Archive for November, 2018

God’s Work in Mitla

SIL Missionaries in Mitla, Oaxaca

I made it back home from my ministry trip to Mitla, Oaxaca, Mexico. I must admit I’m tired, and it wasn’t an easy trip, but I’m encouraged by what the Lord did through my time in Oaxaca. It was amazing for me to get to know and learn more about the Summer Institute of Linguistics (SIL) missionaries.

I was in the city of Mitla in the state of Oaxaca in Mexico. SIL has a center there for much of the training and the translation they do. I enjoyed training the SIL missionaries and getting to know their stories.

Of course, while I was gone it seemed like the whole world’s attention was on the caravan arriving on the border. Which is ironic, since that’s where I live, but I wasn’t here when all the action was beginning.

My Highlights From Mitla

Ryan teaching a complicated (for me) training module on translation

One of the highlights for me was when one of the participants was leading his practice teaching session. He decided to do a lesson on some technical ideas related to translation. I was immediately lost. All the people at my table lit up with excitement and looked at me. I could tell that this was something they loved, and they take a healthy bit of pride in their trade.

They were so excited that they could help me as I looked on bewildered as Ryan led the session. I didn’t understand much of anything that they were talking about, but they assured me it was basic or beginners level. Well, even though I didn’t have a clue it was enjoyable to see them get so worked up about their craft.

The Many Languages of Mexico

Having some fun putting our learning to music

I learned during my time with my new friends that there are approximately 365 languages spoken in Mexico. That is the 5th highest number of languages spoken among all the countries in the world. The Bible has been translated in 150 of the languages in Mexico. SIL is currently working on 70 more languages. Some of the translations take 34 years or more, which is hard to imagine.

These missionaries go into villages with almost no access to the outside world for months at a time while they are working on the translation projects. Since I’ve always done my missionary work in large cities it’s hard to imagine living and working in these remote areas.

Join Us in Prayer

Mitla, known as the city of the dead

I thank the Lord for the work of SIL and the opportunity the Lord gave me to train and get to know these very committed servants. Dawn and I would appreciate your prayers for the ministry of SIL and for future opportunities to partner together with them and others for the kingdom.

We’d also appreciate your prayers as we head to Colorado this week to celebrate Thanksgiving with our two boys, David and Jonathan. Then our son Jonathan will be married on December 1, and I will be performing the wedding ceremony.

In His Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org

Training Translators in Mitla, Oaxaca

Dave leading a training session with SIL missionaries in Mitla, Oaxaca Mexico

This week I have the privilege of training the Summer of Institute of Linguistics (SIL) missionaries in Mitla, Oaxaca Mexico. Mitla is known as the city of the dead. Wikipedia states, “The name Mitla is derived from the Nahuatl name Mictlán, which was the place of the dead or underworld.” In the spiritual sense it doesn’t have the greatest history, and there is much need in this area.

There are a number of indigenous groups in the state of Oaxaca that do not have the Bible in their own language. It’s amazing to me as I talk to the SIL missionaries about their translation work. Some of them travel back and forth to small and isolated villages. They’ve put in years of hard work in seeking to bring the Bible into the native tongue of the many tribal groups that live in this part of Mexico.

The Amazing Work of SIL Missionaries

A fun and active training session

No one can question the commitment these missionaries have to bringing the Word of God the gospel to lost and hurting people. One particular woman I met has spent 32 years working on translation for one particular tribal group. Usually it doesn’t take that long to translate the Bible, but sometimes it does. I met others who’ve spent 16 years working with a team to translate the Bible. The work of translation is a long and laborious ministry of love.

Another thing that impresses me about the SIL missionaries is that they are extremely intelligent. Can you imagine all the work and training involved in learning how to translate the Bible into another language. It’s complicated and strenuous work.

Jim DeWitt leading the training at the SIL center in Mitla

My good friend and colleague Jim DeWitt invited to join him and to be part of the training team as we train the SIL missionaries in train the trainer material. It’s an excellent resource for them, and I wonderful for me to serve in this way. Jim grew up as an MK, missionary kid in Mexico. His parents served with Wycliffe in Mexico, so he has deep roots here.

Join Us in Prayer!

Pray for Mitla and the many Unreached indigenous groups in Oaxaca, Mexico

Pray with us that the Lord will use our team as we minister to these missionaries this week. It’s a great opportunity to influence them and be used to help them improve in the very important work they are doing!

Thank you so much for standing with us and for praying for us!

In His Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org

More Opportunities to Minister!

Today I begin a new adventure. I’m on my way to Oaxaca, Mexico to train fellow missionaries. This is my first time to this part of Mexico. I appreciate your prayers as we begin to prep for the training tomorrow.

Pastor Luis with his wife, Gina and their son

Pastor Luis with his wife, Gina and their son

In my last post, I wrote about what the Lord did when we were in Villahermosa, Mexico with Pastor Luis Alberto and his wife, Gina. That was such a good time of ministry, and I believe that it was just the beginning of what King Jesus wants to do. When I see the Lord at work it stokes the passion in me.

Pastor Luis has been following up on the people that Dawn and I had a chance to minister to while we were there. He asked me to pray for him and the people that he is reaching out to.

Freedom in Christ in Villahermosa
The Youth leading us in worship at the mother church where Luis is pastor

The Youth leading us in worship at the mother church where Luis is the pastor. The worship helped set the stage for the freedom that followed!

I mentioned in my last post how I had a chance to help set free someone that had been involved in witchcraft. Pastor Luis told Dawn and me that he knew of a number of people in the churches that were involved in witchcraft. It was disappointing to hear about that.

On Sunday night I shared with the men in the church, and I felt like I should talk to them about blessings and curses. I was careful to first explain the gospel of grace to them because I didn’t want them to be confused or to fall into legalism.

In summary, I shared how we need to be careful about what we allow into our lives. The Bible warns us not to give the enemy a foothold. I told them about different ways that we can open a door to evil, which included witchcraft.

We didn’t have as much time to cover the topic, but I felt like it was important to address it. I based that partly on the discussions we had with Pastor Luis during the week while we were driving around and getting to know one another.

After I taught about blessings and curses I asked them if they would pray with me. I led them in a prayer of confession and repentance. When we got to the part of the prayer where I paused so they could confess what they felt like they needed to confess to the Lord, I noticed a number of them were crying. When I tried to continue they weren’t ready, so I gave them more time.

Breakthrough and Freedom from Witchcraft

Then we continued through the prayer. Towards the end of the prayer, one man, in particular, started weeping, and it was noticeable. I finished the prayer with the group, and then I had a chance to talk to this man, we’ll call him Jose. Immediately after the prayer, Jose handed me a necklace with a figure on it. He said he had been involved in witchcraft, and he was having all kinds of problems with his wife and family.

All the other guys left, so I was alone with Jose, so I wanted to be careful and treat this seriously. I led him through some prayers of deliverance. As we prayed together I could see the peace of the Lord come over him. When he left he looked like a new man. It was sad that he had gotten involved in something evil, but it was exhilarating to see him set free.

Continue to Pray for Healing and Breakthrough
Thank you for praying for us, and for joining us on this journey!

Thank you for praying for us, and for joining us on this journey!

I talked to Pastor Luis and he told me that later in the week he went to visit Jose and he was doing much better. Jose said he felt peace and freedom.

There’s so much power in the blood of Christ! Jesus is the almighty God! Continue to pray for Jose as he walks out his freedom. Pray as well for Pastor Luis and his wife, Gina as they minister in a difficult place filled with darkness. Yet, we give thanks that we are overcomers in Christ! There’s so many more that need to experience this freedom. We look to the Lord!

In His Grip, Dave

DiasoLifeOnTheBorder.org