Update and Prayer Requests: October 2021
Valerie and Nicasio Martinez
Translating God's Word with and for the people
who speak Quiatoni Zapotec
Nicasio recently visited our pastor to take him our tithes. He said that Pastor is off oxygen but very, very thin. We’ve heard that he is preaching again. Thank you for your prayers for him. Please pray for us as we continue to monitor how covid-related things are going here for when we should return to in-person church services.
Beto’s mother-in-law passed away shortly after we sent out our September update. They are thankful that she is no longer in pain and that she knew Jesus as her Savior.
Nicasio has been revising the book of Acts to stay ahead of what we are studying in (online) Zapotec church—although right now that’s not much of a problem because we are at the beginning of chapter 21. In verse 5, it tells how the believers and Paul knelt on the beach and prayed. Nicasio decided to talk about how we should pray, both our physical posture and what we should pray about. One verse he referenced was Matt 6:7, to not be repeating the same thing. He said, and others agreed, that it’s easy to do a lot of repetition when praying in Spanish because it’s easy to do when you don’t really know what you are saying, but it Zapotec, it’s hard to repeat and repeat because you do know what you are saying! (Remember that most church services, even in the Quiatoni area, prayers, sermons, and songs are almost always in Spanish.) Now we are studying the Lord’s prayer before going back to Acts 21.
Nicasio is also revising Acts to give the last chapters (22-28) to Esmeralda who has been back-translating Acts for us. Due to covid restrictions, it’s been more of a challenge to get the next chapters to her and then get them back from her after she’s translated them back in Spanish. You may remember that we have back-translations done so that a colleague can “read” our Zapotec and check the translation to make sure that it’s correct and complete. Please pray that God will work in Esmeralda’s heart as she reads and thinks about the book of Acts so she will come to know Jesus as her Savior.
Nicasio was invited to accompany UABAJO’s (“his” university) rector and a few others to a Zapotec speaking town about 45 minutes away. The rector was presenting a book in Zapotec published by UNAM, the largest public university in Mexico. Nicasio was asked to go as an expert in indigenous languages. He was happy to be able to meet the rector, who is originally from Mitla, and spend some time talking with him about possible liaisons between the UABAJO and Quiatoni, specifically for publishing similar book on medicinal plants in the Quiatoni area.
Nicasio has gotten lots of positive feedback from the students in his Indigenous Languages class for the university’s Master’s program of translation and interpretation. They have found the practical exercises of writing in their own languages just as challenging as the reading that he has assigned them.
Please continue to pray for Nicasio as he works on his PhD thesis. He can’t get the files from his hard-drive and needs to talk to his advisor about how to manage without that data. Thank you for your prayers for encouragement for him, too.
A little update on the small Quiatoni Zapotec grammar book I wrote: I’ve been working on translating it into English and adjusting it for an English-speaking audience. In the process, I’ve found some mistakes in the Spanish edition; so I’m fixing those, too. Why do I find mistakes after I’ve printed the book?! (I guess it’s better to find them after rather than never!)
I’m still working on typing in all the illustrative sentences in the notebook that I found. There are 694 words listed in the notebook and each word usually has three sentences to go with it. (I’m currently on word 330, so I’m almost halfway through the notebook!) Not only do these sentences provide illustrative sentences for the dictionary but I’m discovering new words and correcting definitions and/or adding definitions to words already in the dictionary. I enjoy working on this; sometimes it feels like I fall down a hole chasing “rabbits” (words and meaning) and have a hard time finding my way back to the starting spot! I’m so thankful for this wealth of material.
Now that our state is in “green” of the covid restrictions, I’m getting back to working in the Children’s Library and the Homeschool Resource Room in Mitla. I’m thankful for my friend Marge who has helped and been a wonderful companion during the attack on the mountain of donations!
Thank you for standing with us as we push towards the goal of giving God’s Word to those who speak Quiatoni Zapotec—and help others towards similar goals. Thank you for your prayers, support, and encouragement!
Praying God’s blessings on you.
love, Valerie and Nicasio