Over the past few months, our family has prayerfully considered where God would have us go after Chihuahua. We have examined the options before us, sought counsel from incredible brothers and sisters in Christ, and ultimately waited on God to make this clear in His timing. All this taught us much about trusting our loving Father – including that as we look to Him, He will never let us miss any guidance He gives.
God has been so kind to us, leading as we needed, yet giving us time to enjoy walking with Him through the process. This particular time came to an end, however, as we realized He had brought us to one particular church planting team. It was with more than a little excitement last week that we accepted that team’s invitation, and officially joined the missionary team working among the Nahuatl people group!
Though we already introduced the other Nahuatl team members to you when writing about our December visit to their location – click here if you want a refresher! – it’s a pretty unique joy to now update you (if only briefly!) on what’s going on in the lives of these who are now our partners!
- Pete and Liesl Hypki (blog link) are expecting their second child in early November, about one month after our fourth is born! Their son Kester will have time to get used to big-brotherhood before Joel becomes the new friend in town.
- Katie Moore (blog link) is out of Las Moras having tests done; we’re praying this will answer some ongoing questions about her health. She is really excited to get back to the village when God allows!
- Rachel Chapman (blog link) is in the middle of an intensive two month Greek course at the MTC in Missouri, something which will greatly aid the Nahuatl Bible translation.
- Tom and Teresa Elkins (Facebook link) are Pioneers missionaries who worked and lived among the Nahuatl for many years, and now provide abundant and diverse support to the team’s Las Moras contingent. Tom and Teresa are preparing for 6 months of home assignment in the United States, planning to leave in June and return in December.
Joining an existing team means there’s already a lot going on! Pete, Liesl, Rachel and Katie have each tested out of Nahuatl language and culture study. Old Testament translation is progressing, a literacy program has been developed, and chronological Genesis-to-Christ Bible lessons are being written. It’s not yet certain when the team will be ready to begin teaching among the Nahuatl, but significant progress has been made and that day is coming rapidly! We look forward to sharing further updates as they come, and as we ourselves begin to learn more about this people group to whom God is sending us.
For our part, the big move to Las Moras is still quite some time out. We need to finish national language and culture study before leaving Chihuahua – a hard-to-project time frame, as we expect our baby’s birth in (presumably!) early October. Yet very soon we’ll begin planning house construction, consider options for a pre-move home assignment in the United States, look for a mountain-worthy vehicle to replace our broken minivan, and visit Las Moras to introduce ourselves to the local community. We’re overjoyed to be part of the Nahuatl church planting team, and look forward to growing together with our coworkers as we make plans before the Lord for the months and years to come.
In our last update, we asked for prayer regarding our poor minivan – in which we have lost confidence, as this full motor replacement caps the list of repairs we’ve had to make in Mexico. Joining the Nahuatl team clarifies what kind of vehicle we need in the mountains: something which will serve us well now, meet our future needs for carrying people and cargo in the mountains, and be able to survive the amazingly rugged road into Las Moras (click here and scroll down to revisit the applicable video from our January blog post). Clearly, that’s no small order!
Our expectation is that we’ll need something like a three-quarter ton pickup truck, with a full crew cab and eight foot bed (and canopy!). Team conversations will help narrow down the possibilities, and let us know which ‘optional’ features might actually be essential for our intended usage. The expense will likely be 20-25k, and our minivan’s unreliability makes it a change we’ll face sooner than later. We would be incredibly grateful for your prayers about this need! Please feel free to contact us with any interest in helping financially, or to use the Give page on our blog.
Praise God with us!
- He has faithfully led us to this awesome team of coworkers, and given us the privilege of sharing the good news of life in Jesus with the Nahuatl people!
- When our minivan needed a new motor, He provided not only the hard-to-find replacement, but also all the money needed for parts and labor!
- Our good friend Don Chubb successfully completed his formal study of Mexican Spanish language and culture, and is ready for the next stage in ministry!
Ways you can pray:
- For our new team as we grow together, that Amy and I might bless our co-workers even before we can join them, and for Katie’s medical testing.
- That God provide us the right vehicle for mountain ministry, the wisdom to recognize it, and the money to purchase it in His timing.
- Finally, please pray as I prepare for my June Spanish eval. I hope to test out of formal study, so I can give Amy more time for growing in language and culture.