We want to introduce you to some really great people that are working with us. They are Jacinto and Ruby, José and Elia, and Andrés and Esther. They joined the work between 1989 and 2004, and we thank God how He continues to use them to help the P people medically, educationally, economically, and spiritually.
José and Elia have three children, Laura, Wendy, and Heber. José speaks the tribal language well and has a real ministry of encouraging the believers. He meets regularly with the P pastors to give them guidance and counsel. His wife Elia continues to study the language and has a ministry with the ladies. They carry the main burden too of dispensing medicine, taking care of the sick, and accompanying the really sick ones out to town when more professional help is needed. These dear folks are a real asset to the team. Please pray for them!!
Jacinto and Ruby continue to study the P language. And along with his studies, Jacinto has been a real help in the school. He teaches Spanish and encourages the other 9 teachers as they teach their own people to read and write their beautiful language. He is also a handy fix-it sort of guy and keeps a lot of the machinery running. Ruby is studying the language too. Their four children are Juán Daniel, Ronald, Amy, and Emily.
Andrés continues to study the language and Esther is a busy mom but is still always available to work with the ladies to teach them more about sowing their clothes, and other practical things. Andrés is also working with the people to help them improve different skills to increase their cash flow. He is also active in setting up opportunities for discipleship and helping the folks with transportation. Their son’s name is Elías.
Gary and Karen (the two on the left side of Teresa) were the first members of the team. They did most of the ground work to make the whole beginning possible. In 1974 they visited different villages and worked hard to get permission from the government authorities to work with these people. We joined the team in 1977 and then together we surveyed a lot of different villages to determine just where we would locate. In May of that year, we all moved into a village together. What a glorious day that was!!
Gary was involved in everything from medical to maintenance to logistics to government relations to community development, and supply buying as well. He also was our supply man for many years, making long trips to town on through dirt and mud and up over sand dunes, hauling back fuel and groceries. Many were the times he was stuck in the lose, deep sand as well as in the mud. And Karen, well, she had a real knack for coming up with interesting observations regarding the language that helped us all understand it better. She was also a huge help in teaching the people to read and write in their own language. In 1996 Gary and Karen were transferred to work on the leadership team. These folks were indeed a huge blessing to the work and have been greatly missed!
John and Jeanie joined the work in 1980 and had to leave in 1990 due to medical problems. It was so good to have them on board though. John was an enthusiastic church planter and loved to talk and discover more about the mysteries of the P culture, the marvels of the language, and how to best contextualize the message for the people to understand it in the most appropriate way. He was truly desirous too that our strategy would take us nicely across the finish line for God’s glory. And Jeanie, well, she had the gifts of mercy and helps, and was continually reaching out to the ladies and their children. It was not at all uncommon to see her scrubbing some dirty kid down by the pump, giving medicine, or giving special care to a child that was close to death. And during the whooping cough epidemic she was right out there hiking those trails and making sure the little ones were taken care of. It was always obvious that both John and Jeanie had a huge heart for the people. We have truly missed them!!
Vern and Holly joined the work in 1989 and were a part of the team until 2002 when they had to leave due to security reasons. They truly were a blessing in many ways. When they first got in there after building their house, they got right down to learning the language, studying the culture, and building relationships with the people. Vern continued on with studies and Holly met the need of educating their children to which she energetically gave herself. It wasn’t long before Vern had learned enough of the language and culture to get involved in the teaching. It was good to have him on board and to teach together. Some time later, he began to meet regularly with three different believers who had learned to read and write, and who had the gift of teaching. He trained them to use the teaching curriculum, find different passages in their Bibles, and many other things about discipling others. It was great to have them with us during those years!
Frank and Kathy have been a real help to the work in so many ways! They came on three different occasions and stayed for a full year. Their first was in 93, then later in 98, and then finally in 2001. Frank is a jack-of-all-trades type of guy and both he and his dear wife have the gifts of helps and encouragement. They did everything from maintaining machinery to organizing the little mechanics shop to building fuel tanks, and also setting up the medical dispensary. They were a huge blessing to the team whenever they came to help….and Frank’s wonderful sense of humor always kept us laughing. These folks who had retired still had lots of get-up and go to invest in eternity, and we and the P people sure loved and appreciated them!!
Gilberto and Yulis came to join the team to help us for about a one-year period in 1998. How we enjoyed their company, their great sense of humor, and their teaching as they taught us many of the idioms in their beautiful Spanish language. And they were a huge help in many other ways!! They not only took care of many of the physical aspects of the work, but also were a huge blessing in that they took people who were very sick and whom we no longer were able to help, out to town for medical attention. This is hard work but they did great. They stayed with those sick folks and just were there to help them however they could full the full duration of their hospital stay.
And so, because of their involvement in the work, we could dedicate ourselves much more freely to discipleship, Bible translation, and teaching during that time.
Bert and Dian came to contribute to the work on a couple of occasions and stayed for a total of about 2 years. They were a huge blessing indeed and did so much to not only encourage us, but to free us to translate, prepare school materials, and so on. Yes, they and their children got involved in everything from painting to preparing literacy materials to adding three more rooms onto our little school to repairing every motor in sight. Yes, they were truly a blessing from the Lord in more ways than we can enumerate here. And their joy in the Lord was contagious and we all loved them, including the P people.
Gary and Ann joined the work in 1999 and remained as part of the team until we expatriates had to suddenly leave the area due to security reasons. Gary was gifted in helping out in many ways. This all helped to set us free for translation, teaching, and lesson preparation. He was a real help to the people too, teaching them many things, like how to repair their bicycles, and so on. And both he and Ann ran the little store for the people and had it in tip-top shape! Ann was super in secretarial matters, really whipping stuff out in a hurry on the computer. She was an administrator-type and knew how to get things organized and done in a hurry.