I have been reconstructing the email address list for our monthly updates because when my computer crashed at the beginning of February, my email took the brunt of the crash. If your name doesn’t appear correctly or you would prefer I use a different email address or anything else, please let me know! I appreciate your help with this.
Update and Prayer Requests: March 2022 - Valerie and Nicasio Martinez
Translating God's Word with and for the people who speak Quiatoni Zapotec
Within a few days this month, several good things happened with some of our back-translations. You may remember that back-translations are the result of someone who speaks Quiatoni Zapotec and Spanish reading one of the New Testament books that has been translated into Zapotec and then he or she translates it back into Spanish. We then send the back-translation to be checked by a consultant, a colleague who’s had more experience in translation and some extra training. With the Spanish back-translation, the consultant can check our Zapotec translation even though he or she doesn’t speak our Zapotec.
It’s best to have back-translators who haven’t worked on the translation (because they would know what the translation should say) and who don’t know much about the Bible (again because they would know what the translation should say). Mingo has been one of our back-translators after I ran into him in our local market several years ago. He had been one of my first language teachers back in the mid 1980s and was willing to try back-translating. He did a fine job on Hebrews and really understood what Hebrews is all about. After he finished Hebrews, Nicasio asked him if he’d back-translate Matthew. Mingo asked, “Is it as hard as Hebrews?!” Nicasio told him, no, that it would be easier but much longer. He agreed to do it. During the time he was working on it, he began having trouble with his eyes and finally just couldn’t work on it any more. Please pray for Mingo, for his eyes, and for what he’s learned about Jesus from doing back-translations. The town he lives in is very resistant to “other religions,” meaning anything other than Catholic.
This month we drove out to see Mingo and pick up the Gospel of Matthew, however much he’d been able to do on it. He wasn’t home but his daughter gave us the book and her dad’s phone number, and said she’d give her dad the message that we’d picked it up and left some wages for him. Nicasio tried calling Mingo a few times to have some closure with him about Matthew but the calls didn’t go through. Then one day, Mingo called Nicasio. They had a good visit and Mingo told Nicasio that he’s now using drops in his eyes, which were helping but not enough yet to do much writing. We are thankful to continue to have a good relationship with Mingo.
Our other back-translator is Esmeralda. She has been working on Acts, another very long book! We had been sending her a few chapters at a time as Nicasio finished revising them. Not long after Mingo called, Esmeralda called to say that she’d finished back-translating Acts! Nicasio asked her if she’d be willing to finish the Gospel of Matthew. She said yes but that she wouldn’t be able to work on it right away because she was going to have surgery. Esmeralda let Nicasio know when she’d be sending him the last chapters of Acts so he could pick them up from the bus driver and he told her that he’d send her Matthew back on the same bus. Please pray for Esmeralda’s surgery to go well and for her, too, to come to know Jesus as her Savior.
Beto is in his last semester for getting his Bachelor’s degree. To graduate, he has to do an investigative project and write a small thesis on it. He decided to investigate if using riddles and tongue twisters would improve students’ Zapotec reading ability. Interesting question, isn’t it? He has seven young people signed up to do his project and travels to Quiatoni’s second largest town each weekend to work on this. Please pray for travel safety for him (and Candi; she goes along as his helper) and good results from his project. Beto’s current project for our Zapotec church service is dubbing a short (seven minute) video about the tabernacle and the temple.
The translation course in the Master’s Program that Nicasio is coordinating is going well. He says that he’s learning a lot, too! He’s thankful for our colleagues who are giving their time to teach the classes and for the good relationship between the university and SIL.
We were delighted to have Rusty here for a week! It was a fun time of just being home with him and he and I going shopping together. The week after he got home to Indiana, he had blood work and scans done to check for any signs of the testicular cancer he had surgery for in March 2021. He says, “I’m happy to report that my 1 year post-op cancer screenings show no signs of cancer! I’ll see the doc again in September for another update. Thank you for praying alongside us.”
Mike, Tara, and Royan have been doing well. Royan (one year and four months old) is starting to get into everything and really developing his personality. They could use prayers as they handle end of life things for Tara's mom (she has had stage 4 lung cancer for 4 years).
Nicasio’s parents are doing well, still living pretty independently next door to us. A while ago, we noticed that his dad had gotten very deaf so Nicasio took him to the doctor. The doctor prescribed some drops to soften and eliminate the wax build-up in his ears. We already see a difference in what he can hear!
Thank you for being a part of the New Testament translation into Quiatoni Zapotec! You are a big encouragement to us as you support us with your interest, prayers and gifts. Thank you!
love, Valerie and Nicasio
Update from Ryan & Kelly - March 2022
To the Church of Christ Episcopal in Huron,
We are so thankful for your Love and Support and pray you all are well and are goring in our Lord Jesus Christ. Here is an update from Honduras.
We are filled with Gratitude for your support of the mission to raise and equip disciples to change the nation of Honduras. It has been a whirlwind this early early year with constant changes. It has been a great lesson for me (Ryan) to learn how to eb and flow with the will of God and not just be so fixed in my own ways and ideas. Since Kelly has returned from visiting family, night school has begun, the bilingual school has changed several times because of government decisions of virtual class and students being present for class. Praise God we will now be able to have them back at school for the remainder of the year. We were seeing large educational gaps during the virtual weeks. Furthermore, I have begun an English class program to help those who have a desire to learn the language. My hope is to attempt to use bible stories to help teach English. With all that being said. We are blessed. The kids are doing great, Ezra loves school, he is extremely social and loves his classmates. Kexia is enjoying the time spent while Ez is at school. and baby three is growing big. Kelly is doing very well with the pregnancy, we both are being hit with the realization that we will be a family of 5 only in 2 short months.
For His Glory; In His Love,
Ryan & Kelly
"Declare his glory among the nations, his marvelous deeds among all people" - Psalm 96:3
Update from Julia Schatz - 3/15/22
Dear Father Mike,
I pray this finds you doing well!
No, I'm not Irish ... but I sincerely enjoy reflecting on the life of St. Patrick. March 17 is the feast day of St. Patrick, a saint who is celebrated widely not just in Ireland but all over the world. It is a day of celebration that is marked by parades, bands, music, costumes, green lights and rivers that are all a feature of the celebrations. Yet behind all these externals, there is a the story of a remarkable man who faced a truly daunting task: proposing the Christian faith to the pagan Irish almost sixteen centuries ago.
Yes, St. Patrick was a missionary! So dangerous was the task that many questioned the whole point of going to where even the Romans had refused to invade; such was the uncivilized reputation of the Irish at the time. The outcome was one of the most remarkable success stories of the early Church, one that resulted not only in the Irish being converted to the faith but them becoming missionaries of the faith themselves. Disciples who made disciples! I love that! Now you know why I want to say Happy St. Patrick's Day to you!
God Bless You!!
Three other women and I are on our way to Turkey where we will spend five days meeting with others who do ministry in Central Asia. With God's help we will learn from each other about ways we can help each. And we will pray together for the work God is doing in Central Asia through our ministries.
After our time in Turkey we will go to another Central Asian country for 12 days, where we will train churches in Trauma Healing and 4 Fields Church Planting. It is an amazing opportunity. We pray God will use us to help the church to minister to hurting people who need love and compassion and bring God's healing and wholeness into their lives. Ephesian 4:12.
Thank you so much for your support!
I'm grateful to God for you and for our partnership in God's work.
I love these prayers. My Bible Study Fellowship Facilitator. Brenda, emailed this to her class. They are so powerful and meaningful. Praise God, we can be completely confident that hears our prayers and He is able! May we be completely summited to His will in our lives!!
“Jesus looked to them and said, ‘With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.’” – Matthew 19:26
Adoration: Jesus, I praise You for the “upside-down” values of Your kingdom! You protect the exploited, exalt the humble, and welcome those least honored by this world.
Confession: Lord, forgive me, when I, like the rich young man, fail to recognize my idols. Forgive me when I value what the world promotes more than I love what You love.
Thanksgiving: Nothing compares to the greatness of knowing You, Jesus. Thank you for the promise of eternal life for all who follow You. No one can imagine the delights You have prepared for those who love You! (1 Corinthians 2:9-10)
Global: Father, You can do the impossible to redeem lives, hearts, and even marriages. I pray Your Church will be a safe haven for those in painful situations. As believers, help us to trust You to both stand on truth and show compassion to hurting people.
Local: Jesus, You said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them …..” (Matthew 19:14) Father, I lift up those in my BSF class/online group and church who are ministering to children – so that even the youngest can accomplish great things for You. I pray they will see the power of the gospel at work as they pour themselves out in this worthy investment.
Personal: Lord, no situation falls outside Your promise to work all things together “for the good of those who love You, who have been called according to Your purpose.” (Romans 8:28) Help me to find contentment and fulfillment in my current situation. I want a joy-filled life of radical commitment and complete surrender to You!
Write a list of people or things you sometimes place in your life before God. What needs to change in your life to put God before those things? Take your list before the Lord in prayer as you seek to more fully surrender these things to Him.