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July 2005
Dear Friends in Christ,
What an encouragement it is to be with brothers and sisters in Christ. This month Pastor Santos and the John 3:16 Church held a memorial service in honor of Shelby. We have to admit this was a hard trip for us because of the emotional stress of going through another memorial service. The slide show, the video, the song that Shelby wrote and sang to her Dad years ago, as well as all of the framed pictures of her that were displayed at the memorial service here in San Antonio, were packed up and taken down for the service in Mexico. The last time the people of Nava had seen Shelby and part of our family was September, during a house building trip. At that time Shelby was walking with a limp, but we did not yet know that she had cancer. The John 3:16, Church and other friends, kept up with Shelby’s condition through phone calls and e-mail updates sent to the Sweets. Though separated by many miles, through prayers and with lots of faith, the John 3:16 Church went through this trial with our family.
Our dear friends, Pastor Isidro and his wife Flory from Reynosa, Mexico joined us to help with the service. Pastor’s Isidro and Santos spoke, and Hermana (sister) Flory helped with some translating. During the service Pastor Santos’ wife, Hermana Fini along with several other ladies, young and old, stood and gave testimony of how Shelby had blessed their lives in some way. Many had worked with her, preparing food for different teams, some had painted with her, and several of the young girls who had attended the O.S.M.’s annual Purity Seminar were there as well. One girl shared how Shelby had been an encouragement to her through the seminar, and she would be missed. The church then had our family come to the front, separating the girls to one side and guys on the other, and then all the men and women of the church came forward, embraced and prayed over us. What a blessing!!
Some of you may remember Pastor Isidro and Flory Garrido from our past newsletters. The Garridos used to live in Allende; Pastor Isidro was the Pastor we worked under before he introduced us to Pastor Santos and built the John 3:16 Church. About 5 years ago however Pastor Isidro and his family were called to work in a Church in Reynosa, Mexico. O.S.M. took several teams to Reynosa, but finally had to make our main focus in Nava as we had too many difficulties taking supplies across the Reynosa border.
During this recent trip for the memorial service, Pastor Isidro and Flory shared with us a vision they have to start a ministry aimed toward single mothers. They had shared this vision with some friends in Reynosa and someone donated 2 small pieces of property for them to use to build a ministry house. Another friend informed them that the lots next to the property belonged to his brother and were for sale also. The Garridos have been praying for the funds to purchase these lots. We were excited that O.S.M. had the funds to purchase the property to help them start this ministry. Be in prayer with us for them, as there are many single mothers in the area they are working, so this new ministry could be huge.
Our daughter Sara is joining a team to Haiti from our Church here in Fredericksburg, Texas, the beginning of August. Sara will be working at an orphanage helping the team by translating and helping to teach Bible Schools. Please be in prayer for her safety as well as the safety of the rest of the group. We will let you know how this trip went in our August newsletter.
Please continue to pray for our family as this is a trying and difficult time for us. We thought that with time our loss would be easier to bear; this has not been the case. We know that Shelby is happy and well, rejoicing with Christ, but the hole she has left in our hearts causes us to miss her terribly.
We are very grateful for your continuous love, prayers and support in our family’s behalf!
Because of Christ,
The Kennedy Family
The Sweet Field Report E-mail:
Field address: 2320 Del Rio Hwy PMB 107 / Eagle Pass, TX 78852
Please send all donations to the O.S.M. mailing address
"For we are labourers together with God: ye are God's husbandry, ye are God's building." I Corinthians 3:9
"Labourers together with God" is truly a picture of our relationship with all of you. God is building His house here in Nava via many different aspects. Through Bible study, discipleship classes, Vacation Bible School, evangelism, food and clothing distribution, housing, and education, you have a part in the building of His church.
It is definitely summer in Mexico. Although unbearably hot, the Juan 3:16 Church is bursting at the seams with children arriving every day for Vacation Bible School. Sara Kennedy stayed an extra week to help with this endeavor by teaching the 11-13 year olds. Abe is her helper and they have between 35 and 40 students in their class. Brigitta Kennedy was able to attend on Monday with Joanna. O.S.M. took on the job of getting all the copies and much of the crafts together for the week. Initially, we prepared for 125 children, but after the first day, we saw that we needed to prepare for 175. "Putting on the Armor of God" has been the theme of this week's VBS.
Housing for needy families has continued through the summer months. Michael Clark and family, Anthony Pucek and family, along with friends, Joshua and Sophia Richardson, and Andrew and Lourdes Torres, brought an experienced building team to Mexico. They constructed pews and a pulpit for the church and finished an insulated bright purple shelter for a grateful family.
July brought an energetic team from Grace Fellowship, Lampasas, TX. Headed up by Chico Ukle, this joyful group packed every day full. They cleaned the soccer field, organized a storage building, passed out tracts, and completed a green room for Tancho, Kukis, and children. (Tancho drives the church bus and works closely with Pastor Santos.) To top off the week of work, we all celebrated by inviting the whole colonia to a night of food and games. Our dear friend, Joe Lee, along with John Burke, and the help of Pastor Santos, cooked up 1,000 deer meat tacos to serve to the community. What a joy to work with this ministry, Pacto Con Dios, which shares Christ's love by delivering deer meat to different needs throughout Mexico. The evening ended with a film depicting the life of our Savior, Jesus Christ.
Meet Sandra Osuna Carranco, the sewing instructor for the ladies in the Dorcas Sewing House. As a professional seamstress, she volunteers her Monday mornings to teach the making of patterns and the sewing of clothes. Then Rosy opens the facility again on Thursdays so that the ladies can practice. We also use the Dorcas House on Tuesday for a Bible study with Finy, Pastor Santos' wife.
Laying a foundation has been a project this week. Sara Kennedy, Joanna, and Abe have done double duty. After teaching and helping at VBS, they ate, "changed hats", and headed out to the job site to provide extra manpower. A team from our church in San Antonio is traveling down this week to construct the building.
We pray that Christ's love will be exemplified as we serve and minister through words and deeds. As the army of God, let us steadfastly join ranks together, continuing to do our Father's business.
The Sweet Family