Church Planting among the Nahuatl

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Back in Las Moras!

After spending nine months back in the US, we returned to Mexico this past May, refreshed and ready to get back to work. It almost felt like cheating – returning just in time for our favorite part of the year out in Las Moras. But at the same time, after such a great time back in the States with friends and family, we also felt acutely our return. Yet we were excited. Fun as it was to be back home, it was good to be back in Mexico, to feel like we were back at work again, with jobs and purpose and goals for the next few months.

First, though, we had to get there. Our trip back to Mexico from Wisconsin was crazier than we’d expected, with bad weather and tornados along the stretch from Missouri to Texas. But we made it all the same, with the help of great friends along the way.

Visiting with friends at the MTC in Missouri

Visiting with friends at the MTC in Missouri

After meeting up with our team in El Paso, we headed into Mexico and to our biannual Mexico field conference. We always enjoy field conference. It’s a great time to reconnect with fellow coworkers spread across Mexico, to be encouraged from the Word, and to relax for a few days in the company of like-minded people. Even if your coworker takes the last normal and you’re stuck with decaffeinated Coke.


Mexico Field Conference

Mexico Field Conference

After field conference, we headed south. It was time to do paperwork for Kester and prepare to return to Las Moras. It took a couple weeks, but Kester was pretty excited about getting his visa:

Kes's Visa

Kes’s Visa

While we waited on Kes’s visa, Pete and our coworker Tom also made a quick trip out to Las Moras to deliver a couple loads of supplies and check on the houses. When we got back, it was time to load up on supplies and head in before the rainy season began.

Loading up on Fruit and Veg for Rainy Season

Loading up on Fruit and Veg for Rainy Season

We also had the added privilege of having another family here in Mexico, who was still in Spanish study, help us move back into the village. We enjoyed having Don & Chrissy with us for a few days, and the people enjoyed meeting them as well.

Visiting with Don & Chrissy

Visiting with Don & Chrissy

Returning to Las Moras was somewhat surreal. Our home in the mountains very much feels like home, but after almost a year living in Wisconsin, it was kind of crazy to remember that we call this house at the end of the road in the Sierra Madres home.

Our home in Las Moras

Our home in Las Moras

There are so many adjustments to living in the mountains, things we’d become accustomed to, and forgot about after heading back to the States. Things like not having filtered water out of the taps. And not having power during the night. And depending on the rain and local springs for water. Even just the feeling of isolation, being that far removed from the local stores, the local hospital, even our local church.

Las Moras from the Air

Las Moras from the Air

At the same time, we feel such a privilege to live where we do, to do the work we do, to have the support of our family and friends and churches back home. It’s a joy to be able to be part of bringing the Word to those who have never heard it, to see people understand more and more of who God is and how much He loves us.

Liesl Visiting with A back in June

Liesl Visiting with A back in June

Thanks for being part of our work with the Nahuatl!


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New Year, New Blogger…kind of.

Happy new year, friends.

While the world around us swirls with resolutions, we’ve made one of our own: make this blog better.

Many of you know that Liesl, who has run this blog for the past few years, started her own blog almost a year ago. It’s called Fitness in the Kitchen (click here or hit the link on the bottom to check it out) and is filled with her passions – healthy food, butt-kicking fitness, and a few references to me, because well, I’d like to think I’m one of her passions.  But her time spent creating the awesome Fitness in the Kitchen blog has also meant that this blog has had a few less posts than it used to.

Pic - Roasted Zucchini Salad

At Fitness in the Kitchen, you can learn to make stuff like this!

So we’re shaking things up here. I, Pete, will be taking over this blog. I’ll be posting more – hopefully 3 or 4 times a month – and keeping you more in the loop regarding what our life out in the Sierra Madres is like.

Also, in the near future, we’ll be adding pages on our team and the people we work with here in Las Moras, and to really bring us into the current century, we’ll also be adding a Facebook group in the near future – Los Hypki en Las Moras , and you can keep touch with us via our new Twitter account – @LosHypki.

Living 45 miles from the nearest paved road isn’t somewhere I ever thought I’d be living, and living among an indigenous people group, far from our family and friends, isn’t something I ever thought I’d be doing.

It’s a far cry from the life I once imagined. But we believe it’s where God wants us.  It’s fun, it’s challenging, it’s bitter and it’s sweet.

We learn something every day here in Las Moras, and hopefully, through this blog, you’ll be able to experience that with us.

Here’s to a full 2014. And for real, check out Fitness in the Kitchen. If nothing else, the workouts will get your heart pumping!

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An October on the Go

The month of October has been a BUSY one for the Hypki house.

We wrapped up a  3 1/2 month stint of pure language study and relationship building with the Nahuatl and dove head first into hosting guests and traveling.


On October 8th we hosted an airplane mechanic and his family who were interested in seeing a tribal location in Mexico. It was fun to get to know them a little better, and show them where we live. Mike and Kelly, we hope you come back soon!

Later that same afternoon Pete’s family was flown in to Las Moras on the mission plane and began a 3 day stay with us in our home. We were able to have some fun family time, including an early Christmas breakfast, pizza for Pete’s birthday, and show them the village and introduce them to our Nahuatl friends and neighbors.

Reina weaving



Alissa and Mary helped me in the kitchen washing dishes, and Mary even got the opportunity to clean some of the tribal ladies’ jewelry..for which they were very grateful.

Alissa washing dishes

Mary cleans

Several Nahuatl families came to our house during the Hypki’s visit just so they could meet them and “see what they looked like.” This is very common reaction that the Nahuatl have when foreigners are visiting.

We also taught they Hypkis’ how to roast local coffee that we had been given by another missionary friend, and they left with a couple bags of freshly roasted beans!

Mary roasting

After our time together in the mountains we all came down to the coast for a week break on the beach!

Pete & Alisa


A huge thanks to some wonderful friends who gave up their time share for us so we could enjoy a luxurious week in the sun.

We ate entirely too much seafood, explored the city, found new shops in which to sell the Nahuatl handicrafts, and relaxed a little bit too.

Beautiful maz






Pete and I were so grateful for this week. As much as we love rainy season and our concentrated time with the Nahuatl people sometimes we feel like our heads are about to explode with all the language and new culture we are learning and it helps to have a break once and awhile to digest everything. 🙂

Thank you, John and Sandy, for the week on the beach, and to Pete’s family for treating us to yummy food…it was what we needed.

Us 2

All that to say, as you read this we are heading home, into the mountains  with our co-workers Katie and Rachel. When we arrive home we have two days to clean house, and prepare for our next round of guests and language evaluations.

Our language consultants will be arriving on Thursday and will be with us to do language evaluations, and provide encouragement and advice as we discuss how things are going with the church planting efforts in Las Moras. We would appreciate your prayers for our evaluations as they are stressful, and we would all like to accurately represent what we have studied and learned over the last several months.

We know  you are all praying for us, and for the Nahuatl and for that we are so very grateful. Thank you all so much for being apart of the ministry, we couldn’t be out here without your love and support. If you get a chance please check out our prayer page for updated requests. We covet your prayers!

All for His glory ~

Pete & Liesl

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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