Before David and Virginia Cruz arrived in 1993, the area around Creel, Chihuaua, in Mexico, had no Seventh-day Adventist presence. They accepted the call to share the message with the people of that area, a marginalized group called the Tarahumara Indians who have lived for centuries in the high Sierra Madre Mountains of northern Mexico. The tribe maintains their own culture and language, and lives largely off the land in log or cave homes. Their life of poverty sets the stage for malnutrition and sickness due to poor hygiene. This has kept the mortality rate high and life expectancy low.
The Cruzes learned the Tarahumara dialect, since many of the Indians do not speak any Spanish, and reached out to them using health. Their goal was to establish a church. The Lord blessed their work, and today they have a strong team and five churches in different parts of the area. A number of small groups also come together in various homes to worship God each Sabbath. The team at Creel Tarahumara is translating literature into the Tarahumara dialect to help with their outreach.
A lifestyle center is another key part of their ministry, where they hold seminars, give health talks, and provide natural treatments and massage therapy. They use these connections as an opportunity to develop relationships with the Indians and to encourage them to have a relationship with God.
The team also runs a bakery, where they produce a large variety of delicious bread and granolas. This gives them another opportunity to encourage people to live a better lifestyle. Because there are many indigenous communities without medical services, the mission organizes clinics that travel through the area providing free medical and dental care. The people appreciate this help, and it opens doors for the team to effectively share the message of salvation, which is the biggest priority for the group at Creel. In everything they do, their purpose is to prepare those around them to meet their God.
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