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

Pray for the Tarahumara Indians!

Dave and I will be working this week with Tarahumara Indian believers, teaching them methods for conducting field surveys and research into unreached people groups. Praise God, there is a growing missionary movement among the small Christian Tarahumara population, and we have the privilege to work with them! We board a bus tonight from Oaxaca that will get us into Mexico City by early Sunday morning. From there we fly to Chihuahua state, followed by another day of ground travel through the Copper Canyon wilderness. Please pray for these tribal believers, that God will impart wisdom through this training.  Pray that… Continue reading

A six-month update from the field…

The middle of August marks our 6-month anniversary working with Etnopedia in Mexico!  Your prayers and financial support continue to help us move forward and accomplish much with this ministry.  As indicated in our last post, we recently made a huge breakthrough in our research of Nepal’s ethnic people groups.  Having this information gathered in one location provides a common ground from which missionary movements in all languages from around the world can collaborate towards reaching the hundreds of nations within Nepal, many of whom still have no access to the Gospel message of Jesus Christ.  Very little is known… Continue reading

Finally, a complete list of Nepal’s people groups!

This week, after over several months of detailed research, I finished and uploaded to Etnopedia a complete list of Nepal’s known ethnic people groups. So what exactly is the significance of such a list and what effect will it have on the Evangelical missionary movement? Short answer: used to its full potential, it will lead to major advances in eventually reaching 450+ people groups who currently have little to no access to the Gospel. Etnopedia serves Evangelical missionary movements around the world by providing information on unreached ethnic people groups.  Armed with this information missionaries can focus their efforts where access… Continue reading

Chiapas – Part 3

After completing our first week in eastern Chiapas our investigation of the Gospel among the Zoque Indians continued in yet another region of the state.  The Zoque people are descendents of the Mayans who inhabited much of present day Chiapas and the Yucatan Peninsula.  Today the Zoques are divided into numerous ethnic groups throughout Chiapas each with distinct variations in their language and culture.  Dave and I gradually made our way back to Tuxtla Gutierrez after many hours in ‘colectivo’ taxi-vans winding through the jungle and mountain roads.  I was very pleased to hear from Megan that she would be… Continue reading

Chiapas – Part 2

Greetings…you’re in Zapatista territory! As mentioned in my previous article, our trip into Chiapas state was an intense one. We accomplished much over a short time period. After training and mobilizing missionary candidates in Pijijiapan, we set out to do field research. The ethnic landscape of Mexico is incredibly complex. Oaxaca state alone where we live is estimated to contain nearly 200 indigenous ethnic people groups, most of them descendents of the ancient Olmec peoples, and each requiring their own Bible translation. The diversity is nearly as great next door in Chiapas state where large indigenous groups descended from the… Continue reading

So what is Etnopedia anyways?

So many of you have taken a sincere interest in Etnopedia and our role in this project. It is so encouraging that you are as excited as we are to work together to accomplish the Great Commission. Etnopedia is a multi-lingual, international community of Evangelical Christians researching unreached people groups and making this information available to missionary movements through an editable website, www.etnopedia.org. Etnopedia has become the world’s most comprehensive source for ethnic people information because its content is as current as the most recent field data collected by its contributors. At a glance it looks a lot like Wikipedia because… Continue reading

Chiapas – Part 1

Last week, Dave and I traveled into the neighboring Chiapas state. As I sat down to write about this intense trip, I realized that it was too much to cram into a single post, so I have broken it down into bite-sized segments. Our purpose in Chiapas included teaching Spanish-speaking believers how to make disciples, mobilizing future missionaries, and assessing the Evangelical Christian movement among indigenous people groups within the far reaches of the state; the Lord allowed us to accomplish much, safely, and in a relatively short amount of time. After a ten-hour overnight bus ride from Oaxaca, we… Continue reading