Wednesday, March 05, 2008

January-February 2008

This year so far has been filled to the brim with answers to prayer. We have experienced two months of dividends from “worthwhile investments” of time, prayer, and resources.

Marisol returned to Bible college the first week of January after coming home for the holidays. She has been taking full advantage of everything she can in school. Her attitude is uplifting, and the knowledge and wisdom she has gained as a result of this opportunity that was made possible by the Kirt Mellberg Memorial Scholarship she received this year has been a very worthwhile investment. When she returned to classes, she sent me a letter with the following encouraging words, “…I am learning more every day. This semester, in addition to violin and orchestra, I’m taking hermeneutics, the Epistles, and a module on the philosophy of ministry in the church…I am so grateful to God for the opportunities He has given me because I know that He is preparing me to share and to serve.”

Jacob and Kiki arrived in Tepic January 17 to make the last lap around the track of giving the audio recording of the Huichol New Testament its final polish. The glitches were edited; then the files were sent to Israel for formatting and returned to Jacob for uploading to the MegaVoice Mp3 players, which by the end of this month will begin distribution in the mountain villages. That is all easily said, but up to now, the adversary has fought us "tooth and nail" on this extremely valuable project, and he's probably not finished yet! Please pray with me that the mission will be accomplished, and that God's Word will penetrate the hearts of those who have been blinded by the prince of darkness because they are unable to read and have never heard the Truth. Another worthwhile investment.

"Casa Mellberg" was bursting at the seams during our 4th 2-week Huichol Old Testament translation workshop from January 25 through February 10. Dr. and Mrs. Joe Grimes and Dr. Elizabeth Willet, the translation consultants, along with John Wimbish, the developer of the OurWord software being used for the Huichol Old Testament, and 5 mother-tongue Huichol translators (4 of them pastors from various mountain villages) were here for the purpose of continuing the enormous job that “officially” started exactly 1 year ago. God provided travel safety and health for all who were involved. On site testing of the improved version of OurWord was a success. We have scheduled our 5th workshop for May 12-23. If you are interested in reading more about this, another very worthwhile investment, check out The Seed Company's webpage.

Now that everyone has returned to their respective villages please pray for clarity of thought, efficiency and productivity for the 5 Huichol men who took the book of Exodus back “home” to continue the translation job. Pastor Manuel from Zapote de Picachos showed up at my house today. A special offering bought him a marine battery (another worthwhile investment) to hook up to a solar panel the government gave him. So now he has a light bulb in his little house, and he can still work on translation after dark! He has NO clue where this work ethic business is leading. I won’t tell, if you don’t.

We just finished a 4-day conference with Ramiro Martinez, who I met at the Summit conference in September at the Kansas City Baptist Temple. Ramiro, now a missionary to Mexico City, is originally from El Salvador from the church that Jeff Adams pastored. He did an excellent job encouraging the Tepic church to follow Daniel’s example of “knowing God well, being strong, and doing exploits” Daniel 11:32. Not only is Ramiro an excellent speaker, but also he communicates with his example that mediocrity is never acceptable in the service of the King. One more bonus of many worthwhile investments.

Last weekend we celebrated Praise Day in our AWANA/OANSA club. Each age level, Cubbies, Sparks, Flames and Torches did an outstanding job of taking the responsibility for leading the entire club in praising God. My special group, the Torches (junior high kids), chose to praise Him because Jesus is our Light. We praised Him because: 1) God sent the Light, 2) we are no longer in darkness, and 3) we have the Light to share with those who can’t see. OANSA has been a worthwhile investment in preparing leaders, many of whom were once OANSA clubbers. Please pray with me that work with my special group for the year will be a worthwhile investment as they train to become the future leaders of the Tepic church. Click here to see some pictures of Praise Day.

Speaking of investments, many of you have been praying about the property adjacent to the Tepic church that I mentioned in my last prayer update. Thank you, and please keep praying. The Tepic church, the hub-church of all of the satellite ministries, is primarily composed of Mexicans, not Huichols, but contrary to Mexican culture, ALL are welcome, and the brothers and sisters of the Tepic church lovingly extend themselves sacrificially to minister to Huichol village works. We’re checking the auction site nearly every day, but so far, the property has not been posted; though we were told it would be auctioned in February. Thankfully we have the perfect assurance that God's timing is not our timing, and He has EVERYTHING under His control.

Calling to remembrance all of these dividends from “worthwhile investments” does not mean that the adversary is not doing everything in his power to discourage, divide, defame and destroy. Please remember to pray for God’s work and workers here that we will continue to serve God joyfully and in unity.

Quick Reference Version of January-February Prayer Requests:
•Marisol Rojo – 2007-2008 Kirt Mellberg Memorial Scholarship recipient
• Huichol NT - MegaVoice Mp3 player distribution to Huichol villages
• Huichol Old Testament translation project – book of Exodus; next workshop May 12-23
• OANSA/AWANA clubs - Tepic and Zapote de Picachos
• Upcoming auction of property adjacent to Tepic church

Matthew 13:23 But he that received seed into the good ground is he that heareth the word, and understandeth it; which also beareth fruit, and bringeth forth, some an hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty.