This is our home in our little village at the edge of a mesa. This is the first glimpse of the village from the road as we travel in. After 5.5 hours of a very bumpy, bouncy ride it’s a site for sore eyes!
Posts Tagged ‘travel’
…an excerpt from Katie’s latest update…I’m sharing it with you guys because she describes very well what we’re doing this week…
Imagine that you are going on a camping trip for 5 months. There are five people in your family and you need to pack all the food, supplies, clothes, and toiletries you will need in the back of one pick-up. There will be no stores for miles, so you must be sure you have enough of everything. There will also be no running water and no electricity, so plan accordingly. You will need to take tools and supplies to work on building a house. Good luck!
If you think you’ve got a handle on planning for such an event, please, please come give me a hand. For the last week, the Alkires, Rachel, and I have been purging, planning, and packing for just such a trip. We will be “camping” in our somewhat completed home through the rainy season, which may last until November. We will be hauling water from the creek, sleeping on cots, and working to build relationships with the Nahuatl.
Whenever we travel into the village, there are so many things that vie for space:
-diesel for the truck
-fuel for the generator
It’s like a giant puzzle trying to fit everything in. We start early so there is time to move things around and find the best spot for everything, making sure to fill up holes so as to make use of every available space.
When I took this picture, there were still overnight bags to go in, a cooler to keep perishables for the first week, our water filter (two 5-gallon buckets on top of one another), and a box with our veggies and fruit for 3 weeks that had yet to be added. But, we always get it all in.
And, there is still a waiting list of more things that need to go out…
There are lots of new babies in the village. This last trip, we met 4 new babies. The village leader’s wife had a baby while we were there. And, we were able to see her and the bundled baby when he was 5 days old. She kept him bundled the whole time, so we never actually saw the new little one. We asked his name…
“I don’t know his name yet. He was born on March 30, and I don’t have this year’s calendar so I don’t know what his name is supposed to be.
But, if I don’t like that date’s name, I’ll give him another name. Like my daughter. She was supposed to be Diana, but I do not like that name. So, I named her Rose.”
Another of our friends brought her son over to us so that we could meet him. He was 2 months old by then. He was not named yet, either. Our friend said she would name him when he is baptized. A leader of the popular religion was in the village two weeks before our visit. I asked her why she didn’t have her son baptized then. She said, “He doesn’t have a name yet.” So, which is first – the name or the baptism?
One thing I do know…All the babies have to be registered with the government in the town down close to the coast. And, they must have names by then. On our way back home, twin brothers asked if we could take them and their families to the town so they could register their new babies. One was about 5 months and the other was about 8 months. The twin’s little sister came along. It was her first trip down to the “big city.”
One day during Holy Week, we went down to the bottom of the canyon to the ceremonial center. It is there that the people do their traditional rituals according to their beliefs.
We went down with some friends from our village who also wanted to see the dancing.
We drove for over an hour to where we had to park the truck. (If we drove the whole way into the village, those performing the dancing would “confiscate” it for the rest of the festival and “use” it in whatever way they chose.)
So, we left the truck well out of the village and walked the last little bit to the village.
One of the things about living in Mexico, or anywhere overseas, is that you have to be flexible. We set the dates for our trip several months ago, because we were taking a dentist from the US with us to treat dental needs in the village. And, we had to work around our dentist friend’s schedule.
So, we picked him up at the airport and headed for the village. We drove into this:
And, when we realized that the ugliest part was moving toward us and toward the area where we were hoping to drive, we turned around and went back to a coastal town. Before we got there, it started to rain and it down-poured for a good 4-5 hours and then drizzled the rest of the day. It was A LOT of water! With that kind of rain, we knew the roads would be in bad shape for the next few days.
After 3 days of waiting, we made it into the village safely!
We praise the Lord that we made it back safe and sound once again from a trip. Again, things did not go according to our plans, but God opened up the door for us to get up to the village after a few days of waiting for the roads to dry out. And, after waiting, they were in the best condition we’ve ever seen them! The government is working on the road in the hopes of paving it.
We were very busy the days we were there and got a lot done. We would have loved to stay longer, but we had to get back so the kids could start school again. We’re lining things up for the next trip in just over a week.
We’re getting ready for another trip into the village, and that means packing again. It’s getting easier and easier, because after a few times, I know what I need and what I don’t need.
Please pray for us for safety in traveling. Please pray that the roads would be dry enough to make it into the village. Please pray for us as we are with the people, that we might communicate love and grace. We’re taking a dentist in with us for a dental clinic for all the indigenous in the area.
We’ll also be working on Katie’s and my house. Please pray that we might be able to move forward on it. We’ve faced a lot of disappointments in the last weeks and it hasn’t progressed like we’ve hoped. Pray that we might be able to get some things done this trip.
Several of you have asked about my team. So, I decided to feature them here on my blog so you can get to know them a bit better. I met my partner, Katie Moore,in the Fall of 08′, just over a year ago and God subsequently directed our paths together. Katie, who goes by Tater, graciously allowed me to interview her so that you could get to know her more.
So, Tater, that’s an interesting nickname, how did you come by that?
When I was young my best friend’s little brother started calling me “Tate,” trying to say “Kate.” Everyone picked it up, including my family. I’m so used to it now I sometimes do a double take when people call me Katie. =)
Where are you from?
I was born in Missouri, but at 4 months old my parents moved to South America, where I lived until I graduated from high school.
You have an interesting connection to one of the other team members. How do you guys know each other?
Dan Alkire is also an MK (missionary kid) from South America. While we didn’t exactly hang out together (he’s an oldie) we’ve known each other for a long time. In fact, my dad taught Dan in elementary school and I’m now teaching Dan’s son, Josiah.
How did you come to be in tribal missions?
I have always had a positive outlook on missions, but when I was in 11th grade I really began to think seriously about it. I was visiting a friend whose parents worked in a tribal location and listening to them talk about the translation work on the book of Philippians. It hit me one day that I can read that book in 6 different versions in my house and much of the world has never heard it in one. I want to be a part of doing something about that.
What is your role on the church-planting team?
I am the Spinster Schoolmarm. That’s right…you heard me. I teach the teams’ children in a one-room schoolhouse type class. I have always had a desire to work with MK’s and a passion for discipleship. I love to see their minds grow and how God stretches their hearts as well.
What color should we paint our house?
Pink. Barbie pink. It suits both of our girly personalities. Uhhh… Ummm… I think we need to talk about this...
Are you going to be okay living with a Cowboys fan who sometimes listens to country?
Well, we won’t have any TV in the tribe, so no worries about the Cowboys. Plus, I don’t care if you watch basketball, as long as I don’t have to pretend to be excited every time someone scores a goal. (Snicker, snicker) As far as country music goes…well, that seems like a discussion more well-suited to a different time and place…
Okay, you’ve visited the village where we’ll be living now, what was your impression? What did you like about the people group and the village?
I loved it there and can’t wait for our team to truly make it our home. The scenery is beautiful and the people were generous, warm, and approachable. I know we have a huge task ahead of us, but I can’t wait to get going.
If you could travel and visit one place in the world, where would you go, and why?
For purely touristy reasons, I would probably pick somewhere on the Mediterranean, maybe Italy or Greece. I don’t know why, but pictures of that part of the world have always fascinated me. A little closer to home, the Grand Canyon is definitely on my list of things to see, along with some other cool western states spots. When on furlough my family normally sticks to New York and Michigan.
What is a Scripture that has been encouraging you lately?
In Bible class my students and I have been talking about the Word of God and reading Gutenberg’s biography. He was a man who believed that people needed to be able to read the Bible for themselves and not just take another person’s word for it. In the Psalms, King David said that “The law from your mouth is more precious to me than thousands of pieces of silver and gold.” I don’t always live like I believe that, but I long to. Just as I long for the Nahuatl and other unreached people to have the chance to see it for themselves and love it.
Anything else you want to tell the internet?
Ah, yes…the internet is such a warm, personable place. I do have one more thing, though. If you’re reading this, you probably know Rachel. Thank you to all of you who support and pray for her and in that way, for our team. She in an example and encouragement to me and an important part of the group God has brought together to do a job. And because she counts on you, we thank you for being part of that team as well.
We have the distinction of having the worst road of all the places where our organization works in Mexico. We travel 63 miles and it takes between 6-8 hours.
This last trip we weren’t able to get in on the first try. Two and a half hours into the trip, we descend into a valley, cross the river and then climb up the other side of the mountain. Well, as we began to descend, it began to rain quite steadily.
We noticed that the river was a little higher than normal, but nothing we couldn’t cross. But, then as we started up the other side we had problems. We were loaded down with materials for building and all of our camping stuff for 2 weeks. The rain had made the road extremely muddy and we weren’t able to make it up the hill.
After several tries we backed down the hill and got out to fill the road with rocks and small branches for traction.
After an hour of playing in the mud, our efforts had no effect. We still couldn’t make it up the hill. So, we turned back to the coast to wait for the roads to “dry out” a bit.
We waited two days and tried again. We battled again at the same hill, but this time we were able to make it all the way up and eventually to the village.