June 10, 2020
After growing up on a family farm in a rural town, Resonate Global Mission missionary Sheryl Canché never imagined she would live and serve in Mexico City—but God has shown her how to be a light in both places.
Growing Up on the Farm
Life on the farm in New Era, Michigan was special for Sheryl. She and her three sisters became farm hands at a young age, working alongside their parents and taking on various tasks.
“We all learned how to drive the tractor and drive the big truck into the canning factory,” Sheryl recalled. “We learned how to work hard.”
In the midst of picking cherries and gathering asparagus, Sheryl grew to love the time she spent with her family and the sense of community they shared. “My best memory was all of us working together,” she said.
A Taste of Missions
Each year, migrant workers added to their community, and when Sheryl was nine years old, her family welcomed a special family from Mexico to their farm to work. It gave her a new perspective.
“When the Zuñiga family came to our farm, that really changed the direction of my life,” said Sheryl. “My world became larger.”
The Zuñigas would arrive each spring and stay through fall, then return again the next spring. As Sheryl grew up with them and enjoyed playing and working alongside them, she began to notice something that concerned her.
“I saw that they never went to church, and I started to get concerned about them,” said Sheryl, who was growing in her own faith at the time. “I started thinking, ‘What about these people and their relationship to God?’”
Looking back, she sees that God was preparing her heart for mission.
As a student studying at Kuyper College (then Reformed Bible College), Sheryl had the opportunity to spend a year in Mexico City, where she met and married her husband, Pablo.
The couple served as missionaries in Central America for 18 years with Resonate. After moving back to Michigan, an opportunity came to serve on mission again, this time in Mexico.
“My life kind of came in this circle,” said Sheryl.
Working on a farm with her family helped Sheryl recognize the importance of community, and now she and Pablo help build up a community of Christian ministry leaders in Mexico City.
Among the communities she works with are women who are caught in prostitution. As she listens to their stories, she is reminded that “they are people just like me, and God is at work in our lives.”
Finding God in Both Places
Although Sheryl has grown to enjoy living in the city, she’s still surprised at how different her life is now compared to the way it was growing up.
“Sometimes I think, ‘What’s a country girl like me doing here?’” said Sheryl. “I’ll be standing on a bridge with ten lanes of traffic going under me and look out on the big city with all the skyscrapers and just think, ‘How did I end up here?’”
But she sees God’s hand at work through it all.
“I feel very privileged to have lived in the country and in the city,” said Sheryl. “We find God in both places.”