Over the past 3 years my wife, two boys and I have been serving in Puerto Penasco, Mexico. We first started out going down on the weekends, until we were called to go and serve full time. We been down here for the past two years.
Before becoming a missionary I was working in the corporate world, working long hours and missing the life God had blessed me with at home. I became a slave to the things of this world and worked just to provide things to my family. I wasn’t spending time with them, which is what they needed more than all the material things.
In 2009 I felt moved to start working from home with my wife so I could be more involved at home, raising my boys and being a good husband. Being home gave my wife and I time to read the Bible every morning and get fed, and also helped us to get closer to each other.
I began to become more hungry for the Word and found WORDsearch. As I dug deeper into the Word, I began to not only read it but study it, meditate on it, memorize it, and most importantly apply it. I was hungry and thirsty to learn more and understand the Word more. The WORDsearch software really helped guide me and give me the tools to get a better understanding. The great thing that I found was I just needed more time in the Word. In 2010 I decided to read the entire Bible from Genesis to Revelation and began reading in December. As I read the Word I began to get convicted and repent from the way I was living.
In September 2011 my family and I sold everything and moved to Mexico to share the Gospel. It has been a real journey the past two years, full of ups and downs. We have been molded, stretched, disappointed, full of joy and many other different feelings. The things we have done and are doing would not have been possible without the hand of God. We have had doors opened and by faith and His promise we have stepped through them.
We are teaching families here how to make soil, and growing gardens in an area of Mexico where there is no soil, only sand as far as the eye can see. We now have over 20 families with gardens producing healthy fruits and vegetables. We call our ministry F.A.I.T.H. gardens, which stands for Food Always in the Home. We got this idea from a ministry that was started in the Philippians and is still growing strong. We also are teaching at local community centers here weekly and have just been invited to teach at local elementary, middle, and high schools. I am teaching and preaching at a local prison here twice a week, and I preach at a men’s rehab center once a week. I never would have thought I would be doing what I am doing today. Nor could I have been doing what I am doing without being led by the Holy Spirit.
The WORDsearch app for smartphones has been great. While I am waiting in the prison, or out and about in the community, I have at my finger tips all the devotionals, commentaries and Bible translations with me. When I am feeling weak, or discouraged, or overwhelmed with joy, I have with me on my phone the Word and the many other tools with me. Please make use of all the great tools that WORDsearch offers and keep daily in the Word of God. Seek Him in every step in your ministry and find strength in Him. Scripture I like to hold close to and can really relate to is:
Philippians 4:11-13 (NASB)
11 Not that I speak from want, for I have learned to be content in whatever circumstances I am.
12 I know how to get along with humble means, and I also know how to live in prosperity; in any and every circumstance I have learned the secret of being filled and going hungry, both of having abundance and suffering need.
13 I can do all things through Him who strengthens me.
He is our strength! Over the past year we have baptized 12 people, six of which are convicted felons in the local prison. We disciple five families weekly and visit many families out in the community. I am thankful for all God has given us and the families He has put in our path. We must slow down enough to hear His voice and then be obedient to step in His ways and not our own. I never thought I would be preaching and yet He is giving me opportunities weekly. I never I thought I would be baptizing men and women and yet He is providing me the people and producing fruit in their lives and ours.
Ephesians 2:10 (NASB)
10 For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them.
God has created us with a purpose and He knew before we did that we would walk in His ways. What are you waiting for ? Trust in Him and He will make your paths straight. You will be able to experience the super natural life in Him. Keep the faith and watch the fruit produced and know Who it is that is producing it!
Erik Stanley and his family are missionaries in Rocky Point, Mexico, teaching the local community how to garden and make compost so they can grow their own fruits and vegetables. Please check out their ministry via Facebook here: https://www.facebook.com/erikandmarthafaithgardens