Church Planting among the Nahuatl

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A Pig with a Purpose

A few weeks ago I posted a picture, this one to be exact, to ask you all what you thought this little house might be for.


Well, it is for Otis, Otis Limburger, our new pig.

You are probably wondering, why a pig?

When we came to Las Moras to work with the Nahuatl people one of our goals was to “become” like them in every way possible. Doing this while maintaining our witness for Christ with the goal of showing them His true love for them, and to build trust and meaningful relationships with them so as to share the truth of what Christ did for them one day.

Paul wrote in 1 Corinthians 9:19-23:

“Even though I am a free man with no master, I have become a slave to all people to bring many to Christ. 20 When I was with the Jews, I lived like a Jew to bring the Jews to Christ. When I was with those who follow the Jewish law, I too lived under that law. Even though I am not subject to the law, I did this so I could bring to Christ those who are under the law. 21 When I am with the Gentiles who do not follow the Jewish law,[a] I too live apart from that law so I can bring them to Christ. But I do not ignore the law of God; I obey the law of Christ.

22 When I am with those who are weak, I share their weakness, for I want to bring the weak to Christ. Yes, I try to find common ground with everyone, doing everything I can to save some. 23 I do everything to spread the Good News and share in its blessings.”

To us this has meant a daily choice to step out of our “comfort zone” and be a part of their lives. Learning the Nahuatl language is just one small part of that. We are striving to learn and understand the Nahuatl culture, their customs, why they do what they do, how they eat, how they relate as families, friends, and enemies…basically what makes the Nahuatl tick.

Otis is a part of our “becoming.”


To the Nahuatl having animals is a sign of prosperity. If you have an animal it is usually for some sort of a purpose. For instance, if you have cows you will be milking them and making cheese, if you chickens you will be able to eat eggs and chicken. If you are a Nahuatl family and you have a pig(s) you can sell them to others, or butcher your pig to make lard and chicharron, which is a fried pork skin/meat type dish. You can then sell the meat and lard to others in the village. Often the families make tamales from the head meat of the pig as well and take them around the village to sell.

Our goal in getting Otis was not so we could sell meat, or breed pigs, but rather so we could “become” a little more like the Nahuatl. Since having a pig is nothing we have ever done before we asked for help from our Nahuatl friends to help build Otis’ house, and to go with us and help us purchase Otis from a family in the village.

Once Otis is ready to be butchered we will invite several Nahuatl men over to help in the process, and Liesl will invite women and their families to help her make tamales and chicharron with Otis’ tender, tender meat. 🙂

All of this has an end goal, that the Nahuatl might see us as more and more like one of them. Why? So that when we share the gospel of Christ’s love and sacrifice for them in their own language that they will trust us, and trust our teaching of God’s Word. And through that trust we pray that the Nahuatl will have a desire for Jesus that transcends any cultural boundaries that we still feel.

Here are some pictures of our Otis adventures:


Pete builds Otis’ house with Tomas, and his little son, Fermin.




We took 3 boys from the village to help us pick out and buy Otis. They also lassoed him for us, and helped us get him home.





Otis checking out his new digs for the first time.


Releasing Otis from his rope noose.


A tired Otis.


Radley keeps a watchful eye on Otis from the back door.

Since we got Otis many of the people in the village have come to see him. They give us their advice, tell us that we paid too much, and ask us if he eats good and when we are going to castrate him. But you can tell they are proud. Proud that we have a pig. It gives us a common ground, something to talk about, something to laugh about, something to continue cultivating relationships with.

And that’s the goal isn’t it,  that they would see us as trustworthy friends that understand them in the hopes that they will listen to the most important message of all, the gospel of Christ, that we will soon be sharing with them.

Thank you for praying with us as we build relationships with the Nahuatl people. It isn’t always easy, but God gives us the strength to walk in what He has for us that day. We appreciate you all and thank you for being apart of the work here in Las Moras.

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Before His Throne

Happy Friday all!

Hope you had an amazing week, and that the Lord is doing incredible things in your lives.

Pete and I wanted to write a short note letting you know how much we appreciate all of you, and the time you faithfully spend before the throne of our Savior in intercession for us, and for the hearts of the Nahuatl people.


This part that you play in God’s work here in Las Moras is crucial, and necessary, and we are reminded everyday of how grateful we are for you.

Thank you in advance for pouring over our newest prayer requests and praises, we trust that you will share some of yours with us as well.

Blessings from Las Moras,

Pete & Liesl

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” Shupanta” is how the Nahuatl say, rainy season. This season lasts from about mid June to early October. It is common for us to have rain, at least a small amount everyday. The rain levels can vary from light to extremely hard rain and there can even be high winds and hail.


For Pete and I shupanta, is one of our favorite times of year out here in Las Moras. The scenery is beautiful, as everything is green and lush because of the rain, and evidence of life is seen growing everywhere. We have our garden planted, and even through our battles with worms, grubs, and other insects we manage to grow some veggies.

Shupanta also means LOTS of time with our Nahuatl friends. Everyone is close by planting their corn fields, weeding, spraying for insects and other pests, and waiting for their harvest to be ready in September. The Nahuatl go in search of all the edible goodness the rainy season has to offer, like talshuchi (mushrooms), nanchi (little fruits about the size of a blueberry), mangos, shoko (plums), hurika (the green top to the meskal plant, kind of tastes a little like asparagus), and nohpal (cactus).


Our friend Agustina with a mountain mushroom.


Cutting nopales with a little girl in the village, Cynthia.

Because everyone is here in the village and not traveling there are more opportunities for us to learn language, practice speaking, and participate in life with them.

Here are some pictures of what we’ve been doing lately:


Handing out seeds and encouraging people to plant healthy veggies.


Pete took a day to go out and help Claudio in his corn field.


I am working on making my own traditional Nahuatl skirt and blouse with my Grandmother’s antique sewing machine. One of my language helpers, Simplicia is helping me along the way.


I let Simplicia sew a little on the machine, she LOVED it!


Studying – Pete doing a language session with his helper, Benito.


And of course a little playing. Mari, Alvaro, and Chevy play with molding clay at our kitchen counter.


Doing some visit at Nikolasa’s house. Her two boys were hamming it up for the camera.

Visiting 2

My friend, Benita’s yard.

There has been a lot of government work for the people in the last few weeks. They have fenced in a large area about a 30 minute hike from our homes and are planning to bring out loads of small trees to plant within this fenced area. However, first they have asked the people to be a part of building short stick and rock walls to prevent erosion when it rains.
Last Tuesday, Pete and I went together to help some of the Nahuatl with the stick walls. Pete has gone several days as most of the guys in the village are working there and it is a great opportunity for him to speak Nahuatl and learn culture from them.

Work day with Ben and Marialena 2

Pete working

Work day with Ben and Marialena

I was working I swear…we were just taking a break.

Also, Pete and another Nahuatl guy named Tomas, are working on building a home for the newest member of our family. He hasn’t arrived yet, but will in the next few weeks. Can anyone guess what he might be?

Otis' house

Otis' House 2


Pete has continued teaching chronological Bible lessons to Hermillo, a 25 year old Nahuatl man who only speaks Spanish. Beginning in the Old Testament to build a foundation and moving towards Jesus. Recently Hermillo has been coming at least once a week for a lesson, and they have have just started the New Testament. In fact, yesterday afternoon Hermillo heard for the first time the birth of Jesus!! Please pray for Hermillo that God would continue to work in his heart and draw him to Himself.


Thank you all for your continued prayers and support of us, Pete and Liesl, and of what God is doing here among the Nahuatl people. Our relationships are deepening, and we trust God is preparing them for when we can share His message with them clearly.

Please pray for our team that our minds will be open, and that the Lord will give us understanding of the Nahuatl language patterns. When they hear about Jesus, we want them to understand fully, just as we do, the grace and love that He has for them.

We could not be here without you all, and we send our gratefulness to you for being apart of this life path God has lead us on.