Who we are and what we do:
Julie and I are independent missionaries living in the city of San Cristobal, Chiapas Mexico with our children Cloe, Gabi, Brennah and William. We work with local indigenous groups through community development, evangelism and discipleship. With the aim of building and strengthening the local churches. We install water filtration systems and ecological wood stoves to improve quality of life. We dub existing Christian films into the local language. Also we record audio material and develop written tools for indigenous groups that don't have a missionary currently working with them. In addition, we provide logistic support services to various evangelical short term mission teams, i.e. cultural knowledge, transportation, housing, food prep, and interpreters. Julie is organizing support for other missionary wives in the San Cristobal area. We have been sent and are supported by our home church, Redeemer Baptist Church of Aurora, Colorado.
Our goal is to bring God's word to the homes of people in a way that they can understand it. To do this we need the currently translated written Bibles to be recorded in an audio format for use with illiterate people. Also we want to provide at least one evangelistic film and one discipleship film in every language of Chiapas. Also implementing these tools so that every indigenous person may be exposed to the Gospel message in their own heart language.
Indigenous Linguistic Demographic of Mexico:
About 103 million Spanish speakers live in Mexico. Around 270 indigenous languages are spoken here and these represent about 6 million people (compared to 162 languages spoken in the USA). There are also communities where Japanese, Chinese, English, German and Arabic are spoken. The Indians of Mexico are primarily farmers and shepherds, most of the time they don’t read any language (their own or Spanish) and they usually only speak a trade level of Spanish example hello, good bye, how much? Etc. This level of Spanish does not lend itself to evangelism since heart issues like repentance and salvation must be communicated in their heart language to be correctly understood.
Methods for Communication in Mexico:
There are two methods of communicating to an illiterate monolingual:
First and best, another human being preaches the Gospel. Usually this is an indigenous Christian who speaks their language, has a heart for his people and the gift of evangelism. Problem: There are not enough “heart language speaking” evangelists in these languages and training more is still in the works.
So we come to the second choice, anyone who knows how to push the play button shows a “Jesus” film in their language. With this method we can see mass distribution of the same message in an intelligible format that requires very little education. Another advantage is how novel this is in the villages these films are shown in. Often this is the first and only film they have ever seen especially in their own language. It could be about how to break rocks and they would be riveted. Also this method often poses far less of a persecution risk than the open preaching of the gospel in the closed areas of Mexico.
Besides the Jesus film there are many other tools we are using to spread the gospel message. Please visit our projects folder for more information.