Friday, June 27, 2008

May – June 2008

“Call unto me, and I will answer thee, and shew thee great and mighty things, which thou knowest not.” Jeremiah 33:3

The 5th 2-week Huichol Old Testament translation workshop was another remarkable success. For this workshop, OurWord software programmer, John Wimbish, along with his “think-tank” colleagues, put together a very portable, workable, low-power Asus EeePC computer/solar system setup with the goal of providing the five mother-tongue translators in each of four remote villages without electricity, and located many hours away from each other and from Tepic, a system with which each can work independently on translation while they are in their villages. Then when they rendezvous for the next workshop, they can efficiently merge their work to begin the long and diligent process of reading, revising, and refining printed drafts for scrutinizing by the consultants and feedback from local villagers. At the end of the workshop Román left for home with “Nunusi” (little baby, in Huichol) and his sophisticated but simple, portable solar panel and battery pack. For the past month, he has charted his progress. After solar-charging the battery for a full sunny day, he is able to work approximately 2 hours and has completed the translation of the first draft of five chapters of Joshua. That’s the good news; but, of course the enemy is not easily deterred. The following is the list of a few complications about which to pray: The rainy season has begun, and there are very few completely sunny days for charging. The brothers from his church had told him that if he would work diligently on the translation project, they would work extra to help support him and his family. However, a “problem” has arisen in his village, 13 bus-hours plus 2 hike-hours from Tepic. He's really worried about this. He came to Tepic and also went to the village of Zapote to ask for prayer and guidance from the church leaders. He’s very wise. Those from his village who offered to help support him are discouraged because of the problem, and they have temporarily left the village without following up on the "support" plan. It’s possible that most of the believers from his village will be relocating. In addition, Román’s wife is expecting a baby in November. She always has to have a C-section. He's worried about this, too; it’s not like the hospital is just around the corner. He has returned to his village, but he plans to go out and look for work during the rainy season when solar-charging is much less efficient, anyway. Given the fact that the Old Testament is about 3 times the size of the New, even with getting working baby computers with solar panels to the translators in their villages, and especially with the unforeseen darts of the enemy, this will be a long and laborious project. Please pray that God’s great and mighty things in the Huichol OT translation project will not be hindered by obstacles.

Elianna means "My God Answers," and she is an unimaginable answer to our prayers of over 3 years. She arrived on May 17 at 7:17 AM, weighed 7 lbs. 3 ozs. and measured 20inches. She’s a healthy blessing from heaven and has already brought immeasurable joy to our family. Jacob and Kiki are excited about the opportunity that awaits them to set an example for and shepherd this gift to them from our Father, and we all ask for your prayers that Elianna Joel will grow to fulfill the great and mighty purpose for which she was fearfully and wonderfully made.

Pastor Manuel from Zapote de Picachos, one of the Huichol OT mother tongue translators (MTT), and his wife, Dolores, came to my house this past week. Dolores had severe pain in her right abdomen for 2-3 days. They were going to make an emergency trip to Tepic the night before with her, but the transportation service from the dam charges $500 pesos after dark, so they decided to wait it out until morning. Income from their fishing jobs for the guys from Zapote has been very limited; last week they only made $200 pesos ($20 US) each for the whole week of work…no fish. …more activity from that ridiculously well-armed enemy to attempt futilely, to thwart the accomplishment of great and mighty things. Manuel and a group of brothers, including José Lopez, made a missionary trip upriver the week before, to the village of Paso de Álica. He said that MANY Huichols from that region are interested and are listening to the "Good News," and several have repented and come to Christ. They have permission on their next trip, to use the big game court in the center of the village in order to accommodate the crowd. The downside is that it takes $900 pesos in gasoline alone, to make the trip by boat, and they haven't even made enough to support their families, much less pay for gasoline. That’s where your faithful generosity comes in; Manuel asked me be please be sure to communicate their gratitude for the generous special offerings of many brothers and sisters whom they have never even met, that have made these missionary ventures possible.

The enemy is working overtime in the Tepic church, as well, with so many great and mighty things happening these past two months since my last update, to name a few: the Mother’s Day celebration, the satellite mission in Tepic at Luis and Nancy’s house, the mission at Ruiz, Abril’s quinceañera, Hugo and Imelda’s marriage consecration service, the salvation of the Barajas family, the Father’s Day celebration, and OANSA/ AWANA awards day and the annual fair. Every one of these victories has been followed by enemy fire. For starters: Luis and Nancy were in a serious car accident, and though their lives were spared, their car was totaled. Insurance is refusing to pay, but worse yet, their unbelieving neighbors say that it’s God punishing them for being Christians and teaching non-traditional doctrine. The infant believers at Ruiz have been barraged by persecution of all descriptions by people and literally, by the powers of darkness. A couple of people who participated in Abril’s 15th birthday celebration got their feelings hurt. Samantha, the 10-year-old daughter of the Barajas family, was hit by a car; but miraculously, her life was spared. We are constantly reminded that Satan delights in destroying two of God’s most important institutions, the church and the family, and his tactics have always been to discourage members of the family of God so that their lives will be fruitless, and their testimonies will be unseen by their lost friends and family members. Click here to see pictures of these activities.

Many great and mighty things are just around the corner, and undoubtedly, many about which we don’t even “know” yet. First, I am grateful for the love and faithfulness of the vital team of faithful co-laborers “back home” who make my participation in these amazing life-changing events possible. Second, I ask you to continue to pray for those whose lives and eternity will be transformed as the result of the events of the next couple of months, listed below. We are all in enemy territory, and that clearly comes with constant wickedly well-aimed darts to dodge. Thank you for caring and for sharing in the sowing and in the reaping.

Quick Reference -- July-August Prayer Requests:

• Huichol OT translation project
• Huichol NT - MegaVoice Mp3 player distribution to Huichol villages
• Tepic youth outreach with visitors from USA – July 4-11
• Huichol – La Bendición VBS with visitors from USA – July 6-11
• Huichol – La Bendición work project – July 6-11
• Tepic OANSA/AWANA club - camp July 16
• Upcoming proposed auction of property adjacent to Tepic church