This is the second entry in my series about how God has been at work in the Nahuatl church plant over the last ten years.
Moving in and Construction
About six months after my first visit to the village, I moved in permanently. Our house was more-or-less finished, just missing some gable ends, doors, stucco, and some inside walls. Rachel and I, along with another family on our team, all moved into the tiny structure with no furniture, no privacy, and no idea what we were doing.
This time was far from easy for us. We had essentially three families in one house, cooking, cleaning, and deciding things together. We hadn’t yet figured each other out as a team. We were also in an unfamiliar culture, part of a community of people we didn’t know, hearing a language that we didn’t speak.
We didn’t have a clear idea of what the community was expecting of us, or what they thought of us and our strange ways. We weren’t sure about what was appropriate, or safe, or funny, or polite in our new context. When I look back on this time, I think of uncertainty, discovery, stress…and awe.
I’m amazed we made it, quite frankly. I’m amazed that we didn’t pack up and move back to “the other side” as the Nahuatl call the U.S. We somehow managed to work on finishing up construction of the house, teach school, cook with barely any ingredients in our pantry, get to know our neighbors, wash clothes in a dirty creek, haul water, work together, and keep going.
The “keeping going” part was the hard part, and there were many times, in my mud room on my army cot, when I questioned my own sanity in signing up for this adventure. But, oh man–his mercies were new every morning. And are. And will be.
I wasn’t really suffering. Don’t get me wrong. I was living like generations of people before me have lived, and in a style many do to this day. The physical challenges of the place were not the things that got to me. What was hard is that I was beginning to learn about dying to self and not liking it very much. The Lord was beginning to polish off a large collection of rough edges and I was finding the process quite painful. And although I wanted to tap out in those early days, I am grateful for the Father who remained faithful to me and to His own unchanging character.