When ‘foundations’ come up in conversation with a New Tribes missionary, often the subject is an evangelism tool by Trevor McIlwain called Building on Firm Foundations. One of NTM’s primary church-planting methods is chronological Bible teaching – introducing people to their Creator in the Old Testament, and building a foundation for understanding Jesus’ death and resurrection before presenting the Gospel message. It’s an outline which aids the development of lesson plans for church planters worldwide, and for many a familiar part of our daily vocabulary!
In early 2017, our family has focused on another type of ‘firm foundation’ – the more physical variety, upon which we plan to build a house for mountain ministry. In January, I (Jordan) visited Las Moras in order to prepare for that foundation’s construction; only one short month later, I returned with a pair of coworkers from Chihuahua to finish the job.
Travel into Las Moras was difficult: the trip in required a full day of driving between Chihuahua and Mazatlan, where we took a day to buy supplies and load up, before spending another day navigating the unforgiving dirt-and-rock route up to our mountainous destination. I won’t say how many times we got turned around on our upward journey; suffice it to say, we were relieved to arrive safely during daylight hours!
Three days of hard work passed quickly, and – though mixing and placing concrete redefined my understanding of “a hard day’s work” – my friends and I enjoyed our time laboring together! Our goal was to complete a ‘U’-shaped slab left by former missionaries: laying foundation across open side of the ‘U’, pouring the missing interior floor, and form a front porch for our future home. With the help of three guys from the community, we got the work done ahead of schedule – and consequently also were able to pour the floor for my coworkers’ shed. The return to our families in Chihuahua took just as long as the drive in, but our travel sped quickly thanks to satisfaction with a job well done.
Around a week after returning home, I hopped on a plane and flew north to Spokane, WA. Peaceful Valley Church was holding their annual missions conference, and – knowing we need to house-build in Las Moras – decided to dedicate their fundraising toward those expenses. Passing the weekend with so many friends and partners there was a great joy, encouraging me through shared fellowship as well as a longed-for opportunity to deliver an update face-to-face! In the end, PVC’s generosity affords us another foundation: over $10,000 to cover the cost of these recent mountain trips, tools and materials for the house’s own foundation, adobe bricks for outer walls, and even a part of whatever first expenses come when it’s time to begin building. We are so grateful for God’s kind provision!
Considering our home’s physical foundation – and the financial foundation for its construction – ultimately brings me back to our True Firm Foundation, showcased in God’s Word and from there reflected by McIlwain’s book. Paul writes in I Corinthians 3:11 (CSB) that “…no one can lay any other foundation than what has been laid down. That foundation is Jesus Christ.” Our entire lives as believers are meant to be lived in rest upon Him (Hebrews 4:9-11), looking always toward our Savior (Hebrews 12:1-2) who continually holds together all things (Colossians 1:17).
Jesus is the only Foundation which ultimately matters – the One we are called to proclaim. It is His death in our place we recall on Good Friday, then His resurrected life – present within us by faith in Him! – which we joyfully celebrate Easter Sunday. It’s true, we’re excited to see progress in this huge job of house-building in remote parts of Mexico! Yet the end goal isn’t a physical shelter for the Husband family… the goal is seeing the future Nahuatl church grow to maturity in Christ, and our enthusiasm stems from knowing this concrete foundation can be used by God as a platform for bringing about His will.
There’s a lot more left to share, but we’ll have to wait until next time! As summer approaches we’ll focus on our team’s plans for presenting Christ among the Nahuatl, so you can continue praying for both the hearers and teachers of God’s Word in Las Moras. We’ll also bring you up-to-date on Amy’s health (back to full strength!), our continuing truck search (we have great help), and our progress in Spanish (evaluations in May).
Praise God with us!
- Our NTM coworkers are all back together in Las Moras! (Tom and Teresa Elkins, teammates with Pioneers who are based in Mazatlan, remain on furlough in the United States and are greatly missed!) Pete and Liesl Hypki visited us in March enroute to Mazatlán, where they reunited with Rachel and Katie and traveled back to the village. They are now reconnecting with friends and neighbors, some of whom I also was privileged meet and work alongside in January and February.
- After Amy’s family came to visit in January, we also enjoyed time together with Jordan’s parents – who were able to come spend a week and a half with us in March. It’s hard to be away from our families for so long… we are so grateful for the encouragement of time spent together with loved ones!
- The end of Amy’s battle with postpartum depression (again, more on this next update) has opened up a new world of possibilities for us! We rejoice to reflect on God’s incredible faithfulness in sustaining us these past several months, and are enjoying the ability to once again pursue Spanish and local relationships as we did a year ago.
Ways you can pray:
- For the Nahuatl people – who will begin to hear God’s Word taught for the first time this summer – and our coworkers, who are working to prepare for that time: everything from Bible translation and lesson planning to logistics such as location, frequency, and time of day.
- Our brother-in-Christ H*, for whom we asked prayer last month, is struggling. He remains interested in studying the Bible but feels far from God. Please pray for his continued growth in Jesus – especially in this time before the Gospel is presented to the larger community.
- We still are waiting on God’s timing for the right mountain-capable truck for our family – even as we thank Him for already providing the funds with which it will be purchased! A few times we’ve thought we’d found the right one, but in each case it’s turned out to not fit our needs. Please pray for both our patience and God’s provision of the right vehicle!