The drive north

We are now back in Florida. And far from a leisurely joyride, the drive from Oaxaca, Mexico, to Texas was nothing short of an adventure! It certainly showcased God’s grace and protection, for which we are so thankful. While reviewing our ‘exit plan’ out of Mexico a couple of months ago, Megan and I debated whether or not she should travel by road with me. Anticipating difficulties on the road in light of her going into the third trimester of our pregnancy however, we felt it best that she fly back in advance to Florida. I have driven in many countries. Few match… Continue reading

Heading north towards the border – Please Pray!

Quick update: Megan has been in Florida the past couple of weeks searching for a doctor to deliver our baby there. Drake has meanwhile been finishing up work in Oaxaca while preparing to drive from Oaxaca to the States – where he can’t wait to see his wife again! Drake plans to make the 5-6 hour drive to Mexico City on Saturday. There he will meet his dad who’s flying in from Germany. From there they will make their way north towards the US border, which they plan to do over two days. Please pray for safety on the road… Continue reading

Empowering the Indigenous Missionary

Who are the indigenous people of the world? My own experiences serving in Mexico, South America and Southeast Asia have enlightened me to the reality that the term ‘indigenous’ is largely misunderstood in the Christian church. Indigenous peoples are too often confused with what are in fact ‘nationals’; Spanish-speaking Mexicans or Peruvians, Portuguese-speaking Brazilians, Nepali-speaking people of Nepal, etc., are all nationals. Wikipedia defines indigenous peoples as “the ethnic minorities who have been marginalized as their historical territories became part of a state.”In context of the Great Commission, the Tijaltepec Mixteco Indians of Mexico, Amahuacas of Brazil, and the Raute of Nepal are indigenous peoples. They are “tribes, tongues and nations” still living… Continue reading

Missions & Mapping

Over the past year we have been blessed to serve countless missionary movements around the world through our research and by producing detailed maps of the locations of people groups – from as close to home as Oaxaca, Mexico, to as far away as the Amazon Basin and across to the world to Africa and Asia! And though many of these maps have been printed and are in the hands of field missionaries, mapping for missions will be an ongoing process until the day Jesus returns. For that reason, we have integrated a mapping system within Etnopedia (see our Nepal page in… Continue reading

A Successful Journey to Guerrero

Drake recently returned from a long journey into Guerrero state where he worked with indigenous believers from various Me’phaa Indian tribes who are training to become missionaries to their own people as well as to other tribes over a very large region. Before setting out, Drake published a series of maps of the Me’phaa region on which the Me’phaa Indians could identify their own village locations and where the gospel is presently available, specifically in their own language.  In the process they identified many places that do not have acces to the gospel, as well as places where Christians are still systematically… Continue reading

A wonderfully eventful summer!

The past few months have been incredibly busy ones for us and our ministry, with our time divided among many dear people and ministry partners – in Mexico, the United States, and South America. In May, Megan traveled to North Carolina where she underwent several weeks of intensive field medical and health evangelism training. The practical knowledge she acquired during that time is vital to our ministry, not only in terms of first-aid for unforeseen medical situations we may encounter in the field, but to equip others: training field missionaries ministering to remote people groups who lack not only access… Continue reading

The People of Nepal

While living in a remote village among the Chayahuita Indians in the Amazon jungle in 2003, a well respected mentor of mine named Paul Johnson gave me a simple answer to a burning question: “I see the need, now how do I serve?” Discerning my gifts, his immediate answer was “We NEED researchers”. Okay, the answer made perfect sense to me in theory, but turning that theory into reality would require years of follow-through, punctuated by far more times of discouragement than affirmation. I am certainly no more spiritual than any other Christ-follower. But only by trusting God with the… Continue reading

A Glimpse into the Mixtecs of Mexico

Imagine, almost every town within your own home state speaks a completely different language. The country at large speaks a common national language, you’ve heard it but are suspicious of those who speak it. Few people in your own community really know it, or even care to. You speak the tongue of your ancestors, why give that up? Imagine…no two neighboring towns get along. Confrontations over municipal borders, religions, ethnic pride, even sporting rivalries, frequently result in deadly armed skirmishes, or ‘range wars’. Imagine, your town demands your complete unwavering loyalty. You have mandatory community workdays; if you ever leave… Continue reading

…welcoming a New Year of faith and trust

Reflecting on the past year, I’m amazed by how incredible it has been for us. 2011 arrived in an unusual way, under rather bleak circumstances that God ultimately used to radically refocus us on what matters most – Him – for the year ahead. I spent the final hours of 2010 in a U.S. military medical facility near Schwedelbach, Germany, incredibly sick with pneumonia. From the hospital bed I heard nothing in the way of fireworks or celebrations outside in the cold as midnight, and the New Year, gradually approached. The hours passed and my condition only worsened, with declining… Continue reading

Training missionaries among the Tarahumaras!

The beautiful, vast Copper Canyon (Barranca del Cobre) wilderness of western Chihuahua state contains canyons deeper than any found in the United States.  Its native inhabitants, the Rarámuri (or Tarahumara) Indians, sought refuge here from Spanish invaders in the sixteenth century.  Today they number from 50,000-100,000, although no one really knows. The Tarahumaras typically live in small earthen dwellings scattered over hundreds of miles of some of the world’s most inhospitable terrain. Though collectively known as ‘Tarahumara’, they actually span a vast cultural landscape with numerous distinct languages and ethnicities. The Tarahumaras have gained much renown worldwide for their near-superhuman ability to… Continue reading