Update from Julia - 8/30/21
Dear Pastor Mike,
Greetings! First, I want you to know I am recently back from 3 weeks of ministry in Central Asia! Praise God it was a productive time for God's purposes. Thank you for praying for me and sending me! Everyday I thank God for you and for our partnership. We do this together!
God raised up a compassionate and caring team: Someone fitting eye glasses, a children's ministry leader and medical professionals who touched the lives of 800 patients in 6 days of clinic. Also, we made great connections with community leaders and believers who are asking for more of the same as well as being equipped in Trauma Healing.
You may wonder about my role. No, I am not a medical professional. I am an administrator and an organizer ..... although I can check blood pressure and count pills! But really my job is making the connections and arrangements with believers we come alongside in the villages and communities where the clinics are held. I arrange travel details and reservations, order supplies and conduct team trainings for ministry and the manage the logistics to get all of our "ducks in a row" so we are ready to touch lives with God's grace and mercy. Also, in recent months, since the onslaught of the Pandemic, God has made it possible for me and others I serve with to be equipped with something called"New Hope". New Hope is Trauma Healing training. I'm so grateful for this! I love it!
2 Corinthians 1:3-5 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God. For as we share abundantly in Christ's sufferings, so through Christ we share abundantly in comfort too.
While I was away when possible I would check out the news on the internet. You probably agree with me when I say the longer I live in this broken world with all its broken and hurting, dear souls, it is all the more important to spend the time God gives us with His purposes!
Update and Prayer Requests: August 2021 - Valerie and Nicasio Martinez
Translating God's Word with and for the people who speak Quiatoni Zapotec
Nicasio, Beto, Rogelio (the main author of the book about Zapotec numbers), Felipe (the other author and a teacher), and I met three times this month via zoom to revise the book of exercises for students to learn and practice the numbers in Zapotec. (Other than 1 to 10, 20, and 100, Spanish numbers are usually used when people are speaking in Zapotec.) Mostly we looked at the directions (in Zapotec) of how to do each exercise. I have to admit that even though we got a lot done in the first session of five hours, it was a little discouraging to see that we’d covered 16 pages out of the 60 pages that I’d made. But it was encouraging to realize that the farther we went, the more we’d be able to use the instructions from similar exercises that we’d already revised.
The next step is to ask some of the bilingual teachers to test the exercises in their classrooms. We hope it will help them as they incorporate more Zapotec into their teaching.
We continue to study the book of Acts during Zapotec church via zoom. Nicasio is encouraged to see that people are becoming more and more accustomed to speaking up during the service. It was also wonderful to hear Chely thank God for so many blessings, even though she’s recuperating from covid. (She went to Quiatoni to nurse an uncle who was very sick with covid and then got it herself, although with a lighter case.)
We are so thankful for these folks who are so interested and dedicated to studying God’s Word in their own language and applying it to their lives. They are a blessing to us!
This afternoon (Thursday, Aug. 26) Nicasio will be one of three presentations celebrating the 40th anniversary of the National Department of Adult Education. He will be speaking about how indigenous people have a poor self-identity, having been scarred and mis-shapen by the insults, prejudices and abuses they have suffered for generations and how they need healing from that so they can be self-confident and proud of their indigenous heritage, language and culture.
We ordered a new computer for Beto since the battery in his is swelling and can’t be replaced. Mike and Tara brought the new one but unfortunately its battery wouldn’t hold a charge. We are returning that one and ordered another. We are so thankful that it was delivered to Rusty on Tuesday so he could bring it yesterday when he came.
We are happy to let you know that Beto and Candi’s daughter Yari is doing well after her emergency appendectomy three weeks ago. In another week, she’ll be able to resume her normal activities. Thank you for your prayers for her. We are also very thankful to let you know that the medical expenses have all been covered by God’s generous children!
Thank you, too, for praying for our colleague-friend Karina. She is still on a ventilator, which is slowly being reduced; her organs seem to be functioning well and x-rays show no sign of pneumonia or other damage apart from covid. Her condition is serious but stable. Thank you for your continued prayers for her.
Family news: Mike and Tara have been here two weeks! We are enjoying having them here and getting to know Tara and Royan better. Royan (9 months old) is very active, “talking” a lot, very curious, and likes to be where the action is. He loves Grandpa Nicasio, who often takes him next door to see Great-grandma and Great-grandpa. They thoroughly enjoy him!
Rusty got here last night and will be here for two weeks. We have a full house and even fuller hearts! We are so thankful that our kids are good friends and that they want to come home to visit.
Your interest, prayers, and support in our ministry of Bible translation are such an encouragement to us! Thank you for standing with us to give the people of Quiatoni God’s Word in their own language.
love, Valerie and Nicasio
Update from Julia - 8/8/21
Dear Pastor Mike,
Hello! I hope you are well.
Tomorrow I'm boarding a plane and taking a Medical Team to Central Asia! God raised up caring and compassionate medical professional to take God's love to hurting people in remote villages in the mountains. Please pray for us. The team prayer calendar is attached in the link below.
We were never meant to do life alone. We need the love and care of others, as much as we are needed by others in the same ways. God is using us to reach out to dear men, women and children, He loves, who living in places where medical care is not easy to find.
Thank you! With your prayers and financial support we do this together. Simply saying "THANK YOU" doesn't seem like enough. Please know I am deeply and sincerely grateful.
Your sister in Christ and Missionary to the Middle East!
Blessings to You and Yours,
We pray this email finds you well, and that you continue to see the Lord working in your lives. We have published a new newsletter on our website where you can see photos and videos of our mission trip to Tomalá, Honduras, that we were blessed with the extra support to be able to take with the Enlaces team earlier this month.
We want to thank all of you for your continued prayers and interest in how God has been opening doors here to minister. We feel blessed to be able to be hands and feet as the Lord has called us to.
We hope you enjoy, and God bless
Newsletter - Tomalá
Ryan, Kelly, Ezra & Kezia Saurers
For His Glory; In His Love,
Ryan & Kelly
"Declare his glory among the nations, his marvelous deeds among all people" - Psalm 96:3
VALERIE AND NICASIO MARTINEZTRANSLATING GOD'S WORD WITH AND FOR THE PEOPLE WHO SPEAK QUIATONI ZAPOTEC
The Zapotec church sermon is more of an interactive Bible study. It took a little while for people to get used to answering questions when we went to using Zoom for Zapotec church but we are finally more comfortable with it. If you had been there on July 1 when we studied Acts 20:7-12 (about Eutychus falling asleep and falling out of the window), you would have heard this (from my quick translations into English):
Beto was teaching: “Why do you think Eutychus fell asleep?”
Several people answered, “Because Paul talked so long.” (Everyone was smiling; I’m sure they were identifying with poor Eutychus!)
Rebeca: “Maybe Eutychus didn’t understand Paul’s preaching.”
Fernando: “Maybe he was tired from working, too.”
Beto: “And no cell phone to look at!”
Nicasio: “There weren’t any deacons to walking around rapping people on the head to wake them up.” (Yes, churches in our area do have deacons that do this!)
Carmen: “It’s good that Paul was talking so much ‘cause he was leaving tomorrow.”
Meche: “Maybe he should have asked questions while he’s preaching!” (Implying “like Beto and Nicasio do”.)
Beto: “So what makes us want to sleep in church?”
Sofía: “When we don’t understand the language that being used for preaching.”
Beto: “That’s right. Another one is that we are physically tired and sitting still. So how long should a sermon last? How long can we sit still?”
Priscila: “One hour, maybe.”
Fernando: “It depends on what the sermon is about!”
Elizabeth: “If there are questions and it’s more of a Bible study, it can go longer.”
Beto: “Maybe it’s neither’s fault that Eutychus fell asleep. And maybe both sides!”
Nicasio: “Paul didn’t normally preach all night. He didn’t scold anyone for Eutychus falling asleep. But nowadays the person preaching isn’t responsible for people sleeping; it’s always the fault of the congregation for going to sleep. That’s why the deacons wake people up but no one says to the preachers, ‘You’ve been going on too long.’”
Beto: “It’s good to talk about this because we can learn from it about how long we should preach, etc. I think, too, that there are people who take very literally what Jesus said about ‘Come to Me and I’ll give you rest’!”
* * * * * *
Now that we have received more chapters of Acts that were back-translated into Spanish, Beto has been busy keyboarding that into the program we use for translation. (Since the people who usually do back-translations don’t have computers, we print out the chapters with very short lines of text and lots of space between the lines so they can handwrite the Spanish in under the Zapotec and not have to crowd it in.)
Nicasio and Beto have been working with Rogelio, the main author of the book about Zapotec numbers, on revising the book for a reprint of it. I’ve made a book of exercises to encourage students to learn and use the Zapotec numbers. There’s still a lot of work to be done on it; we’ll be meeting with Rogelio and Felipe (the other author and a teacher) on Friday (July 30) to edit and improve that.
Please pray for the people of Quiatoni. They are being hit hard with lots of covid cases.
Family news: We are looking forward to our kids coming to visit in August! Mike, Tara and Royan arrive on Aug. 11 for three weeks. (Mike will be working from here part of the time.) Rusty arrives on August 25 for two weeks, so there will be one week when they are all here with us! We appreciate your prayers for safe travels for them and for a good and safe time while they are here.
Thank you for your interest, prayers, and support of our ministry of translating God’s Word into Quiatoni Zapotec. We are thankful for YOU!
love, Valerie and Nicasio
Last night about 9 pm Nicasio took Beto's older daughter (16 year old
Yari), Beto and Candy to the doctor because Yari was in so much pain.
She's been in pain off and on for a week or more but they hadn't been
able to figure out the cause. Tonight at the doctor's, they realized it
was her appendix. They took her appendix out about midnight. She came
through it well. Nicasio will pick them up (Beto and Candy stayed with
her during the night) and take them home when she's released.
Please pray for Yari's recuperation and thank God with us that it wasn't
If you would like to help them financially with this unexpected and
expensive need, we'd be glad to facilitate that.
Thank you for your prayers!
love, Valerie and Nicasio