Update and Prayer Requests: March 2021
Valerie and Nicasio Martinez
Translating God's Word with and for the people who speak Quiatoni Zapotec
Nicasio continues to work on revising the Book of Acts, keeping ahead of where he and Beto are teaching through it for the Zapotec church service. Last Thursday we studied Acts 19:1-7 and got into an interesting discussion about baptism and being rebaptized. One lady told us how she was going to church because she enjoyed listening to the sermons (in Spanish) and how people talked about God. She was encouraged to be baptized and she finally was but didn’t really know what baptism was for. Beto’s wife Candy said that she was raised in a Christian home and thought that she would go to heaven because her parents were believers. She said that it wasn’t until they began studying the Bible in Zapotec that she understood that each person needs Jesus as his Savior to be able to go to heaven. We love to hear our Zapotec church family share how much they are learning through studying God’s Word in the language they understand best! Thank you for praying for the Zapotec church service, for those who attend it and for Nicasio and Beto as they teach.
In January, Nicasio participated in a presentation of a story book in Quiatoni Zapotec since he had helped with editting the Zapotec. After the presentation, a man asked if he could interview Nicasio on the radio! Nicasio agreed and that interview happened the last day of February. I was glad to go along and also glad to not be interviewed. As we walked with the interviewer to the radio station, he asked me why it was important, almost asking what was the use, of preserving indigenous languages. I told him that each language has its own world view, its own knowledge, and what would people like my parents-in-law do if they couldn’t speak their own language? Then I asked him how he would feel if “they” said that Spanish wasn’t allowed any more, that only Russian could be used, only Russian would be taught in schools. He thought for a minute and then said, “It would be very difficult.” Nicasio said, “And that’s what’s happened to us indigenous people.”
We had taken a set of all the secular books we’ve produced in Zapotec, since they had met at the Quiatoni storybook presentation. He was fascinated by the books and especially by the non-fiction. He wanted to know how indigenous languages deal with technology that they don't have words for. Nicasio used "rocket" as an example, since we have a book about the first time man went to the moon. He explained that lots of things in Quiatoni Zapotec are "metal" and sometimes have a phrase with them to indicate what kind of metal (metal that one hunts with--gun, metal for the ears--earring, metal to write on--typewriter, etc.) and sometimes the context gives the needed information. So a rocket is "a metal that goes to the moon."
We were pleased with how the interview went and how interested the interviewer was about indigenous languages, especially Quiatoni Zapotec.
I’m happy that I’ve been able to concentrate more—thank you for praying for me in this!—on the dictionary assignments. I’m making progress, although it’s slow. (I thought I was a year behind but it’s only 10 months!) I’ve also been able to work on some corrections for our Peek at Quiatoni Zapotec Grammar book. I have hopes of seeing it published this year!
Now for family news:
Nicasio’s parents have adjusted well and are happy in their new home next door, which used to be Nicasio’s office. Mom and Dad are doing well, keeping busy with living more independently (making meals, keeping house, taking care of their chickens, cleaning up the yard that had become a wilderness, etc.). Their children and their families come to visit; even their daughter and son-in-law from Mexico City came for a weekend! Both Mom and Dad are getting stronger from the exercise that living independently entails. Nicasio is over to see them several times a day; we get groceries and whatever else they need from stores. They do like muffins so I keep them supplied with those. Thank you for your prayers for Mom and Dad.
Nicasio has turned out guest room back into his temporary office while he looks for a place to rent. He has found a possible office--actually a whole house! It's on the outskirts of a little town near us. Apparently the house has been broken into (when it was empty) so he said that if he decides to rent it, he'll ask the owner to beef up the security especially on one room where he'd have the important stuff. Thank you for continuing to pray for an office for him.
Tara and baby Royan (now four months old! and “talking” and laughing) are doing well at home together. They would appreciate prayers as Mike is looking for a new job this year. We are thankful that Tara is so thoughtful in often sending us pictures and videos of Royan! And we enjoy video calls with them, too.
We thank you for all your prayers for Rusty during this hard time. We are thankful that the doctors moved quickly, that the seminoma (testicular cancer) seems to have been contained and removed, that his recovery has been good, for Mike and Tara taking such good care of him. Rusty has two appointments for second opinions on March 29th and an appointment with an oncologist, referred by the surgeon, on April 1st. We appreciate your prayers for these appointments, for wisdom for the doctors and for the best treatment for Rusty. (Not necessarily the “easiest” treatment but the treatment that will be best for the best outcome.) Thank you for standing with us and Rusty—and our whole family!
Thank you for being part of our ministry of Bible translation and part of our lives! Your part is important and we thank God for you.
love, Valerie and Nicasio