Church Planting among the Nahuatl

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Linguistics, contentment, and…chocolate

So, when Pete saw that I had posted a picture of muffins on our blog he was a little jealous. To compromise I decided to talk a little about what he has been doing in the last few weeeks of the Linguistics course.


All of the students just finished completing a two week long problem focusing on the Mazateco language. This is a tribal language originating from the country of Mexico. The problem had many facets of interpretation, analysis, and all sorts of other word processes that I cannot not name, pronounce, or even begin to understand. ūüôā After these steps were finished Pete and the other linguistics students were required to do a 23 page write up on the Mazateco language, their findings and patterns studied within the language, and their theories about the conclusions that they have come up with in studying it. It all sounds quite difficult to me (Liesl), but I know God gifts us all in different areas and analyizing languages just may not be one of my gifts.

In fact I am content in that. I am content in the fact that right now the Lord has me serving at home…and I have time to bake treats for Pete’s linguistics class which they also enjoy. But the concept of staying content has always puzzled me, how do we stay content when we are adventurous, outgoing, always on the move and feel like God always has something bigger and better for us?…right now, by the way…

From my time spent with Jesus, I have come to realize that my contentment can only be found in my relationship with Him. If I am walking with Him, I am content. For the logical mind out there (admit it…I’m a 100% logic person) :

Walking with God everyday/all day = Contentment…no matter what

If I am walking with the Lord I always have a heart to receive and a heart to give. If I am walking with the Lord my joy flows abundantly even though I’m doing the most minimal things. Walking with the Lord keeps me wanting more of Him, no matter how much I read His Word, or meditate and write down the things He’s teaching me, walking with Him makes me realize how much I still do not grasp of who He is to me.

This is why I can be content as I walk over to the sink to do the dishes after this post is completed. Knowing that God’s purpose for me right now is to serve my family by cleaning up the kitchen. I by no means am perfect, and no, I have not even begun to grasp at the truth of what it means to walk daily with Jesus, but…I do know that I am content because I know I’m where He wants me, and I’m doing what He wants me to be doing at this particular time in my life.

I mean…heaven forbid…if I was trying to analyze languages I know for sure I would be stressing out, which would in turn cause me to eat chocolate. Which of course is not a bad thing, but I love chocolate…and would probably eat alot of it…


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From Iconium to Lystra & Derbe and finally to Antioch

So this morning Pete asked me what I had read about in my time with Jesus. Now I don’t¬†know about anyone else, but sometimes I just read…¬†and I’m enjoying what I’m reading at the time, but often my mind is so bogged down with the happenings of the day ahead or the day before,¬†that I’m not really comprehending what I am reading. I am not consciously asking the Lord to speak to me. So…I gave Pete this overview, you know the one that makes you sound like you really know what you are talking about when in all honesty you are probably guessing at most of it.

Now it’s 2:00 in the afternoon there are things that I need to and want to get done, but first I need to sit down and read Acts 14 again… Paul and Barnabas are traveling and preaching the gospel to all who will listen to them. Many peopel¬†are being saved showing the amazing power of God, yet also, many are being divided in their opinions of God as they are lead astray by the opinions of man.

Paul and Barnabas preach the good news¬†in one place until they are threatened with stoning, and then they flee to the next area, showing the mighty protection of God. In Lystra an incredible miracle happens, a cripple who’s faith is seen by Paul, is healed and can now walk. The crowd is in such awe that they want to worship Paul and Barnabas as gods themselves. And in verse 15 Paul tells them, “friends, why are you doing this?” We have come to teach you about the good news that you no longer need false gods in your life, you should turn from this useless stuff, and turn to the one and only living God who created you and all things in this world. Then he proceeds to instruct them in the fact that God has given them a choice of what kind of life they want to live, but has not left them without evidence of Himself or His goodness in their lives. Then Paul and Barnabas travel on, speaking the good news of Christ everywhere they go.

What a powerful chapter! A healing, the gospel shared to many, the endurance of Paul and Barnabas and several characteristics of God and His grace all shown within 28 verses. How could I have missed all of this Well…this brings me to something I have been brooding over for some time now…walking with God…making Him a part of my everyday, everything. Listening to His Spirit in my life as I read His Word, clean up around the house, brush my teeth, open the fridge to make dinner, talk with friends, spend time with Pete, read other materials, email and talk on the phone with friends, pray, go shopping, workout, train to be a missionary, etc…

From what I have experienced I know it is easy for me to compartmentalize my life. I can get into the mindset of putting all my life activities and responsibilities into catagories and sometimes put the little things like cleaning, cooking, working out, into the “little things that¬†I just do that God doesn’t really care that much about”¬†catagory and God doesn’t quite make it in there. But that is not how it should be. God wants to be apart of our everyday, everything. He wants me to be sharing my struggles with Him in prayer, He wants me to talk to Him about how frustrated I am when I’m on a long run, and He wants to know the concerns and joys of my day just as our best friend or spouse wants to know the details of our lives. If He is not in each moment how to we expect to grow in our knowledge of Him? If He is not in each moment how can we expect ourselves to know how to respond in love to all situations? I can guarantee that He is speaking to us, the question remains are we listening?


A lazy Saturday morning

As I check my facebook this morning, it is evident by alot of your status updates that it is inevitably snowing in Wisconsin or did snow quite recently. It seems that you are all shoveling, or building snowmen, or trying to get places on nasty roads, or just escaping it all with a steaming hot cup of coffee and who knows…maybe a sweet treat.

When we woke up this morning in Missouri, there was a slight dusting of snow on the roof of the buildings around campus, but it has quickly melted with the gorgeous sunshine. It has been a busy week, and one of my new hobbies has become finding and experimenting with new and healthy recipes. I had discovered one for Apple Bran Muffins a few days ago and was dying to try it this morning.

I have to say the finished product was fantastic! And they are low in calories and fat so you don’t feel guilty if you eat two. Paired with a mug of steaming coffee, and maybe a little yogurt and fruit on the side made for a fabulous Saturday breakfast. As I enjoyed the provision of hot coffee and muffins I also enjoyed some time with my Jesus, and laughed to myself as I¬†reflected on something a friend¬†recently said to me…” I could not imagine life without coffee, it just goes with those precious times with my Savior.”

Hope you had a great morning, and I have included the recipe for the muffins because, yes, they were that good!!


Apple Bran Muffins

3/4 cup whole wheat flour

1/2 cup wheat bran

1/2 tsp. baking soda

1/2 tsp. baking powder

1 & 1/2 tsp. cinnamon

1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce

2 Tbsp. molasses

1/4 cup nonfat plain yogurt

1/4 cup water

1 tsp. vanilla extract

3 Tbsp. honey

1 medium or large apple (cored & diced, I left the peel on)

Preheat your oven to 375 degrees. Spray 10 muffin cups with cooking spray. Mix all of the dry ingredients from flour through to the cinnamon in a small bowl, set aside.

Whisk the wet ingredients together from applesauce through to the honey in another bowl.

Dice the apples and mix in with the dry mixture. Add the dry mixture to the wet and mix together with a wooden spoon until just combined. Spoon into the muffin tins and bake about 18-20 minutes.

Cool the muffins in the tins for a few minutes, and then place on a cooling rack for about 10 minutes. Enjoy!

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Linguistics – Other Training Center Happenings

You may be wondering what has been keeping us busy here at the Missionary Training Center in the last few weeks.

Since arriving back on campus we have been adjusting back to life here, getting groceries, cleaning up our apartment after it sat empty for 3.5 weeks over Christmas break, and Pete has jumped right into classes for the Linguistics course. Pete has class from 8am to 12pm everyday, then a short lunch break and back to class from 1:20pm until 2:20pm and often stays for an hour or two afterward to finish up homework. He is also responsible for 5 hours of campus work per week and to be involved in a community outreach which takes around 2-3 hours per week.

The Linguistics course has been challenging so far, with a new problem of language analysis and interpretation each day to work on. Pete is enjoying the work, but it definitely is stretching for him.


All the papers you see spread out in front of Pete are just one of his Linguistics problems. He was not posing for this picture, that is really the perplexed look he had while he was completing the problem.

As for Liesl, what am I doing well…you name it, I’m probably getting it done. Throughout the week I do the house-wife stuff…laundry, cleaning, cooking meals, grocery shopping, meal planning, finances, dishes (we don’t have a dishwasher, so there are alot of these), keeping up with prayer/financial partner emails and contacts, and working on a strategy for our partnership development. I am also coaching gymnastics one night a week for the local YMCA in town, and judging on many of the weekends.

Liesl carrying in our laundry from the washhouse across the street where we not only do laundry but also shower.

Liesl carrying in our laundry from the washhouse across the street where we not only do laundry but also shower.

¬†Sometimes we just have to have fun over top of all the business, and homework, so here are some pictures of Pete and a giant apple that his mother and I picked out for him on one of our Christmas break shopping outings. We wanted to take some pictures with the apple before we ate it…it was very good by the way. After eating about 2 slices I felt like I had eaten a whole regular size apple!

The giant apple with a regular size apple sitting on top of it.

The giant apple with a regular size apple sitting on top of it.

We also wanted to compare the apples to the size of Pete's head. The giant apple is truly about 1/2 of Pete's head size...now that's a large apple!

We also wanted to compare the apples to the size of Pete's head. The giant apple is truly about 1/2 of Pete's head size...now that's a large apple!