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Cofradia, Mexico

Our trip to Cofradia was our first since the pandemic hit and all three of us thoroughly enjoyed the change of scenery for 6 days. On the way there the back of the truck was loaded with warm winter clothes for people in the community and a large griddle for the tortilla business! We were surprised how well Andrea did on the 14-hour trip there and 15-hours back. While in the community she brought a smile to everyone’s face as she happily let everyone and anyone hold her for as long as they wanted. I think she was happy to finally see more faces than just mom and dad’s. It was also so good to eat some of the vegetables that families grew from the seeds we helped purchase for the community to help them through the pandemic.

We were excited to have Ismael join us from San Pablito. He’s a professional artist and barista who taught 3 art classes and a class on how to make a good cup of coffee. He was really impacted by the opportunity to meet Christian Huichol as he admires their hand made products. Ismael is part of the indigenous people in central Mexico known as Otomi. The Otomi base some of their product designs off the Huichol so he was moved by how everyone was so happy even though they didn’t have a lot of material possessions or large houses – which he stated, is the opposite in San Pablito. The trip also helped him to revive his relationship with Jesus as he often gets discouraged in his walk with God. Please pray for Isma, his wife Rosa, and his mom who lives with them. Pray that God would use this couple in powerful ways and protect them from the snares of the evil one.

I had a long conversation with Amelia one night about how she’s doing with starting the tortilla business as well as other worries that weigh on her heart as a mom, sister, and leader in their community. Amelia and her husband are so anointed by God and I am always in awe of their maturity in Christ and blessed by their leadership example.

Starting up new businesses in the community has proven to be challenging in the past. This is not the first small business that has tried to start up, but Amelia is determined to persevere and see the business grow slowly. With the help of her mother-in-law, they get up every morning at 5:00 am to make 5 kilograms of handmade tortillas. They need to make a lot more tortillas before they’ll start making good profit; but they need other women to commit to joining them and more people who are willing to buy. The small profit margins make it difficult for others to willingly take the risk and commit to a new business. Join us in prayer for Amelia and her mother-in-law, that God would bless their efforts and lead other women from the community who need to make a living for their families to join them.

We also need to pray for unity in the community. There’s a deep wound from many years ago that still affects many families there, but breakthrough and healing can come through forgiveness. Pray with us, that God would continue to work in the hearts of everyone in the community.

Without unity projects like the tortilla business and others, the community will continue to struggle. Community development and growth rests on the foundation of healthy relationships, we need the Spirit to move and we’re hopeful that the breakthrough is near.

San Pablito, Mexico

At the beginning of the month we went to San Pablito! It’s crazy that it has almost been 10 months since I was last there, while Chuy has made visits in the past months, it was my first time going and our first time introducing everyone to Andrea! They were very full days as we had lots of people to see and again we were surprised at how much Andrea loves to meet people! It was so great to go with Alejandro and Adriana on our last trip as a team of 4 before our new team members will join us. I’m so thankful for both of their lives and their friendship.

Our team meeting with the artisans was very exciting. We discussed food alternatives that they could potentially sell in order to help diversify their business – especially during the pandemic when they’re not able to sell their handmade products; but food is always something people purchase! We’ve started planning with our 4 families in San Pablito about producing mole (a traditional salsa). We’re super excited about this project as it will generate income for them and they’ll be doing something that comes naturally. There is only one other person in all of San Pablito that sells mole so this will hopefully be a great business for them.

More and more we’re seeing that the need in San Pablito isn’t financial but rather a reprioritizing of values. With God and a desire to live out the gospel as priority then unity of family will be an outflow from that. There’s a high value that’s placed on having material things and often having a healthy Godly family is put on the back burner. We long to see families living out God’s design for family. Please pray for our team as we continue to come alongside these families. That we would not just be creating new projects or business but be intentional with discipleship.

Just a few weeks later we were invited to the twins’ baby dedication in the church. It was a special time to dedicate them to God and thank him for their lives, especially after everything they’ve been through. Culturally, whenever there’s a reason to celebrate – the family cooks a large meal for everyone in the church and invites them over to their house. The street is closed as they set up tables and chairs, enough for everyone to eat. It was a memorable trip as it was Chuy’s oldest sister’s (Lupita) first trip visiting with us!

At the end of the month we invited Marisol and Abryl over to our place to sign their contract with Brave Heart Collective! Thank you so much for your prayers, we really feel that these girls are just what the Collective needs in this new season. Marisol will be responsible for administrative details and Abryl will be in charge of sales – she speaks great English so you can be assured sales in Canada will continue.

This past weekend they went on their first trip to San Pablito with Chuy and Adriana had a wonderful time. We’ll start their training soon and transfer responsibilities over to them.

Pray for our Brave Heart Collective team as we lean into how to usher in the Spirit’s presence in Cofradia. One resource we think could be helpful is Soul Care, please pray that God will open doors that will build healthy relationships, communities, and businesses that will provide support for many families.

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. Philippians 1:6

Written by Rebecca Ross (International Worker, Christian and Missionary Alliance, Canada)

If you or someone you know would like to order our popular Christmas ornaments or nativity scenes, or if you’d like to learn more about Brave Heart Collective, email: braveheartcollective@gmail.com or connect with us on social media: Facebook or Instagram @ braveheart collective.

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