Ever had the urge to go camping in November? You know: cooking outdoors, sleeping in a tent, the whole package? Well neither had we until recently! It sounds a little cold – yes, even in Mexico! – and though our insulation-free house may not be as warm as those in the States, we very much enjoy our barrel stove and the warmth it provides when days are chilly. It’s still a warmer setup than being outdoors in November!
All that in mind, why on earth would we consider doing such a thing? In short: to be with our church body here in Mexico! Our wonderful pastor Fito is getting married, and as a result will be leaving Chihuahua to minister in another location. We will miss him terribly, and this weekend provides an opportunity for us to celebrate together as a body the time God has given us with one another. We’ll have time to share from God’s Word, pray together, prepare amazing local cooking to share with one another, and simply enjoy fellowship within this Body God has so wonderfully crafted. For us, this will be a very sweet opportunity to build relationships, and to continue sharing how much Mexico’s unreached need access to the Gospel.
Should be lots of fun! Look for photos on Facebook in the days to come, and in our Christmas newsletter as well. And don’t worry about us too much… if I’m fully disclosing everything, I can admit we’re not actually sleeping outside overnight. It would be highly counter-cultural for us to subject our newborn son to such a cold environment, no matter how warmly bundled!
So, what else have we been up to? Lots! New baby aside, we’ve kept quite busy… a few highlights:
- Last summer when speaking I often used The Day of the Dead as an example of Mexican culture. Well, a couple weeks ago we got to experience it firsthand! There is so much going on in this holiday, and I don’t pretend that we’ve more than scratched the surface in understanding what happens, or why. But seeing people in our community spend a day out with the graves of their dead family – cleaning the graves, eating together, and talking just as if they’d spent a day with a living relative – only sharpened our desire to be able to clearly communicate God’s Word.
- I’ve also often spoken of Vicente – a Guarijio believer God has raised up as a (very rare!) native-language translator for that church plant. Well, Vicente is now studying at the Chihuahua missions training center, and this week I had the amazing privilege to help him with his studies of language and culture! Being a language helper for Vicente gives me a better perspective on those who help me with my own studies of Spanish, and I hope to continue working alongside him during the time God has given us both in this city. Not to mention the occasional game of volleyball or soccer at the training center!
- Speaking of soccer, my coworker Don Chubb and I have joined a local men’s league and play in games weekly. We’re having lots of fun, even though it seems every person we play with is at the level of our most skilled friends from the United States! But we’re hanging in there, and working on our humility as well as our language learning. Our hope is that this time will provide a unique opportunity to build relationships in the community outside the local church, which in turn leads to the privilege of sharing Christ with our new teammates. And hey – perhaps we’ll get a little exercise at the same time!
That’s all for this month – thanks so much for continuing to pray for us! (We’ll have more updates on Amy and the kids next time… but if you’re wondering, the short version is that everything’s going great!) Walking with God in new circumstances continues to reveals new aspects of His faithfulness, and we look forward to seeing what He wants to do with each new day. What is God doing with you in your neighborhood today? Drop us a note sometime, and tell us how we can pray for you!