Updated on September 4, 2015
We are preparing to move in three short weeks! Please follow us on Instagram @zaynersinmexico to stay up to date with our move and our ministry in Monterrey!
We love you and are incredibly grateful for your support and prayers as we begin this new chapter.
A special thanks to DC Pix for our family photos!
Updated on August 24, 2015
My last post I introduced the book, “Cross-Cultural Servanthood”, by Duane Elmer. This is a book B2B (Back2Back ministries) is prepping us with during our orientation period. I have a couple more posts on this book as I think it is a book all should read and not just missionaries.
Read the excerpt below and please be praying these things for us. I have heard many times that introverted people become more introverted and extroverted people become introverted when they become missionaries out of country. It is hard work. You’re in a whole different culture, learning a new language, basically your brain is working over time. Emotionally it is hard to give more than you’re doing, especially when you’re working with kids who have had trauma and have been abandoned or traumatized in one way or another.
The biggest impact is in becoming like the people you’re serving, as Duane Elmer’s writes, “Like Joseph, we need to do what the local people do and fit in as much as possible without violating our faith.” Read the below and please pray for the Zayner Family and all missionaries. These points are so good:
“The Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) discovered this overlooked element some years ago. They conducted a study that asked, ‘What characteristics does a person need to be effective overseas?’…The CIDA study, replicated several times, demonstrated that far and away, the most powerful factor in overseas effectiveness was the ability to initiate and sustain interpersonal relationships with the local people. Solid, long-term relationships with host country people was the most important contributor to
1) satisfaction in one’s overseas assignment,
2) transferring technology to local people, and
3) the ongoing success of the projects (sustainability).
The second major predictor of success was a strong sense of self-identity, which allowed people to be real with each other…The third major predicator was positive, realistic pre -departure expectations.”
Thank you for your prayers and support.
Updated on August 24, 2015
Picture this: blazing sun, sweaty glands, no matter how much water you put into your body it somehow just sweats right back out. Then picture being near a hot cement mixer and running it by hand, shoveling gravel and cement mix into the churning barrel of water. Oh yeah, and then dumping the cement into wheel barrels in which we then walk the cement over to the desired place with make shift wood planks to carry us across the treacherous terrain…haha. Just another work day in Mexico.
Here I (Jed) am wearing shorts and a t-shirt for this. I see most, if not all the Back2Back Mexico staff wearing long jeans and t-shirts. No way would you catch me in long jeans to work like that and in that kind of heat. I continued to tell my wife that I will wear shorts down there because it is way too hot to wear long jeans. Little did I know that God was about to humble me.
Here is a little cultural context for you:
1) Wearing long clothes when working in the sun is pretty common in Hispanic countries.
2) Wearing jeans looks more appropriate and professional. Like you’re taking your job seriously.
3) Wearing long jeans is just smart. When working with heavy machinery or cement type mixtures your bound to have stuff nick you in the shins or get on your skin. Having a layer of protection helps. Also, it is easier to clean off jeans than skin, especially when you’re dealing with skin irritating cement mix.
4) Lastly, it is the Mexican way of life when working.
You see those points did not matter much to me. I just wanted to be comfortable. For our B2B Mexico Orientation we are reading a book called, “Cross-Cultural Servanthood” by Duane Elmer. This is an amazing book for anyone living it out for JC.
Now comes the Holy Spirit convicting my heart about how ethnocentric I am. Ethnocentrism is the belief in the inherent superiority of one’s own ethnic group or culture. Basically, I believe my good ole ‘Merican culture is better than all the others. You see God came to serve and not to be served and to give His life as a ransom for many. Joseph is a great example of a servant. Here was a man that was thrown into slavery and could have been angry his whole life. He actually exalted God more, even when he did not know what this slavery was intended for. He served the Egyptians so well as the author Duane Elmer states, “Joseph always welcomed people into his presence and made them feel safe. By embracing Egyptian culture and by embracing those God put around him. Joseph revealed the presence of the Lord and the aroma of heaven in all his conduct.
You see, it says in Romans 2:4, “God’s kindness leads us towards repentance.” By embracing a culture and a people that you are not accustomed to you are exhibiting the first quality in being a servant “humility”. As Duane states again concerning humility, “This virtue, when prominent in a person’s life, always features God as the source of all that is good.”
My prayer and please pray for our family in this, that God will continue to humble us. We are striving to adopt a culture that is foreign to us and to do it humbly. Because it is in this that we show God’s kindness. It is in this that we show His humility. It is in this we can show His love.
Buy a couple pairs of work jeans and pants- checked that off my list today.
(Hopefully it is the aroma of heaven they smell and not of me sweating)
Updated on July 16, 2015
When I (Jed) was in Monterrey, Mexico June 20-26 something amazing happened. God moved in a big way. His love that surrounds us like a heavy blanket in the winter time descended onto one of the children I was spending time with. A child who has been around Christians his whole life, but never took the step to embrace God’s love for Him. After talking for awhile about how God has been tactfully wooing his heart, it dawned on him the love God has for him and how big his sin truly is. His eyes were filling with tears as I asked him, “Do you want God to reign in your life? Do you want to come home to your Father God?”
He looked up at me and said, “Yes, no more waiting. I want to live for Jesus.”
Right then and there he received Jesus and all that Jesus has done for him. I know in that moment God’s angel armies were praising, dancing, and singing for joy that God’s long lost son had come home. This happened on a short, six day mission trip. I am excited to see what at least three years will look like. We baptized him later that night with a group of people in a pool, welcoming him to the family. What a glorious day!
God has shown me that although we will be serving the Mexican children and people, He will bring down Americans and people from every country to experience His love in a whole new way. When people experience His love, it changes everything! I am so blessed to have been chosen and to have been given the grace to be used by the Lord. In these moments I am filled with tears, tears of joy, thinking about what a good Daddy our God is that He would set so many moments up for us over and over again so we can experience His love for us.
This is huge for a man like me, a man who grew up without a Father. A man whose heart breaks when he sees complete earthly families enjoying themselves. A man who longs for his children to have an earthly father to be a grandfather.
In all of these moments my Papa Daddy (God) shows me how much He loves me and that He will move the world and all of its mountains in order for me and all of us to experience His love for us. That is a Daddy I look up to. That is a Daddy that is my children’s Daddy. That is a Daddy that makes our earthly family complete. That is my Papa Daddy.
Updated on July 15, 2015
Jed here. I just got back from a sweet trip to Monterrey and I’m more excited than ever to be moving in just two short months. Here are some pictures I took while hanging with the jovens. It was a blast playing soccer and hanging with the guys. We worked hard and played hard. What a gift it is to get to build into the lives of these kids. We can’t wait to be there full time to continue the relationships we have started building.
Updated on March 23, 2015
In 2014, God changed everything for our family. He has called us to do something drastic.
We are planning to move in September but need to raise all our funding first. Please join us!
jedidiah, katie, joah, elias + lucas