Friday, October 5, 2018


"Keep on asking, and you will receive what you ask for. Keep on seeking, and you will find. Keep on knocking, and the door will be opened to you." Luke 11:9

God seems to be drawn to those who don't give up. We can see this in several stories in the Bible (Matthew 15:21-28, Mark 5:25-34 and Luke 19:1-10). We haven't given up, but some days it seemed the easiest thing to do. But praise the Lord we didn't. We constantly have more questions than we have answers, but we have learned to TURST Him in ways we never have before. Life on the mission field is equal to living in a pressure cooker all the time. We are always under pressure; pressure to learn 2 languages, pressure on our marriage, pressure on parenting, pressure from a culture that is not our own, pressure in ministry, pressure from Spiritual warfare, just to name a few. It wears us out physically, emotionally and spiritually. 

I am sure to most people we seem crazy for being persistent and not giving up. But for us, we see that God's best rewards go to those who are persistent. Jesus has much to say about prayer and being persistent (Luke 11:5-10; 18:1-8) and only those who press through obstacles and initial appearances will receive what only He offers. We have seen God work in mighty ways because of the prayers of our prayer partners, our church family, and our team. James tells us that we do not have because we do not ask (James 4:2). So we are accepting his invitation to continue to ask and be persistent in ministry to reach the deaf in Mexico. 

As we get ready to head back to Mexico after a much needed furlough time, we are ready to be more persistent in asking, seeking and knocking. The way to experience God in more tangible ways is to ask repeatedly and persistently. We are prepared to press through the circumstances, negative voices from the enemy, the pressures of mission life, disappointments, and a lack of immediate results. We are His servants on His time schedule and we are ok with that. Because we trust HIM! 

We know the benefits of persistently seeking, asking and knocking by what we have seen God do over the 3 1/2 years we have been there. First generation High School graduates, Second generation High School graduates and 18 enrolled for this year. The hiring of 2 deaf teachers by the Government to teach elementary and middle school ages in public school. This answer to prayer made history in the country of Mexico. We would say that is one of the best rewards to persistently asking, seeking and knocking. Praise be to God for His rewards. 

On a personal update, Ashtyn graduated in May and we moved her to TX in July. Elise and Clay are expecting twin boys in February. We will return to Mexico as empty nesters. Pray for our family as we are all making adjustments in this season of life. Leaving is always a bittersweet thing for us and difficult to leave our family behind. 
I am hoping to be much better about updating the blog on a regular basis. Thank you all for keeping up with us and praying for us. We appreciate each of you. 

Monday, April 3, 2017

2017 already?

We were able to take our first furlough back to Alabama during part of December 2016 and part of January 2017. It was a much needed time with family for Christmas and visiting with our friends and supporting churches. We thoroughly enjoyed our visit but did feel as if we were burning the candle at both ends and were totally exhausted as it ended. Thank you to everyone who hosted us, fed us, gave us gifts, donations, loaned us vehicles, did special things for us, loved and hugged on us! You all filled our tanks with encouragement and love and it will carry us for the months to come.

As we pray and fast about what God has in store for future ministry we realize that it won't be easy and we understand that there will be spiritual warfare! But we also know that God desires to reach the deaf with the gospel and He desires for them to come to know Him personally. Deaf culture is very different than hearing culture and therefore it requires going about ministry in a different way. But we are sure that God is directing us to focus on Discipleship and raising up deaf leaders and making deaf disciples! We know that hearing people can not penetrate the inner circles of the deaf community - it HAS to be a deaf person. Our focus on discipleship will include life skill coaching, learning to be part of a family, jobs with discipleship included, tutoring and help with interpretation.

Our ministry here, Red Letter Lives, comes from Matthew 28:18-20 (remember that when Jesus speaks the letters are in red). God has reminded us that ALL authority in heaven and earth has been given to Him and that He has asked us, as believers, to do 4 things - Go, Make Disciples, Baptize, Teach - and know that He is with us always. He is the bookends to the Great Commission!!! With Him supporting us on either side with His authority and His presence, we CAN do what He has commanded us to do. We continue to have firm confirmations of Red Letter Lives and are excited to see how God will continue to open doors and ministry opportunities so that He can be glorified among the deaf here in Mexico!

Mike and I have been enjoying our classes at Samford University online to be certified in Global Missions. We have learned so much that is helping us tremendously on the field. We are so grateful for how God is equipping us to serve Him better and serve the deaf better. We recently attended a webinar and it was titled, "Deaf - the Final Frontier to The Great Commission" and we truly believe that it is. Because the deaf have not been reached in all PG's (People Groups) - they can not  be considered a reached people group. So all the PG's that are labeled REACHED are probably not unless the deaf within them are reached as well. That is a HUGE task, but remember He is our anchors on either side to accomplish the task.

Ashtyn has been doing so much better in her new school, and for that we are beyond grateful. It was extremely hard for us to watch our daughter struggle so hard emotionally, spiritually and physically for the first 14-16 months we were here. She has made really good friends at her new International School. She is excelling in classes and is participating in their English Debate and Speech Team. They will be traveling to Quer├ętaro, Mexico in May for a competition. She is excited about going.

Miriam started a new job last week and I was able to go with her on her first day to help translate and explain what they wanted her to do. She works from 6 A.M. to 1 P.M. then takes the buses to school which starts at 2 P.M. and ends at 6 P.M. so she was exhausted last week trying to adjust to this new routine. She has been sick as well for several weeks too. She seems to be doing well in school and is enjoying her new job. We have good days and hard days as we disciple her and try helping her grow in her faith with God so that He can use her. It is sometimes hard to find that fine line between helping her spread her wings as a 20 year old knowing that her maturity level is NO where near that yet. I know that there are many days that I expect her to behave and know things that a hearing 20 year old would, but she doesn't. And it can become frustrating, BUT GOD is teaching me along the way and showing us how we can do things differently in the future.

There is so much I want to say but there is so much studying and homework to do. We are in Spanish School 2 days a week, Mexican Sign Language classes 2 nights a week and Samford University online classes - so ya, we are tired and super busy. I will try and do better about catching everyone up more often with less information. Thanks for keeping up with us and praying for us!

Prayer Request:
1. Visa paper work for Sherri & Ashtyn - quickly, with no problems
2. Miriam to adjust to her new schedule, her faith to grow and her health
3. Our language learning - Spanish and LSM
4. Our team as we start looking to the future and planning strategies for future ministry
5. Team unity
6. Ashtyn as she prepares to travel to another city in Mexico

Saturday, October 29, 2016

This Crazy Life! 

There is only so much preparing you can do before going to the field full time! 
The rest of it is totally flexibility and dependance on God. 
We had no idea what kind of ride these last 20 months were going to be. 
But here we are on the other side and getting excited about what we see God doing. 

So what is God doing?

We see God showing us the need for Discipling, the need for Deaf Leaders and DBS (Discovery Bible Studies) among the deaf here in Ensenada. We see God using Ensenada as a training hub to send out the deaf and hearing to reach others. 
It is really cool to see Him opening doors and confirming what we have 
seen Him showing us. It has been hard to fathom a different location and a new ministry 
than what we thought when we first set out, but we trust God. 
Part of the discipleship has come in a way we didn't expect! 
We are thrilled to have our first deaf girl living with us. 

Meet Miriam

Miriam graduated from RSM in 2015. She lost her hearing at age 5 and was at the Ranch for 10 years. She wants to continue her education by getting her Jr. High certificate and is already attending High School classes now so she can get her HS education as well. 
She loves God and wants to grow in her walk with the Lord. 
We can see that she has great potential to be a leader in her community. 
We are working with her on how to budget her money, handling responsibilities, 
being a good employee and student and how to develop a time with 
God everyday to help her in her spiritual growth. 
She is teaching us sign language and helping us to understand the culture much better. 

Adjusting to our new life with Miriam comes with its challenges as well as many blessings. She is funny and keeps us laughing. We are thrilled that God brought her into our family and is using her to teach us as well. We know in order to be effective in ministry to another culture that we first have to know and understand it. 
And what a perfect way to be able to do that. We are blessed! 

Schooling is the theme here at the Sexton Casa!! 

Ashtyn is loving her new school. 
Miriam is liking Prepa (HS) but finds it fast and hard most days. 
We (Mike & Sherri) attend Spanish School 2 times a week, LSM (Mexican Sign Language) 
classes 2 times a week as well as taking online College classes from Samford University. 
When we complete all the classes we will be certified in Global Missions. 
Whew!! We are tired by the weekends from studying and learning in 3 different languages. We aren't spring chickens anymore!! 

We absolutely love our new little house and our new neighborhood. 
We actually have some grass. We love all our outdoor space we now have. 
And Oakley is loving all his outdoor space as well. 

Prayer Needs:

1. More workers here with us to disciple
2. Our language and culture learning to excel (both Mexican & Deaf cultures)
3. Our monthly financial deficit 
4. Our discipleship to Miriam
5. Our time in Birmingham in December 
(for our hearts to be prepared for the return & leaving)

Thank you so much for patiently sticking with us during these last 20 months 
as we have muddled through this journey. 
And most of the time not really knowing what to say or do and not knowing what to post. 
So thank you for your patience as we have finally gotten to a peaceful place (so to speak)
 in this journey and are now able to communicate better and more often. 
You all are so extremely special to us and we are blessed to have you in our lives. 

Saturday, May 21, 2016

Finding Joy in this Journey............after a year!!

"My heart is breaking as I remember how it used to be...." Psalm 42:4 (NLT)

     Greetings from the field as we recently celebrated our 1 year mark of being on the field. And as I look back there are several things that stand out to me. The biggest is the amount of grieving we have done in a little over a years time. We really had NO idea just how much grieving we would do or all the things that we would grieve. Some things we knew would be hard and we were expecting - like missing our family and friends, our church family, our home, our jobs, our neighborhood, our first world comforts etc. Then there were the things that we didn't expect - like our favorite places to eat, holidays, some first world comforts that we took for granted, not having to think about day to day task, familiarity, watching EVERYTHING we were missing on social media, conversations in your mother tongue (other than your family living with you), christian radio stations, and being there with family and friends when they were encountering hard times and needed us to love, hug and pray with them. Some of these unknown things would hit us hard on some days. 

     Second would be the things that we would learn about ourselves and each other. When under so much stress it doesn't exactly bring out the best in us. In fact to be quite honest it probably has been one of the hardest times in our marriage and parenting. Trying to adjust to all the changes, trying to grieve everything we have left behind, trying to learn a new language, a new culture and navigate a new city and life has been extremely hard, lonely, and trying!! But God has been with us, although the enemy has been trying to make us think otherwise. I found the new life even harder to settle into than I expected. Each day I struggled to find joy in our new life. EVERYTHING was hard and a struggle even down to cooking (which I have always loved).

     It seemed that social media was making it worse so I just stopped getting on for a while and then was very selective as to what I would look at so I couldn't be reminded everyday of just how much we were missing, just how much everyone else's life seemed normal, familiar, filled with first world comforts and surrounded by family and friends! I was watching my child struggle with anxiety attacks, physical sickness, sadness, anger and loneliness while watching all her friends get their permits and licenses, participating in things they enjoyed, going to dances, hanging out together, being recognized with awards all while being surrounded by family and friends. I felt as if we were in the boxing ring with the enemy and he seemed to be winning. We were fighting big battles here - ALONE!!

     There were more days than I care to admit that I was ready to pack up and come back because honestly, it just seemed easier! I was exhausted, physically sick, emotionally spent and tired of seeing the enemy reek havoc on my family. I looked at our situation and realized that most of these things will never change here on the field so I needed to count the cost. I thought that I had done that, and to a certain extent I had. See things don't always happen as we think they will and God's ways and plans are higher and better than ours, even when we don't feel like they are. We came here thinking we knew where we would be, what we would be doing, the team we would be serving with etc. But God had other plans that we didn't know until after we had been here. And here we were staring at a God sized task in ministry, as new struggling missionaries on the field, which was putting us into another arena with the enemy for more battles, more sacrifices and more change and I was overwhelmed.

     Then one morning while reading God's word, crying out in desperation for relief, asking for a break from sacrifice after sacrifice and telling God that I didn't think I could give up anything else or continue to live like this.......He spoke to me through His Word about my specific challenges. He took me to Philippians 2:1-18. His word came to life, jumped off the page and slapped me in the face - thank you Lord!! Sometimes when you are on the front lines, it's hard to remember the basic and simple things. I had forgotten who my example was and who I was to be like - how could I have forgotten such a simple thing? When I read these verses and saw ALL the sacrifices that Jesus made, I realized in that moment that they were additions NOT subtractions. He didn't lose anything as much as he added something. He went from being the most honored in heaven where He received continuous praise to taking the place of a criminal on a cruel Roman cross - humiliated, rejected and ALONE!!!

     Suddenly the pain I was feeling had new meaning. It didn't go away, Jesus' certainly didn't, but now I saw it from a different perspective. I started to understand more clearly the sacrifices Jesus, the son of God, made for ME!! He gave up ALL of His comfort, honor and glory for sinners who would reject and crucify Him just so He could reveal God's saving love to a dying world. Earthly sacrifice isn't the end of the story or the end of the world. I now understand that it is a path that will teach me (all of us) more about being like Jesus, more about what it means to serve rather than lead.

     I can honor the Son's sacrifice for me by being willing to make tough sacrifices (remembering that they are additions not subtractions) to accomplish God's will for my life. Learning to accept that God allows suffering and sacrifice into my life for His glory and my good. It is a step toward becoming more like my Master, my example, my Lord Jesus Christ. So I now hold even more firmly to the Word of Life, finding joy and rejoicing over the additions to our lives because God is working in us and giving us the desire and power to do what pleases HIM!

     There are still hard days and days that I see many things as subtractions instead of additions and many days that the enemy will have me believe his lies. But remembering Christ's example and keeping Him as the center of my life, He will be the source of my joy. I am discovering that heart felt joy in Jesus. He is the power behind my ability to endure any circumstance. Although the God we meet in Jesus is the God who serves us, He also commands and gives - great power to accomplish His glorious will. Life is really about Jesus. Jesus is what really matters and He is the reason for JOY!!

Thank you to those who continually pray for us, encourage us and support us! You all have no idea just how grateful we are for each of you and how much you mean to us. I apologize for the long time between updates, we aren't pros at this and are learning a lot through our mistakes as newbies on the field. We appreciate so much your patience as we walk this path God has laid out for us here to serve the Deaf of Mexico.

Blessings to you all,

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

5 months In.


 For almost 7 LONG years we had moved at a snails pace and in October 2014 that all changed. Our last 5 months in the US was a whirlwind to say the least. Early one morning in mid October we prayed together before Mike went to work. We had come to a point where we had to lay this ministry down on the altar before the Lord and pray, "Lord, this is your ministry and if you are going to take it, please take it quickly. And if you are not, could you please provide the sacrifice (the lamb in the thicket) for us. We promise to RUN through any open door if YOUR will is NOT to take it from us. Lord, you know how broken we will be if your will is to sacrifice it, but we trust you to hold us and heal us. Lord, we are yours and however you see fit to work, we will continue to serve you and be obedient." That is word for word what we prayed, trust me I will NEVER forget that Thursday morning as long as I live. It was one of the hardest prayers I have ever prayed in my life, because I had no idea if the Lord's will was to sacrifice this ministry or provide the lamb. We both cried and were not sure what the days ahead would hold, but we trusted!

We had been told that November through January were not good months to gain people to partner with God for His work and that it would probably be mid to late 2015 before we would depart for the field full time. I honestly did not know if I could face another new year without caving to emotions and throwing in the white towel. It had become so difficult to understand God's timing, to trust it and have joy. I was angry with God and could not comprehend why God's people were not joining Him in His work. Bitterness had crept in and everything seemed to be falling apart instead of coming together. I was weak, very weak. So many things had happened during this time as well. Mike lost his job, our dear pastor left our church, some serious issues with family came up and we were hanging by a thread. In hind sight, I can say that is a great place to be although it sure doesn't feel like it at the time.

We had asked our awesome Advocacy Team if they would join us in fasting and praying 1 day a week from sunrise to sunset and meet with us after sunset to break the fast and fellowship. We said that prayer together on a Thursday morning and on Friday we had 2 people give us their pledge cards and said, "we are so sorry, we have been meaning to give this to you". That Sunday was our first day to fast and pray and it was also our church picnic. When it came time to eat and the sun was not yet down we decided to take a bike ride until sunset. As we were riding through the campground Mike heard someone call his name. He turned around and saw a dear friend that he hadn't seen in a long time. We began talking to him and his wife and found out that they too had come to Christ and wanted us to come and share with them more of what God was doing the next week!!! We rode away with thankful hearts believing that God had answered our prayer and told us He was in fact NOT going to sacrifice the ministry but in fact provide a lamb!!! After that day people, churches and business were contacting us to share with them!! Wow, did He ever provide.

Things started moving fast and we were making great strides to our needed 90% of funding to head to the field. It became clear in December it was going to happen way faster than we had thought possible during these months. So we decided that we had better get busy and start getting the house ready to put on the market. We worked and worked and still had a lot on the list but decided that in January that we needed to go ahead and put it on the market and continue working on things as we showed it. We put a sign in the yard on a Sunday afternoon late in January. Within 1 hour the phone was ringing off the hook and we had 26 people asking about the house. The following Sunday we had someone just stop by and ask to see it, we were reluctant but showed it and they gave us earnest money that day!!!! We ended up with 4 families interested and on a waiting list. The first two didn't work out, but the third did.  And their story went like this, they walked into a bank at 4:30 and at 5:15 they walked out with a pre approval for the purchase!!! That was God too, that doesn't just happen.

We started selling more stuff, getting rid of so much stuff and packing what we for sure wanted to take with us. All of this happening so fast and extremely emotional. Our house is the only house Ashtyn knew, EVERY single memory she has was in that house. This was extremely hard on her. The new family has teenage granddaughters so her room would remain lime green and purple and she was super excited about that. We worked from daylight to well into the night packing, painting, sorting etc… It was painstaking to say the least. Imagine if right now you had to sort through every drawer, closet and nook and cranny in your house and only keep what could fit in an 8x8x12 POD!!! Ya, really hard.

There are so many stories that we could share but long story short, we sold our house and closed on it in less than 4 weeks, put all our stuff in a POD, packed our car and camper and headed toward Mexico. We had hoped to take about 2-3 weeks to drive toward the border and catch our breath and grab a hold of our emotions. But we headed out February 28th and had to stay ahead of terrible ice, snow and extreme cold temperatures. We hurriedly traveled to get to AZ where we had 2 days of debriefing before crossing the border. We crossed the border on March 11th. Whew!!!

The whirlwind didn't stop when we arrived either. From finding a house to rent, to getting our stuff from a POD in CA across the border to our house in Mexico, to finding a church to attend, starting language school etc…. The adjustments have been endless and hourly!! We stay exhausted because we can no longer do ANYTHING like we used too. It seriously is so draining. Sounds are different, smells are different, foods are different, the language is different, the culture is different, shopping is different, cooking is different, bathing is different, brushing your teeth is different, laundry is different, driving is different………. you get the idea right????? Everything requires thinking before doing anything. It is mentally exhausting so it drains us physically.

Mike and I are in language school Monday - Friday from 9 to 2. Ashtyn just started school here on Monday. Her classes begin at 7 a.m., she is to be in her seat at 6:50 and they go until 3:10 pm with only  two 20 minute breaks!!! All her books are in Spanish and classes too except English class. Prayer for all of us as we learn the language and make friends is much appreciated. Below is a video of a class at our school. Our teachers do NOT speak English, so we are taught and explained to in Spanish only!! And a picture of Ashtyn on her first day.

So as you can see we have been in a whirlwind for the last 10 months now and trying to get it to settle down. Not sure that life on the mission field full time will actually allow that, but some sense of routine and familiarity in time will be welcomed. 

Thanks for keeping up with us, praying for us, encouraging us and supporting us!! Will update again soon with more details of life here and what it looks like. 

Willfully His, 

Monday, February 2, 2015

All you can eat Churro's


So here it is February 2nd, our "Faith Date" and God has been more than faithful in His provisions and moving us forward. We are excited to tell you that by faith we will leave this month!!! We are waiting on a set closing date for our house and working on packing. Along with doing what seems like a mountain of paper work before our departure. Once again, as it has been on this LONG 7 year journey, we have more questions than answers. But we are trusting God 100% with every detail of these next steps. So very soon we will be living in the land of all you can eat churro's - Mexico!!

So many times I have wanted to update the blog and write about so many things and sensed the Lord was saying, "be silent and wait" and now it all makes sense when I look back. When I look back over the last 2 years of waiting on the Lord, they have been the most difficult for me in so many ways. And I think because I was struggling so much with how long and lonely the journey had been and seemed to still be for us, the Lord was using it to teach me something really important. He is enough! 

Our journey is different than those around us. Our journey is a journey of giving up, not gaining. Our journey is filled with grieving the loss of so many things. Our journey is lonely. Our journey is filled with change. Our journey is hard, really hard. Our journey is about the gospel and getting it to those who need to hear. Our journey is for a harvest of lost.  Our journey is HIS journey! We didn't plan this before time, He did. We had no idea what this would cost, He did. We had no idea how long this would take, He did. He is enough!

He has shown me in scripture that this was His journey first, He carved out an example for us. We simply need to be obedient. I simply needed Him to be enough for me. He needed me to run to Him first with my hurts, disappointments, struggles and tears. He needed me to confide in Him about everything. He needed me to be silent, like He was. He needed to see that I trusted Him more than I did those around me. He needed me to be a "by faith" follower ( you know like all those mentioned in Hebrews). He desired for me to persevere so that He could perfect my faith!  Persevere is defined as: to persist in anything undertaken; maintain a purpose in spite of the difficulty, obstacles, or discouragement; continue steadfastly.  

This by NO way means that I am perfect, please don't think that. It just means that He is perfecting my faith. Scripture says, "And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith." Hebrews 12:1b-2a. It was His journey too! And I have found great comfort in knowing that Jesus personally walked our journey. He was the first missionary, He endured everything and more than we have. And when I have a hard day now, I call to Him because He knows and He is enough!

Please pray for us as we pack up what little we are taking, tell family and friends "see you later", and set out to a new country, new culture, new EVERYTHING to make much of Him! We are excited, sad, nervous and a whole bunch of emotions rolled into one. We covet your prayers!!! See below for specific ways to pray.

Prayer Request:

  • Our emotional well being over the next few weeks
  • Our family that will stay behind
  • Our house to close with no problems
  • No obstacles in our upcoming travels as we drive over 2500 miles
  • All paperwork and packing to fall into place
  • To remain firm in our journey and press on in Christ strength 
  • God's continued faithfulness 

Thank you so much for keeping up with us, praying for us, and supporting us. We now have a FB page where you can keep up with  more current shorter updates as we set out later this month. I am not sure how much I will be able to update the blog during travels and when we first get there. So that would be an easy way to keep up. Facebook Page  Incase this link doesn't work, search for us on FB Journey To A Harvest.

Willfully His, Sherri 

Saturday, November 1, 2014

Beautiful Exchanges

and a banquet invitation! 

Over 6 years ago we prayed a prayer - "God use us, we will do anything!" Our anything seems to be costing us everything. Nothing about our previous lives are the same. Over the years we have had to give up ALL CONTROL. Over the years God has led us deeper into the lives of the people He loves and further from the safety of the familiar.

"If you try to hang on to your life, you will lose it. But if you give up your life for My sake, you will save it." Matt 16:25

There are many days and nights when tears fall and we wonder, should we take our prayer back? It some times seems easier to do that because God's ways are backwards to our human nature. God tells us to die to live, lose to find and empty yourself to be filled. And even though we have seen and experienced that many times, it still doesn't come without struggling against our flesh, tears over the emptying and loneliness in the dying. These are His beautiful exchanges. Just like He was our beautiful exchange.

And then a reminder from Luke 14 of the parable of the Great Feast and the cost of being a disciple. Jesus describes a banquet, it is beautiful and everyone is invited. But as the host prepares to welcome his family, friends and neighbors he realizes everyone has made excuses of some sort and they don't participate. So disappointed, he sends his servant out to invite the poor, the crippled, the lame and blind from the streets. So the servant brings them to the beautiful feast and there is still room for more! So he sends his servant out again to COMPEL people to come! His master has sent him out for those who don't take love for granted.

As I read this scripture, I got a beautiful word picture of what God is allowing us to be a part of. He is sending us out to invite those least likely guest to the beautiful banquet table. We get to be a part of giving God to deaf children.

God is whispering through the words of scripture to us to run on, go get His people and fill up His table. We are His ambassadors and servants and He has told us to go quickly and invite. As a child of the Most High, He is asking you too. Are you making excuses about being a part of filling up His table? Are you only inviting your family, friends and neighbors? Scripture tells us that God will reward you for inviting those who cannot repay you. See God's economy makes beautiful exchanges: as we give, we grow! It is NOT foolish to invest in the only TWO things that will NOT die: God and people's souls.

No matter how uncomfortable and hard it seems to be getting, we will NEVER take back our prayer! Yes, there are still plenty of tear filled days and nights but it is worth it!

This is our life: running to the mission field, waving our arms, full of God and giving Him away! This is what we were designed for, saved for and sent out for: loving God and loving His people. 

Not to us but to Your name be the glory!

Feb 2nd, 2015!!!!

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Warning - Departure Date Ahead!!!

Faith Departure Date 

We were asked to pray about a "Faith Departure Date" by our Area Leader. He explained to us that it was a date to leave that God would have to make happen. He told us that it would be a date that humanly speaking we could NOT make happen. A date that God alone could make happen and He would get the glory for! Wow, that is a bit scary but we want to be a part of ALL God is asking of us including a "Faith Date". We have been on this "on ramp" for a while now and have always prayed for this Fall, this Spring, this Summer and God's timing. Maybe it was time to ask God for a specific date and run with all we had to leave on that date. So we started praying and asked others to join us. 

When we began praying I didn't ask God to give me a date. I asked God to give Mike the date. I asked God for a specific day of the week. Mike had no idea that I wasn't praying for a date, I told NO ONE that I was just asking for a specific day of the week. I know from past experience that God alone can put everyone on the same page with out anyone talking about it. So I knew this would be the measuring stick to make sure that it was indeed a date from God alone!

After a few weeks I asked Mike if he had heard from the Lord and he said, "yes". This is how the conversation went.
Me: "Do you have a date?"
Mike: "Yes. February 2nd"
Me: "Okay"
Mike: "Do you know what day that is?"
Me: "Yes. Your brother's birthday"
Mike: "Yes" 
We were riding in the car when we had this conversation and I didn't want to tell him yet what I had been praying for. So we talked about ALL that would have to happen by that date and how scary that was. I thought to myself how I wished his brother were here and how that would be a special day for us to leave on. 

The next morning after spending time with the Lord I reached over and grabbed my calendar and turned to February 2015. And as I turned that page over my heart began to race and I looked down. There it was in black and white February 2, 2015 is on a MONDAY!!!! Wow!!! We have a date.  I am not really sure what I would have done if it had not been a Monday other than tell Mike that wasn't our date. But God was sovereign and reassured me that in fact He is in control!!! 

We still have to meet our financial needs to leave on that date, we have to sell our house, we have to complete security training, and a ton of paper work and details in order to pull out. But as we said it has to be a God thing. He has to totally take care of every detail as we push forward to leave for the field in February. We are excited, nervous and really a lot of emotions rolled into one. 

Please pray for us as we seek to be faithful in walking in obedience toward the date God has given us. We need $2400 a month in financial partnership to be able to leave in February and we need to sell our house. Those are the 2 big things we see staring us in the face right now. Join us in praying for God's provision. We still need prayer partners, finish our security training and much paperwork and details to fall into place. Thanks so much for praying for us, supporting us and walking this journey with us. We are blessed by each of you and your sacrifices to make much of God in Mexico!! 

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Miles of Separation

For many years and miles our hearts have been separated from us. With all separation there is pain, questions and waiting to be reunited. So is the case with us. But we are hopeful that very soon there will be NO more waiting. And that my friends is SUPER exciting!! So we have been asked to pray for a Faith Date for our departure. A date that is NOT possible humanly but by God ALONE!!! So right now we are praying for God to reveal that faith date. Then we can have a set departure date and run with all our might toward that date with full confidence and faith that God will make a way.

We also found out that we will be attending Language School in Ensenada, Mexico. We are excited about this because it will put us 30 minutes from the Ranch!!!!! We will all be in language school full time as well as working on our sign language. Exciting times coming. We wanted to update everyone on that information and ask that you pray with us about our Faith Date.

School is starting back at the Ranch. They are short handed on help and that pulls at our heart strings. We are beyond ready to be there investing in those precious children and giving them something we can - unconditional love. Our spanish and sign language may not be really good at first but we have learned that love has NO language. And no matter how badly we slaughter our communication with them, they will understand that they are loved!!

Ashtyn has started homeschooling this year and we are busy trying to adjust and get a routine down. High school homeschooling is totally different and more demanding. We are working hard to make sure that she has plenty of opportunities to be around other teens and have plenty of socialization. This was the hardest part for her last time we attempted homeschooling. Since that experience shed so much light on what needed to be done differently, we are working hard to make it better.

This update will be short because we hope to update again soon with our departure date and other news about us leaving. We are thankful for each of you and keeping up with us. Please check back soon for another update about our departure. Please join us in prayer for the request listed below.

1. Our faith date departure date.
2. Ashtyn's homeschooling.
3. The staff at Rancho Sordo Mudo as they begin a new school year short handed.
4. The kids at Rancho Sordo Mudo as they begin another year of learning.

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

If a picture is worth a thousand words, what is a video worth?

RSM, RSM, RSM, RSM (beating fist on table) Sure wish it was that easy, that we could chant and bang on the table until God said ok, ok, ok - here go now!!! I tell you the FLESH is hard to tame! Yes our flesh aches, we grow weary, we cry, we get frustrated, we get mad, we get impatient; but God (don't you just love those BUT GOD statements in His word) never tarries, is never late, never forgets, never has to be reminded, is never impatient and ALWAYS has our best interest at heart. We may NOT have all the answers to all the questions and we certainly don't know the answer to why we are not on the field full time yet! But in due time God will reveal it all to us, it is not our hour yet.

 We are looking forward to getting there and being able to be a part of the lives of the precious kids. Remember that when they come to the Ranch, they have no language. First we give them a language, then an education, then a trade and while doing all of this (plus some) they get to see first hand the love of Jesus Christ through all of us there! These children are used to being passed off, put out and unloved. So the unconditional love of all the missionaries at the Ranch is invaluable to their success. Behavioral issues are common at the Ranch, but loving them through it and unconditionally speaks volumes.

I wanted to show you pictures from the Ranch, so you can see first hand those precious faces and a bit of what life on the Ranch looks like for the kids and the missionaries. I am also including a few videos. Please pray for all the kids and staff at the Ranch as they gear up for the upcoming school year.

Hanging out on the fire truck 

They love to have fun just like hearing kids. Check out their funny face pic 

A little game night at RSM 

Church group from CA that came to serve 

House Parent 

House Parent 

Learning a trade 

learning to make jelly 

Dinner time 

Missionary game night  


Spelling Bee 

Staff Christmas dinner 2013- thanks to a church in CA 

Thanksgiving 2013

Work day 

Girls learning trade 

Waffles, yum yum 

Corporate Worship 

A little Pi├▒ata fun 

And then I ran across the MOST horrifying picture……..

Seriously, I am not sure I can handle this!! That is a HUGE frog people!! 

The kids at RSM perform many plays, skits and videos. I am super excited to be able to be involved in helping students with dramas, skits and videos. It feels my heart with such joy to see them do these things. It has always been one of my passions but when you consider that all these children are deaf, it is even more special to watch and experience. I have attached one that was filmed so you can see just what I mean. ENJOY!!

And I have spoken much about Johnny & Amber missionaries there who adopted a little boy from the Ranch named JJ. He has numerous difficulties other than being deaf. He is cute as a button but can be a hand full. Here he is doing a magic trick. I think you will pick up on his personality.

Please pray with us and for us for the following:

1. Obedience without delay
2. Sell of our house
3. Fall departure
4. Successful Home Schooling experience for Ashtyn
5. Continued peace of God's control and not our own
6. Our Pastor Search Committee at our home church 

Thank you for walking this journey with us, it's not an easy one and I would never be anything but transparent about that. I pray that when I update again, I will have exciting news! Thanks to each of you that take time to read. I pray that you have been encouraged and inspired by what God is doing in the lives of these children through a bunch of sinners saved by grace that consider it pure joy to forgo our own plans, comforts and desires to say yes to Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior! May His name be exalted and glorified at Rancho Sordo Mudo in all that is said and done to increase the Kingdom for His name sake! 

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Going and Sending

Here we are with summer upon us and we have some goals. We have a goal to put our house on the market in June and praying that it will sell shortly after. We have no idea where we will live, but God will take care of that! We have a goal of being funded to our 90% by summer end or first of September so we can make a late September or early October departure. Plain and simple there are many things that are not being done and taken care of because we are NOT there yet!! RSM, the kids and other missionaries there need us and we really need to be leaving soon. Our desire is to be making much of God's name in the lives of the students and community in Guadalupe Valley, but we can't if we are not there.

I had so many things I tossed around for this blog, but hands down God kept taking me to scripture after scripture, devotion after devotion, conversation after conversation about GOING!!! I am not a huge reader, what reading I do do is always my bible. But along this journey we have been required to read several books and have been given several books. While cleaning up the other day I moved some papers and saw a lime green book that caught my attention. The title was "Let the Nations be Glad!"by John Piper, so I picked it up and thumbed through it. I usually start at the back of a book and go forward. And there in the back a title that caught my attention and as I began to read, I knew this was what God wanted me to share. I was afraid that it would lose its meaning and impact if I tried to use my own words to tell you what I read, so I decided to just share what the book says. So the following is directly from the book and not my own words.
The Supremacy of God in Going and Sending
     There is a wonderful passage in the often neglected epistle of 3 John that sums up the burden of this book beautifully. We want to leave you with its truth ringing in our mind and heart. There are only two ways for us to respond to the truth we have been considering about the supremacy of God in missions. We must either go out for the sake of his name, or we must send and support such people who do, and do so in a manner worthy of God. Listen to the words of the apostle John, who heard the heartbeat of Jesus as he leaned on his breast and who listened with his own ears to the giving of the Great Commission.

     "The elder to the beloved Gaius, whom I love in truth. Beloved, I pray that in all respects you may prosper and be in good health, just as your soul prospers. For I was very glad when brethren came and for witness to your truth, that is, how you are walking in truth. I have no greater joy than this, to hear of my children walking in the truth. Beloved, you are acting faithfully in whatever you accomplish for the brethren, and especially when they are strangers; and they bear witness to your love before the church; and you will do well to send them on their way in a manner worthy of God. For they went out for the sake of the Name, accepting nothing from the pagans. Therefore we ought to support such men, that we may be fellow-workers with the truth." 3 John 1:1-8

     What evidence compels this old apostle to be convinced that Gaius's soul is prospering? What is the truth in which Gaius is walking? Apparently some missionaries, whom John knew, had visited Gaius and were loved by him in a special way. They returned to the church of which John was a part and testified that Gaius treated them well, even though they were strangers to him. This so moved John that he wrote Gaius a letter to encourage him for walking in the truth and for acting faithfully. He wanted to urge Gaius to continue all the more. "You will do well to send them on their way in a manner worthy of God." Gaius was admonished by the apostle to be a sender. This phrase, "to send on one's way," occurs nine times in the New Testament, and each one occurs in a missionary context.
     The most descriptive verse is found in Titus 3:13. In this verse, Paul writes to Titus, "Diligently help Zenas the lawyer and Apollos on their way so that nothing is lacking for them"(NASB). From this verse we can learn that sending is something to be done diligently and is all inclusive - "so that nothing is lacking for them."   

In 3 John, this diligence and thoroughness is captured in the phrase "in a manner worthy of God" (vs6). This elevates the importance of sending as high as can be imagined. It is a commandment of God (notice the "ought" of verse 8). The reason we must send them in a manner worthy of God is that they go out for the sake of the name. The name of God is at stake in how we treat our missionaries. God is glorified when we support them substantially with our prayers, our money, our time, and myriad other practical ways (notice the "whatever" in verse 5). God is not glorified when our missionaries are simply a name on the back of a bulletin or a line item in the budget.

     It is not of secondary importance to be engaged in this ministry of sending. It is a very high calling. It is walking in the truth. It is the manifestation of a healthy and prospering soul. Senders are fellow workers with the truth. To send in a manner worthy of God is a call to excellence in the support of missionaries. It is a direct participation in God's purpose. The cruciality of sending cannot be overemphasized. Therefore, it must not be done in a shoddy manner but in "a manner worthy of God." There is a world of difference between a church "having" a missionary and a church "sending" a missionary. When we send missionaries in a manner worthy of God, God is glorified, our souls prosper, and we are fellow workers with the truth. We are in sync with God's heartbeat and his purpose to be glorified among all the peoples.

     We pray that this book exert has helped you to see that whether you go as a missionary or stay as a sender is a secondary issue. We invite you to become more personally engaged in the cause of missions with a heartfelt, God-centered passion. Journey to a Harvest has not and will never be to exalt us going, but to exalt God and to exalt his mission. We absolutely cannot go in a manner worthy of God without other believers sending in a manner worthy of God! This is God's design to accomplish His work among the nations, for us as believers to link arms together and go and send in a manner worthy of God!

     We are still in need of believers to partner with God in His work in Mexico through our going. We are praying that we "lack nothing" by summers end so that we may GO in a manner worthy of God and exalt His name among the deaf children of Mexico and train others to go into other nations!!

     Thank you to those who have already been giving in a manner worthy of God. We are so thankful for your arms linked with ours to send us out for the sake of His name! We can not wait to be there serving and loving those kids for you too!! Thanks for your obedience. We are so grateful for each of you. Much love to each of you.

Prayer Needs:
Our upcoming moving sale.
The selling of our home.
For the remaining part of our monthly partnership. 
Staff and kids at RSM waiting for us. 
For us and our family as we prepare for departure. 
More opportunities to share what God is doing. 
The many missionaries on the field serving faithfully. 

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

What do you mean it's 2014?

Hard to believe 2014 is here and it is already March! Wow, time certainly feels as if it starts to go by faster as I get older. I certainly had NO idea that I would update our blog for 2014 still in Birmingham! But here we are, still pressing on and being faithful. I have always been fully transparent about the struggles we face on this journey and want you to remember that we are NOT super spiritual heroes!!! I am just a sinner saved by grace, a daughter, a granddaughter, a wife, a mother, a friend, a coworker, a church member and so on. And believe it or not, I, from time to time, let satan get an upper hand!! What? Say it isn't so. Yes, it unfortunately is. I should start off by saying that I am just sharing my heart 100% and I am not alluding to anyone specific in this blog. I know that when people feel conviction they tend to take offense to it and try to make someone else out to be the bad guy! I am NOT the Holy Spirit and if you feel conviction about anything - that is the Holy Spirit and NOT me, so don't kill the messenger!

 It all started in December when I was just going about my business getting ready for the holidays with...Christmas decorations. Yes, you read that right. When I began to take out the decorations and start decorating it didn't take me long to realize that I needed to get rid of a lot of my beloved Christmas stuff. How could I? They all seemed to have so many memories and special moments all wrapped up in them--how could I part with them? That is when it began. That is when satan saw a crack in the door and stuck his whole foot in without me even knowing it! He had come to stay and brought his bag of lies, discouragement, and every trick to use against me! 

I am and always have been a cup half full girl. I don't usually find the negative or bad in things or people. I am the one finding the good, concentrating on that, and helping others to do the same. But the enemy used my own Christmas decorations to put doubt in my mind, get me to start looking at the negative side of things and people, and make me unable to see the good in anything, really. I struggled at being joyful in or about anything. The enemy got me into self pity party mode and I camped out there for a while! All I could do was think about all that we were giving up, how things in our family had changed, friends had walked away, and people didn't speak in the halls at church.  Co-workers and friends were talking about us behind our backs, no one was encouraging us, no one was asking us how they could be praying for us, no one understood us.  No one even seemed to care about how we were doing, that we had to leave our family behind, that we were having to sell almost every possession, and that my child had to make huge sacrifices that most people know nothing of--the list went on and on. By the time I had finished counting the cost on this journey, I was depressed!!! Seriously, if you were to write down every sacrifice on a piece of paper, it would be enough to make anybody go running as fast as they could, in a different direction, as far as they could (sound like anyone you know?). I guess you could say that I was in the belly of a fish and the fish had taken a sudden dive to depths unknown to me!

It only seemed to get worse as the month passed on. It became difficult to attend church; I totally felt like a stranger among those who I once felt so close to. I cried every time I gave stuff away and didn't really feel like celebrating Christmas. The feelings of isolation and loneliness were huge and my heart longed to be someone else, some where else! The enemy had me totally disgusted with our journey and the lack of God's people wanting to join Him in His work. There are only so many times that you can tell yourself and hear from others that God's timing is PERFECT!!! Well, from my seat it didn't feel perfect or look perfect. It looked like a train wreck to me. To have a family saying, "yes Lord, send us," and can't go doesn't exactly look perfect to me. Our heart hasn't been here in years; our hearts long to serve the Lord with our lives in a land where we don't speak the language, the culture is not ours, and the food looks and tastes different from what we are used to. Everything about this country is foreign to us, yet we long to be there and be out of our comfort zone! Most people fight to stay comfortable and not sacrifice and here we are begging and pleading to be moved from complacency and comfort and not being moved!!! This is crazy to me, and I don't understand, Lord. I felt as if the Lord was fighting against us instead of for us. I thought He isn't pleased with those who sit in comfortable pews each week doing nothing and being luke warm. I thought those people made him throw up!! So if this were true, then why? Why are we still here? 

So this is where I was at Christmas and it became even more difficult as we went into the week of New Years. There I was at church one Sunday morning and it hit me like a ton of bricks during the service: it is about to be 2014 and you are STILL here!!!! I lost all composure; I had to get up and leave the service  bawling my eyes out. Why, Lord? Why? What am I doing wrong? Are we that horrible of people that you are punishing us? What have I done to deserve this? Lord, please help me see what I am doing wrong! Desperate loud cries,  I remember even beating on the bathroom stall door as I cried out in anguish that day! I tried to compose myself and slip back into the service. One of my favorite godly, seasoned men of the church was waiting for me when I came out of the bathroom, put his arm around me and asked me what was wrong. In that moment, as I began to cry again and sob out, "I don't want to be here anymore!" He just lovingly held me and told me that he knew that. He said that it is obvious in our life actions that we are ready to serve no matter the cost and that is such an encouragement to him and his wife! What? Did I just hear him correctly? In my messy, broken, snot-nosed, teary life with all my why's and when's we are encouraging you and your wife? Little did I know how God would use those soft spoken words by a godly man that day to turn this fish around. Remember, I am in the belly of a fish and have not been spit up yet. 

I was so ready to go that day, that I walked very fast and sat in the car waiting on my family to come out so we could LEAVE!!! Since when did the Sexton family leave church first? NEVER!! I didn't want to be around anyone, talk to anyone, or see anyone. I knew people would ask if I was ok and what was wrong and I didn't trust myself enough in this moment not to answer, "Seriously, you have to ask? Hummm let's think about this!" Yep, that was my attitude about what "felt" to me as if no one cared. Tired of not being my normal self and feeling all this gamut of emotions from jealousy to loneliness, I wanted to change!!! During this whole time of sadness, I wanted to blog and write down what I was feeling and experiencing. But God--I love those "But God" phrases in the Bible--kept taking me to scripture when Jesus was silent. He didn't want me to write or share and I was kinda mad about that. But I am glad that I was obedient in it. I don't know about you, but when I need answers I look at what scripture says. That day the Lord took me to the Psalms and James. I didn't understand at the time, and I did complain to God about the depressing Psalms! And I am still in Psalms today, studying and gleaning God's nuggets to me each day. 

Each day satan would point out things to me; he had overtaken my thoughts and it happened without me even realizing it, friends!  I tried to put on smiles and push through the days, but daily satan would hit me with some lie, deception, and gut wrenching blows where it hurt the worst. Trust me, he knows what to use against you and what will hurt you the most. And he doesn't care. Babies I thought I wouldn't be here to see be born, had been born. Three kids that I didn't think I would be here to see come home with their forever families, came home. We saw most of our missionary friends leave for the field and unfortunately we saw some give up!! It was a daily struggle to see your friends hang out and do things together and your invitation never came. To see all the pictures on FB of their kids parties and your invitation never came. It really hurt more to get on FB, so I stayed off because I honestly couldn't take anymore hurt. I really started taking the fact that we were not gone yet personally. See, these are all feelings. I was basing my attitude, my joy, my happiness, and my future on how other people or circumstances were making me feel!!! I am not saying any of them are right or wrong, good or bad--they are just feelings. And we can not trust our feelings. My prayers had become focused on how I felt and others made me feel and wanting God to change them. However, this whole time God wanted me to see that it was me that needed changing. 

God took me to other scripture in His word that started cutting up the lies, transforming my thoughts, and changing me. He didn't want me to focus on the cost, but rather the privilege. He took me to scripture that showed me the waiting that others did. The Israelites, Noah, Hannah, Mary & Martha, the disciples, Jacob, Abraham & Sarah, Zechariah & Elizabeth, Joseph and so on and so on. I was left wondering why God was reminding me of those stories that I knew so well. See, every one of those stories had waiting in them, and what were they waiting on? God and His timing. When you read scripture you see that above all else Jesus wanted to be obedient and do His Father's will. More than how others treated Him, more than what others wanted Him to do or say, more than what He felt like doing (He did pray for the cup to pass from Him), more than what would make Him popular and accepted. More than how He felt, or how long it took.  More than ANYTHING He desired to do His Father's will and only that. While spending time with the Lord one morning, He used 6 words to pierce my heart. "My hour has not come yet" (John 2:4). Wait, read that again. Over and over with tear-filled eyes thanking the Lord for finally finding a bit of that joy again. It wasn't our hour either!!!! The next day was even better when He beat me over the head with 2 Corinthians 10:1-6. It is Paul's defense of his ministry and in there it talks about the standards of the world, the battle and the weapons we use and then, there it was…… " casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ"... Wait, what did that just say? So I read it again and again and realized that I was the high thing that was exalting itself against the knowledge of God and had allowed my every thought to be captivated by the ENEMY!!! 

Wow, did I do some repenting that day. How could I allow this to happen, when did it happen? I doubted God's knowledge because of the timing I thought should have happened. Then I began to remember one by one those bible stories. Don't you think that the Israelites doubted their 40 years of wandering in the desert, Mary & Martha while their brother was dying, Abraham and Sarah on having a child and so on? So many great examples of waiting on the Lord. For Him to prepare everything that needed to be prepared before moving ahead, most of the time it was the people themselves that needed to be worked on. That is where I had found myself. The Lord used these two verses in powerful ways to cut to the chase I was on. And then He used two encounters at my office to help with the rest of my struggles. He used a patient that is a pastor to share 2 Timothy 4:9-18 with me and talk to me about what I was feeling. He suggested I read where Paul was abandoned by everyone, felt lonely, and was asking Timothy to hurry and get to him by winter so he wouldn't be alone. Paul the great Bible missionary felt lonely? Pastor Matthews said, "yes and he even calls them out by name those who had abandoned him and left him."He told me that day, "Sherri, the day your family shared you were leaving to do God's work in Mexico, a disconnect happened in everyones mind and they don't even have a clue." He shared with me that our human nature does this without us even knowing and so all this time people have been saying goodbye to us in their minds and hearts. Wow!! That is why we feel disconnected--we are! And it wasn't done intentionally. I couldn't wait to get home to my Bible that day and read the chapter he told me to read; it was awesome. 

"At my first defense, no one came to my support, but everyone deserted me. May it not be held against them. But the Lord stood at my side and gave me strength, so that through me the message might be fully proclaimed and all the Gentiles might hear it. And I was delivered from the lion’s mouth. The Lord will rescue me from every evil attack and will bring me safely to his heavenly kingdom. To him be glory for ever and ever. Amen." 2 Timothy 4:16-18  That was it! God was rescuing me from the lion's (the enemy's) mouth, where he had me. God wanted me to realize that I can not depend on others to do the job of my Savior. He is my strength and my rescue. This is all part of our growing until it is our hour--more dependence on Him! More dependence on Him means that we share the gospel more effectively to ALL people and for His glory. A great check for me to remember this is NOT about me or my family or anything else. It is and always will be about God and His glory, His provision and His plan. Ouch! I was so upset with myself for allowing satan to take my thoughts captive and allowing the self pity, jealousy, loneliness and so forth to creep in. How could I, and how much harder will this be on the field? God help me to see the warning signs and indicators in the future; I don't want to live here again! 

The second encounter came when I met the mother of a patient that had over heard a conversation and wanted to speak to me. Thank you God for using her! She and her family are missionaries and have been for years (talk about a wealth of information). She was able to shed some light on my struggles in a great way. I shared with her my loneliness and feeling like we were being treated as if we were already gone. She totally knew what I was talking about. She explained to me that everything we are doing has a grieving process and as we are letting go of things and people are letting go of us, we have to grieve all of that. We didn't really know that we would or needed to. But she was so wonderful to share with me  frankly and honestly on how hard it is and how hard it will be when we come back to visit. See, everyone else will just continue on with their normal, nothing-much-has-changed life and our family will start this whole everything-is-new-and-everything-has-changed life and they can not relate to it. She was so sweet in sharing and giving me her contact information so that she could continue to pour into our family with information, encouragement, and questions. 

Even in my dark days and struggles, God was preparing others to speak truth to me that would encourage me and lift my spirits. He used His word to pierce the darkness of my heart and mind to change me in areas that I needed changing. I would love to tell you that after those moments everything just turned right back to grand and glorious. But since I had allowed the enemy to camp out and control my thoughts, I had to take everyone of them back! This was a thought by thought process each and every day. We all have learned so much over these dark few months and although I have learned a lot and grown a lot, I don't care to live there again!! But I am not so bold or naive enough to think that if it can happen once, that it can't happen again. So I have on the full armor of God and I am watching for his fiery darts! 

So when I was finally spit up on shore I realized that my blessings far out way my struggles, I should always focus on what I do have and not what I don't have. It can always be worse! And that you can miss out on other blessings and being a blessing if you allow yourself to exalt yourself against the knowledge of God. And even though we don't know "our hour" it's okay, we shall continue to walk by faith and not by sight. We will press on toward the prize and keep our eyes on Jesus. I ask that you forgive me for not remembering what a blessing each of you are to us and taking that for granted. And even if I stumble again (which I am sure I will) I will quickly repent and put my eyes back on the prize. I will allow God to captivate my every thought hourly. We are beyond blessed to have all of you in our life!!!
Thanks for keeping up with us and walking along side us on this long journey to a harvest in Mexico!

This is a song that we sang at our area meeting in New Mexico and it has been my life song for months now. Enjoy.