Monday, January 27, 2014

Ministry Monday Week #1: No Apostrophes

Aren't the kids good sports to go along with our "selfie" impulses.  It took about 10 tries of course!

Ministry Monday Week #1: No Apostrophes

Sometimes we get to see amazing things and we bust out our cameras and try to capture it and it's just not quite the same.  That is how I feel about trying to describe this weekend, but I will do my best.

Packed and ready for an adventure.
Several weeks ago Sam, along with two recent graduates from Baptist Bible Translators Institute, took a survey trip to a very interesting part of Mexico .  In 1954, Mexico put a dam in the northern part of Oaxaca near the neighboring state of Veracruz.  Thousands of acres of the Mazateca indigenous group's land was covered by water.  Some of the people moved to the water's edge, others remained on the islands created by the lake and some settled on the far side of the lake, which is best accessed by water.  They have carved out a new way of life in this mountainous, tropical lake area.  Banana, mango, papaya, and coconut all grow wild and fishing and hunting are abundant.

Most of the 20,000+ people are more comfortable speaking their indigenous language, but there is no Bible in Mazateca.
Carlos picked us up on the mainland and we headed out to the island.

Any missionary worth their salt will have these essentials with them at almost all times.

It was Haden's seventh birthday.  He got a birthday boat ride.  We'll have ice cream and cake with friends today.

Walking to church.

Overcoming a few obstacles.

Lalo leading service.  It was so great to be there.

Back to the island for lunch.

Basic housing on the island.  They do have electricity, since that is the reason the dam was put in.

Lena playing with the little MK. 
They are having some political turmoil in the area.  When we were there the protest were completely peaceful, but as you can see, it hasn't all been peaceful.  We are praying for the municipal and peace for the area. 

Sugar cane is the main crop.

Recent landslide.  We couldn't see it when we passed through the first time because the fog was so thick.  

It was passable!
Work to bring the Good News to this challenging area in very young, but we were so blessed by our visit with the young missionaries there.  We were able to join them for a church service and it was so exciting to be with all the young believers.

On this trip we strengthen relationships with the Christians already working to reach their people and talked with a man very interested in helping with a translation.  We had a great time exploring this part of the world that not many expats have seen.  How do we know this?  1.) As Hannah said, "It's been a long time since I've been stared at this much."  Not in a rude way, just curiosity at the huge family of blond headed children.   2.) The man who sold us banana chips was sure we were related to the missionary's wife, because she is the only other American who lives in the area.

We also attended services on the mainland.  Adelina made friends with the girls in her class and they asked her about apostrophes, because Spanish does not use apostrophes and they were having trouble with them in their English class.  She was able to give them all a lesson in using apostrophes to show possession and they were all very excited to understand about the mysterious floating comma.

We are excited about continuing to travel to this area to help with the ministry however we can and maybe even someday moving there, but there is lots to do on this side of the mountain right now.  As you can probably imagine staying on the island for any amount of time has its logistical challenges, as most of the food and water we will need to bring with us.  This time we stayed on the mainland and visited the island for a day trip.  Next time we want to spend several days on the island.

The drive over the mountains was very foggy and slow going and the we were very nauseous.  Something that almost never happens to us.  So, the trip was longer than expected.   

Many blessing from the Means Family!


  1. Love this! And we love the Means!!

    1. Thanks! We love you guys also and all the love and prayers you have poured into us.

  2. Terrific! The photos really gave you the feel of it all! God bless!


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