Life and ministry among the Nahuatl has really kept our team and family busy in this new year! Mid-December, we asked for prayer regarding importing our house’s solar equipment – then shared the story of how God’s provided in that situation. Once everything arrived in Mexico, UIM pilots John Van Wormer and Clif Huntting collaborated to fly all that gear – along with groceries for the upcoming work crew! – out our way.
As 2019 came to a close, a team of great guys from the Hypkis’ home church flew south – leaving Wisconsin’s icy environs to brave a Mexican mid-70s winter – to spend the New Year with us, installing that solar system (sans planets and asteroids) and wiring the house for its use. Tom, Chad, Jules, and Kelly brought a ton of experience, joy, and old-fashioned work ethic to the task – all of which were needed when a few unexpected challenges arose!
A couple days of rain up front kept our early work indoors, but there was plenty to do: setting up the electrical room, running wire, and chiseling channels into adobe walls. Meanwhile, a termite-ridden electrical pole fell on the Hypkis’ fence – we were grateful to have experts on hand to repair and replace it! Kelly pushed plumbing forward, drawing up plans and running pipe. When the sun returned, we installed solar panels – and though it took a few late nights to finish our primary goals, these guys pulled it off! They even found time to troubleshoot some really thorny problems with the Hypkis’ solar setup – so the trip was a resounding success.
Less than a week after taking the solar team down from the mountains, it was time to head back up for a dental clinic! This is an annual opportunity for us to show God’s love to the Nahuatl community in a physical sense, including to those who are not yet interested in the Gospel message. Two Stateside dentists, Dan & Michelle, cheerfully donated their time and skill so we could remain open for a three-and-a-half day window – serving several who arrived from the surrounding area as well as our home village! The Hypkis and I were also joined by our teammate Rachel, briefly back from home assignment, and field leaders John & Linda Steinbacher.
We received a steady flow of patients, but were able to get tons done with Dan and Michelle and John each manning a chair! Mysterious problems with our generator and compressor threatened to derail the work, but in both cases God opened up a way for us to keep working. By the clinic’s end, we’d seen 133 patients: performing 47 ultrasonic cleanings, doing 59 amalgam & 27 composite fillings, pulling 57 teeth, and throwing in a couple root canals and bridge repairs in for good measure. The work was exhausting, but as we wrapped up it was with a strong sense of gratitude for what God had allowed us to accomplish in His service.
Returning to Mazatlán, I was reunited with Amy and the kids – they had remained on the coast due to space limitations in Las Moras, which the completion of our house will one day obviate. They hadn’t waited alone, however – a couple days before my departure, my parents and sister flew to Mazatlán to help out in my absence! Upon my return, we enjoyed their help and the blessing of their presence for several days more before their return to Washington State. Though we miss them now, the encouragement from our shared fellowship is a source of much joy as we prepare for the next season of building in Las Moras.
Thank God with us!
- For encouraging progress in house construction!
- That a December medical evacuation (a newborn in critical health condition who is now in great health!) and January’s dental clinic provide opportunities for us to show Christ’s love in the Nahuatl community.
- Jordan’s parents and sister were a great encouragement to our whole family, through both fellowship together and their help for Amy while Jordan was at the dental clinic.
Ways you can pray:
- A long-planned translation check of over 1000 verses was postponed due to the health of the translation consultant. Please pray for Kevin’s full recovery, for our coworker Rachel who flew back from furlough largely for this purpose, and for the ongoing teaching without the benefit of those verses in approved form!
- This spring, we hope to host three or four work teams… with the goal of having the house functional before rainy season arrives! Please pray for all of the logistics involved – workers, materials, finances, planning, and more. Pray as well for encouragement and stamina for our team!
- Meanwhile, please pray also for our family. The work is hard, the living circumstances all-new (culture shock is real!), and we can never seem to do all that needs doing! Please pray that we rest in the Lord, trust Him with the many details, and persevere through His kind grace at work in our lives.