Our recent visits to the Nahuatl and Tepehuan church plants were primarily intended to help us understand what it would look like to join one of those teams. But we had other goals as well! One of these was to practically assist each team – in some way, however small – with making Christ known in their location. Knowing neither of the local language and culture, that help would have to come from other skill sets God has given us. So while with the Nahuatl team, I spent some time helping move existing Bible translation material into a new piece of software, which would make managing and continuing that work much easier. Huge (HUGE!) nerd that I am, I greatly enjoyed the opportunity!
Our time with the Tepehuan team, impacted as it was by illness and morning sickness, didn’t immediately provide a chance to do the same. Once back in Chihuahua, however, Matt Arnold asked if I’d come work with him on figuring out how to use a new ministry tool – the MegaVoice MP3 player. So it was that one morning, not long after our long drive back, I headed over to the NTM guesthouse to once again wrestle through the idiosyncrasies of a new software program! It was a lot of fun, as well as a great time for fellowship and coffee-drinking… and in the end, we got the software transfer working as hoped.
The result of our efforts is that the Tepehuan church planting team can now make solar powered MegaVoice players available, both to believers and those hearing foundational Bible teaching for the first time. They currently have access to a Spanish audio Bible and Tepehuan-language Bible lessons; next added will be Tepehuan worship music, and – once recorded – the translated portions of the Tepehuan Bible. (The New Testament is approximately one year away from being completed – another huge cause for thanksgiving!) Cool as this is, however, the most exciting part is the potential impact these MegaVoices could have for the young Tepehuan church.
Literacy is a huge part of equipping a mature church. Access to God’s Word in one’s first language is a huge, irreducible part of helping believers grow in Christ – something Martin Luther understood well when translating the Bible into then-contemporary German. In order to profit from the written Word, one must be able to read it! Yet when translating the Bible into a formerly unwritten language, adults reading for the first time tend to always struggle with reading quickly and well. Full access to the Word of God is necessary for those who will be a church’s first generations of elders! The MegaVoice players are an ideal way to bridge that gap, and so I count it a great privilege to have helped the Tepehuan team start this program.
- In order to better understand Mexico’s national culture and history, I and other NTM members visited Mexico City at the end of March! (Amy had planned to come as well, but morning sickness made this impractical.) Our group was composed of veteran NTM missionaries, high school students from the mission’s school, and my friend Tom Carlton – a fellow student of Spanish and Mexican culture. Our five day trip flew by, and we enjoyed every minute.
Tom wrote an excellent blog post about our time down south, so rather than duplicate his work I’ll pass it on to you! Click here to read Tom’s most excellent description of our trip to Mexico City, and see the photos and video he includes to show what we experienced!
- Two weeks ago, our minivan complained of low oil pressure. After fixing the initial problem and monitoring the oil levels, last Friday the engine overheated – and upon examination we saw that our oil had suddenly drained into the radiator! We found it would be cheaper to replace the motor than to find and repair the cracked engine block.
That said, we thank God that wasn’t the end of the story! Yesterday morning, the mechanic called to say he’d found a replacement in ideal condition, and at a relatively great price. Furthermore, an anonymous gift arrived one day earlier which covers the purchase and installation of this new motor! God is always faithful, and we are so grateful for His provision for us in this and every part of life.
- Amy is now past the worst of morning sickness, and beginning to work back toward a ‘normal’ schedule for study of language and culture. We are grateful to continue receiving good reports on both her health and that of the baby God has given us.
Our kids continue doing well – Elayne in first grade, Titus at home thinking of kindergarten next year, and Joel with his exploding vocabulary in both English and Spanish! Each is a unique blessing, for which we are continually grateful.
Praise God with us!
- That Amy feels better, and for her return to language study.
- For how God keeps encouraging us through my teaching opportunities at our church Bible study.
- As we continue praying for wisdom regarding which tribal team to join, God is indeed leading us and faithfully. He will not let us go elsewhere than where He wants us!
Ways you can pray:
- A new believer named Paty is battling for custody of her newborn daughter (Amy’s sister Maria has been working to help, and Amy has been able to help free Maria at times for that). Please pray for Paty, her daughter, and her family.
- Our sister Taylor Greenslade is now battling with the worst of morning sickness, and it has been even worse than what Amy faced. Please pray for her strength, rest in the Lord, and that she feel better – and for Josh as well as he encourages her.
- The latest difficulties with our minivan convinced us that it will soon be time to look for another vehicle – ideally, one capable of meeting our needs in the mountains. Please pray that God lead us to a suitable replacement vehicle in His timing!