Church Planting among the Nahuatl

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An Update

I tried to come up with a clever title, I really did…especially after how long I have made you all wait for another post on the blog. Sorry about that. Things here in Mexico have certainly been busy, but I promise we have gotten some good pictures, as of late, and hopefully this post will be a sufficient update as to what has been occupying our time, and what the Lord is doing in our lives all at the same time.

When I left you all last time, Pete and I were in El Paso, Texas purchasing a truck. Why? In short, we will need a truck for our future ministry here in Mexico, and our current vehicle had taken us to the bank several times in the last year to the tune of about $5,000.00. The Lord truly provided as we were able to find exactly what we were looking for on Craigslist, and trade our current vehicle for part of the purchase price of the new truck!

Our new tribal vehicle

Since purchasing it, the Lord has given back to us about 1/3 of the purchase price in gifts from family, friends, and supporters!! We have been blown away by God’s goodness, and your generosity. All of these gifts will help us in purchasing a topper for the truck, and to again build up our savings for future life and ministry needs once we move into a tribal work. We appreciate and love all of you!

Pete and I arrived back in Chihuahua on September 8th, after spending almost 2 weeks in El Paso, and jumped right back into life and Spanish language and culture learning.

The gated walkway to our house

Recently, I have been working with a new language helper, Ana. She is fun, and a great teacher. She corrects me all the time when I am wrong…which is alot, and is wonderful and reviewing topics and words so that I don’t forget them or how to use them. Ana is challenging me and having one on one lessons with her is helping me use my Spanish more in conversation, where before I would rely on Pete to do alot of the talking. Pete and I were able to spend some time with Ana and her Mom at a special church service that she invited us to, to celebrate Mexico’s Independence Day, on the night of September 16th. It was an interesting cultural experience, and a great time with other brothers and sisters in Christ.

A photo of some of La Independencia festivities at the church (sorry of the blurry photo...we forgot our camera so this is a photo from the newspaper here in Chihuahua)

Pete and I are still meeting together with another language helper, Sergio. We enjoy our friendship with him and spend time outside of lessons playing games, or eating together. We are hoping to help out in a small cafe located below his church. Sergio takes care of the cafe, and trains new volunteers and makes the schedule.  Helping out in this environment should be a good opportunity to serve and to meet other Mexican friends in our city.

Our friend and language helper, Sergio

The Cafe where we will be volunteering once a week to help make drinks and have opportunities to meet and talk with new people

We are also beginning to build stronger relationships with the families at our church, Iglesia Berea. This past Sunday we were able to spend some time after church eating together in celebration of Mexico’s Independence Day which was September 16th. Everyone came to church dressed in historical Mexican costumes or dress, and it was fun to talk with everyone about the history and enjoy some fabulous Mexican food.

Pete with two friends Cesar & Heber

A Pastor (in the middle) and two other members of our church

Some of the lovely women of the church

The two of us...can we pull off the Mexican look?

I made Pollo Poblano to take to the dinner, which is a chicken dish with a poblano pepper cream sauce. It’s very rich, delicious, and slightly fattening…so not an every week meal in our house, but I didn’t bring home any leftovers so it seems our friends loved it.

Roasting the poblano peppers for my Pollo Poblano dish


Everything in the blender ready to whirl

Pouring the poblano sauce over the roasted chicken in the crockpot

Many of you know we have a little kitten, Quito,…well he’s not so little anymore…but we purchased him from a local shelter here in Chihuahua.


Through taking Quito back to the shelter for shots and different things we have begun to form a relationship with Marilyn, the founder of the shelter. Just this last week we attended a fundraising dinner “Noche Mexicana” for the shelter that she personally invited us too. It was a really fun night! There was alot of entertainment including a fabulous soprano singer, choral, and a few slide shows. We also enjoyed a mexican meal, and it was fun to sit back and observe a night of culture.

Noche Mexicana singers

Sipping Agua de Jamaica

More music

Crazy picture of us

Lately, because of the hurricane, we have been experiencing some crazy weather here in Chihuahua. There has been alot of dark cloud cover and sudden down pours. Last night it rained almost all night, which is rare for this time of year.

Cloud cover over the street in front of our house

Rain clouds over the moutains

However, there are little glimpses of fall. We have been told the trees only turn brown and goldish, no bright colors like in Wisconsin, but we’ll take what we can get.

A fall leaf!

This weekend we are planning a trip to a small town west of Chihuahua for La Fiesta de la Manzana. (The Festival of the Apple) We have been told that it is a ton of fun…and frankly, we both miss the fall in Wisconsin a little bit.  The apples, cider, cooler weather, the fall colors, and bonfires. So hopefully, this Saturday we will be experiencing a little bit of what the fall is like in our new Mexican culture, and we are both excited about that. We are taking two missionary friends with us, Crystal and Amy, and a Mexican friend Jona. I look forward to sharing about the festival in my next post.

Well, I think that’s an update in a nut shell of what has been going on with us. Pete recently sent out a prayer email with some recent requests, if you don’t receive that and would like to just let us know.

We do want to thank you all for praying, and for your tremendous support of what the Lord has us doing right now in Mexico. We could not be here without all of you. You are an amazing team, and we thank God everyday for each and everyone of you. He blesses us through you all the time. We hope you enjoyed the update, and there will be more to come…sooner rather than later. 🙂 Have a wonderful weekend!

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Estamos en El Paso

Since last Sunday we have been in El Paso, almost a week…sigh. From the looks of things we will be here for at least six more days, and as one of the missionaries says, “El Paso isn’t the U.S.A., but it’s close…” so as you may have guessed we are excited to get back home, to Chihuahua. Many of you know already why we are here, but for those of you that don’t…our main reason for the trip was to make the purchase of our tribal vehicle.

No, we are not going to our tribal work quite yet, we only have 6 months of Spanish under our belts, but we were a bit forced into finding a vehicle as we have had some problems with our old Santa Fe this past year and didn’t feel like we were being good stewards of the finances the Lord had provided us if we kept pouring money into it to fix all the little things that kept happening. So…with a little help from Craigslist, and with the advice of other missionaries on the field here we were able to use some of our savings and trade the Santa Fe for a 2007 Ford F-150 Crew Cab truck!

Below are some pictures of the truck, you can see how big it is with me sitting on the back.

There she is....well Pete probably thinks it's a "he", but aren't all trucks girls? 🙂

Another view

Liesl posing with the truck

So why are we still in El Paso if we have already purchased the truck…well, in order to cross into Mexico, we have to have the title in our name, so we are currently waiting for the title and plates to be processed and mailed back to us.  So, we are playing the waiting game here in El Paso over Labor Day weekend until all of the necessary measures are taken care of.

While we are waiting here in El Paso we are trying to be as productive with our time as we can, but also doing a little exploring as well. The other morning we set off for a hike in the nearby Franklin Mountains State Park. The trail was an easy switch back trail, but filled with lots of great views and we also saw our fair share of lizards! Yuck…not my favorite things.

The trailhead

Heading out on the trail

A cactus along the trail. Right now we are in season for the cactus fruits which are called "tunas." I'm not a huge fan, but Pete likes them alot.

Beautiful desert scenery

Couldn't complete the post with out a lizard picture

Water break

More wildlife

We are also spending our free time working on self-Spanish study, and will probably do a couple of language sessions via Skype with one of our language helpers. The time here has allowed us to get a good security system in place in the truck, which was one of our big needs in taking it down to Mexico, and also we were able to get all of our insurance and such details worked out.

Even though it wouldn’t be our first choice to wait for 10 days in El Paso, TX we are truly seeing God’s hand in this timing and even in our purchase of the truck. The couple selling the truck are believers and we were able to have some good conversations with them about missions and just life in general. They are both Wheaton College graduates and just got married about 4 months ago. They are at a transition point in their lives and are only in El Paso for about a few more months, don’t have many friends, and just seemed like they may have needed encouragement…hopefully God used us in their lives.

Also, we had a hard time getting money from our bank for the truck and they were incredibly patient with the longer time line for getting the money as we had to apply for a certified check to be sent to El Paso.  They even agreed to accept a bank check rather than the cash we originally promised them. Also, they found out we would be waiting in El Paso for awhile to get the paperwork back on the truck and invited us to maybe play some volleyball with them next week when they get back from their weekend trip visiting his family in Minnesota. We have just seen God’s hand in so much of this, and even though none of it is how we would have planned or in the timing that we thought would be right, it has been encouraging to us none the less.

So, with all that being said, thank you all for your prayers for us. They have been and are being answered. We are encouraged in Him, and this time in El Paso has served as a refreshing time to spend time together, and re-focus our goals for language learning and ministry, now and for the future.

Also, thank you so very much, those of you that have given to help us financially with the purchase of the truck. Every dollar has helped. We were able to purchase the best security system for the truck, and hopefully Lord-willing we will be able to order a topper for the back so we can more safely haul goods and things. We are blessed beyond measure to have supporters, and friends like all of you, and cannot express our gratitude enough for all of you.

Thank you to everyone who has prayed and given on behalf of this need

“Now all glory to God who is able through His mighty power at work within us, to accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or think.” Ephesians 3:20