Church Planting among the Nahuatl

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It’s Beginning to Feel a lot like a Different Christmas

It’s December! We can’t believe the end of 2011 is almost upon us. So, much has happened since our official move to Las Moras at the end of October, and we wanted to update you all and thank you for praying for our adjustment to life out here in the tribe.

Moving supplies into our house before the work team arrived.

The first two weeks after our arrival in Las Moras we spent cleaning the houses, preparing for a work team that was coming to work on our house in November, and visiting the families in the village since the missionary team had been out of the tribe since May.

Cleaning the house included setting a number of mouse traps. The mice had been living quite comfortably in the girls house while we were gone.

Visiting with a family in a nearby village.

Some families came by to have their pictures taken, and to visit.

We celebrated Pete's birthday on November 2nd as well. He got a fun "go bag" filled with all sorts of goodies that he would need if he had to take an emergency trip without having time to pack.

People seemed very open and warm as we visited from house to house, excited that we were back and wanting to hear about our experiences “on the other side,” which is how Spanish speakers often refer to the U.S. We also welcomed several visitors into Rachel and Katie’s house to have a cup of coffee and chat, as our house is not yet set up to receive people.

Linda showing some of the ladies her family photos on her computer.

Rachel sewing at a neighbors house.

Right now Pete and I are eating all of our meals over at Rachel and Katie’s, each of us girls takes a day and cooks each meal for the four of us.  We only sleep and take our bucket showers at our house.

Pretty soon we will have our own outhouse too. We received a GB Packer toilet for our anniversary to use in it.

On  November 8th a work team from Chihuahua arrived in Las  Moras. Several men skilled in construction, and even a welder came to complete a number of projects on our house. They were here for a total of 10 days and accomplished more than we could have imagined! We were so blessed! The team was able to move existing windows and put in new windows, put in all new door frames, knock down several adobe walls to make layout changes inside the house, lay ground plumbing, pour the entire first floor concrete and finish it, pour a concrete porch, frame 95% of the interior walls, put bars over all the first floor windows, put up our fence around the house, move the stairs, and much more.

Various projects going on inside the house.

A team of guys mixed the concrete outside.

Others worked inside smoothing...

and the finishing.

The crew moved windows, and put in new ones.

A welder came out and put all the bars on our lower floor windows.

Even some of the Nahuatl guys came to work. We had them dig a hole for our septic tank and trench for the drainage line.

Pete and I, plus our co-workers Katie, Rachel and Tom Elkins were able to pitch in to help with some of the “grunt work” so the skilled guys could work on the more skilled projects.

Rachel and Katie help to level the floors in the house before the concrete pour.

Pete bucketing sand and gravel for the concrete mixture.

Shoveling away.

Tom clipping our fence onto the posts after the fence had been stretched.

Our co-worker Teresa Elkins along with another lady who came on the trip with her husband did all the cooking so we would be free to help with the construction work.

Teresa serving the guys during our mid-day meal.

One evening right before dinner, Linda and I checked on the progress of the construction.

After the work team left all of us were exhausted so we took a day to rest and then began to clean up the work site and complete a few other small projects around the house. The last week we were in the village Pete was working with a few Nahuatl guys to complete our outhouse, and I have done a good bit of visiting and some beginning language learning with a few of the ladies there in Las Moras. We also received a number of visitors who stopped by wanting to chat and drink coffee with us. This is great relationship building time. The Nahuatl people love to come and look at photo albums, do puzzles, or just chat about different things we have in the house.

We also participated in the November 20th celebration of Dia de la Revolucion. The village children marched past our homes in a parade and then all of the people gathered at the school to enjoy some pozole, a chicken chili soup, tortillas, and we watched some dances put on by each grade at the village school.

Pozole cooking out back behind the school.

Eating our pozole.

Women hanging out talking after the meal.

The children dancing.

One afternoon Katie, Rachel, and I went to a lady’s house to make tortillas with her. It was a fun experience and I think we all left with stomach aches from laughing so hard. Benita, the woman’s name, taught us all sorts of fun Nahuatl vocabulary, and phrases like, “the white girl makes ugly tortillas.” We left her house with half of the tortillas we had made, and left the other half for her and her family. Three days later Benita came with one of her daughters to visit us! She has never come before, and when we told another friend that she had come he said, “Really?! She never goes and visits anyone!” We are praising God for the relationships He is creating and the opportunities to show His love.

At Benita's house making tortillas.

Flipping them was harder than it looks.

All of us gave it a try, and Benita and her girls laughed and laughed at us.

Benita's cute daughter.

Our final tortillas...as you can see by how some of the sides are folded over and such, this is why they were laughing at us white girls.

Right now, we are out of the tribe for about 10 days as Katie and Rachel renew their VISAs to be in Mexico for another year. We each have to go out to the city once a year to renew our visas when they expire. We also use this time for supply buying and materials buying as well. After we receive the renewed visas and finish our buying we will begin the trip back in to Las Moras. We will stop for a day or two on the coast on the trip to buy some other materials, and then continue our journey. We are hoping to arrive back in Las Moras by the middle of December.

Thank you for your prayers for us as we travel and begin to press into language study more full time when we arrive back in the tribe in December. Please visit our prayer page for update prayer requests and praises.

We appreciate all of you, and could not be here without you. Keep praying for the Nahuatl people as we see hearts being softened not only to our presence here in the village, but we believe they are being prepared to be changed by the power of the hope of Christ.

Also, thank you for your encouragement, and we look forward to sharing more with you soon. Right now we don’t have internet in the tribe so we cannot communicate via our blog or our prayer letters until we come out to buy supplies, bring in work teams, or for some other reason, but we are encouraged to know that you are still praying for and giving financially to God’s work here in Las Moras. Also, even though we don’t have email access here we still enjoy hearing from you when we are out in the city. So, keep sending emails and letters, as it’s wonderful to hear a bit from home after a long stint out in the tribe.

We are praying that you all have a blessed Christmas season filled with the hope and love of Christ!