Church Planting among the Nahuatl

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Cacahuates Enchilados

They may not have much peanut butter here in Mexico, but there are peanuts everywhere! From what we have learned from some of our Mexican friends many people don’t like the texture, and so there is not really a market for crema de cacahuate. (pb) Well, we haven’t started making our own peanut butter yet, but we have found another fabulous use for peanuts, and this recipe will make a great snack food for your next party, or to have out on the coffee table during the NBA finals. Enjoy!

Cacahuates Enchilados – Chile Peanuts

4 cups unsalted, dry-roasted peanuts

2.5 Tbsp. freshly squeezed lime juice

2 Tbsp. olive oil

1 Tbsp. paprika

2 tsp. salt

1 1/2 tsp. chipotle chile powder (or cayenne pepper would work too)

Preheat your oven to 250 degrees.

Toss the peanuts together with the remaining ingredients in a mixing bowl until all the nuts are evenly coated. The peanuts may look wet at this point, that is fine. Spread them out in an even layer on a large rimmed baking sheet and bake until the coating is dry and the spices are lightly toasted, about 30 minutes.

Let the peanuts cool completely. You can store them in an airtight container at room temp for up to 3 weeks.

This recipe is originally from Rosa's Mexican Table cookbook

Coated with flavor

Our attempt at a fancy picture

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May Happenings!

Our May has been so busy…but we have loved every minute of it! We can’t believe it is already May 20th  and we haven’t posted much so there is alot to share, plus a recipe coming this weekend!

May definitely came in like a lion here in Chihuahua. On May 1st it snowed!! We woke up to the sound of rain outside our window and then noticed as the morning went on that the rain drops were quite large, and looked a little white. Could it be? Yes, it was snow!!! Of course, 3 days later it was 90 degrees, so definite weather extremes.

Our May 1st snow fall

It collected on the railings and the roof

No snowbrush!

And not even a week later we were spending money on a swamp cooler! The swamp cooler is like an air conditioner in that it is used primarily to cool our apartment, but they way they work is quite different. “A swamp cooler (more formally called an evaporative cooler) is essentially a large box-like frame containing a big fan and walled in by water-wetted pads, usually made of cedar shavings or cellulose. The fan whooshes the hot outside air through the dripping pads (which are continually soaked by a water pump), cooling the air by about 20 ºF as the air evaporates water molecules from the pads. The fan then blows the water-cooled air through the house and out a deliberate vent.” Now you know how a swamp cooler works!

We went to Home Depot, bought one and then it was Pete’s job to bang a hole through our bedroom wall to put in through. The wall is brick, but the spot we picked to put the swamp cooler went right through one of the concrete support beams for the building! Needless to say, Pete had 16 long hours of work ahead, using just a hammer and chisel to make the hole, and in 90 degree heat none-the-less. But, it is done now and we have a nice cool apartment!

Working hard

The tools used

Almost finished

While working on the swamp cooler installation we were also trying as hard as we could to keep up with our Spanish study. Lately we have been taking our language helper on outings, and throughout each outing we take pictures. When we get home we put together a photo page, like the ones below, and we work a simple sentence with each photo. Our helper will say the sentence and we will listen and repeat. Then we will change the actor persons in each photo, (I, you, him, her, we, they, you all) and record each sentence so we can drill them later during our practice time.

A photo series of visiting the Panaderia for verb/sentence practice

Visiting the Cafe

Right now with our Spanish, we are focusing on controling the gender in our sentence usuage, proper sentence structure and verb conjugations, and then going out and practicing these things. We are also continuing our culture study with each outing as we are able to ask our language helper about how and why the Mexicans do certain things.

We have also been visiting the market almost every Wednesday now for the last 2.5 months and starting to build some good relationships with the vendors there. It is a fabulous place to practice all of our new words, phrases, sentences, and everyday expressions!

This last week we were also able to go with Marta, our Mexican Mom downtown to shop for fabric. Liesl wanted to purchase some for a gift, and it was quite a cultural experience as they do things very differently in the fabric stores here in Mexico. A few noted things were, instead of cutting the fabric first they measure it in square meters and then rip it right down the measured line! You pick up your fabric with your receipt at a separate desk after paying for it, and if you need little notions like needles and thread, you get a little basket and ask at a completely different counter for all the little things that you need and fill up your basket. It was a fun outing…for me anyways, I don’t know if it will go on Pete’s favorites list. 🙂

The Libertad in El Centro where we went shopping

In all the fabric

Muy bonita!

This post is getting long, so I’ll tell you about one more exciting happening, and then vamos! This past week we added a new member to the Hypki family!! His name is Sancho. We got him at the little Adoption center in Chihuahua that had lots of unwanted kittens, cats, dogs, and puppies. He is very cute, active, adventurous, and funny. We like him. He is going to grow up to be bi-lingual too…at least that’s what we think.

Sancho checking out his new casa

Pete and Sancho

Only 6 weeks old!

Cutest when he is sleeping

Pete and I do want to thank all of you for your encouragment and prayers for us as we continually seek to learn Spanish and build meaningful relationships here in Chihuahua. It is easy to feel burnt out at the end of a day and not want to give our all and spend more time in the evenings with people. However, we are learning that it is important to do so as the Mexican culture is very relationship oriented.

Thank you also for your prayers for our health, God is faithful to uphold us even in weakness. We dealt with a couple bouts of the flu and Pete got a pretty nasty sinus cold, but now we are doing great.

Daily the Lord is reminding us of His sufficiency, and His grace. He is all we need. He uses all things in our lives for His glory, even those things that are uncomfortable and sting. He brought us here, and will lead us in ways that will glorify His name. Thanks again for being apart of it! Stay tuned for more updates and another recipe, hopefully this weekend!


What do I have in my Fridge?

I know you all are waiting for another recipe…it was supposed to be posted this weekend, but we were home for a total of about 1.5 hours on Sunday, from 9am – 10pm. Yes…the day was crazy, but we got tons of Spanish interaction!

This recipe was spurred by a phone call I received two weeks ago. It went something like this, “Would you like to make a meal for a family in the church?” “Oh yes, and they would like it tomorrow.”  I’m thinking, okay…it’s 3:00 in the afternoon and we have a dinner invitation tonight, uh…what do I have in my fridge…”okay, sure I would love to do it.” What am I thinking?! I am learning another lesson in Mexican culture! Alot of things happen at the last minute, and you just have to learn to roll with it. But, of course, I want to be American and all organized and impress people with my cooking skills. Another lesson: Liesl, that’s not what you are here in Mexico for. You are here to display the character of Christ, and even if you can’t speak the language, you can make a meal, with what you have, and you can take it this family, greet them, hug them, try to tell them how to cook it, and let Christ’s love be in you.

So I present to you…

Refrigerator/ Pantry Hot Dish

2/3 cup pre-cooked brown rice

3/4 lb. lean ground beef or turkey

1 small onion, chopped

2 cups jarred tomato sauce

1 can mushrooms

1/2 tsp. garlic powder

1 tsp. salt

ground pepper

1/2 tsp. oregano

1 tsp. parsley

1 1/2 cup lowfat cottage cheese

2 cups shredded fresh spinach

1/2 cup shredded white cheese

Brown the the ground meat and onion in a large skillet. Add tomato sauce, and all the spices. Cover and simmer for 15 minutes.

In a separate bowl combine the cottage cheese and pre-cooked rice. Put about 1/3 of the rice mixture in a greased 2 quart casserole dish. Top with 1/3 of the meat-tomato sauce. Continue to alternate layers ending with the tomato sauce. Top with fresh spinach and grated cheese. And take it over to someone who might need a hot meal.

Bake at 325 degrees for 30 minutes or until hot and bubbly.

* The pictures show mine in a 3 quart casserole dish. I just increased the recipe amounts accordingly.

Mixing the brown rice with the cottage cheese

The meat sauce


Topped with spinach and cheese, ready for the oven!