Monday, March 13, 2006

José, Manuel and Gumercindo led the group that just returned from their teaching trip to the village of El Patroneño where the men from the village of Guásima del Caimán have gone to work in the fields to earn enough money to pay boat fare for the new believers to attend the big Easter Week Huichol "conference" at Zapote de Picachos. They all want to be baptized that week and be part of the "family gathering." It’s a very long hike from their village to the water’s edge, then another long ride by boat to the landing nearest the village of Zapote de Picachos where the gathering will be held this year.

The teachers stayed 2 days in El Patroneño and taught follow-up on the security of the believer and baptism. Since there is electricity in El Patroneño, Gumercindo dreamed up the idea that they should take a video player and the Jesus video in Huichol, too.

José came to town this morning with the great news that the new believers are growing in grace and in the knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ, and their testimony before others who are also working there motivated 6 others to receive Christ.

Pastor Manuel, especially, is feeling stress as there are so many needs, and he is so compassionate. Just last week he was telling me that he ran into 3 men from Paso de Álica, Ángel, Victoriano, and the third of whom he couldn’t remember the name. He said, “They knew me, even though I didn’t know them. Everyone knows me.” I replied, “Yes, and like Paul said, that is a big responsibility!” I reminded him that Paul encouraged believers to be imitators of him as he imitated Christ. (Manuel was well aware of Paul’s admonition. He knows and lives his Bible better than most pastors I know.) I also advised him that he is in the perfect position for Satan to attack. I explained the game of bowling and the significance of knocking over the “kingpin,” and then I related him to the “kingpin.” “BIG responsibility,” I said, “Be very careful of temptations. They come in all shapes and sizes (I mentioned a few examples.), and Satan would love to dangle one in front of him that would result in knocking over a whole line of new believers.” Anyway, it turns out that Ángel and Victoriano basically begged him to bring a group to Paso de Álica to share the Good News with them. He said that there used to be a group of believers there, but now there is nothing. Manuel said that he had just been reflecting on some things he and Kirt discussed a year ago, just before Kirt went to Heaven, when Kirt had asked him, “What’s happening in Paso de Álica, El Roble, and Guadalupe Ocotán? That’s where things had their beginning for the Huichol believers, but it seems that that area has dwindled.” And now “out of nowhere, Ángel and Victoriano appear!” So that’s Zapote, Patroneño, Zitácua, Guásima, Codorniz, La Quemada, and now Paso de Álica that are begging for a piece of him. And he can’t wait to resume the recording of the New Testament, and to get started on the translation of the Old Testament. That’s a LOT of pressure for anyone from ANY culture!

3 Comments:

At 8:24 PM, Blogger Jacob Hantla said...

Thanks for the post, mom. It's always good to hear what's going on and know how to pray. Tell Manuel that I can't wait to get back together with him and the other guys to finish up the recordings.

 
At 2:55 PM, Blogger Debbie Mellberg said...

THEY can't wait either. They're chomping at the bit to finish the NT audio project.

 
At 7:06 PM, Blogger Laura said...

Hi Debbie,
I enjoy keeping up with your blog so much! What a fascinating missionary life you lead. The pictures are wonderful.
I went to a soprano concert last night at St. Andrews' church, raising money for Wycliffe Bible translation for the Zapotec. The pictures looked so similar to yours that I thought it might be part of your mission.
I'm thinking about Kirt at this time of year and remembering the beautiful celebration of his life that I attended last year.
Love,
Your cousin, Laura

 

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