Wednesday, July 01, 2009

May/June 2009

...For unto whomsoever much is given, of him shall be much required...” Luke 12:48

Our Huichol brothers and sisters seem to have a hold on Jesus’ instruction. On May 5, 28 of them, to whom much has been given, from the villages of Zapote de Picachos, La Bendición, Loma Alta and Carlos a la Torre left before dawn for a 1-week evangelism/encouragement/discipleship circuit to the more remote mountain villages of La Quemada and Los Aires with just that thought in mind. They said, “We are close where we can hear ‘the teaching’ and fellowship, but our brothers who live far from here don’t have that privilege. We want to make the trip to their villages to share what we have learned.” It sounds easy, but it required long hours by boat, on rural transport, then on foot, as well as the sacrifice of a week of work to make it happen. We are thankful for special offerings from the Mellberg Memorial Fund that were used to underwrite the transportation expense for all 28. We have been given much...

Zayra had no idea until her name was called that we leaders voted her to be this year's OANSA “Nobel Prize” winner for her faithfulness and her Christ-like spirit. Her life is not easy. Since she was a Cubbie she has been coming, in the back of a pickup that was donated to the Tepic church 5 years ago, to the Saturday afternoon club meetings from a neighborhood on the "other" side of town.
We have been given much...

Zayra brought her two little brothers, Daniel and Luis, and her mom, Lupe, who have come to Jesus and now, to church on Sundays. Her dad, Luis, came for the first time on Father’s Day. This year, Zayra finished memorizing her final OANSA manual and is ready to graduate to "leader-in-training." She'll make a GREAT leader. Please continue to pray with me that the enemy will be ineffective in his constant attempts to destroy, that the hard-working OANSA leaders will remain healthy and committed to serve joyfully, and that God’s Word will continue to penetrate the hearts of the children and their parents.

Mother’s Day, baptisms, and Father’s Day are three additional highlights of the months of May and June in the Iglesia Bíblica Bautista Misericordia de Tepic. We have been given much...

In spite of the fact that the decision was made by the project leaders to postpone the 8th Huichol Old Testament Translation Workshop due to the H1N1 Flu threat, the mother-tongue translators (MTTs) made the choice, before the rainy season began, to rendezvous anyway in Tepic, even without the consultants, to advance as a team on polishing their drafts. And in spite of the fact that postponing the workshop was the wise thing to do, that the Huichol MTTs made the joint decision to persevere on their own is significant. It shows that they are responsibly “taking ownership” of the task; they are not doing it just because someone tells them to. They said their “good-byes” at the Mellberg Hacienda on June 6 with enough translation assignments to keep them very busy in their respective villages during the rainy season, with their portable laptops to be operated by solar power or gas generators, and with plans to reunite in November after the corn harvest. We have been given much...

So, what a surprise when Hilario arrived on my front porch two weeks later on Father’s Day after traveling 26+ hours from Los Aires (The trip usually takes him 13-15 hours, but the rains have started!). After arriving in his village, his little laptop, “Nunusi,” showed no data when he opened it up to input his new translation text, and he tried repeatedly to power down and up again, but to no avail. He said he couldn’t imagine not being able to do computer work for the next 4 ½ months (21st Century computer dependence has made its way even to a remote mountain village!), so he made the decision to head back to Tepic for help before the roads became impassible. We “Skyped” programmer John who remotely, before our very eyes, reinstalled the Spanish version of 1 & 2 Kings in the Our Word program. Hilario stayed over for a couple of days just to make sure he didn’t run into the same snag again before heading back to Los Aires. Oh, did I mention that as he was hiking to the bus stop in the village of Jesús María to catch the rural transport to Tepic, he tripped on some nasty rocks and really messed up his big toe? He didn’t bother to tell me until the second day when infection set in. We soaked it while he worked, scrubbed it mercilessly, treated it with antibiotics, and he left limping, with laptop in hand for the trek back home.

We have been given much -- abundant measures of time, talents, resources and opportunities -- and much shall be required.

You may see a collection of sets of pictures from the months of May-June 2009 here.

Quick Reference – July-August prayer requests:

• Huichol OT translation project – village work, no computer failures
• Huichol NT – continued MegaVoice Mp3 player distribution to villages
• Youth camp put on by the leaders of the Iglesia Bíblica Bautista de Tepic – July 19
• Preparation for coming year of OANSA