Saturday, December 31, 2016

November/December 2016 - Let the favor of the Lord our God be upon us, and establish the work of our hands

            November/December 2016

Let your work be shown to your servants, and your glorious power to their children. Let the favor of the Lord our God be upon us, and establish the work of our hands upon us; yes, establish the work of our hands!  (Psalm 90:16, 17)

Based on His omnipotent God’s unfailing promises, in this unique Psalm Moses dared to make bold and confident requests of Him! And it is exhilarating to reflect on the fulfillment of our omnipotent God’s promises during the past two months in Tepic, as well.
The favor of the Lord our God has been upon us in answer to our bold and confident requests regarding the translation of the Old Testament into Huichol. It was once a daunting, seemingly insurmountable task, but the progress being made with the diligent and persistent process of drafting, revision and checking each book by the now-experienced Huichol translation team is nothing less than a display of His glorious power to His children. After the 33rd two-week workshop in Tepic, the complete manuscript is 95% revised, 60% consultant approved, and much is being community tested.  We have two years left to finish what is still an enormous undertaking, and we pray that He will establish the work of our hands for its timely completion.
Timely completion of the translation is not an end in itself.  The goal is that the Word of God in the heart-language of the Huichol people will become widely used for effective evangelism, discipleship and church-planting. Already, Huichol believers have accepted their commission to go, proclaim, baptize, and teach others to do the same. Translator Venancio and a small team of missionaries from the village La Quemada where the shaman, Asunción, believed in June  (, traveled to the community of Jesús María to share the Good News with Asunción’s shaman brother, Ramiro. 

Ramiro also believed, repented, and burned his traditional relics in a public display that now He is a follower of Jesus Christ. It's quite amazing that so many shamans are turning in their relics and sinful beliefs from the dark side as they realize their need for the one, true Savior. The team understands that the shamans are no more important in God's eyes than any other person, but historically, they have had a powerful influence on the Huichol community. Now we must pray that they may have the same zeal for learning, growing and sharing the Truth with their Huichol brothers. God’s work is being shown to His servants, and His glorious power to their children as this is the 6th shaman to believe in 2 years.

The favor of the Lord our God has been upon IBBM-Tepic also as He has established the work of our hands this past month. We celebrated the greatest Gift ever given with the children at the OANSA club party where more than 80 children and young people observed the true reason for a merry Christmas.
Similarly, His work has been shown to His servants, and His glorious power to their children in the annual IBBM-Tepic community Christmas Celebration. Much of the program, Unto Us a Child is Born, was planned, elaborated and performed by the children. We adult leaders took on the role of “assistants” and supervisors, and it’s wonderful to see how the next generation of IBBM implements its God-given gifts and talent in His service. David used his talent to orchestrate and direct a musical potpourri of traditional Christmas carols played by the children of the church who have dedicated long hours and years to learning to play musical instruments for the church worship team. 

Mishna accepted the task of preparing the 
young children’s participation in proclaiming the prophecy that the “Child” would be called “Wonderful, Counselor, the Mighty God, and the Everlasting Father”. They memorized their parts well and shared with gusto the Truth of the Savior’s fulfillment of God’s promise to the world. They are following the example of their young leaders who worked together joyfully, realizing the importance of training the next generation. The church young people performed an amazing dramatic analogy of the Prince of Peace seeking “room” in the hearts of His people who are often too comfortable, too busy, too poor, or too fearful to make a place for Him. Pastor Martín summed up with the invitation to the community to make room for the perfect Gift of God who was born to save His people from their sin.

The work of the Lord our God has been shown to His servants, and His glorious power to their children. Now, may He teach us to number our days that we may get a heart of wisdom. Ps. 90:12, 16