catholic church conquered and lied to the native Mexicans. In the midst of all of this, we were able to see truth – “Holy Holy Holy is the Lord God Almight, who was and is and is to come.”
    More pictures will come, we are trying to make sure we focus on serving people where we are and being good listeners more than taking great pictures. 
– Pastor Tyler

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Speaking English

    
Today we got to meet the newest members of our team, Dan, Jenica and Jess. Jess is a local teenager, Dan and Jenica are International Workers who have been in Mexico for two years and are originally from Ontario.

Ray and Cindy are doing an amazing job guiding us through our days. They walked us through some team orientation and led us a team building activity called “floating sticks.” Then we went to Walmart looking for presents for our host families in San Pablito.

On our way to lunch, Shawna was able to encourage Jess in her English speaking, and her confidence was immediately noticeable. As we at lunch, Ray, Cindy and Jenica were amazed to see Jess speaking so fluently in English. Praise God for how he used Shawna’s influence as a teacher to speak truth and help her have confidence.

Once we arrived back at the Ministry Centre, we talked about what we would present and share during our workshop in San Pablito. We decided to teach a new song, act out the good Samaritan, sing the song again, and then share some truth from the scriptures: Since God loves us, we can love others, especially our parents.

In the evening, we were able to join an English conversation group here at the ministry center. As I looked around at the guests, I was amazed that I actually recognized one of the girls from 5 and a half years ago! At first, she didn’t understand what I was trying to say, but then I showed her a picture I had posted on Facebook and we’re part of a different group in Coyoacan having coffee. This was her first time to the group, and I pray that her time tonight will be a significant reconnection with people of faith so she will discover God’s love.

It was incredible to see how each member of our team was able to make a new friend and significant connection. Janaya was able to learn new phrases and build relationships that brought a joyful smile to her face. Nicolas had a fantastic conversation with another guy. And the Mexicanos were very thankful to have more English speakers to talk to. Praise God! I pray that these people we met with would find God and become part of his church.

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