Thursday, April 30, 2015

March/April 2015 Not to us, O Lord, not to us, but to your name give glory, for the sake of your steadfast love and your faithfulness! Psalm 115:1

March/April 2015                    
Not to us, O Lord, not to us, but to your name give glory, for the sake of your steadfast love and your faithfulness!  Psalm 115:1
The amazing events of the past two months in Tepic have been possible not because of great people, but because imperfect ones have been securely held in the omnipotent hands of a steadfast, faithful Lord and directed by Him. May we never cease to give Him the glory for that.

José López (Huichol pastor/MTT) and Joe Grimes

Libby Willett (OT project consultant) and MTT Hilario
Psalms/Proverbs draft in hand

Dr. Joe Grimes (the linguist/translator who, along with his wife, Barbara, moved into a Huichol village 62 years ago and began the toilsome task of learning the Huichol language, reducing it to writing and then translating the New Testament into it) sent me this very good news: "At 11:40 AM on Wednesday, March 4, 2015, we verified the last verse of Ezekiel 48. The translation part of the Hawaii Pidgin Bible is now finished!” Joe said that it's been 28 years since they started with the first experimental steps of that project. Now, all they’re lacking is some heavy-duty proofreading and a thorough review to polish everything, and the Bible in Hawaiian Pidgin will be ready for publishing and distribution to the anxious hearts of the Hawaii Pidgin-speakers. Barbara Grimes and Ryo Stanwood, two very important members of the translation team since the beginning phase, are now among the "great cloud of witnesses" giving glory to God from Heaven’s gallery! We add our voice to theirs!
Joe, now in his 80’s, is also one of another very dedicated team in the omnipotent hands of a steadfast, faithful Lord, working on the translation of the Huichol Old Testament. The nine mother-tongue-translators (MTTs) left the last workshop with copies of the completed Psalms and Proverbs in hand to read in their respective villages. 
The 4th annual Huichol youth camp, staffed by 16 hard-working, self-sacrificing young people from the IBBM-Tepic church, was a perfect setting for community testing of various portions of the translated text. Ninety kids from all over the Sierra Madre of Nayarit heard the Truth and memorized verses in their mother tongue. Nine Huichol pastors taught Bible lessons relative to the theme, ¡LIBRE! (FREE!). Several kids recognized their need to be liberated, and they placed their faith in the Savior, while others committed to prepare themselves to share the Good News with other Huichols still in bondage. God tells us that He is glorified when His Word is proclaimed, heard and believed. 

Still another motive for giving glory to His name is the long-awaited announcement that the IBBM-Tepic property is paid in full; and the deed, processed and authorized by the federal government, is finally in our hands. IBBM-Tepic members have sacrificed beyond the imaginable for four years, working together creatively in unity, with accountability, and commitment to take responsibility for and ownership of the church facility God has provided. It’s not the property we thought we were praying for, but it’s the property God knew all along we definitely needed, and He gets the glory 
Thirty leaders from the IBBM-Tepic OANSA (AWANA) are making plans to travel 15 hours from Tepic to Veracruz on our first ever church-sponsored, short-term mission trip. The plan is to present the opportunity for initiating an OANSA children’s club in a church, just as a team from my sending church, NVBC, did for us 20 years ago. We will be directing and teaching a week-long OANSA-style Bible school. Erén (Pastor Martin’s wife) and I were invited to go along with an NVBC short-term mission team to Wales last summer, and now IBBM-Tepic is going to duplicate that effort on the other side of Mexico. The trip will be costly; each short-term missionary will be working to provide for his/her own expenses. The accommodations will be primitive (like sleeping in tents), but it will be an unprecedented venture for the eager OANSA leaders who have completed the OANSA program and been discipled and trained to serve and direct, to use their God-given gifts and privilege to reach out to others who have not had that opportunity.  The investment in the lives of the children of IBBM-Tepic brings glory to the name of our steadfast and faithful Lord as it continues to reproduce itself in the lives of others who have never heard.

Carlita Aldaco (Pastor José Luis and Lupita’s daughter) and Daniel Ruelas were married in a beautiful ceremony designed to glorify their Lord. We have prayed for Carlita, Daniel, and this day for more than 25 years. Together they asked God constantly to remind them of their vows to love each other, but more importantly, that their love and marriage would serve as a graphic display of the Gospel to those around them.  

“…O Lord, not to us, but to your name give glory…”

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