Knowing Him

     “Now this is eternal life: that they know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent.” – John 17:4
“I want to know Christ—yes, to know the power of his resurrection and participation in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death,” – Phil. 3:10

It’s been about four months since our last update on how life is going down here in Mexico. As much as we hope to do all things (including keeping friends and family up to date) as efficiently as possible, we have also hoped to find a good balance to life down here. And this is taking a lot of our time, energy, and resources. Some of what we have been doing is splitting time moving from one house into another, planning a trip to see family for Christmas, learning language full-time, and adjusting to culture… along with all other daily tasks. All these together have been a little more challenging than we initially anticipated.

And over these past four months we also have been identifying more and more expectations that may have been out of place when and since arriving here. After evaluating and talking to the Lord about these things, we have been encouraged to see His hands at work in the refining process of our lives. Some of those expectations have to do with how well we thought we would do when we arrived. We both knew there would be some challenges, but when the rubber meets the road, things tend to change.

Just to give you an idea, here is a list to give you an idea of what we thought would be challenging:

  • Not knowing the language: I (Whitney) knew this meant that I would often feel a bit helpless and needy, like a baby. But as much as I knew this would be a challenge, actually experiencing all my limitations has left me feeling more insecure and needy than ever before.
  • Food allergies and autoimmune issues: We thought this time of experiencing culture shock might hinder Whitney’s ability to learn language and culture, but we were pleasantly surprised that foods in general impact her body less here than in the States.
  • Establishing a routine: We thought being here in Mexico (where we plan to remain permanently) would mean we would be (and feel) settled into a weekly routine by now. However, there are minimal things that are typical, occurring week to week. A move 6 months in does not help with this consistency.
  • Making new Mexican friends: We thought building deep friendships would come naturally as this is a very relationship-oriented culture, but we see now that living in the city adds more busy-ness to both our schedules and our friends’, complicating our ability to grow deeper in friendship with them.

Although life has it’s challenges (as we all know), we also treasure these experiences as they thrust us more into the arms of Jesus and cause us to trust Him for something so much bigger than our circumstances. So much bigger than any work we could set out to get done. The Lord has been challenging our hearts with this idea as we contemplate these realities: Our life and everything in it should be about knowing Christ and making Him known.

So, we have been asking ourselves “What does it mean to know Him?”

Does it mean we already should have a thriving ministry where we communicate to those around us in a profound way on a regular basis? …Probably not. I (Whitney) am still at the beginning stages of learning Spanish.

We were encouraged this week during a discipleship time with friends that our lives should reflect the person and character of Jesus. It’s that simple. But is it REALLY simple?

Does knowing Him mean ministry and obedience will come easily?

We would say no. The apostle Paul writes to his supporting church in Philippi “that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death” (Phil.3:10, NASB).

The fellowship of His suffering and being confirmed to Jesus’s death has everything to do with knowing Jesus and making Him known.

Living down here in Mexico…feeling like babies as we are not able to communicate what we want how we want…is part of this refining process of knowing Jesus. Living life rather peacefully and being in a groove and then coming down with sickness after sickness is also a part of the fellowship with Christ in suffering with the goal of being conformed to His likeness.

People and the world take note of us when we go through trials. We are being reminded that God is using trials (however small or big) in our lives to get us to turn to Him. God wants us to see Him through it all. The Holy Spirit living inside of us desires that we surrender our lives to be led and directed by what matters to Him. The fruit of the Spirit made manifest through our mortal bodies is a goal we have. Obedience is not the thrust of faithfulness, but it is an outcome of abiding in the Spirit which takes us into those opportunities to find fellowship with Christ in His suffering.

A missionary friend of ours spent 40 years translating the New Testament for the Tepehuan Church. There were many reasons why it took so long. A lot of these were due to the trials that he and his family faced, and yet he was faithful in seeing the New Testament translated into the heart language of the Tepehuan people. His faithfulness inspires us to keep pursing what Christ has for us.

But if you were to look at the ‘evidence’ for who it seems the translation is being used, you would find at best a dozen Tepehuan Christians who are reading it and are incorporating it into their daily need for sustenance. For us this is a testament that even our faithfulness to the Lord might not produce the ‘fruit’ that we can see in our lifetime. Even so we are called to remain faithful especially through the trials that we face so that we know Jesus more and so that others see Jesus for themselves.

And so, with all that said, we see that the last few months have been filled with a few opportunities to step into what God is doing.

  • At the beginning of December, we were able to participate with about 40 Tepehuan people here in the city and celebrate. We sang songs, we heard from the Word of God, we hit a piñata, we gave out candy and small gifts, we played volleyball, and we were able through all of this to hopefully demonstrate through word and deed the love of Christ to our friends.
  • Also a few women from here in the city (one woman from church and another who is working for Ethnos Mexico) recently offered to be additional language helpers for Whitney which will help her tremendously in Spanish study!
  • And renting a new house has provided us with a plethora of new cultural experiences. We spent quite a bit of time making the house a safe place for our family to live which included installing security cameras. We fixed water leaks/gas leaks, painted walls, furnished our bedrooms and living room and bought big appliances for the first time. Because the house we are renting sat empty for a number of years, our landlord is learning with us what different things the house needs fixed as we have conversations with her on what is needed to be updated. Pray that we can be light to our landlord and show her Christ’s love as we live here.

 

  PRAYER & PRAISES

  • PRAISE the Lord! We are moved into a new house!

  • PRAISE the Lord! We had a good trip to Missouri and back. We wish we could have seen more people, but we are thankful for the time that God did give us in seeing JJ’s grandpa over Christmas.

  • Pray for the relationships we have with our friends as well as those we have yet to meet. Most of our friends are Christians, but we do have some friends who are not Christians who we are excited to be getting to know.

  • Coco starts a new semester of kindergarten this Tuesday, January 9th. Pray for a good semester for her and the other students of the missionary kid school.  

  • We would love if you would pray for diligence in study and for us to progress in Spanish. JJ as his second eval and Whitney has her first language evaluation in the beginning of March!

  • Pray for JJ’s grandpa Paul Wyma. He is undergoing his second round of chemo and also has some other medical things going on with his lungs. He has been of and on battling fevers and his doctors are aware of his situation. We would love him to feel well soon!
  • Like all of us we are experiencing the result of what is happening around the world. With that has come an increase in our required monthly financial income. We now need an additional $1,000 of monthly financial partnerships to make it to our monthly goal.
  • We are trusting the Lord to save up for a more reliable vehicle that could also take us to more remote parts of the country. Click here to see that need and how you could contribute to that need.
  • Please let us know how we can be praising the Lord with you and/or praying for you. We would be blessed by hearing from you!

  Life Lessons…Always Shifting yet Staying Anchored

Life throws so much at us. God is challenging us to allow those shifts in life to anchor us stronger and tighter to Him. Being anchored does not mean we won’t feel tossed or be tossed, but it gives us hope that the One who anchors us has us in His hands and loves us so deeply. 

His love enables us to know Him and make Him known. And He often uses trials and sufferings in life to do just that.

THANK YOU fellow teammates!         

Our Current Monthly Need: $1,000 Monthly 

Click here if you want to help: Fund Our Ministry

The numbers

In order to be 100% funded, we NOWneed $1,000 more in monthly support.  If the Lord is prodding at your heart at being a part in what He is doing through us, please reach out to us! Our required support has increased this year and we are $1,000 shy of making it to our goal of 100% monthly income. If you would want to join our team by contributing financially monthly, we would be so grateful. Also, we are trusting the Lord to save for a vehicle that could handle the mountain roads. If you want to make a donation toward that, you can make a donation by clicking the green “DONATE” button that you see on the upper right corner of the website.

Our Current Needs

Thank you so much for partnering with us to see God’s name be known down here in Mexico! A special shoutout to those of you who donated extra so that we could make our move successful. God is using you in mighty ways and we are blown away to be recipients of His grace! God has a unique way of providing all we need. We believe that every contribution counts: $10, $20, $50, $100 or $500 per month, we value each and every gift as it enables us to fulfill our calling. We are amazed by the generosity of those who have partnered with us so far, and we are excited to see how the Lord will continue to provide through willing hearts. If you know of others who might share our passion for God’s work, please connect them with us. Together, we can make a impact in advancing His kingdom. Thank you for considering how you can contribute to this incredible journey. Let’s join hands and make a difference for God’s glory!

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