Saturday, May 02, 2009

March/April 2009

Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord. 1 Corinthians 15:58

Yesterday, May 1, was Labor Day in Mexico, and it was a perfect opportunity to reflect on the past 2 months that have fulfilled every biblical aspect of the term: labor was designed by the Creator; we are co-workers with Him by His grace through faith; the jobs He gives are distinguished by love and sacrifice, done with much prayer, and often disrupted by the enemy. And finally, rewards are plentiful for jobs well done.

On March 23, we commemorated 4 years since Kirt’s physical labor on earth came to an end, and he was promoted to Heaven. We remembered the contagion of his curiosity, energy, resourcefulness and excitement as he labored to help unfold the limitless possibilities that lay before us. He proved with his life that no dream was beyond reach if we were willing to trust God and work for it. He taught us the value of determination and hard work by his unforgettable example; and he has now, personally, experienced the truth that our labor is not in vain in the Lord.

Pastor Gregg Cantelmo and 6 members of his church came on a short-term “labor of love and sacrifice” trip to Tepic. Pastor Gregg did an excellent job teaching a series on The Beatitudes, and Tim did an excellent job serving as interpreter for him. See pictures here.

That our Father has a task for every member of His church is clear in the jobs He has given Emilia. At last, the all-male team of Huichol Old Testament translators agreed at the 7th translation workshop last month that “just maybe” God could use a “girl” to help out with the translation job. Emilia, a well-prepared, single young lady from the village of Zapote, has taken her God-given ministerial opportunities very seriously. She translates materials from Spanish to Huichol as she teaches 3 ladies' classes, the young people, and 2 children's classes a week in the village; and she loves it, but it comes with a measure of difficulty. She is a Huichol woman, and in the unspoken but obvious opinion of the men of the village, "she is working way out of character for her category." Emilia is a first for them. The Huichol pastors in charge of selecting the translation team have come to realize that the Bible is full of all kinds of women who served in support capacities, and Emilia is just like that. She's a willing and valuable co-laborer.

Easter week was filled with rewards for the well-done labor of evangelism and discipleship in baptismal services held in 2 Huichol villages, Loma Alta and La Bendición. The Tepic church will be baptizing several new believers on May 17. Please pray for continued growth and perseverance.

After praying and assessing details of the H1N1 (Swine) Flu issue, we came to a consensus that holding the 8th Huichol Old Testament translation workshop, due to begin in 2 weeks, involved, as Dr. Grimes said, “higher than normal risks in bringing people into a crowded city, partly on public transportation, to spend two weeks in face to face contact... So better to wait.” The next 2-week workshop is now scheduled for after the rainy season and after the corn harvest, in late November. Please pray that key people in the project, with little resistance to any of the bugs of civilization, will be kept safe and that this labor will not be disrupted by the enemy as the translators continue their work in their respective villages.

The day before the H1N1 (Swine) Flu propaganda hit the press, we held the annual OANSA/AWANA Kid’s Day celebration at the Tepic church with 100 kids who played organized games, hit piñatas, ate delicious goodies, took home a bagful of surprises, and best of all, heard the story of Every Kid’s Very BEST Friend. See digital pictures here. Please pray for wisdom regarding the holding of further public church meetings during the next few weeks.

Marisol Rojo, this year’s recipient of the 3rd annual Kirt Mellberg Memorial Scholarship, was home for Easter. She is studying elementary education and music at a Bible college in Monterey, Mexico. Her attitude is uplifting, and the knowledge and wisdom she has gained thus far as a result of this opportunity that was made possible by the scholarship has been a very worthwhile investment. When she returned to classes, she sent me a letter with the following encouraging words, “During this past semester, in addition to violin and orchestra, I especially enjoyed my class on Corinthians. It made me think a lot about Martín, and you and Kirt…and God’s purpose for me in this life. …I have had many opportunities for evangelism and teaching,…and God has provided for my needs in ways I never expected.”

The scholarship fund, donated by interested sponsors, is a living investment awarded in Kirt’s memory for the purpose of recognizing and encouraging students who have distinguished themselves as leaders, who exemplify the servant qualities of our Lord Jesus Christ, and who are actively preparing themselves for ministry in missions or in a local church. A big “THANK YOU” to all who have had a part in this labor of love and sacrifice. Any student interested in applying can find the criteria and application materials here.

I must work the works of him that sent me, while it is day: the night cometh, when no man can work. John 9:4

Quick Reference – May-June Prayer Requests

· H1N1 (Swine) Flu – potential pandemic
· Huichol OT translation project – 8th workshop after harvest in November
· Huichol NT - MegaVoice Mp3 player distribution to Huichol villages
· Iglesia Bíblica Bautista de Tepic – baptisms on May 17
· OANSA children’s Bible clubs

Labels: , , , , , , ,