Church Planting among the Nahuatl


We’re Online!

Pete & I wanted you to know we SO appreciate and covet your prayers!  Yesterday, God answered and internet was installed in our home here in Mexico!

You may be thinking, they didn’t have internet for 3 weeks, well, that’s not a big deal. And we would agree…except when it is the main source of communication between us, the missionaries, and the mission office here in Mexico it is kind of a big deal. Unfortunately, without daily email access we missed alot of important information, which has caused, not alot, but a bit of undue stress as we have to cram our schedule when we find out what our responsibilities for the week are. Email is our main source of knowing when we start our Spanish classes, what mission meetings we are required to be attending, what events are going on, what we are to be doing in language study right now, etc.

Also, email is important because it is our main source of connection to you, our support team! Honestly, we love hearing from each and everyone of you. Thanks for keeping us updated as to what is going on back at home in Wisconsin, we spent time praying for you all and are encouraged when you send along requests and notes about how we can pray for you. Also, thank you for your encouragement and prayers as we have been settling into our new surroundings and culture. All of your emails were indeed a labor of love to us, so thank you.

Well, that is all for now. Pete is off building a closet for our bedroom, as we have no storage, so pictures to come despues! (later) 🙂


The Mercado & Downtown

So…we still do not have internet at our apartment. It is a little frustrating, as we were supposed to get it installed this last Saturday, but God is in control, and the situation allows us to spend time on other things such as more hours of Spanish! 🙂 We are still immersing ourselves as much as possible, spending time with our host family, church, and others in the neighborhood and community. This last Wednesday we walked across the street to the Mercado (street market) again to pick out vegetables and fruit for the week. While there we also bought lunch, homemade burritos from a Christian couple that is good friends with our host family.

The Mercado is such a great opportunity for us to use our “Practical Expression” phrases in Spanish. These phrases are Spanish that we would use daily, such as: “How are you?”, “Good day,” “Very nice to meet you,” How much are the bananas?”, “I would like to buy avocados.” You get the idea. We have been going to the Mercado every Wednesday with our host Mom, Martha, and her daughter, Lili, and son-in-law, Pablo. Pablo is from Wisconsin, but is part Mexican, so he knows both Spanish & English. It is nice to have him along so he can translate or explain things to Martha & Lili if they can’t understand us, or we can’t understand them. 🙂

Fresh green beans

Pablo & Lili shopping at the Mercado

BEETS! Mom, this one is for you...and yes, I am going to cook & eat them!

Bring our produce up to be weighed

We pay for all the vegetables by weight

This vendor has all kinds of different things each week. This time I found coconut & raisins which I hear are a rare item here!

Lili purchasing some Nopales...cactus

Our host Mom, Martha, helps rolls out tortillas for her friends as they prepare our burritos for lunch

Burritos, mmm...

Some cultural music at the Mercado

All this, plus a kilo of tortillas for about $17! Easily lasts the entire week!

After the market we spent some time with Martha, Pablo, & Lili just conversing mostly in what little Spanish we know, and then spent a few hours working on some practice back at our apartment.

In the evening we embarked on an adventure to the downtown, Chihuahua Central as it is called. Pablo, Lili, and Lili’s brother Aber and girlfriend Natalie were our guides. We spent some time in the Chihuahua History and Cultural museum, which was a gorgeous structure with paintings going around the walls that told the story of the history of Chihuahua.

Entering the museum

The wall of history

Center courtyard of the museum

From above

Pete posing as Pancho Villa, a well known figure in Mexico's history

Our tour guides, Pablo, Lili, Natalie, & Aber

After the museum we spent a few hours at some tourist shops, walked around the Cathedral in the center of the downtown, and all shared some sweet empanadas (a pastry similar to a calzone with fruit in the middle) and pan dulce (Mexican sweet bread). Also, Pete tried a Banderia con queso, which is just like a corndog in the states, but with a huge chunk of cheese in the middle.

The Cathedral at night

La Fuente de Danzarina

Our last stop of the night was to see the dancing fountains. It was beautiful with all the colors and music played in the background. The dancing fountains are called La Fuente de Danzarina and run every night for one hour. We hope to go back and enjoy them on a date night sometime.

These were just a few things we were able to do this week, and as we have new experiences we are able to pick up more and more vocabulary to use in talking with people and pick up on cultural things as well. One thing we have learned is that when you are walking as a married couple the guy should always walk on the street side, and preferably hold the girl’s hand because that means that she is taken, she is his. Another cultural tip we learned this weekend is that the Mexican people will always invite you to do everything, and go everywhere that they are going, this is customary. However, you are never to feel obligated to come, and they are not offended if you don’t. There is much more, but you’ll have to wait until our April prayer letter comes out to read about those.

We want to thank all of you for your prayers for us, they really are the back bone of what we are learning to become here, and that is relevant in the Mexican culture so we can show them God’s love and the share the good news of Christ with them. Please, as always email us anytime, and stay tuned for more updates!

God bless!!

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Climbing the Cerro Grande

This  past weekend, Cesar’ met us early Saturday morning to take us to climb the Cerro Grande.

The first part of the climb was along a winding gravel road that snaked up to a cross outlined in white rock. Cesar’ took us to this spot so that we could get some good pictures.

Winding around the moutain

Trying to get a photo of the cross

However, we wanted to climb all the way to the top, so we veered off the gravel path onto a winding, very steep, single file path and proceeded up the mountain. It was a hard climb, but not extremely hard, and the views from the top were so beautiful. At the top, we shared some American granola bars with Cesar’ and some water and then ventured down, which went much quicker than the climb! 🙂

View from part way up

Pete on the trail

Cesar' & Liesl at the top of Cerro Grande

View from the top of the mountain

On Sunday we tried a few new Mexican dishes, Descada, and Chile Colorado,both homemade by our host family and their extended family. Everyone here has been so friendly and welcoming, and so interested in helping us learn Spanish. We are beginning to start taking notes on cultural norms that we have observed, different customs within families and daily life, and trying to pick up what Spanish we can in these first 10 days in Mexico. In about 2 weeks we will begin our Spanish classes at the Mission Office once a week, and working with language helpers. Right now we don’t know all the details of that, but will let you all know when we do.

Pete enjoying his Chile Colorado

Looks good doesn't it!

The Lord has been so faithful in providing us with a great starting situation here, and we are so grateful. Thank you for your prayers and faithfulness in encouraging us and loving us from miles away! Email us or contact us on the blog anytime, we love to hear from you all!


Experiencing the Culture

Thought we’d share a few more pictures with you from our experiences this first week in Chihuahua.

Our host family introduced us to a Mexican specialty, Menudo. Here’s a little info from Wikipedia: 

The soup menudo is a traditional Mexican dish; a frequently spicy soup made with tripe. It supposedly cures hangover by inducing sweating, causing the release of toxins. Is traditionally served on special occasions or with family. Usually, lime, chopped onions, and chopped cilantro are added and some also add crushed oregano and extra crushed red chili peppers for a spicier taste.

Menudo is usually eaten with tortillas.

The menudo tasted good, but the tripe was a little slimy, and chewy for my taste. Pete had two bowls…so I’ll let you decide it he liked it or not.


Trying the Menudo together

Yep...a little slimy!

We have been trying to get out and around our neighborhood a bit more since we would like to meet some of those who live near us and develop some new relationships with them. Yesterday we had a great opportunity for this…the market! Every Wednesday just one block down from our house there is a market with tons of vendors selling everything from fresh vegetables & fruit, to used clothing, garage sale type items, candy, tortillas, cheese, burritos, tamales, furniture, basically anything you could want. It was such an awesome experience, and we got a haul of yummy goodies for the next week for great prices!

Our haul from the market

Liesl holding a Chihuahua puppy at the market, they were for sale for about $80.00!

Trying a large piece of roasted pumpkin carmelized with a coating of brown sugar...can I say YUM!


Today, being Thursday we spent some language learning time with our new friend, and the nephew of our host family, Cesar’.  He’s 17 and hoping to help us learn as much Spanish as he can, in return for us helping him with his English. We took him to Starbucks today as a thank you…it was his first time.

Pete & Cesar'

That’s all for now, stay tuned for more Mexico adventures!!


Welcome to Our Home

Hola! Buenos Dias, nosotros somo Pedro e Liesl. ( Hello! Good day, our names are Peter & Liesl.)

This is a greeting Pete & I have used many times since arriving in Chihuahua, Mexico just 5 days ago. Actually a little different because most of our Mexican friends have taken to calling Liesl, Lisa, or at our church the Pastor has chosen to call her Lisi. 🙂

 This first portion of a week has been a true test in faith, and perseverance. A time to reaffirm in our own lives what God meant when He said “Go into all of the world and preach the gospel.” Mark 16:15  We are surrounded daily with native Spanish conversation that  we cannot understand, spoken at a pace that would rival any auctioneer, and yet we have felt the Lord’s peace, and are more deeply grasping what it means to lean on Him when we are so very weak.

Whew…where to begin!

Pete & I would like to thank all of you for your faithful prayers on our travel down to Mexico, our car was wonderful, and we had a fabulous time of fellowship staying with many friends along the way. We arrived in El Paso, TX on the night of Feb. 23rd, and began our Mexico Field Orientation with three members of the New Tribes leadership team on the night of the 24th. This orientation time was given to prepare us spiritually and logistically for our time in Mexico. We received a brief overview of what our first few weeks in Chihuahua would look like, along with some security training for living in a large foreign city. Also, we were challenged in the idea of “Becoming.” Thoughts were shared from 1 Corinthians reminding us that our inadequacy in life and in this ministry we are about to begin is by design. God made us imperfect, so that He could perfect us through His Son Jesus Christ. When we are weak He is strong in us, and we can praise Him for these things.  (1 Cor. 3:4-6, 12:8-10)

Our goal is to become relevant within the Mexican culture, learning Spanish and the Mexican way of life. We are striving, in His strength, to be useful in a new context. God was committed to clear communication, as we must be, continually “becoming” because this is what God desires of us. How far does God want us to go? Where will His Spirit lead and in what ways? The only way we can learn and be sensitive to these things is through a humble dependence on Him and His Spirit working in us.

Pete and I were challenged and strengthened through the reality of this message in our lives. And as we awakened bright and early the morning of Feb. 26th to cross the border into Mexico it all became a reality for us. Your prayers were felt and answered as we had no problems at all crossing into Mexico with all of our belongings in the car.

Shortly after crossing the border into Mexico

We're on our way!

 Our trip to Chihuahua was fairly uneventful, but we did have the chance to stop in a little roadside town for authentic quesadillas and chile renneos. They were absolutely delicious!! We can’t wait to have more Mexican goodness!

Cheese quesadillas with a spicy chile sauce


Upon our arrival into Chihuahua we met with the Guttwein family who serve as field leaders here and they brought us to our host family’s casa (home). We are in an older part of town, and love what we have seen of the neighborhood so far. Our host family is so kind, and we had an immediate connection with them, as their daughter is married to a man who is part Mexican and grew up in Wisconsin! It was a whirlwind of Spanish throughout the evening as they helped us move our belongings into the apartment they had prepared for us located directly behind their home. After enjoying a dinner of lasagna with them and a start to learning some Spanish words within conversation we retired to our little home for the night to unpack a few things and head to bed, we were incredibly tired.

Our host family made us a fabulous fruit basket to welcome us!

Our living room, dining room area. (sorry for the bad lighting)

Bedroom, I love the orange walls!

Our front door

Liesl unpacking in the kitchen

It is very cold in our apartment at night. None of the houses have heat, and are not insulated. Our host family made Mexican style hot chocolate and brought it over for us!

Our week has included lots of fun and crazy immersion events including the longest trip to Wal-mart for groceries and cleaning supplies that we have ever experienced. But it was so fun to practice the names for all the items and to ask Cesar’, our host family’s nephew what types of food were his favorites, and which items had good prices or were too expensive. Also, the Wal-mart here has SO many samples, especially all their different cheeses, Pete was loving it!

On Sunday we visited our “host church” Igielsias Biblica de Berea. The church body was so friendly, talking with us even though neither of us could really understand each other. They are completely ready and willing to help us with language and get us involved in ministry as soon as we are settled in a bit more. We can definitely see God’s hand in placing us here, with the church and felt completely welcome our first Sunday. Sunday afternoon we had carne tacos with our host family, the Lopez’, and they were fabulous! Marta Lopez also showed me, Liesl, how to make a quick batch of salsa! Yum! We then took a drive with their Aber & Natalie (the son & his girlfriend) and Pablo & Lily (daughter and her husband) up to the base of one of the many moutains in Chihuahua. They have a path and gorgeous overlook out across the city!

Hiking up to one of the many overlook spots

Some of the city


It was so windy! Apparently we are in "windy season" right now.

Stairway up the mountain

We have to run to a meeting so this is all for now. More to come as we have more to share!

Thanks again for all of your prayers, we are loving our new home, we feel the hand of the Lord in having us here and are completely excited for this time in our lives and are so grateful that you all are a part of it!