Greetings from Chihuahua, Mexico – where winter can’t decide if it’s coming or going, yet time keeps on rolling along!
As 2017 swings into full gear, life remains busy as ever. Daily life revolves around our ongoing study of Spanish and Mexican culture, with the end of finishing well, then moving to join our teammates working among the Nahuatl people. Amy’s full-time care of Lily means that – as expected – the time hasn’t come for her return to full-time formal Spanish study. Regardless, her continual progress in conversational ability, coming from time spent in fellowship with our Spanish-speaking friends, has been a source of great encouragement! Also encouraging was a week-long visit from the entire Greenslade family here in Chihuahua. The twenty-three of us enjoyed being all together in one place, living and working and playing side-by-side, then as a family having the privilege to praise God together one Sunday morning. We are so grateful for God’s kindness to us in this, among so many other things.
Last month, I spent two weeks in Las Moras with Rachel and Katie – who have been out of the village while the Hypkis finish home assignment in Wisconsin. Our original plan was to travel as a family, but we found it was too early for Amy and Lily to travel. So, the three of us boarded a small mission airplane and headed back into the mountains of Mexico. For Katie, this was her first time back after months of medical studies in the US – what an answer to prayer!
Working in the village just over a week, we accomplished a lot. The three of us purchased tools and supplies needed to finish our house’s foundation, then had them delivered before appropriately storing everything. We got a crew of guys to bring rock from the nearby canyon, and followed up with local leaders on our two orders of adobe bricks – which we’ll use constructing our future home’s outer walls. In all this I got my first taste of ‘mountain life’, finding that many things happen on their own schedule rather than in our preferred timing… but by God’s grace, each project ended up either completed or progressing as necessary.
Spending this much time in Las Moras provided an opportunity to start building relationships. I spent time with my future next-door neighbor G* – retrieving supplies from the airstrip, organizing a group to cut and haul rock, and checking out a couple hundred adobes he’d made for me. I met several men and women as my coworkers went visiting or welcomed guests, and spend several hours hauling adobes alongside another Nahuatl family. Perhaps the most precious time came with H*, a Spanish-speaking believer hungry for Christian fellowship he rarely can find. His heart to see Jesus preached in Las Moras is greatly encouraging, and as God allows I’m excited to spend more time with this brother in the years to come.
One trip is in the books this year, and all too quickly the time for the next has come! I write this update enroute back to the mountains, where my friends John Steinbacher and Don Chubb will help me finish our house foundation and pour a front porch. We’ll have a couple guys from the village work alongside us, and aim to leave the site ready for adobe walls to rise. While work remains ahead of us in Chihuahua, we’re grateful God is giving us a chance to prepare now for life in Las Moras – and to catch a glimpse of how He is already at work among the Nahuatl today!
Praise God with us!
- For the completion of what was needed during my trip in January, the progress our coworkers made on the Bible translation, and an opportunity to begin relationship-building in Las Moras.
- God kindly gave us time with Amy’s family in January, which was such a source of joy and rejuvenation!
- We are seeing Amy make progress recovering from Lily’s birth, starting to regain energy and stamina which have been long in returning.
- It is such a gift to have friends like Don and John, willing to come alongside a complete construction neophyte like me, giving their own time and energy to help prepare our mountain house… all to the end of seeing Jesus proclaimed among the Nahuatl!
Ways you can pray:
- As John, Don and I travel back to the mountains this week, please pray that God would grant us safe travel and everything needed to accomplish what is necessary. Moreover, pray that our presence would provide a testimony of God’s love and grace to future friends and neighbors out there!
- For God to reveal His sufficiency to H*, strengthening him with His Presence even when so far from other believers with whom he might fellowship.
- Please pray for Amy and the kids as I travel again so soon, that He uphold and encourage them (and me!) during our time apart from one another – never something we desire or to which we look forward! Pray too for Don’s wife Chrissy, their three kids (one just as young as Lily!), and John’s wife Linda.
- Finally, please pray for Amy’s brother Josh – returning to Spokane from Chihuahua, he threw out his back in the airport, and is now recovering from that painful experience.