Tuesday, February 28, 2012

January/February 2012 "...shine as lights in the world; holding forth the word of life…”

January/February 2012

"...shine as lights in the world; holding forth the word of life…”           ~Philippians 2:15, 16

Huichol evangelists from five distinct villages prayed for open doors as they scheduled a week-long trip to the village of Guamuchilillo. They have earned the right to share the truth by shining like lights in their exemplary lives in which their relationship with the one true God, Kakaɨyari, has made a radical difference. The joint-effort gave birth to a brand new church in which the eager body of believers began a course of discipleship, 28 were baptized in the icy stream, and Felix (center, in white) was called to be pastor of the hungry little flock.   

The 7 Huichol mother-tongue-translators (MTTs) involved in the Old Testament project met for their 16th 2-week workshop. They have now finished 100% of the first draft!  There is still much need for prayer and a very long way to go in team checks, community testing, back translations, and consultant checks before publishing the word of life in the Huichol language.
UIM pilot David Wolf returned to Tepic to transport Huichol pastors José Lopez and Manuel to the remote mountain villages of Los Aires and La Quemada to continue their scheduled appointments for teaching extension theology classes to the students of those respective villages. Hilario and Angelina met José at the airstrip, 40 minutes hike from their home, with little 2 ½ month-old Manasés in their arms. (Manasés’ miraculous story is highlighted in the December 2011 prayer update.) May Manasés and his family never forget God’s provision for his life as they fulfill their task where He has placed them to shine as lights in the world; holding forth the word of life.
For the fifth year, we were selected by the Samaritan’s Purse organization to be the recipients of shoe box gifts for Operation Christmas Child for two Huichol villages and for IBBM-Tepic. One thing everyone knows is that very little is expedited through the border at Christmastime, so we were unable to have our big gift-giving celebration until Valentine’s Day. A big evangelistic outreach, “Friendship Party,” was held for the children of the two Huichol villages of La Bendición and Loma Alta, and one in Tepic. Hundreds of children were given personal invitations and lovingly-packed and delivered gift boxes; but best of all, they received the opportunity to listen to the word of life and experience personally, the greatest gift of all, forgiveness of sins and a permanent place in God’s family. Only the Greatest Giver of all knows what the final result will be of this mega effort involving the teamwork of an army of workers and prayer partners shining as lights in the world, some from places we’ve never even been.

Way back in November 2005, two days after the dedication celebration, some of the national church leaders were at my house rejoicing over the completed project of the new church building in the Huichol mountain village of Zapote de Picachos. Eight months after Kirt’s graduation to heaven, God had miraculously provided the funds necessary for the purchase and transport of building materials, and many willing Mexicans and Huichols offered unimaginable sacrifice and physical labor in getting the materials to the site and in the building process. Mention was made, implying that since Kirt is no longer with us, this would probably have to be the last of the mountain village building projects since “provision like that doesn’t grow on trees… future village churches would just have to be content to congregate under thatched ramadas and mango trees.”  What a mistaken assumption that was! The detailed story is too long for this update, but rejoice along with me at God’s constant provision, not only of leaders, evangelists, teachers, students, disciples and true servants, but also for the tangible provision of more-than-suitable places for His followers to congregate. Construction is underway of a beautiful multi-purpose church/education center in the very exemplary village of La Bendición (The Blessing). Everybody in the village is having a part as they shine as lights in the world; holding forth the word of life…”

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