Wednesday, June 27, 2007

May-June 2007

That God has chosen to allow me to continue participating in the most breathtaking yet humbling ministry I can imagine is astonishing. God has a perfect plan and purpose for which on a daily basis, He alone awards the grace, strength and wisdom to confront and carry out. The past 2 months since my last prayer update have been filled to capacity with responsibilities, struggles and victories. I thank my God upon every remembrance of you (Philippians 1:3) and especially for your remembrance of me and the work here in Tepic.

We celebrated the end of another rewarding year of OANSA/AWANA activities with an awards ceremony followed the next week by the annual “feria”/fair at which the kids spend the Sparky pesos that they have been earning all during the year by learning verses, attendance, bringing visitors, and good behavior. Several children have accepted Jesus as their Savior this year, and some have brought their parents to church. Cick here to see this year’s OANSA activities.

Four years ago, a Huichol couple, Gumercindo and Máxima, came to our house with big problems. Though both were believers, they had given in to deceitful temptations of the enemy, and they had strayed from the straight path. They were begging for help in asking God’s forgiveness and that of those they had offended. It was a long and complicated process, but they were determined, and they were marvelously restored. Among the changes they made was their decision to be legally married, after having lived together for 7 years. They agreed that a special “restoration” ceremony would be the best way for them to give testimony to those around them of God’s grace and mercy in their lives. After their decision to allow God’s power to conform them to the image of His Son they were surprised to discover that they were expecting a baby, since for 7 years they had been unable to have children. When they were told that the baby was a little girl, Kirt said, “Well, since her mother’s name is ‘Máxima,’ then the baby will be called ‘Mínima’!” Though her given name was Priscila, everyone called her “Míni.” Mínima turned 2 in March. In May, she came down with a sudden and devastating case of hepatitis, and on June 15, she passed away in the ICU in Guadalajara. Gumercindo and Máxima returned to Tepic with a little white casket carrying the body of their precious little “Mínima.” The people of the Tepic church and several Huichol village churches rallied to support them as we buried her in a little rural cemetery in the village of Jesús María Cortes. Please pray with me for Gumercindo and Máxima and for the leaders of the Tepic church as we help them deal with this very difficult process for all of us. Click here to see pictures from Priscila “Mínima's” life and funeral.

Pastors Martín, Nacho and José Luis worked as a team to bring a well-executed message to the fathers who came to church in Tepic on Father’s Day. Each took an aspect from the outline in Luke 1of Zacharias’ exemplary acceptance of responsibility in getting his son, John the Baptist, ready for his purpose in life. Nacho shared that Zacharias was IRREPROACHABLE in “walking in all the commandments and ordinances of the Lord.” José Luis contributed that Zacharias INSTRUCTED John diligently in God’s Word whether sitting, walking, lying down, or rising up. Finally, Martín concluded that the “child grew, and waxed strong in spirit”; Zacharias did his God-ordained homework as he IMPELLED John to prepare himself for God’s service and prepare the way for the Lord Jesus. The fathers were invited to commit themselves to be a modern day Zacharias. Even Martín’s unbelieving father, Fidencio, expressed his desire to be an irreproachable, instructing and impelling father. Please continue to pray with us for Fidencio that he will take the first step of repentance and giving his heart to Christ. Click here to see pictures of our Tepic fathers on Father's Day.

The third 2-week Huichol OT workshop is over, but the resulting blessings will never end. Joe and Barbara Grimes are on their way back to Hawaii, and Libby and Tom Willet, to Durango. Manuel, Joaquín, Hilario, Román, and José should be arriving in their respective villages located in various parts of the Sierra Madre in Nayarit. They have in hand, and more importantly in "heart," the advanced drafts of Ruth and Jonah (which have passed through a minimum of 3 revisions, a back translation from a native speaker not related to the translation project, and a one-on-one revision for accuracy by Libby Willet, the official project consultant), and the first polished draft of chapters 38-50 of Genesis (the Joseph story). We are breaking for the rainy season, but the translators have their individual homework assignments for the next 2-week session scheduled for January: collaboration for understandability with other villagers and church members on the revision of the first draft of Genesis 38-50, and to draft and prepare chapters 1-37 of Genesis for revision using translation principles and skills they have learned in the 3 intense 2-week workshops they have attended so far.

The project goal for the first 2 years was to teach the translators Principles of Translation and to follow up with completion of the books of Ruth, Jonah and the Joseph story of Genesis. In just 6 months, we are WAY ahead of schedule, and the translators are motivated to the max to continue! Interacting one-on-one in Huichol with Joe and Barbara has been the icing on the cake for them facilitating efficient understanding and advancement, and they have matured intellectually and spiritually as a result of Joe's patient, yet demanding example. Please continue to pray for the Huichol translators and army of consultants and team members making it possible for the Huichol people to have God's Word in their heart language.
Click here to see a digitals slideshow of the past 2 week's Huichol OT translation activities.

Quick Reference Version of May-June Prayer Requests:
· Gumercindo and Máxima
· Fidencio, Martín’s dad – salvation
· Huichol Old Testament Translation Project


At 1:16 AM, Blogger starrsoft said...

I am a missionary student and came across your blog. Could you please email me at hansmast at hansmast dot com? I couldn't find an email address on your blog. Blessings! -Hans

At 5:13 AM, Blogger debbiemellberg said...

My email address is:



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