Update and Prayer Requests: February 2022
Valerie and Nicasio Martinez
Translating God's Word with and for the people who speak Quiatoni Zapotec
This month has been a busy one—and we could have done without some of the events. Read on to see what the roller coaster was like!
We mentioned last month that Nicasio will be the coordinator for a class on translation for the Master’s Program at his university and that SIL will supply the actual teachers. They have had several good meetings and this class will start on March 3, every Thursday into July. We appreciate your prayers that it will all go well.
I have been attending the on-line course twice a week on Scripture engagement. (It “gives the big picture of Scripture Engagement, building and expanding on long established insights about how people engage with Scripture - and why sometimes they don’t.”) It has been very interesting and helpful in thinking about what we can do to encourage the Quiatoni pastors and others to take advantage of having God’s Word in their own language. They are so convinced that Spanish is better than Zapotec and that Spanish is “church language.” Please pray for their hearts and minds to be open to using the language they understand the best.
A neat side-light from the class is seeing how many of the things they recommend doing Nicasio has done without having had a class on this! The course says that relationships and partnerships are the most important factors in Scripture engagement and Nicasio has been doing that naturally all these years. I’m so thankful for the gifts God has given him.
When Nicasio approached Pastor and co-pastor about the Zapotec service returning to in-person services,* he was told he had to talk to the church council. When he told all those who attend the (online) Zapotec service that, they all said they were going with him to meet with the council! The council wanted to reach a "good agreement" but they had already prepared their terms for us to return to church, which included completely canceling the Zapotec service. Now, that was a big blow. The meeting went for three hours; Nicasio and lots of "our" people spoke up. A “good agreement” was finally reached when Pastor and the council agreed to letting the Zapotec service resume in the church after we’d been attending for six months. (There were some other minor conditions, too.) Meanwhile, we continue to hold the Zapotec service online. Please pray for us as we re-integrate into the church and that those who see us as causing problems will see that that is not true.
Early in February my computer “seized up,” as my dad would have said; the computer guys say it crashed. I’m very thankful that the local computer guy was able to save all my data and get the computer working again. It’s even faster than it was before! Unfortunately, my email took the brunt of the crash and I’m still working on rescuing what I can of that. We are so dependent on our computers for work so our computers can use your prayers, too!
Some really good news is that Nicasio went to an eye doctor to see how his eyes are doing since he has gloucoma. (This was found years ago and he’s been using drops since then but hasn’t had many check-ups.) The doctor changed him to another drop but we are so thankful that the doctor found no indication of damage or loss of sight! Thank God with us!
Beto is starting his last semester of college! We continue to be impressed with his abilities and how he loves to learn. He’s also making progress on translating Proverbs (done through chapter 17) to attend workshop later this year.
Thank you for praying for us, for our ministry of Bible translation, for our family (they are all fine; Rusty arrives March 1 for a week’s visit!), for Beto and his family, and for all those who speak Quiatoni Zapotec, that they may come to know Jesus through their own language.
Valerie and Nicasio
*Nicasio canceled in-person Zapotec services when the government regulations prohibited group meetings in March 2020. Since January 2021, we have been meeting online for the Zapotec services.