Church Planting among the Nahuatl

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It’s Christmas Time in the City…

Feliz Navidad to all our family and friends!  It’s our first Christmas away from home, and our first Christmas without snow – well, at least without the frigid Wisconsin weather.  It’s supposed to be a high of 63 degrees here on Christmas Day!  We’re used to something more along the lines of 23 degrees.  Anyway, we thought we’d share a little bit of what Christmas looks like here in the city of Chihuahua.  Hope you enjoy the pics and have a blessed Christmas.

Nativity scene in the Plaza de Armas in front of the Cathedral. Notice the baby Jesus is not in the manger yet. He won't be put in until he's born on the 25th!

A Tarahumara woman in front of the Palacio Municipal

A Tarahumara woman in front of the Palacio Municipal

Silver Bells - well, red and gold bells - in the Plaza de Armas

Christmas trees at the Fuentes Danzerinas

An office building in El Centro

The official Christmas tree in the Plaza del Angel

Merry Christmas everyone!

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The Past Few Weeks in Photos

It’s been a little while since we put up a post, so here’s a quick review of what we’ve been up to, with some photos as proof!

– Liesl is still cooking with her language helper Ana once a week.  Ana teaches Liesl a traditional Mexican recipe, and then Liesl teaches Ana something American…well, American-ish.  And then they eat what they made, and sometimes, Pete is lucky and gets invited to join  them.  So far, Liesl has learned to make pozole, enchiladas, rajas con queso, salsa de arbol, and tortillas, among other things.  Liesl, for her part, has taught Ana how to make pesto, chocolate banana bread, apricot-glazed chicken, pita bread, and cheesecake.

Liesl rolling out tortillas at her language helper Ana's house

– Some of you know we were asked to join the worship team at our church in November.  Our worship leader was promoted to a job in a city six hours away, so our bass player became the new worship leader.  Pete was asked to become the new bass player – despite not knowing how to play – and Liesl was asked to play an old keyboard the church had, even though she’s more accustomed to an actual piano.  So we’re both learning, but are enjoying helping at the church, learning more of the songs, and getting to know the rest of the worship team better.

Playing in the worship team at church

– On Thanksgiving, we spent the day at our field chairman’s house celebrating (aka eating and watching football) with several other missionaries.  The next Monday, though, we had another Thanksgiving with some Mexican friends to share our American tradition (which they refer to as Accion de Gracias) with them.  It was a good time, with more food and fun for all – and Pete even did a pretty good job explaining the history of Thanksgiving to our Mexican friends…in Spanish!

Group picture of Thanksgiving with our friends - Liesl was apparently very excited

– Since September, we have been helping teach children to read Spanish at an orphanage outside of town here.  It is fun, at times kind of sad (especially some of the stories of how the children arrived there), and a little funny that we’re teaching kids how to read Spanish when we’re not exactly fluent Spanish speakers ourselves.  What we can do is love on them, though…not to be sappy, but you really don’t need to know how to speak the language to do that.  Helps when they’re pretty cute kids, too…

Reading with the kids at the orphanage

Liesl reading with one of the boys at the orphanage

One of the boys at the orphanage shows off his guns

– The street market we visit tends to change with the seasons, and winter has been no different.  Instead of mangoes and strawberries, we have tejocotes, a fruit of the hawthorn tree, and lots of citrus- and we even had persimmons one week.  Here’s some other differences we’ve seen.

Frijole harvest time has brought truckfuls of beans to the market

This man was selling something called mezcal, a sweet and chewy product of palm or agave plants

Now that's it's not blazing hot, flan is showing up in the streets

– On December 11th we worked at the Festival de Naciones, or Festival of Nations, which is sponsored by the Immigration Office here in Chihuahua.  Each country that works here in Chihuahua is offered a booth – 30 countries were represented.  We helped serve food for two hours in the United States booth before exploring the festival on our own.

Ready to serve in the US booth - I was told to wear the mustache to appear more like a pioneer, but most of the Mexicans thought I was impersonating Pancho Villa

– And yes, we still have pets.  Our pest-preventing cat and future guard dog are growing, so here’s a pic since we know some people want to see them…like our moms.

Murphy and Quito enjoying some morning sun

And that’s all for now…a Christmas post coming soon!