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.
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!
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 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!
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!