These Updates are posted as we receive them. Please through and catch up on the activities of our Missionaries. In fields of ministry where we cannot otherwise reach.
Update and Prayer requests Valerie and Nicassio Martinez - January 2024
Translating God's Word with and for the people
who speak Quiatoni Zapotec
Our New Year’s Eve trip to one of Quiatoni’s little towns went well. It was a very long day since we left home at 11:30 am and didn’t get home til 4 am New Year’s Day. I’d forgotten that this town is not on the paved road, so it took longer to get there and back home than I’d thought. Our music group was very well received and were asked to play several times. You can watch 30 seconds of their music here: https://youtu.be/wdpBtjNprnM
Instead of a meal after midnight, we had a supper break about 9 pm; our group provided music while the women made the tortas (sandwiches, Mexican style). Then the service started again and went to 1 am. We were also happy to sell some of our materials, especially USB drives with our Zapotec New Testament books, Bible stories, songs and the Jesus film dubbed into Quiatoni Zapotec.
Since we saw “Mr. Kulumi” from the Cahaya Foundation in Colombia, we knew that the 1,000 audio devices that had been donated to us with all our Zapotec materials on them should arrive in January. We picked the Kulumis up when they arrived; then my job was charging them since they are shipped with only 30% of charge. I was very thankful that we’d bought a 24 unit charger but even so, it took five days to charge them all! It took about 20 minutes to open each little box, take out the plastic plug, and connect them—after having disconnected those that were done charging, replacing their plastic plugs, and putting them back in their little boxes; after 30-45 minutes of charging, repeating the process.
We are planning to visit a church in a different Quiatoni town once a month. February, though, seems to be a bonus month because we’ll be visiting two churches in two different towns. The “extra” one comes from a middle-aged man who was baptized in our church last fall. He played his audio device for someone who liked it so much that he gave it to the friend. Then asked Nicasio for another one since Nicasio always told people that if they gave theirs away to someone who was interested in listening to it, we would replace it. Then he gave another one away and got another replacement! Apparently, the ones he gave away made their way back to his hometown and people there are asking for them! So Nicasio talked to the pastor there and we’ll be visiting that church this Saturday, February 3! (I’m looking forward to going since I’ve never been to this town in the 35+ years I’ve been going to the Quiatoni area.)
We will also visit the church in Río Lachiriega, in another section of the Quiatoni area, on February 17 to distribute audio devices there. Our Zapotec music group goes with us; it’s fun to see people enjoy songs in their own language! Please pray that people will listen to the audio devices and learn from them. We appreciate your prayers for our travels and that we are a blessing to the churches that we visit.
A colleague has asked our Zapotec music group to sing in their church in Oaxaca City as they celebrate the International Day of Mother Tongues on February 25!
We appreciate your prayers for the Zapotec church service at our church here in Tlacolula, too. We would like more people attend since we see that those who do attend learn so much more about the Bible and Jesus when they study in their own language. One middle-aged lady, who doesn’t read easily, basically quoted a few verses from Hebrews during the service; we are quite sure that she’s been listening to her Kulumi and really understanding God’s Word!
For the opening part of the Zapotec service, we are studying through the Gospel of Mark. (Those of you who have been with us for a long time may remember that Mark was the first book we translated. Nicasio has been revising it and when we study it in church that checks how it’s communicating.) We are on chapter 11 and for the section about Jesus cursing the fig tree, we took in some fresh figs for everyone to try. It was fun to watch people’s reactions! (Figs do grow here but aren’t very common.)
Nicasio has started working on his doctoral thesis again and would really like to get it finished this year. He would appreciate your prayers for him to focus on writing it and for wisdom as he works on it.
Today Nicasio had his eyes checked, especially with regard to the glaucoma. The doctor said their pressure was up a bit, prescribed another eye drop, and will see him again in three weeks to give him the full battery of tests. Please pray that the new drops will control the pressure and that he’s not lost any sight.
Mike, Tara, and Royan are doing well. They would appreciate prayers for Royan as he is having a sedated hearing test done on February 8th, and he will be starting with speech therapy this month as well. They are also excited that Tara is going back to school and would appreciate prayers as they get everything ready for that.
Rusty says, “I really enjoyed my two weeks in Mexico over Christmas break, spending time with friends and family and eating good food! I'm now back in Indiana and in my normal routines. I'm playing lots of pickleball but also glad to be serving at church with my 4th grade small group!”
We thank God for you and your part in giving His Word to the people who speak Quiatoni Zapotec. You are a blessing to us and to the Quiatoni Zapotecs.
May God richly bless you!
Valerie and Nicasio
Update and Prayer requests e3 Partners - Julia Schatz
Dear Pastor Mike and my family at Christ Church,
I pray this finds you doing well! It's already Valentine's Day! You may feel like it was just yesterday when you took your Christmas decorations down! We can rejoice in the Greatest Love Story and celebrate it on Christmas, Valentine's Day, Easter... AND we have reason to celebrate and give thanks, worship and love our Lord and Savior, Jesus, EVERY DAY! He stole my heart 38 years ago. What about you?
Thank you so much for your love and encouragement. Your partnership and support! Prayers and cares! I hope you know that I'm doing this alongside you, together for God's glory! I know I say this often but I really don't know how else to express the depth of my gratitude. Simply saying "thank you" seems to fall short and is only a glimpse of the gratitude I have in my heart for all of you! And more than that I am thankful to God for you and our friendship and partnership. Thank God He gave your heart an excitement, commitment and passion to reach the lost and make disciples!
So here we go, with this jammed packed update....If you would like to partner with me in God's work, please click here!