About one week ago we left Las Moras to start the paper work process of renewing our VISAs to serve in Mexico another year. This all has to be done in the capital city of Durango State. We have handed in the papers, fingerprinted everything, and now we are just waiting for our new VISAs to arrive from Mexico City.
However, before we left Las Moras we finished some much needed cleaning projects. As well as getting the woven bags that the Nahuatl ladies make ready to take down to the coast to sell in a few shops there that are interested in helping the tribal people in that way.
While we are out of Las Moras we have been helping our co-workers, Tom and Teresa Elkins pack up their home here in Durango City, to make the permanent move to a home they were able to purchase on the coast. This was a strategic move for our entire team as it puts the Elkins closer to Las Moras, a one day drive instead of two, and they will also be living in the town where we have all our work teams, dental teams, and family fly to in order to make the trip out to Las Moras. We are all excited about the move, and praising the Lord for providing an amazing house at an affordable price for the Elkins. They hope to be completely moved by April.
In other important news, we have a date! After talking with Living Water yesterday, we’ve set March 17th for the official well drilling date in Las Moras. They’re estimating it will take a week to complete the two wells – one on each side of the village – to provide the people of Las Moras with clean water. Thank you for your continued prayers for the well drilling as it officially begins.
A month or so ago I put out a request for your questions about life and ministry out in Las Moras. I have received a list of great questions, so while out in town I would like to take the time to answer them. I will answer a few in this post, and several others next week. If you think of a question that you would like to ask, it’s not too late! Send your question to me via my facebook, or to our ministry email, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thank you to those that did submit questions, and now your answers…
Q: What are the Nahuatl people like?
This is a great question. As we live amongst the Nahuatl people in Las Moras each day is a learning experience. We learn more about their culture, their beliefs, their way of life, how they show love, what kinds of things are important to them, what they think is funny, and the list goes on and on. However, I would like to answer at this point in our ministry as to what we think the Nahuatl people are like.
The Nahuatl people are friendly, some of them a little shy at first, but very welcoming and curious about us and our way of life. For the most part the Nahuatl are trustworthy, they believe that doing what you say, talking good about people, and respecting other people and their things are important values. The Nahuatl love their children. A respectable Nahuatl man provides for his family by working in the fields all day and building a home.
A respectable Nahuatl woman isn’t lazy and works in the home taking care of the children, making tortillas, doing the laundry, sweeping, and sewing clothes. The Nahuatl people love bright colors, especially neon yellow, orange, and pink. They wear these bright colors in their clothing or carry woven bags made from brightly colored yarn.
The Nahuatl eat corn tortillas, that is their main diet staple. However, when they have access to them they like to eat beans, drink instant coffee with milk and lots of sugar, and eat bread; they love bread. They also plant small gardens near their homes. Their favorite vegetables to plant are radishes, cabbage, onions, zucchinis, tomatoes, and chili peppers.
The Nahuatl like to pass the time talking and visiting. Part of their culture is visiting each other’s homes, just for that purpose, to visit. Since we are part of the community now they come and visit us as well. These times are perfect for us to practice speaking Nahuatl to them. They like to talk about all sorts of things, from clothes, to planting, to food, and even strange and unusual topics like birth control.
Some of the Nahuatl ladies like to dye their hair when they can afford and find a way to buy color, and the younger gals really love nail polish. The guys like to borrow tools, look at our tool catalog, and drink coffee. The little Nahuatl boys love playing with matchbox cars, and trains, and learning special skills like arm wrestling. All the Nahuatl love pictures, especially of themselves and other people in the village.
What I’ve written above paints a lovely picture of the Nahuatl, and they are an incredible people, but like many people across the world they live in fear. Fear of things they don’t know exist, but believe stories and myths they have heard. They are gossips, hurting one another with their words. They are a non-confrontational people, hoping that time alone will heal wounds between them and other family members or people in the village. Many of the men have problems with drunkenness and drinking related violence. The women live life believing they have no worth; Nahuatl legend states that they are descended from dogs. These are their realities, the truth of who they are without Christ.
Thanks for praying for the Nahuatl. They need Jesus. We love them dearly, and know He does too, and desires that they would come to know Him.
Q2: What do you and Pete do for your down time?
Ahhh, downtime, if only we knew what that meant. Often our days are busy from when it gets light in the morning, until the sun goes down in the evening. During the summer months we can have some very long ministry days. In the evenings we usually get a few hours of down time before we go to sleep and we usually spend these reading, or watching a few different shows that we have collected on DVD and enjoy together.
Pete likes to read all sorts of books from books about sports, to literature, poetry, and spiritual enrichment books, and Liesl enjoys lighter reading like mystery novels, or fitness/health/healthy cooking related books and magazines.
Usually once or twice a week we plan a team time with our co-workers Rachel and Katie as well. These can include a movie or game night, dinner together, bonfires, making pizza, or coffee night.
Also, I would say our daily workout time, usually early in the morning is a down time for both of us. Working out has always been something we enjoy doing together, and it keeps us healthy too.
Q3: When is Pete growing a mustache?
I think…never. 🙂
Thanks for the questions, this is all for today’s post, but check back soon as there are many more good questions to come, I am looking forward to answering them all. Also, we will do our best to keep you updated with pictures and the progress of the well drilling once it begins. Thanks again for your prayers and support!