Learning Language and Culture

A HUGE aspect to missionary living is accepting the role of a learner. As a family we are entering into a new culture.

  • We are hearing people talk differently than we do
  • We are seeing that people do things differently than we do. We are seeing that a whole community operates on a totally different time schedule than we are used to
  • We are smelling some different aromas that our little noses are not used to
  • We are tasting foods that we are not used to eating

We are learning that there is nothing inherently wrong with differences like these. We are learning that in order to win peoples hearts we first must earn their respect and demonstrate that we care for them. 

A lot of this learning is happening as we live life down here and rub shoulders with people.

BUT 

We are also blessed to have individuals who are helping us become familiar with language and culture. One of those tools is a 5 to 6 week crash course, “Takeoff.” Because of the dynamic of the missionaries who are just arriving (some are coming in with little to no Spanish and some are coming in with more than that) this Takeoff course has been subdivided into two smaller groups. 

We are being familiarized to different aspects of grammar and vocabulary as our language instructor guides different discussions and activities to push us where we need to be pushed.

  PRAYER & PRAISES

  • We are thanking the Lord for how the semester has started as Coco has started Kindergarten and we have started Spanish study!
  • Pray that we can be patient and wait on the Lord to guide us to a house. Come December we will be moving again and this time we will be starting from ground zero furnishing a house and making it a home.
  • Pray for Whitney’s health. She has been managing pain in her neck for the past two or so weeks and we are thinking through ways to get it checked out.
  • Pray that we stay diligent in learning Spanish as well as have open hearts to serve in the different ways we can. Pray especially for our times in the afternoons on Sundays. Pray for the hearts of the kids and adults who come!
  • We are humbled. God continues to build our team as we are down here. Praise the Lord with us! We are so thankful for God’s provision for our needs. Thank you for your prayers and partnership! We still need $800 of monthly financial partnerships to make it to our monthly goal.
  • Also, we are trusting the Lord for some needs for our up-and-coming move. Click here to see those needs
  • Please let us know how we can be praising the Lord with you and/or praying for you. Ministry is not about just a JJ and Whitney and family thing, we want to and need to hear from you too. We would be blessed by hearing from you!

Seeing the Body of Christ at Work

Have you ever been apart of a team? What experiences have you had?

If your experience is like ours, many times there is friction and failure when people come together to accomplish something. At least at the beginning of getting a job accomplished there can be a lot of room for growth and learning how to work well with each member of a team. It takes time to figure out how you can best contribute to see the purpose of the team accomplished. Often times there is so much friction that people cannot stand up to the heat of the situation and they move on.

One aspect of team that we have been thinking about lately is that of the Church and what Christ has given to her to steward and see Him accomplish through her. We won’t go into everything that detour members of the body of Christ away from working together, but it is a reality.

And so when we see the body of Christ working together in harmony and in unity there is REASON TO CELEBRATE!

Reality check: God is working in the lives of His children. His children can be found in so many areas, and it is so exciting to see His children, the Bride of Christ, working together the way that God intended. 

We got to share in a little bit of this reality. A family from Capilla Calvario Chihuahua asked if we would want to have the Tepehuan study at their house which has a couple acres of land, a nice 4 foot deep swimming pool, and space to run around. This family offered to feed us as well, and oh how they did so! They had a 5 course meal that we ate in stages {nachos, hamburgers, hotdogs, cake with ice cream, and then of course coffee!). CELEBRATE WITH US!! It’s so cool to see the body of Christ in action!

Mexican Independence!

The Mexican Independence Day is celebrated on September 16. This month while driving we actually spotted a sign that said, “The most Mexican month of the year.” And boy, do they know how to celebrate! 

We were able to see first hand how the people of Chihuahua celebrate their love for Mexico. As a group of 19 people we experienced the Mexican festivities of “El Grito” (The Scream). Here is how it went down. They celebrated (screaming for joy) all night and into the morning until after 3:00am. 

We took the city bus to downtown. We felt like sardines (although I have never asked a sardine how they feel) in the bus that was transporting us to the place where everything was happening. We got off the bus and had to walk a couple hundred yards. As we did, there were venders selling all kinds of delicious Mexican food and candy. After we got some food in out system, we walked through security as we headed deeper into the congestion of people. The weather looked like it might rain and so there were people who came prepared with umbrella’s, but security was confiscating umbrella’s as we entered.

We squeezed our way to a place where we ‘settled’ for the majority of the night. Thousands of people were gathering: standing room only. It started off with music until about 11:00pm or so. Just think, concert with music so loud your eardrums are bouncing inside your head and you can’t even yell loud enough for the person next to you to hear you! (I was only thinking how much damage was being done to my poor ears that I need to learn languages!) This went on for 3 to 4 hours with people ‘dancing’ in their spots. There were some bands who even played some songs in English including a song by One Direction!

After the music there was a transition where we saw a couple solders on the big screen. They were marching the Mexican flag to the governor of Chihuahua in the governors palace. Upon receiving the flag, she walked up to the balcony with flag in hand. She stood it up beside her and then began “el Grito” where she was ‘screaming,’ “Live Chihuahua,” “Viva Mexico,” and the people would respond “Viva!” (live!”). She went through a number of important and legendary people in Mexican history and the people responded with “Viva!” After several minutes of getting the crowd into it, she then took the flag and waved it back and forth from the balcony as the crowd cheered with joy! We then sang the Mexican national anthem and the state song before we enjoyed a spectacular fireworks show. After the fireworks, the rain started to come down. There were crews covering instruments and speakers, and from the outside it looked almost as if they might be done for the night. But no! They said they were preparing for 3 plus more hours of singing and celebrating! 

Once the rain started coming down after the fireworks, a group decided that it would be good to start the track back home via the city bus. We joined this group home and we arrived home just after 1:00am. 

We are so thankful for JJ’s brother and sister-in-law who took our kids for the night! Thank you Caleb and Emily! The kids enjoyed hanging out with their cousins while we experienced ‘el Grito.’ 

  Life Lessons…Focusing on what we can Celebrate

So much of how we go through life is centered around where we chose to put our focus and what we allow to move us. Celebrating based off of our circumstances can be unstable. Knowing whose we are and understanding the importance of what God desires from us are anchors to the soul. 

Hope in the gospel and the hope of the gospel are REAL reasons to celebrate. From this perspective we than can celebrate what the Lord gives to us, like Independence Day, the uncertainty/excitement of another move, and getting to explore and get to know more of where we live.

THANK YOU fellow teammates!         

Our Current Monthly Need: $800 Monthly 

Click here if you want to help: Fund Our Ministry

The numbers:

In order to be 100% funded, we still need $800 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!

On top of our monthly support needs, we are seeing the need to save for our up-and-coming move. Moves cost money, and we have put together some lists of what we are looking to get. We also have different funds where you can contribute to whether that be for furnishing our new house or a vehicle we are hoping to get within the next year. Here is the link to see this page on our website:

Our Current Needs

Thank you so much for partnering with us to see God’s name be known down here in Mexico!

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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