Can you believe that we’re coming up on the end of the year? Just when you get used to writing “2021,” it’s nearly time to switch to “2022”!
How are you all doing? We hope this letter finds you in good health and celebrating our Savior’s incarnation with your family and good friends.
2021 was an “interesting” year for us health-wise. In June we survived Covid; then, in August, Eida had an unhappy car-to-car encounter with a lady in a hurry to get to a store. As a result, Eida is still dealing with back and leg pain daily and continues having two or three medical appointments a week, in an effort to avoid spinal surgery.
You’ll be glad to know that our daughter Esther’s husband, Curtis, has healed up very well from his close encounter with a chainsaw. We’re very grateful for your prayers! Due to governmental responses to Covid, there are still many obstacles keeping us from visiting them in Nova Scotia.
Our son, Art, is also healing from a recent operation to remove a bone spur in his shoulder. His wife, Marlene, is suffering from nerve pain in her right arm due to complications from Thoracic Outlet Syndrome and Pec Minor Syndrome. She is seeking a solution to provide relief from constant pain. They’d appreciate your prayers.
Our parents have been blessed with longevity, for which we thank God. Both the Edwards and the Irwins are still able to live independently – Steve’s parents with the aid of electric scooters to get around the house and yard. Although Steve’s dad has been diagnosed with a cancerous growth on his liver, the doctor says it’s not an imminent threat.
Sadly, we won’t be able to travel to visit family this Christmas. Once again, we’ll have to settle for Facetime greetings.
Thank you so much for your faithful partnership with us in the work of enabling Latin American evangelical churches to have an active part in taking the Good News of great joy to all people.
If you have time for some ministry news, read on…
– In the second week of November, a virtual Global Forum was held for the international partnership of mission organizations that grew from the seedbed of NTM, now called Ethnos360. Because Zoom allows for several audio channels, we were able to provide live simultaneous interpreting in Spanish (by me), Portuguese and a Pacific Asian language.
– My part was to transcribe the video-taped presentations in English, translate them to Spanish, then try to keep up with the speakers during the sessions by reading as fast as I could. All told, it was about a month of work, including preparation and follow-up. The Latin American participants really encouraged me with their expressions of gratitude.
– We are encouraged with the results of adding WhatsApp as a distribution channel for our Spanish edition of the Ethnos360 Bulletin of missions news and prayer requests. Recently a Christian lady from Spain signed up for it and told us that her church intercedes for those prayer needs. Other subscribers have told us that they share the bulletins with their own social media circles. May God use them to raise awareness of missions to unreached people, stimulate prayer support and move people to volunteer for full-time service.
– Big projects are on the horizon – Our new culture and language acquisition manual, named “Engage,” will need translating when it is completed in 2022, along with a new smartphone app called “Stages.” It’s a very big project, but I won’t bombard you with the details of this amazing tool in a Christmas letter. 😊
– A totally updated Literacy Manual will also be ready for translation within a few months. It will be a valuable complement to our Literacy Starter software which reduces from years to weeks the time required to put together a literacy program for previously unwritten languages.
Have a happy and joyful Christmas and a blessed New Year!
Steve & Eida Irwin
Ethnos360.org – Spanish Language Resources