We rang in the New Year 3,000 miles apart this year. Cloe and I were up in Colorado with my family (in the middle of another snow storm!) and were both in bed and sound asleep by 10. HA! Nathan was still with his first tourist clients. New Year’s Day saw them exploring ruins and waterfalls… they had a great time!
The day after Nathan’s clients left, a group of Texas A&M Aggies (and a few church leaders with them) arrived and began their mission trip out in the Tojolabal jungle in a place called Nuevo Virginia . They spent 4 days there holding basketball tournaments by day and showing Gospel films by night. Nathan got to reff. a lot of these games and got a good tan. They were excited to see several people ask to receive Christ over the weekend while they were there. Nathan was very excited to find two Christian men there who are interested in seeing Christian churches started among the Tojolabals. Please pray for us as we are still trying to find the best way to “plug them in”. The night before the team flew out, Cloe and I flew in from CO. The next day we were finally home and Cloe was so happy to have things back to normal! That only lasted a day or two though before I got really sick (I think a mix of morning sickness and giardia) and Daddy had Cloe all to himself for a few days! They loved all the time together of course, and he takes wonderful care of her.
I finally recovered enough that Nathan could leave us alone for a while, and then he was off to the jungle for 3 days to work on the house project in San Fernando ! Last month they completed the roof and electrical work. We are hoping that this supervising of construction projects goes well. It may become a more long term funding source if it continues to work out.
Over the course of January, Nathan took two trips out into a lowland jungle area that has been completely neglected by evangelical missions. He and our friend Steve Haag are making an attempt to reach the Zoque Indians in this part of Chiapas , but until recently we weren’t even sure of what was out there! Nathan took a scouting trip with a pastor friend who is familiar with the area, and then went back the next weekend with Steve after he arrived. They collected a lot of information on that trip, and now have a good idea of what the needs are. There are no Bible-preaching churches in 15 of the 17 villages that they surveyed, which is obviously the greatest need. All the houses use open fires to cook on, which fills the house with smoke day and night… this is another huge need as these people are all developing awful lung infections and cancers. Clean drinking water, education, nutrition, and economics are some of the other areas that we see a great need in. We are excited to see what God is going to do in this area. We’ve experienced some spiritual opposition going into this part of the world, and it’s become obvious to us that satan is not real thrilled with us being out there! I actually find that encouraging, because that means there is something there that he is willing to fight for. We’re willing to fight for it as well, because we know our God is greater than anything we might come up against. We would appreciate your prayers as the real work begins with the Zoque people. There are some very exciting possibilities on the horizon but those will have to wait for the next update!
I am writing this update from Aurora , CO ! Due to several random issues that came up, we realized we needed to come spend some time up here, and arrived last week. Nathan is working for my dad at his steel fabrication shop in Pueblo , and Cloe and I are staying home with my mom and siblings. My morning sickness has gotten SO much better the last few weeks… we are officially 13 weeks along now! Thank you so much for your prayers and encouraging emails. It’s starting to look like we’ll be coming back up to the States to have the baby, though the “how” of that is still rather unknown. We still very much need your prayers as we try to make decisions regarding how to get back up here, when to come back, what method to use for birth (midwife or regular Dr), how long to stay before returning to Mexico, etc. We are here in CO for almost 2 months, and will be heading back to Mexico the week after Easter. While here, we have total access to our e-mail and cell phone, so feel free to write or call! Since we will basically be just working and trying to save up some money, there won’t be anything to report until we get back to Chiapas the end of April. I’ll write again soon after that!
Blessings, Julie (for Nathan and Cloe too)
This Month's Pictures
Jesus films at night
River crossing in the jungle
Nathan asking survey questons
A small waterfall
Watching the Jesus film in Zoque