Update and Prayer Requests: September 2023
Valerie and Nicasio Martinez Translating God's Word with and for the people
who speak Quiatoni Zapotec
Some major events have happened since we gave you our update in August! Thank you for praying! (I am still in Ohio with Mike, Tara and Royan. More details at the end of this update.)
The biggest church in the Quiatoni area had arranged with Nicasio to teach the youth group about apologetics. Because of the time constraints, it was more of an introduction to apologetics but something is better than nothing, right? Everyone enjoyed the class. As is often the case in the Quiatoni churches, other people attend the meetings even if they aren’t in the group that the event is for. The pastor’s father sat in on the apologetics classes and was paying a lot of attention. Nicasio felt that he really learned a lot and when Nicasio chatted with him, he said that it would be good to have classes on marriage, just like the classes on apologetics. It’s so good to see people wanting to learn more about what the Bible teaches!
Two days before the big UN event for the International Decade of Indigenous Languages, Nicasio heard that a pastor-friend in Quiatoni’s second largest town had passed away. He and the Zapotec music group went to the wake that night. They played and sang for about an hour and then when they were having some supper, the cooks said that they hadn’t heard the songs and so they sang some more! The family would have liked them to stay longer but since the UN event was the next day, they had to leave. We have gotten to know one of the pastor’s sons through the courses for bilingual teachers. He asked if the songs were recorded so Nicasio gave him a USB drive that has all our Zapotec materials.
The UN event for the International Decade of Indigenous Languages went very well! Nicasio had a bad cold but managed to do his part as emcee, give his five-minute presentation and then two small group sessions giving more information about his theme of how indigenous people’s identity has been damaged over the years since the Europeans arrived in the Americas. Beto and Candy did small group presentations on the course for speakers of indigenous languages to write stories. Our Zapotec music group played and sang off and on during the whole event. The event coordinator said, “The group added so much fun and love with their songs to the event. We are very glad that they participated!” People enjoyed talking with the Quiatoni lady who attended to show and talked about the traditional Quiatoni embroidery. She had a blouse that was made of fabric woven on a backstrap loom; someone wanted to buy it but since it was very old, she wasn’t willing to sell it but did sell several other blouses.
That night Beto and Candy took the bus to Mexico City to participate in another event for church leaders for the International Decade of Indigenous Languages. They spoke about how having the New Testament in Quiatoni Zapotec has affected them and others. They gave their testimonies about how they were raised in Christian homes but didn’t really understand the Gospel until they started attending the Zapotec church service. They enjoyed meeting the SIL Executive Director in person. One of the organizers of that event told me, “It was AMAZING to have them there! You could see how they had prepared. It was personal and also educational. It was very good!” She told me, too, “We also found a note in their room that made me cry. It said, ‘God is good all the time; all the time, God is good’ and 60 pesos! I’m still trying to figure out how to express how thankful we are.”
Looking ahead, we’d appreciate your prayers for the second part of the 1 Corinthians course. Beto, Fernando and Rebeca will be attending it from Oct. 2 to the 13th. Please pray for them as they commute each day (20 minutes) as well as for them during this intense course.
Nicasio, Beto and Candy will be giving some small group presentations at an event the end of November in Colombia! They have started the process to get Candy’s and Beto’s passports. (I will also be going as a learner.) I hate to buy plane tickets but that’s my role for this trip. J We appreciate your prayers for all that’s involved for this event.
Meanwhile, I’m here with Mike, Tara and Royan. There have been some bumps in the road of getting their house sold but now things seem to be working out. An investment company is buying the house; we are waiting for paperwork to be finished and a closing date to be set. Then they will buy and pack a trailer and then we’ll be on the road to Oaxaca! Please pray for all that needs to be done yet and for safe travels for us.
I’ll be spending a few days with Rusty after we are out of Mike and Tara’s house! He’s excited about being in a pickleball tournament on October 7th!
We are truly thankful for your interest and prayers for our ministry of Bible translation, for those who work with us to share the Gospel in Quiatoni Zapotec, and for us and our family. You are a blessing to us!
love, Valerie and Nicasio
Photo: Beto, Keila (Candy and Beto’s younger daughter), Dr. Michel Kenmogne (SIL Executive Director), Candy