Valerie and Nicasio Martinez
Translating God's Word with and for the people who speak Quiatoni Zapotec
We began October by participating in a four day missions conference and ended October by participating in a four day conference in Spanish on Scripture engagement and digital distribution.
The Global Missions Conference, hosted by The Chapel (Sandusky, OH), was an amazing experience! They used great creativity, variety, and organization in all the “public” events (church services, family night, 60+ folks, etc.). Each mission that was represented was encouraged and enabled to tell what they do for God’s Kingdom. The Chapel treated all of us missionaries like royalty: Besides the public events, there were meetings for just the missionaries, the missionaries with the church staff, with their host families, etc. The Chapel packed in so much during those four days—and still gave us time to rest and relax. We are so thankful for The Chapel, for allowing us to participate, and for The Chapel being so missions-minded.
We had ended September by going from Rusty’s home (Winona Lake, IN) to northern Ohio to visit family, friends and supporters before the missions conference started. After the missions conference ended, we returned to Rusty’s home and visited a few more people as well as spending time with Mike, Tara and Royan. Those were special times!
This trip was such a blessing to us! (For those of you who like statistics: in the eight days we were in Ohio, we visited 15 different sets of people, had amazing amounts of ice cream as well as many delicious meals, participated in the missions conference with seven “public” and four “private” events, with lots of visiting before, during and after the events, and drove more than 630 miles. Nicasio participated in his on-line Master’s degree class and gave his live, 10 minute presentation for UNESCO, too.)
Beto told us that he learned so much during the Proverbs workshop. He said that he had learned from Nicasio to read through the whole book and follow the thread through it, looking at the context of each part, but that didn’t work for Proverbs! He learned about Hebrew poetry, parallelism, and how to translate the harder verses in Proverbs.
Candy has been recording about two minutes of Scripture in Zapotec and sending them via WhatsApp to family and friends. When she finished the Gospel of John, she asked Beto what she should do next. He suggested Proverbs so she’s been sending that. She told us that she’s learned a lot from reading and recording them in Zapotec!
October 22 Beto graduated from college with a degree in Teaching Foreign Languages, with a specialization in English!
Last Monday (Oct. 24), Beto, Candy, Nicasio and I drove to a small town north of Mexico City to attend a four day conference in Spanish on Scripture engagement and digital distribution. We all learned so much! Each day there were a devotional and a plenary presentation for everyone. Nicasio gave the plenary on Friday and did an excellent job exploring indigenous identity, what it means to be a Christian when the church (building) isn’t available (covid restrictions), and how we need to remember that people are more important than the church building and all our programs.
We also chose workshops to attend for two hours each morning: Candy chose “I am indigenous and a follower of Christ;” Beto attended the audio recording workshop; Nicasio and I learned how to better use the translation program. In the afternoon, there was a variety of mini-workshops for each participant to choose a different one each day. We learned a lot from each of these, too!
Different ministries had exhibition tables to tell about their focus of ministry. We were delighted to receive two samples of small devices for audio recordings. People usually get these when their New Testaments are completed so that people can easily listen to God’s Word in their own language. We are excited that Kulumi ministry (kulumi.org) offered to send us a starter package of 15 devices, five like the samples we were given as well as five each of their two other models. We look forward to sharing these with people we know will use them! And we look forward to the day when we can buy lots of them to share with many other people to listen to God’s Word in Quiatoni Zapotec.
Each evening there was a free time for anyone who wanted to sing a song, share a testimony or something that encouraged them. The first night, Beto, Candy and Nicasio sang a song in Zapotec. Thursday evening, Beto shared how the Zapotec church service is changing people and Candy shared how she has been recording and sharing the translation with family and friends via WhatsApp. We are so proud of them! Candy had been saying that she wasn’t going to talk to so many people (about 180 people attended the conference) but when the time came, she went up with Beto. She said that she had told Beto she wasn’t going to but when a family went up to sing a song and their young daughter (maybe 8 years old) sang a solo, Candy felt that if that little girl could do it, she could, too! People really enjoyed their presentation, which they ended with a song in Zapotec.
Thank you for praying for us with all this traveling. We are so thankful that our car started making an odd noise when Nicasio was moving it to the parking lot at the conference. One of the cooks took him to a local mechanic, who found that a bolt hadn’t been tightened when our local mechanics had worked on the car the week before the conference. We are thankful it didn’t come loose on our way there or on our way home. We are thankful for God’s protection then as well as many other times.
November 8 we will go to Quiatoni’s second largest town to teach a group of bilingual teachers how to hear and write Quiatoni Zapotec. There will be four sessions all together in November and December. We appreciate your prayers as we travel there (1.5 hours each way) and as we interact with the teachers.
Thank you for being part of our team, making all this possible through your prayers, interest and support. We thank God for YOU!
love, Valerie and Nicasio
PS Here’s a picture of all of us!