Update and Prayer Requests: October 2023
Valerie and Nicasio Martinez
Translating God's Word with and for the people
who speak Quiatoni Zapotec
Thank you for praying for the second part of the course on 1 Corinthians that Beto, Fernando and Rebeca attended. I was sad that I wasn’t here to attend the closing program for it but Nicasio asked them to write up for me what they shared during the program. Beto and Fernando were both impressed by learning the background of Paul’s teachings about Communion.
Rebeca was most affected by learning about spiritual gifts. She wrote, “Through an activity we did, I realized that I had spiritual gifts or that what I do is because of my spiritual gifts. I used to be envious of people that could pray, that could heal people, who could easily speak to large crowds and I wondered why I couldn’t do any of those things nor did I know how to be able to do them. But now, through studying 1 Corinthians and learning that God gives different gifts to each person so that we can help our brothers and sisters in Christ.” Rebeca realized that her gifts are hospitality, which we have often experienced!, and evangelism, which we are seeing as she distributes materials in Zapotec. She ended her report by saying, “Thank you so much for the opportunity to learn more and understand better what God tells us through His Word.” And we thank YOU for making it possible for them to attend the course!
Nicasio has been busy this month with all his regular things: teaching through 1 Peter in the Zapotec church service, checking 1 Peter and the Gospel of Mark (which is what we’re reading through at the beginning of the Zapotec service), leading the youth group, teaching a course in Indigenous Language in the university, and preparing for upcoming events:
Nicasio, Beto and Candy will be leading a workshop on Indigenous Leadership during the conference we are attending in Colombia, from Nov. 28 to Dec. 1. Nicasio will be speaking about the challenges that indigenous people face, such as shame and fear, and how Jesus calls them and prepares them for what He wants them to do. Beto and Candy will speak on the practicalities of leadership.
Part of the preparation to go to Colombia involved getting Beto’s and Candy’s passports, which involved getting Beto’s birth certificate corrected. Then Nicasio took them to Puebla to actually get their passports, which they had in hand in less than two hours!
While Nicasio was waiting for them, a colleague called him and asked if he would do one of the plenary sessions at the conference! (Someone had to cancel his participation in the plenary session.) He has accepted that challenge and asks that you pray a lot for him as he prepares for it.
Nov. 2 is the yearly Quiatoni youth conference that Nicasio started some years ago. This year he won’t be involved in any leadership roles but our church’s youth group will be doing some of the music for the day-long event. Just a couple of days ago, the organizers asked Beto and Candy if they will teach the younger children who will be there. They were delighted to say “yes!” Rebeca asked if she could take some USB drives with our Zapotec materials on them and some copies of our Zapotec hymnal in case anyone is interested in buying them. We were delighted to say “yes!” to that request. Rebeca loves to distribute the Zapotec materials and is such a blessing to us in that area.
This weekend (Oct. 28 and 29), Nicasio will be distributing more Kulumi audio devices (https://kulumi.org/kulumi-x/) that the Cahaya Foundation has given us (https://www.thecahayafoundation.org/). These have all our Bible materials in Zapotec on them. On Saturday, after church, he will be giving one to each family in our church here in Tlacolula. (You may remember that most of those who attend our church are from the Quiatoni area.) Sunday evening we will be visiting another church here in Tlacolula where several Quiatoni families attend and giving each family a Kulumi. (About five years ago, Nicasio led a Bible study in Zapotec in this church, which included learning to read and write in Zapotec.) We appreciate your prayers that the Kulumis will have a big impact on people understanding the Word of God as they hear it in their own language.
Shortly after I sent out our September report, Mike and Tara got the disappointing news that it would be another 4 to 8 weeks for the closing on their house sale. We all agreed that it would be better for me to fly home instead of waiting that length of time to drive down with them, so I flew home on October 13th, after spending five days with Rusty. Even though Rusty was working (I went shopping while he was at work), we decided that after work was vacation and enjoyed going out to eat (fast food places that are not in Mexico) and doing things together. I enjoyed watching him play pickleball; I’ve heard about pickleball but this was the first time to see it! He enjoyed playing in the tournament and even though they came in towards the bottom, it was a good experience and he’s ready to do it again!
Mike and Tara are still waiting for the exact date for the closing on their house but understand that it should happen by the end of October. We appreciate your prayers for them as they deal with the uncertainty as well take care of the final details of moving out and driving to Oaxaca. (I won’t be able to go up to drive back with them because of the Colombia trip.) They are so ready to be done with selling the house and are so ready to be living here!
I have been humbled and honored by how many people (colleagues and Quiatoni people) have said that they missed me and are glad I’m back! I’ve been busy processing LOTS of donations into the children’s library.
We are pleased to have Nicasio’s mom with us for a week. It was a little hard at first for her since she hadn’t been back since Dad passed away in February, but she seems to have adjusted. She loves to listen to her “radio” (Kulumi), especially the songs!
Your interest, prayers, and support for our ministry of Bible translation into Quiatoni Zapotec means so much to us and keeps us going! We love to share with you how God is working through His Word. Thank you for making it possible!
love, Valerie and Nicasio