Dear Pastor Mike,
Greetings! I'm so happy to be reporting to you about the the ministry in Middle East! Thank you so much for praying for us! God heard your prayers and He showed Himself strong! So strong and beautiful! Thank you, Lord! It was amazing and wonderful. BUT, it wasn't easy. There was never a dull moment!
The photo of the sheep and the shepherd was taken adjacent to the refugee camp where we held the medical clinic. I love this photo because it makes me think of a verse from the book of Matthew 9:35-38 . The words of Jesus: 35 Jesus went through all the towns and villages, teaching in their synagogues, proclaiming the good news of the kingdom and healing every disease and sickness. 36 When he saw the crowds, he had compassion on them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. 37 Then he said to his disciples, “The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few. 38 Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field.”
Please pray for the people living in these dwellings. This is only a a very small section of an enormous tent city. A significant number of the people are virtually paralyzed by trauma from war and terror. Lord we thank you that you tell us you are preparing an eternal home for those who put their faith in you! A wonderful place where we will be with you! A home of no more suffering and no more tears from the brokenness of this world.
The smile in her eyes really captured my heart. She and the other children loved the special attention they received from the team. Two team members were completely focused on the children with unique and creative games and stories and lots of fun, love and attention. God had a plan. The schools were on temporary lockdown due to an increase in covid cases only a couple of days before we arrived. The clinic areas were full of children who were blessed to learn about our Lord's love for them.
By now you are probably asking.... what happened? Why did you say it wasn't easy?
My co-leader and dear friend Steffoni wrote this devotion. I asked if I could share excerpts of it with you. Then I will share with you the many "BUT God" moments that happened after Steffoni shared this devotion.
-----------------------------------------------"As I laid awake thinking about the day and started going over all of the IF’s AND’s or BUT’s. I came to realize, there is Only 1 BUT! .....
Yes, team member Lauri fell and injured her ankle. BUT God made sure she was surrounded by the best team of nationals, doctors, nurses, friends and loved ones to support her through this crisis.
Yes, Lauri had to go to a sketchy govt hospital, BUT God used her to shine His light in that chaotic dark place. She remained calm, smiling, joking, singing about God’s goodness, and expressed much gratitude to the staff. It was evident that she was filled with the joy of the Lord
Yes, Lauri’s ankle is broken and will need surgery. BUT God has kept the swelling and the pain down allowing her to rest and to take the time needed to make informed and measured decisions about next steps.
Yes, many things need to fall into place for Lauri to get back home for surgery. BUT God, is in control, His fingerprints are all over this. Matthew 19:26 “Jesus looked on them and said, “with man this is impossible, BUT WITH GOD all things are possible”
Yes, Lauri missed out on ministry that she was really looking forward to. BUT God, will redeem this for Lauri’s good and for HIS glory.
The phrase "BUT GOD" appears in the Bible over 30 times!
Psalms 73:26. “My flesh and my heart may fail, BUT God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever”
BUT GOD is at the very heart of the Gospel message!
Romans 5:6-8 “You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly. Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous person, though for a good person someone might possibly dare to die. BUT GOD demonstrates His own love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
In Ephesian 2:3-5 we find the greatest BUT GOD of all:
“all of us also lived among them at one time, gratifying the cravings of our flesh and following its desires and thoughts. Like the rest, we were by nature deserving of wrath. BUT GOD, who is rich in mercy made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions-it is by grace that you have been saved. "
Here is the part I filled in after Steffoni and Lauri departed so Lauri could return to have surgery on her ankle.
On the fifth day, before we went to the clinic, the team was getting their COVID test in order to fly home. The van broke down - actually just out of gas. The gas gage was broken. While waiting for the van to be up and running again we got a call from the manager of the Camp. We were not permitted to open the clinic on the 5th day. Someone who had come to the clinic the previous day went to the camp manager and lied to him saying we were requiring people to become Christians before we would help them. Of course that was not true. We helped and cared for everyone we could possibly help. More than 500 people in 4 days. There were a handful of people who needed surgery which was unfortunately not possible for us to do in a makeshift clinic without specialists in the field that was needed. We offered to pray for them. The camp manager said he was not against us. He said he was handling his responsibilities. He said he would not allow "religion" to harm those in the camp. He had lost many family members because of ISIS. This is a young man with huge responsibility for the people in this camp.
But, God...... Now, I'm glad I can ask you to pray for this young man.
BUT, God! God did amazing and beautiful things and touched lives with His care and compassion.
I had meetings with the psychotherapist at the camp, The person the phycologist on the team who had broken her ankle would have been with to help treat people who had terrible trauma from ISIS.
BUT, God...... they wanted someone from the team to spend time with them to see what they were doing to help people and to give feedback. I clearly explained I was not a psychologist and was only trained in Biblical Trauma Healing but was very willing to spend time with them. We talked and I learned all about what they were doing to help people. Then I sat in on 4 appointments she had with women in the camp who had trauma, lost loved, etc, etc. It was overwhelming. This dear counselor suffers from secondary Trauma hearing these stories every day from the women she counsels. She shed a good amount of tears as we visited. Hopefully God will keep that door open for more interaction there. ONLY God knows how they will allow us to help them with the healing only Jesus is able and wants to give them.
Then all but two team members on the team left to return home. The team was very happy and encouraged about all that God did in and through them.
A Physicians Assistant and her husband stayed an extra day because of flight issues. She tested positive for COVID. She was not sick and she had the vaccine and booster. Her husband tested negative. She was sure it was a false positive so she took the test again the next day and was negative but that delayed their flight a day. Not a huge problem, thank God! Then there were two more. Me and Linda. We stayed on for extra days. We were training three people for Trauma Healing who had just moved there from Columbia! The night we were scheduled to fly out at 4:20 a.m. a rocket from Iran militia targeted the airport, just a little more than a mile from the guest house where we were staying! Never a dull moment! We heard the loud boom! Naturally our flight was postponed. Thankfully the rocket hit only a cargo station and no one was hurt or killed.
I hope you are encouraged to know that God acted on behalf of all of us....and that includes you! I do what I do in ministry in partnership with you. Thank you! God showed Himself strong, for His Glory and His renown! ~Julia Schatz
Update and Prayer Requests: April 2021
Valerie and Nicasio Martinez
Translating God's Word with and for the people who speak Quiatoni Zapotec
Our biggest news this month is that Nicasio graduated from the PhD program Friday, April 23! Classes finished a year ago but due to covid restrictions, graduation kept being postponed. The ceremony was smaller and less formal than usual but it happened and Nicasio has his diploma! He said that the best thing about graduation was that it relit the fire for him to finish his thesis so that he can truly be done with the PhD program. Please pray for him as he works on it and also deals with the external hard drive that isn’t working and has on it the videos of the course he taught to the bilingual teachers for his thesis.
Nicasio and I have given final (we hope!) read-throughs of the book documenting the Quiatoni Zapotec numbers from one to one hundred. It’s almost ready for printing!
Nicasio has been continuing to revise the Book of Acts as we continue to study it during Zapotec church service. (Zapotec church service is still online only.) Interest is high as we work on Chapter 19 and discuss things like “Do people need to be rebaptized?” “Does God heal only through the use of special cloths?” “Who can pray for someone to be healed?” “Why is it that sometimes people don’t get healed, even after we pray for them?” It’s wonderful to see how feel the freedom and confidence to ask questions. Please continue to pray for these folks, especially for more understanding of God’s Word, which is what one lady asked as a prayer request for herself.
Nicasio is also going through the scripts for dubbing the Deditos videos. (More information about Deditos here: https://mailchi.mp/7d67344ed722/deditos-eng) He continues to teach (online) two people to read and write in Quiatoni Zapotec. (They speak it and want to be able to write it well.)
Please pray for unity within our (local) church since there is disagreement about how to deal with government covid restrictions. (We have heard of similar problems in other churches; if yours is one of them, we’d like to pray for yours, too.) Recently the pastor has started an inperson youth group, without saying anything to Nicasio about it, even though Nicasio continues to have online meetings with those of the church’s youth who want to meet with him. Today (April 25) the online group went on a bike ride as an outdoor activity where they can safely spend time together.
I spent the first two weeks of April in Mitla, doing an inventory of the Children’s Library. The library is self-serve (you check out your books, your return the cards to your books, you reshelve your books) so there’s lots of room for mistakes. Add to that the fact that I haven’t done an inventory for five years and that there are about 14,000 pieces in the library! I was very thankful for three friends helping me for many hours and an afternoon of four teens helping me.
Rusty thanks you all for your prayers and asks that you continue praying for him, specifically that his scans and bloodwork in early June will come back clear. He’s back to normal work and normal life. We thank you, too, for your prayers for him.
Mike, Tara and Royan hope to visit us this summer so they’ve gotten Royan’s passport! Royan is five months old and starting to eat solids. Tara says this is a real blessing since the formula he is on, due to colic and a milk protein intolerance, is quite expensive. Mike would like you to pray for him as he’s in the process of applying for a new job.
Thank you for standing with us and making God’s Word available to those who speak Quiatoni Zapotec! You are blessing many people!
love, Valerie and Nicasio
Thank you for your continued prayers for our son Rusty. Please continue to pray for him; specifically that the suspicious lymph node will not grow any larger. He will have another CT scan and bloodwork done in early June to check on it.
This past week Rusty went to IU Health (the world's center for testicular cancer) for second opinions with an oncologist and an urologist. A few days later he saw the oncologist that he was referred to by urologist/surgeon that operated on him on March 5. All three doctors concur that active surveillance is the way to go, meaning to keep an eye on it, have another CT scan and bloodwork done in two months to see what that suspicious lymph node is doing. (It is enlarged but still within "normal" range; it's not the node that they would expect to be affected by the testicular cancer, if it had spread.)
If it has grown (please pray that it won't!), they recommend surgery to remove it. If it hasn't grown or has shrunk, they recommend CT scans every four months for a while, then every six months, then every year. Even if there should be a relapse, the cure rate is still 99.5%!
Rusty says that he's still pretty peaceful about it. Thank you for praying for him and for us. We are thankful for you and how you've stood with us over the years. Thank you!
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
Thank you so much for praying for our Winter Study Camp for our older teens. It was truly an amazing two weeks in the mountains with our fantastic group of teens. It actually moves me deeply to see how much these kids have really begun to embrace and live out the values and faith that we have sought to impart to them since they were young children, we are amazed and thankful!
17 year old Baptiste (pronounced "Ba-teest" in French!) came to Parfums de Vie through his friendship with Laith, they've spent the past three years together in the dorms at the CIV High School. Baptiste is a typical French kid: despite his "christian" name which is the French for "baptist" as in "John the Baptist", his parents are completely secular/atheist and until meeting Laith, Baptiste had literally never seen or held a Bible, much less heard anything about its teachings! The beauty in this story is that Baptiste, the French secular/atheist kid is finding faith in Jesus through his Muslim background friend Laith! Through their friendship and Laith's witness, Baptiste was open to learning more about the Bible with Parfums de Vie and he started coming home with Laith on the weekends to participate in Parfums de Vie.
At camp, we spent time in scripture everyday, reading and discussing the story of Joseph. Baptiste not only participated, but he engaged very seriously and expressed clearly his desire to know more and to go deeper. Baptiste had a lot of questions and told us that he wanted to continue reading scripture on his own after the camp, so we gave him a Bible of his own. We all wrote an encouraging note inside the Bible, but it's worth translating from French the words of 17 year old Laith: "This is the book that saved me! It brings me encouragement in hard times and I hope with all my heart that it will help you as much as it has helped me."
Will you pray with us for Baptiste? May he follow in Laith's footsteps...
While prayer and reading scripture have always been central to our activities and camps with the children and youth, it was interesting to note that our group of older teens are truly moving into a new season, towards adulting. When they were younger teens, for some years it would often feel like everyone was enduring the Bible Studies and serious conversations - especially in larger groups. Sometimes we would feel discouraged as so often there would be limited participation from the kids. Everyone was happy to play but would roll their eyes when it was time for the Bible Story. But now a few years older, these kids WANT to have serious adult conversations about life, faith, God, scripture, purpose and relationships and they're not afraid to express it! In fact, they are full of questions and it's very obvious that they are listening! It makes me very thankful that we persevered and it reminds me that the younger teens ARE listening even when they're rolling their eyes and it FEELS like they couldn't care less!
Parfums de Vie, and our camps in particular, are really meeting a significant need for these kids who are truly hungry for meaningful community and guidance as they seek to find purpose and direction for their lives. For most of our kids, neither home nor school is a safe place where their questions, struggles and fears can be broached. In fact home and school are a source of discouragement, pain and frustration. For many, home is a stressful (sometimes abusive) place where strict Islamic rules take precedence over relationships. On the other hand school is also unsafe: one of the recurring talking points was the prejudice and lack of expectation that they experience from several of their teachers at school. Laith, Simon and Mahdi have all been advised by their guidance counselors to apply for trade apprenticeships instead of University, despite the fact that many of their French classmates with lesser grades are being encouraged to pursue their College applications!
Despite the reality of our broken world where it would be easy for these kids to feel rejected by French society, it's truly exciting to see them wrestle through what it means to have a healthy sense of identity, learn to believe in themselves, break through the glass ceilings and pursue their dreams. It's also inspiring for the other kids who are just one or two years behind - to see that despite any prejudice or lack of expectation that society might have, these young men who are developing healthy values grounded in scripture are succeeding in school and are en route for University Education! Their academic commitment and their desire to grow in faith and healing provides such a healthy example for the other kids!
At our camp the Bible Study time is essential and formative, but it's the cooking and eating together, the experiencing of challenging and fun outdoor activities together, the late-night chats around the fire-pit that really help to create a unique, special and safe space for this deep, hopeful and healing conversation to happen, far away from the stresses of home and school, the distractions of technology and surrounded by the majestic beauty of nature. Camp is the perfect soil for discipleship.
I became a Christian in High School, and when I was at university I joined a student group where I was discipled by the couple who lead it, Marilyn & Karl (who remain dear friends to this day). They deliberately lived with their young family on campus because they wanted students to have safe space to drop by if they wanted or needed it, and I for one, took them up on that open invitation regularly. I loved showing up to their home, hanging out with their family, watching them parent their kids: they lived a life of faith that I hadn't known in my own home and I remember being so drawn into their loving home and being so full of questions about their lives of faith. They made a choice to live in this missional way: making their lives and their home available and accessible to others based on their belief that "more is caught than taught". In other words they knew that young people learn from Bible studies, but that they learn or "catch" more from experiencing real life and real faith in real community, and they had the courage to live that out with their young family on a noisy university campus when their peers were moving to the suburbs and making very different lifestyle choices.
When I see the hunger for purpose, relationship and community in our 17 and 18 year old students at Parfums de Vie - how they want to hang out with me and Vincent - help with cooking, gardening or whatever, ask questions, listen to what we have to say, and just be around, it reminds me so much of the relationship that I had with Marilyn and Karl when I was a student. I am so incredibly thankful for the choices that they made - to help me and others "catch" a life of purpose and faith.
Thinking back to my own discipleship journey which began in my teens fills me with so much hope for everything that God is accomplishing through Parfums de Vie and our efforts to provide opportunities for children and youth to "catch", experience and embody the Gospel. Our friends Marilyn and Karl had no idea how (or if) Vincent and I would take all that was taught and caught through their student group and run with it. What began at Glasgow University in 1993 eventually found its way to Grasse...and now beyond....Narjes is now at St Andrews' Uni in Scotland. Laith has been accepted to the best business school in The Netherlands. Mahdi hopes to be accepted to University in Italy. Simon and Baptiste hope to study in Nice. And there's many more following close behind! These remarkable teens are future leaders for the Kingdom, and NONE of this would even be possible without YOUR love and partnership with us! Thank you for making it possible for us to serve Christ and raise up the next generation of leaders through the ministry of Parfums de Vie.
with love & thankfulness,
Nicole & Vincent
How to Give?
***If you would like to support the ministry through regular or one-time giving, all the information is below. We continue to raise support towards our General Ministry Fund which covers the operative costs of running our Education & Literacy Center, Kids Clubs, Youth Groups and Camps. We also continue to raise support for our University Fund. Please don't hesitate to contact me for more information! Thank you so much!***
*****Please remember to specify if your gift is for: Parfums de Vie Cote d'Azur Project #70350 OR the DERIEUX family #40415'*****
Phone: 888-242-5930You can make donations over the phone if you prefer. Lynette in the office is amazing and super helpful. Stock donations are also possible, ask Lynette for more details
PO Box 438
Lewiston, ME 04243 - 0438
Email: firstname.lastname@example.orgYou can email the Communitas office for any enquiries about setting up donations.
Dear praying friends,
First of all, my apologies for not sending out my first prayer request for Rusty as a BCC.
Second of all, thank you all for praying for Rusty and for us. We so appreciate your lifting him up to the Great Physician. Please continue to pray for him as cancer was found but thankfully seems to have been contained. More details below.
And now, here is Rusty's update, written by him:
Thank you so much for praying as I went through surgery last week! Recovery has been quick and stress free. I spent the week after surgery with Mike, Tara, and Royan, who took excellent care of me.
As in all things, there is good and bad news. I received the pathology report of the tumor in the middle of last week. Unfortunately cancer was detected in the tumor, labeled seminoma. At this point it appears that the cancer was confined to the testicle. And while there is no indication that the cancer has spread, we will be keeping a close eye on one suspicious lymph node. According to my urologist, seminoma "is the good one to have." It spreads slowly and has a 95% to 99% cure rate, which is incredibly encouraging.
For those interested in the technical stuff, this is currently labeled as T1B.
Last week I also wrapped up my CT scans with a scan of my chest. Praise the Lord it came back clear! In addition, the urologist ordered one more round of blood work, called "tumor markers" yesterday after my post op. They also came back normal!
I'm thankful to have many more answers than I did two weeks ago. So where do I go from here? Based on the suspicious lymph node, I've requested a second opinion from IU Health in Indianapolis. Unknown to me, IU is the world center for testicular cancer. In fact, Lance Armstrong was treated for advanced testicular cancer at IU and lived to tell the tale! So the last week of March I'll spend seeing several oncologists and one more urologist to cover all my bases.
Then we'll be able to make a decision on whether to continue observation or move ahead with a specific treatment.
Thank you for your support during this difficult time. My community here in Warsaw and around the world (literally) has been incredible! Please continue to pray that tumor markers would be clear and that this one lymph node would behave itself!
Please pray for our older son Rusty as he will have surgery this coming week to remove a tumor. Please pray that it all goes well and that the tumor is not cancerous.
The day after Rusty got back from his trip to the Dominican Republic (Feb 19), he had an appointment with his family doctor. The doctor was concerned about a lump and sent him to a urologist. He had that appointment this morning (Feb 25), which led to a CT scan of his abdomen this afternoon. There were no signs of cancer other than the lump/tumor, for which we are thankful. The doctor scheduled surgery for Friday March 5 at 4pm to remove it and in a week will have results about what, if any, cancer there is.
Mike and Tara will take him to the hospital for the surgery, which will be out-patient, lasting about an hour. Then Rusty will stay with them for his recuperation. After seven days, Rusty will be able to return to his normal activities and he'll go in for his post-op check-up, where he'll find out the results of the testing on the tumor and what further treatment might be needed.
He and we appreciate your prayers for him, the doctors and staff that will be attending him, for his recuperation, and for the results of the testing on the tumor.
Thank you for standing with him and us in this. Words can't express our appreciation for you holding Rusty up to the Great Physician as we ask Him for healing.
love, Valerie for all of us
Dear Father Mike,
Thank you for your and your church's interest in our ministry! Here is what we are about:
We are translating God's Word into Quiatoni Zapotec (pronounced key-ah-TOE-ny SAP-of-tek), which is Nicasio's first language. One of the more than 350 indigenous languages spoken in Mexico, it was being spoken before the Spanish arrived so it is completely unrelated to Spanish. (Like all living languages, Quiatoni Zapotec borrows words from Spanish and other languages.) There are about 14,000 people who speak Quiatoni Zapotec, which is located in southern Mexico in the state of Oaxaca (wah-HAH-ka).
Our main goal is Bible translation but since Quiatoni Zapotec doesn't have a written tradition, we also are involved in literacy activities so that when the translation is published people will be able to read it. We are thankful for the bilingual teachers and other individuals who are interested in writing and teaching reading and writing in Quiatoni Zapotec.
We have produced four volumes of songs in QZ, a small Bible dictionary, a workbook for studying the Gospel of John, some Bible story books, and we have dubbed the Jesus film into QZ.
We also work on documenting the language and culture by writing a grammar explaining how the language works (for example, QZ has no equivalents for "yes" and "no"), by compiling a bilingual (QZ and Spanish) dictionary as well as writing up aspects of the culture.
Thank you for your interest in our ministry of Bible translation!
Father Mike, if you would like to include links to materials in QZ:
Scripture Earth gives a list of all the QZ materials available: https://www.scriptureearth.org/00i-Scripture_Index.php?sortby=lang&ISO_ROD_index=252
You'll find links there to read and listen to the Book of Galatians, the Jesus film (also available directly at: https://www.jesusfilm.org/watch/jesus.html/zapotec-san-pedro-quiatoni.html), a link to the SIL site where you can find our literacy books, and links to other information.
We have posted two videos on youtube of QZ songs:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xCPWvYwuYgo&ab_channel=VNRMMTZ (Nicasio, our sons and a friend)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-mSUdVE7z0k&ab_channel=VNRMMTZ (with photos of the Quiatoni area and the words to the song in Zapotec, Spanish and English)
Thank you again!
from Valerie and Nicasio Martinez
Translating God's Word with and for the people who speak Quiatoni Zapotec
How was your February? We’re guessing that many of you dealt with more snow than you had for a long time! This last week has been quite cold for us, down in the low 50s and high 40s at night.
Nicasio is still doing youth group meetings and the Zapotec church service via Zoom. People seem to like it better and better as they get used to using Zoom and talking to a camera instead of people.
Nicasio has also revised some of Acts and finished checking the first part of Deditos (videos made using fingers for puppets; see deditos.org) scripts and songs to dub the videos into Quiatoni Zapotec. These have gone back to Beto for his consideration of the corrections and comments since he’s heading up this project.
Nicasio and Beto have also worked with the two other authors of the book about Quiatoni Zapotec numbers. After I went through it and made some suggestions and corrections, they all went through them. After they made some more changes, Nicasio asked me to read and comment on it again, so I did.
Beto has, for several years, been helping to teach a workshop for indigenous people on how to use LibreOffice. Because of the covid restrictions, the director asked Beto to make a couple of videos for the online students to watch. (Here is one: https://www.powtoon.com/s/gcZRv6veFlD/1/m)
Beto also continues to work on and revise the book of Genesis and the Psalms.
After Nicasio’s parents showed so much interest in reading in Zapotec through the simple puzzles I made them, I decided to make “large print” editions of a couple of our Zapotec books. They have both enjoyed looking at the two volumes of picture dictionaries that we’ve done. Each picture has a word, sometimes a sentence, by it, so it’s pretty easy to read the words.
Nicasio and his siblings have been having weekly meetings to talk about Mom and Dad’s living situation, their fields and house in Quiatoni, etc. About 10 days ago, Nicasio suggested to them that he move out of his office and we make it into a house for them so they can live more independently. (Nicasio’s office is on our other piece of land, right next door to our house and yard.) Dad was all for it right away but it took Nicasio pointing out to his mom all the advantages they would have. She finally agreed to a two month trial, and then there was no stopping them as they got excited about having their own place! Nicasio, on the other hand, was realizing how much he was going to miss having a separate office but had already decided to ask the owners of a couple of unoccupied houses near us if we could rent a room for his office. (Still no answer on that. We’d appreciate your prayers for a good office situation for Nicasio.)
One week from actually starting the change, including building a new bathroom for them, we moved Mom and Dad into their own little house. They seem to be happy there, especially since they have six chicks! Dad is enjoying clearing out the “wild field” that that piece of land had become. Mom’s settling well into the house. When we took them a few more things that they needed, Mom said she felt like a bride, getting so many new kitchen things! We are thankful for friends who gave them some kitchen things, too.
Rusty went to the Dominican Republic for three days as part of his photography job at MudLOVE. You can read and see why they went on MudLOVE.com “What’s Possible in Three Days?”
Meanwhile Mike, Tara and Royan stayed home and battled all the snow the hit that area.
Thank you for your support and prayers for us and for our ministry of Bible translation. Even though we don’t have any special events coming up, we appreciate your prayers for us, for our kids, for Nicasio’s parents, and especially for those who speak Quiatoni Zapotec, that they will come to know Jesus.
love, Valerie and Nicasio
Seeing as all restaurants and cafés are still closed here in France and we have a 6pm curfew, today Vincent and I are chilling at home with our kids...and thankful we're still in love after all these years (we'll celebrate 22 years of marriage this summer!)
Hopefully restaurants, travel and date night will be back on the cards again soon! In the meantime, our beautiful hand-crafted fragrances will transport you to the romantic flower fields of the French Riviera, just spritz your perfume, close your eyes and allow your imagination to take your there!