Church Planting among the Nahuatl

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Get out of the Boat

Ever feel like you have so much to do, or that you were so busy, but yet you can’t recall or maybe even see the efforts of all those things that you did?

I think being accustomed to the American culture causes me to be goal driven and want to see visible results even when I don’t necessarily need them…if that makes sense. When I experience a week of Spanish study that leaves me feeling like I found out more about what I don’t yet know, than I actually learned or understood about the little that I do know; I find myself grasping at what will make me feel accomplished. Maybe it’s a small goal, like finally using the right past tense of venir (to come) in a sentence…┬áthat one seems to get the best of me every time I try to use it, or making it through my flash cards without a mistake. Either way it’s easy to doubt my ability to learn Spanish, or to even be effective here in Mexico.

You’re thinking, “Wow, who invited Debbie downer,” but just give me a minute here. These moments of feeling complete inadequacy draw me to His Word, the only place for truth. At the beginning of this week I read Matthew 14 and the story of Jesus walking on the water to the disciples as they were helpless, in a boat, in the midst of a raging storm. It seemed to them that they were in an impossible situation, there was strong wind and they were fighting with all their might against the heavy waves crashing against their boat, they had no control over their situation. Then, Jesus came walking to them. Not knowing it was Him, they feared even more for their lives, but He spoke to them across the waves, “don’t be afraid. Take courage I am here.” Peter, wanting the tangible, that thing to wrap his faith around, answered the Lord, “If it’s really you, tell me to come to you, walking on the water.” “Okay, come” and as Jesus waited, Peter got out of the boat and began to walk on the water towards Him. Bu,t as Peter saw the raging waves around him he began to doubt, and terrified began to sink! As he was drifting under the waves he cried out to the Lord, “Save me!” and immediately Jesus reached out and lifted him up saying “you have such little faith, why do you doubt me?”

Often I feel like I’m in the middle of a “Spanish storm” so to speak. I have no control over how fast I learn, or what I grasp, even though I may put in a lot of hours of study. So, this week the Lord has been reminding every time I doubt my abilities to learn language, or my effectiveness in ministry or His plan in bringing us here…I can hear His voice. “You are my child, my Son in you is your ability, your strength, your effectiveness…so why do you have such little faith, why do you doubt me?”

He has perfect timing for all things in our lives, and the perfect lessons along the way to teach us about who He is, and why we should never doubt. We have been here for 5 months now, and as I approach our 6 month of language study it is with your prayers, and Christ within me that I am resting in Him to take my hand as I get out of the boat.

P.S. Here are some more pictures from the week. Love and appreciate you all.


Wordless Week

Hello everyone! Well, it’s been an incredibly busy week here and Chihuahua, and it’s finally Saturday and we have a few moments to breathe…so, I wanted to post, and thought it would be fun to share a bunch of pictures with you guys of what we have been up to as of late. Thanks for checking the blog, we appreciate all of you! Have a great weekend!

Learning to make Chili Rellenos in a friend's kitchen

Lots of laundry

Staging photos for language learning... "Toma una ducha." (take a shower)

Visiting some of the historical museums downtown - this one is the former home of Mexican President Benito Juarez

Making tepache, a fermented pineapple drink with one of our language helpers


We'll definitely be making this on our next trip back to the states for those of you that want to try it!

Learning how to play Settlers of Catan in Spanish so we can play with our language helper and other Mexican friends

Making a map so we can learn, using a series, how to give directions from one place to another in Spanish

Visiting La Casa de la Revolucion - Pancho Villa's former home

LOTS of studying and listening to Spanish recordings

Shopping in El Centro

Discovering new wildlife

Watching sunsets

Watching thunderclouds roll in

It's rainy season here in Chihuahua

Seeing our first scorpion - in the house, of course

Playing with our little Sancho

Experimenting with new ways to make pancakes taste good without maple syrup ­čÖé These are Pete's creations

And just "being" where God has us right now, because after all that's the best place to be


Mystery Green

As I have mentioned before, one of our first culture events here in Chihuahua was attending the Mercado about one block from our home. Now, it has become a weekly outing for us, and we have gotten to be friends with some of the vendors and are able to practice our Spanish in a conversational manner with them, which is fabulous! One couple has even extended an invitation for us to spend a day with them out on their ranch outside the city! Looks like we’ll be going next weekend!!

Not only are we able to practice Spanish, but at the Mercado they have an abundance of amazing fruits and vegetables!! And it is SO inexpensive to purchase what you need for the week. For example a whole watermelon, two cantaloupes and a bag of mangos for about $2.75!! Can’t beat it!!

Another fun part about the Mercado is there is almost always something new and fun to try! For instance, the last few weeks in place of spinach they have been selling another green, I had not idea what it was and passed over it. Finally this week we decided to try it, and guess what…it’s delicious!! Plus it is a fabulous dietary source of Vitamins A and C, Calcium, Iron, Magnesium, and several other nutrients.

We’ve decided to share in the excitement with you all, so here’s the challenge…I have posted a few pictures of the mystery green below, and we’d love to hear your educated guesses as to what it is! The first person who comments on this post with the correct answer, will receive a few goodies from Chihuahua!! Okay, ready set go…

What am I?


Chocolate Zucchini Cake with Nutella Frosting

So, I made this cake last week while we were house-sitting for some missionary friends who have a garden. Each day we had about 2 or 3 zucchini that we harvested, and so I had to try some baking with it. Honestly, this cake was just too good not to share…with a bittersweet chocolate cake on the bottom complimented with creamy hazelnut Nutella frosting, what’s not to like. ┬áHope you try it!

Chocolate Zucchini Cake with Nutella Frosting


1 1/2 cups zucchini, shredded

2 eggs, beaten

1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce

1 Tbsp. canola oil

1/4 cup buttermilk

1 tsp. vanilla extract

1 cup whole wheat flour

1/2 cup sugar

1/2 cup cocoa powder

1 tsp. baking powder

1/4 tsp. baking soda

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees and spray a 8×8 inch square baking pan with cooking spray. In one bowl combine your wet ingredients, zucchini, eggs, applesauce, oil, buttermilk, and vanilla. In a separate bowl combine the dry- flour, sugar, cocoa, baking powder, and soda. Add the wet ingredients to the dry and stir to combine. Mix only until moistened- do not overmix.

Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake approximately 20-30 min. or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. (we don’t have a timer, so I don’t really know how long this cooked…I think around 25 or 30 minutes)

Nutella Frosting

While the cake is cooling make your frosting.

In a small bowl combine:

1/3 cup Nutella hazelnut spread

4-5oz. light cream cheese, soft

Low fat milk – I used about 1 Tbsp.

Mix together with a whisk until you get your desired consistency. Spread over cooled cake, and serve. I put the leftovers in the refrigerator because the frosting was a little gooey, and Pete and I both thought the cake tasted even better cold. Enjoy!