Update and Prayer Requests: February 2022
Valerie and Nicasio Martinez
Translating God's Word with and for the people who speak Quiatoni Zapotec
This month has been a busy one—and we could have done without some of the events. Read on to see what the roller coaster was like!
We mentioned last month that Nicasio will be the coordinator for a class on translation for the Master’s Program at his university and that SIL will supply the actual teachers. They have had several good meetings and this class will start on March 3, every Thursday into July. We appreciate your prayers that it will all go well.
I have been attending the on-line course twice a week on Scripture engagement. (It “gives the big picture of Scripture Engagement, building and expanding on long established insights about how people engage with Scripture - and why sometimes they don’t.”) It has been very interesting and helpful in thinking about what we can do to encourage the Quiatoni pastors and others to take advantage of having God’s Word in their own language. They are so convinced that Spanish is better than Zapotec and that Spanish is “church language.” Please pray for their hearts and minds to be open to using the language they understand the best.
A neat side-light from the class is seeing how many of the things they recommend doing Nicasio has done without having had a class on this! The course says that relationships and partnerships are the most important factors in Scripture engagement and Nicasio has been doing that naturally all these years. I’m so thankful for the gifts God has given him.
When Nicasio approached Pastor and co-pastor about the Zapotec service returning to in-person services,* he was told he had to talk to the church council. When he told all those who attend the (online) Zapotec service that, they all said they were going with him to meet with the council! The council wanted to reach a "good agreement" but they had already prepared their terms for us to return to church, which included completely canceling the Zapotec service. Now, that was a big blow. The meeting went for three hours; Nicasio and lots of "our" people spoke up. A “good agreement” was finally reached when Pastor and the council agreed to letting the Zapotec service resume in the church after we’d been attending for six months. (There were some other minor conditions, too.) Meanwhile, we continue to hold the Zapotec service online. Please pray for us as we re-integrate into the church and that those who see us as causing problems will see that that is not true.
Early in February my computer “seized up,” as my dad would have said; the computer guys say it crashed. I’m very thankful that the local computer guy was able to save all my data and get the computer working again. It’s even faster than it was before! Unfortunately, my email took the brunt of the crash and I’m still working on rescuing what I can of that. We are so dependent on our computers for work so our computers can use your prayers, too!
Some really good news is that Nicasio went to an eye doctor to see how his eyes are doing since he has gloucoma. (This was found years ago and he’s been using drops since then but hasn’t had many check-ups.) The doctor changed him to another drop but we are so thankful that the doctor found no indication of damage or loss of sight! Thank God with us!
Beto is starting his last semester of college! We continue to be impressed with his abilities and how he loves to learn. He’s also making progress on translating Proverbs (done through chapter 17) to attend workshop later this year.
Thank you for praying for us, for our ministry of Bible translation, for our family (they are all fine; Rusty arrives March 1 for a week’s visit!), for Beto and his family, and for all those who speak Quiatoni Zapotec, that they may come to know Jesus through their own language.
Valerie and Nicasio
*Nicasio canceled in-person Zapotec services when the government regulations prohibited group meetings in March 2020. Since January 2021, we have been meeting online for the Zapotec services.
Family & Friends,
First and foremost we want to thank each one of you who have reached out to us in the passing of Kelly's grandmother. She was truly an amazing woman and while we will miss her dearly, we reflect on her confidence in the Lord and how she has always supported us in chasing after Jesus.
We hope you have a moment to view our latest newsletter entitled "Extra TIme" where we update on our return to Honduras, the start of the new year in ministry, and a reflection on the purpose for the Extra Time the Lord gives us in the midst of it all.
CLICK HERE - "EXTRA TIME" NEWSLETTER
Thank you as always for your love and faithful support of the ministry here in Honduras. God bless you all.
For His Glory; In His Love,
Ryan & Kelly
"Declare his glory among the nations, his marvelous deeds among all people" - Psalm 96:3
Dear Pastor Mike,
Don't worry! .... that's NOT my car!
That's not me. I found the image on the internet and it seemed like a good photo to use to help me express what I want you to know in this newsletter and prayer update. I was just out and about picking up a few gifts for those who I will minister God's love and healing to in the Middle East. I'm departing soon, God willing! Yes, we are having a SNOW STORM right now where I live near Cleveland, Ohio. And yes, I did get stuck in the snow today! It wasn't fun. Thank God it wasn't nearly as bad as what you see in this photo! Whew.... I do pray for those who are on the roads now because it doesn't seem like it's getting better anytime soon. My flight for the Middle East was scheduled to leave today but I was notified yesterday that it was cancelled due to the forecasted snow storm. I was rerouted and before the end of the day that flight was also canceled. Now I'm on a 24 hour delay. However, I do anticipate wings up by this time tomorrow, God willing!
So what will this picture of a car buried in deep snow help me say to you? I will begin by asking you a question. (I love asking questions because Jesus did that! He was always asking questions when interacting with people.) Did you ever feel like this picture? I mean emotionally. Did you ever feel this way emotionally? Stuck? Not well? I know I have. It's not a good experience. Really, it just feels like a mess! Just not sure what to do, ...... wait? .....fight?.... hide? ..... run? .....give up?........ OR, ask for help!? And trust the presence of the Lord will provide the comfort, hope, strength and rest that is needed for healing.
I am going to the Middle East with 5 others and we will be training and facilitating a group of people from the US who are based there. We are training in something called "New Hope". New Hope is 7 Bible Story sessions used for the purpose of Trauma Healing. The help God provides for healing and strength. It is powerfully effective and a beautiful way to deeply know God and press into the heart of God for healing, strength, restoration and purpose. After being equipped they will then share and facilitate the same with those God has in their lives in that corner of the world. And it doesn't end there. The training will help them to know how to share with their family and circle of influence. So multiplication happens! You gotta love how God multiplies, for His glory! More than fish and bread! Does it end there? No! Because when we have healing we are healthy trees that bear fruit! Those who have been together learning and receiving God's love and healing continue to meet together as the Body of Christ and to spur one another on:
Thank you for your support and prayers that make it possible for me to be a light in a dark place in the world; a place where hurting people need the hope that Jesus gives! Please pray God uses us as in Ephesians 4:12 - to equip His people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up.
Thank you, friend! Blessings!!
Translating God's Word with and for the people who speak Quiatoni Zapotec
A month or so ago, one of the adult education teachers in Quiatoni asked Nicasio to check over the Lord’s Prayer that a group in the Catholic Church had translated. Nicasio agreed and gave them a few suggestions on the translation and corrected some spelling mistakes. Later the teacher sent him a message saying, “They are using the Lord’s Prayer in Zapotec in the mass. And everyone is happy. It’s the first thing in the mass. It is a proud moment to hear the people repeat the verses, translated into Zapotec. It gives you goose-bumps! This show that the people like it and accept Zapotec in a written form. Thank you!”
We are thankful for the initiative of this group to translate the Lord’s Prayer, for their openness to improving on their work, for their making it part of the mass, and for the people’s acceptance of it. Thank God with us for all this!
We have mentioned that Nicasio enjoyed teaching a class on Indigenous Languages in the Translators and Interpreters Master’s Degree program. The university asked him if Vivian, who taught the class on dictionaries and glossaries, would teach a class next semester on translation. Since she doesn’t have time, they asked if a colleague could teach it. To make a long story short, Nicasio will be the coordinator for the class while various SIL* people will teach individual classes. This will be a new experience for Nicasio and he hopes to learn a lot from the classes. Please pray that the right people will agree to teach the classes and that this will prove to be a good tie between SIL and the university.
I will be attending an on-line course twice a week (at 8 am, not my best hour!) for ten weeks on Scripture engagement. It “gives the big picture of Scripture Engagement, building and expanding on long established insights about how people engage with Scripture - and why sometimes they don’t... Our desire is to see real Scripture Engagement: people encountering God’s Word in life-changing ways.” I appreciate your prayers as this is new ground for me.
When I chatted with Candi (Beto’s wife) earlier this month, she said that she is losing weight! Thank you for praying for her and please continue. (She needs to lose weight to have her gall bladder removed and to reduce the chances of diabetes.)
We thank God for you and your interest in our ministry of Bible translation with and for the people who speak Quiatoni Zapotec. Thank you for praying for us and supporting us in many different ways.
love, Valerie and Nicasio