April 2008

Can you believe that April is gone already?!  It was a great month for us, and I am excited to tell you about it!

We’ve mentioned in past updates our friend from the Zoque jungle, Amin.  He was here for two weeks finishing a study called “El Camino a Jesus” (The Road to Jesus), which is a 36 part overview of the entire Bible.  It’s now in the post-productions stages and almost ready to be distributed out in the Zoque territory!  He also translated the script for the “La Esperanza” (The Hope) film. This is another Biblical overview tool that we will be packaging along side the “El Camino a Jesus” study. The next step is recording the audio of the New Testament. If you are interested in helping fund this project then please let us know.

The first of April was probably the busiest for Nathan!  Our sweet friend Steve Haag flew in from GA, bringing a friend with him.  Jimmy Blanton is the Missions Coordinator for the Columbus , GA area.  We really enjoyed having Jimmy here… he was a huge blessing to us!  Nathan picked Steve and Jimmy up at the airport in Villa Hermosa (a 5 hr drive from here) and then took them to Palenque .  They visited the famous ruins there, then went on to Ch’ol country, just a few hours away.  The Ch’ols currently have no missionaries but there is an established church. Part of the problem is that Christianity has become a membership in a club, “I am a Christian because my dad was.” This has led to a lot of apathy. You will remember us telling you about Joel Arcos and his desire to return to his people the Ch’ols to work as a missionary there.  Jimmy and Steve have decided to help us find financial support for Joel and his new bride Zaremi (married on April 12th!) so that they can return to his village to work in evangelism and discipleship inside of the already established churches of the Ch’ol area.  Nathan also took Steve and Jimmy out to Zoque country, they distributed 11 filtration systems and were able to share the gospel and leave scripture materials in every home.Nathan returned to one home to double check on a filter issue. When he walked in he found the whole family gathered around the CD player listening to the gospel of John he had just left them, while trying to follow along in the printed version. These small victories give us hope that we will see a church established someday in the Zoque region.

Nathan continues working here for Greg McClanahan as his construction supervisor while Greg and his crew are gone to Uganda . They will be training new local missionaries there.

Another big project that Nathan has been trying to coordinate is a medical campaign for cleft lip and palette as well as other reconstructive surgeries. He is also trying to infuse some kind of evangelism into the project.. He has contacted local churches to adopt the patients before, during, and after surgery. One of the biggest needs during these medical campaigns are the family members that accompany the patient. They are coming into a new city where they know no one and have no money to pay for hotels or restaurant food. So they sleep in the street outside the hospital and eat very poorly while their son or daughter is in surgery and recovery. We are trying to give the local churches the opportunity to fill these needs and build a (hopefully) lasting relationship. Please pray that God would open doors for this project. Right now Satan is giving us the runaround in the red tape department.

My birthday was the end of April and my dear friend, Amanda Michaels , gave me a plane ticket!  I got to fly up to Michigan with Gabi to visit Amanda and her family.  She recently had baby #2 and he is sooooo cute!  We had a really wonderful time together, though it was quite short!  Nathan and Cloe stayed here at home together and had tons of fun bonding time.  The day before my flight to MI, Cloe woke up at 2 am very sick.  She threw up (or tried to) every 30 minutes (or less, if we gave her a drink) for the next 7 hrs.  Our friend Dr. Ramiro came up to check her out and mentioned the possibility of Hep. A, due to her liver feeling swollen and tender.  That was a scare, and we almost cancelled my trip.  But after a few doses of an anti-nausea medication, she was better. After testing it looks like she may have had some kind of liver infection… Hepatitis or otherwise, but it’s on it’s way out the door and she should be fine.  She was only really sick that one day and just slept a lot for a day or two after that.  She’s been her bouncy 3 yr old self ever since!  So we went ahead with the trip plans and I had a great time visiting Amanda.  I flew out the 22nd and back here on the 28th.  Gabi and Cloe were so happy to see each other at the airport… it was precious!  It’s so good to be back together.

In His hands, Julie (for Nathan Cloe and Gabi)