May 2013

Greetings from the rain forest! I wish there was some way to accurately portray, in pictures, how beautiful it is here right now. May was a very rainy month for us, which is not particularly good for children with cabin-fever. But it sure is great for vegetation! You've never seen so many shades of green all in one place. I will try to get a few pictures of it in the slideshow along with our other report photos for the month.

The team I told you about last month from our home church (Redeemer Baptist in Aurora, CO) ran over into the first wee k of May. For several months, the plan was to recover from the first team and prepare for a second to arrive 5 days later. So when the second team cancelled, we suddenly found ourselves freed up a bit! That's when my sweet husband came up with a plan to go to the beach over Mother's Day. It was a quick 2 day trip, but we had a wonderful time together as a family and with our dear friends Clint and Karen Hough.

When we got home, we started preparations for the next team. The original plan was to take them to visit Tojolobal country for a few days, so Nathan took a scouting trip out there to figure out details. When he got back, he mentioned that he wasn't sure how this trip would pan out. Something about the current plan didn't feel right, but we couldn't put a finger on why. A week later, the hurricane hit and we found out what God had been planning all along for this team. But you'll have to wait for next month to hear about that. ;)

Right after Nathan's scouting trip, our friend Jose arrived from the Ch'ol jungle to do some recording with Nathan. They worked tirelessly for days, making very slow but steady progress. They recorded the new audio line for the Book of Acts video that Nathan has been dubbing into Ch’ol. Jose will be the Narrator for this film playing the part of Luke (who wrote the book of Acts). They finished part 1 out of the 4 parts total… about 1 hour of film done out of 4. Jose is due back here this next week to keep recording. Again, more on that in the next update.

One night in May, another friend (Bernadino) from the Ch'ol area showed up at our front door. He told us of a situation going on in his village that broke our hearts, and we want to ask you to pray with us. Here in Chiapas, denomination is a big deal. Families split over denominational arguments. In this particular village, everyone is Presbyterian. One man decided to branch out, and stopped attending the Presb. church. A little while later he invited a Pentecostal preacher to visit and hold a service in his home. This was unacceptable to the rest of the community and church! The situation built for a while, then expoloded with the man being attacked and badly beaten. He managed to escape and fled to another village, but his truck was burned to the ground and his home was attacked. Thankfully, his wife and kids got out before the mob arrived. The whole village took part in this assault, except for our friend and 5 other men/families. These 6 families are now being menaced and threatened with the same treatment for having not participated. They are also being fined by the village counsel for not attending the “community event”. This all might sound very odd to our American Culture ears, but it is common enough here. Please pray for our friends Bernadino and Eunice as they seek to do the right thing. We have been calling all of our legal defense friends here, and pulling all the strings we know to pull. Please pray that God brings justice and peace to this community. 
A few months ago, I began writing the story of how Nathan and I met and got married. It ended up being a 12 part series! If you are interested in reading, you can click here and then just keep clicking "Next post" at the bottom of each part.
As of right now, we have 3 teams down and 6 to go for 2013. We covet your prayers, as always, and we are deeply grateful for your friendship and support. We could not be here without it!
With love from Chiapas,
Julie
(For Nathan, Cloe, Gabi, Brennah, and Will too!)